City of Orlando, Florida

The city of Orlando is arguably the busiest city in the state of Florida. "The City Beautiful," as it's known to some, is home to the world's most popular and beloved theme parks, the second largest convention center in the United States, and one of the busiest airports in the world.

There are at least 3 possible inspirations for the city's name, but no one knows which one (if any) is the truth. The most common story (and the one favored by city officials) is that the name "Orlando" came from a soldier named Orlando Reeves who dies in 1835 during an attack in the Second Seminole War. The second possible inspiration is Orlando Rees, who was a cattle rancher who owned land near the area. Over the years, parts of these stories have merged. Another interesting possibility is that the city was named for the protagonist in the Shakespeare play, 'As You Like It.'

Downtown, Orlando boasts an impressive total of 19 completed skyscrapers. The city is bold and full of life, but the 115 neighborhoods that make up the city's metropolitan area give Orlando its heart and soul. Despite all the hustle and bustle, Orlando is a kind and welcoming city filled with unforgettable people, places, and history.

The Holy Land Experience is a living, biblical museum and park that brings the world of the Bible alive! Located in Orlando, Florida, it combines the sights and sounds of the biblical world in a unique and interactive way, unlike anywhere else!

Amway Center, located in Downtown Orlando, is a sports and entertainment venue. Home to the Orlando Magic NBA team and the Orlando Solar Bears ECHL team. Built with a capacity of more than 20,000 seats, the arena's urban setting, gives guests easy access to the Orlando entertainment core. Hosting concerts, events, shows and more, the area is designed to stage any event. 

Amway Center

Aquatica is part of SeaWorlds Parks and Entertainment, located in Orlando Florida close to all the central Florida Attractions. What makes this water park different from the others is it's integration with marine life. Slide down a water slide through dolphins at Dolphin Plunge. Experience thrilling water slides, relaxing rivers, wondrous wave pools and unique animal encounters. 

Bright House Networks Stadium, also know as "The Bounce House" though recent renovations have made the bouncing effect less obvious. It is located at the University of Central Florida in Orlando Florida and home to the UCF Knights football team. The stadium has a capacity of 44,206. 

UCF Bright House Networks Stadium

Camping World Stadium is located in Downtown Orlando Florida. It was formerly known as the Tangerine Bowl, Florida Citrus Bowl and Orlando Citrus Bowl. The stadium is currently home to the Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl, the Orlando City Soccer League, and the Russell Athletic Bowl and hosts other events, concerts and college football games. The Stadium Complex includes Tinker Field, McCracken Field, Thunder Field, and Festival Field when hosts events, concerts, sports, and community festivals throughout the year. 

Image by Kitch / WikiCommons

CFE Federal Credit Union Arena, formerly the UCF Arena is a sports and entertainment arena located at the University of Central Florida in Orlando, Florida. Home of the UCF Knights mens and womens basketball teams, the arena also hosts concerts, graduations, theater, events and other sporting events. 

CFE Arena - UCF

Discovery Cove is part of Sea World Parks & Entertainment in Orlando. This all-inclusive day resort gives you and your family an unforgettable experience with exciting animal encounters in a breathtaking tropical atmosphere. Swim with bottlenose dolphins, feed tropical birds, snorkel through a saltwater reef and play inches from a family of otters - all in one day.  

Disney's Blizzard Beach is a water theme park located at the Walt Disney World Resort in Bay Lake, Florida. The wintery scene is an exciting contrast to the heated water areas and water slides amidst the ski resort look.

The first and only MLS team in the state of Florida, Orlando City Soccer Club has been a great addition to the Central Florida area. They have been able to bring a growing sport domestically and generate jobs and funds that benefit the economic growth of the area. They have also been able to attract some pretty crazed fans in their brief time as well.

In 1989, Pat Williams and Jimmy Hewitt joined forces to help expand the NBA to Orlando. Now the Orlando Magic are an integral part of the Central Florida area for their contributions in the community and admiration by the fans.

Disney's Typhoon Lagoon is a water theme park located at the Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista in Orlando, Florida. It is one of two operating water parks at the resort and features a Surf Pool and the largest wave pool in North America. 

The exciting new Universal’s Volcano Bay™ water park opened in the Summer of 2017 featuring an all new concept in water parks with a gigantic volcano as it's central theme. The Krakatau™, the mighty Fire and Water Volcano towers 200 feet above the tropical landscape, streaming waterfalls during the day and fiery lava effects at night.

Wet 'n Wild opened in 1977, and is considered to be the first major standalone water park. After 40 years of being one of the top water parks, the park closed on December 31, 2016. Universal Studios purchased the park with plans to renovate. Universal opened Volcano Bay Water park nearby and has not revealed the future for the Wet 'n Wild land. 

Website Listings

The Escape Game Orlando is located downtown on International Drive and features six unique escape rooms. Find the clues, crack the codes, and escape your room in under 60 minutes with your family, friends, or adventurous strangers! Their website offers difficulty levels and 3D views of all of their rooms, so you know exactly what kind of layout you'll be facing. Their rooms promote team building, and they have become quite the popular hangout location of downtown Orlando.

The First Academy is a Christ-centered, college preparatory, private school serving over 1,450 Central Florida students from preschool through high school.

The Florida Mall is Central Florida's largest mall with more than 250 retail spaces. You'll find pretty much every kind of store here at this mall, which is located close to all of the Orlando attractions. It is also home to the Crayola Experience, amazing dining options, and the Florida Hotel and Conference Center.

Purveyors of the most extraordinary hand-crafted goods reclaimed in Indonesia and India by day, and provisioners of boutique wines, craft beers, and classic cocktails by night, the Imperial is a neighborhood bar designed as a living conversation piece. With three locations in Orlando, Winter Park, and Sanford—with Sanford being the only with liquor—there is an adventurous night out within reach of most locals in the Orlando-Sanford metro area. Sit amongst the exotic tables or atop some plush, silk pillows whilst having a drink, or ask your retailer about acquiring a one-of-a-kind piece to start your own conversations at home. 

The Law Offices of Jerrod Paul work to serve the Central and South Florida residents dealing with hard-to-navigate insurance claims. They offer a free consultation via phone or email and are passionate about helping their clients receive the best legal representation. The attorneys have a vast background in litigating insurance claims for homeowners, vessel owners, and business owners against claims of mold, storm/fire/water damage, commercial insurance, residential insurance, and homeowners insurance. They’ve been able to help recover hundreds of thousands of dollars for their clients and emphasize the focus and attention they offer. 

If you have an insurance claim you need help with, request a free consultation from the Law Offices of Jerrod Paul to see if their attorneys are the right fit for you. They are passionate about the law and "strive to consistently exceed our clients' expectations" with unwavering commitment to service. 
 

The Lovely Boutique strongly believes in supporting and showcasing local artisans and collectors. That's why their shop offers vintage and mid-century clothing, furniture, and decor from Orlando locals. Look on their website for fun events coming up. They are in the Audubon Park District and open seven days a week.

The Mall at Millenia is Orlando's best high end shopping destination. Conveniently located near all of Central Florida's attractions, it's an easy way for both tourists and locals to shop the best of fashion. When you're done shopping, you'll also find tons of great options for dining.

Listen up art fans, if you're looking for a place to admire some beautiful art pieces, then there is a place just for you. Come on down and visit The Mennello Museum of American Art.  Here you can examine a wide array of paintings by many talented artists, including Earl Cunningham. You can also check out some programs such as educational initiatives, publications, and exhibitions that pay tribute other American art and its artists across a diverse range of American art. It has four intimate rooms and gallery spaces to show American art of all genres and time periods.

Not only do they have exhibitions indoors, but they also have an outdoor exhibition annually in the Marilyn L. Mennello Sculpture Garden. This museum is affiliated with The Smithsonian, who shares scholarships and exhibitions with the community. The museum even has the Orlando Urban Trail, the museum’s outside space that has green grass, a view of the lake, and walking paths. With all that it has to offer, why wouldn't you come by this art museum? So take a visit to The Mennello Museum of American Art and enjoy all the art you could ask for.

The Owl's Attic is an Orlando vintage store, offering pieces from the 1950's to the 1990's, although they're self-proclaimed hippies whose "hearts are stuck in the 60's/70's". Offering a variety of deadstock and true vintage items, The Owl's Attic claims that each piece is hand-picked and unique. They also team up with local artists and vendors to offer a wide variety of accessories and jewelry. 

The Owl's Attic offers some of their inventory on their online store, located at their website. This is a great way to see what they have available at what price points or even to shop if you're unable to visit in person. They also have a lookbook available on their website so you can see how to style different pieces and gain inspiration before and after shopping. They offer sales and events throughout the year so be sure to follow their Facebook and Instagram for updates, news, and inspiration.

This is the first and only traditional NY style deli food truck in Orlando. Everything is made from scratch including their pastrami, corned beef, lox, and cheesecake.

The Pottery Studio was established in 1968 and has since become one of the most well-known and finest pottery studios in Central Florida. They offer pottery classes, private groups or parties, team building events, and a summer camp for children. They teach everything from hand building, wheel throwing, painting, and sculpting. The Pottery Studio is perfect for a date night, birthday party, field trip or club activity, or even for a solo day. Prices and project offerings vary depending on the class.

The Pottery Studio is offered by the City of Orlando to encourage creativity, individualism, and exploration. Be sure to check out their website for information on hours and to register for a class. 

The Sanctum is a restaurant where they serve healthy, plant-based, sustainable, nutrient-rich foods to promote a conscious way of living. 

Although on the pricier side of casual dining, it’s for a good cause. The Sanctum is a health-conscience restaurant that knows exactly where its food and drinks are coming from. The owners carefully crafted plant-based dishes to satisfy your health-food side. Reduce your carbon footprint and treat yourself to a plant-based meal here. Also, on Sundays they'll have live music outside while you enjoy your brunch!

Orlando got lucky with this one… The Strand is a timeless classic, offering new twists on traditional favorites.

Reasons to dine here: ​​​​​

  • the food is sourced locally
  • the atmosphere is bright and fresh
  • your taste buds will actually thank you.

Your experience is complete with large windows, an open-kitchen, and the friendliest wait staff. Come for lunch or dinner, but don’t forget about brunch on Saturdays!

The Stubborn Mule is owned and operated by two graduates of The Culinary Institute of America. The Stubborn Mule is a fun new American restaurant featuring hand crafted mule cocktails, craft cocktails, draft beers, wines and a fun new American food menu. The food menu sources locally.  They partner with local farmers, fisheries, and small businesses to create playful food and cocktail menus.

The Sugar Factory is the ultimate destination for a birthday or fun night out. Whether you want to sip on fancy drinks or have an extravagant dessert, this is the place! There is an even a full food menu available!

The Tea Room Experience captivates its customers with its traditional environment and selection of loose leaf tea. A small shop owned by a mother and daughter, The Tea Room Experience serves Afternoon Tea. Along with the steaming cup of delicious tea that is personally handpicked by the shop's very own Certified Tea Sommelier, The Tea Room Experience serves finger sandwiches, fresh scones, pastries, and cupcakes. 

 

The Thirsty Topher  has twenty four taps, plus a selection of cans, bottles, and bombers, all at a fair price. The Cicerone® Certified Beer Servers staff firmly believes that there is a beer for everyone, and are delighted in helping patrons find the right one (or two, or three).

Delicious burgers, stunning plating, and a huge range of whiskeys, The Whiskey is the place for great food and a great time.

Theater On The Edge is a small theater company that creates immersive and unique theater experiences within their small 31-seat space. They work  with Truthful Acting Studios to help train actors.

The Theatre South Playhouse has a fantastic team of caring and supportive instructors. The Theatre South Playhouse provides shows for the whole family to enjoy. If you are a musical theatre lover, they have productions for you there too. They also have acting classes available for kids and teens. You can get private lessons, or you can go to group lessons depending on how you're comfortable. They also provide other classes and they have a summer camp that your children can do to as well.

 

ThinkGeek is the store to go to for all things geeky. They have memorabilia for Star Wars, Star Trek, Marvel, DC, Game of Thrones, Pokémon, Harry Potter, Fortnite, Fallout, Doctor Who, and so many other awesome names that people love. This is definitely worth the check out if you're in one of the four areas they are located in in Florida. 

The Timucua Arts Foundation is an organization that tries to make art accessible to everyone by hosting concerts in their 100-seat venue. They presents up to 100 events each year. They also offer 4-week residencies to visual artists. During their residency, the artist’s works are on display in the venue and the artist works live on stage during select musical performances.

The Titanic: Artifact Exhibition is a unique experience where visitors of the Orlando, Florida area can visit to experience a little bit of history. With actual artifacts and replicas of artifacts covering the walls of several rooms, clients can learn the history behind the dreaded vessel as a passenger of the ship. 

A fast casual concept focused on elevating a staple of American cuisine - the Grilled Cheese.

Totilleria El Progreso is located in the Orange County area in a strip-mall. This isn't any ordinary authentic homemade Mexican restaurant, this amazing establishment also sells a wide variety of homemade desserts, Mexican food to make at your house, Mexican style bread, products for your home, and other memorable Mexican tchotchkes.

Delcious burgers made with 100% beef and Amoroso rolls shipped from Philadelphia! Don't forget to ask for some deep-fried Oreos!

UCF was founded in 1963, and has grown to be one of the largest universities in the nation. With over 64,000 students and offering more than 200 degree programs in 13 colleges, and locations throughout Central Florida (Altamonte Springs, Cocoa, Daytona Beach, Leesburg, Ocala, Palm Bay, Sanford/Lake Mary, South Lake, Valencia East, Valencia Osceola, Valencia West), plus online programs, UCF offers something for everyone. 

Urban Hibachi has options for you whether you need a quick bite or have more time. Your can purchase made to order sushi rolls and warps with avocado, shrimp, and more for a good price. May I also suggest skewers and bentos for a good lunch or quick dinner. Or if you have the time and considering a night out, stay and order the Yakiniku.

Yakiniku is a chance to cook you food at the table. The purchase comes with meat and vegetables, edamame, soup, tempura, sushi, and sake. Order wisely and bring friends to share in the beautiful bounty. No matter your order if you crave the flavors of the orient Urban Hibachi is the place for you.

Valkyrie Doughnuts in Orlando is known for creating some of the best vegan doughnuts. All of Valkyries doughnuts are dairy and egg-free, however, they do have gluten. Valkyrie also serves different drinks such as kombucha or coffee, and soft serve that is dairy and egg-free. Come check out Valkyrie's tasty treats!

Vivi Bubble Tea is a tea shop that offers a variety of bubble teas. Its menu selection ranges from fresh fruit teas to milk teas to slush teas. Vivi Bubble Tea also has signature drinks that look just as extraordinary as they sound. 

Voodoo Donuts in Orlando is one of the most popular foodie destinations in the area. Voodoo Donuts is known for having one-of-a-kind donuts with different flavors and shapes. There are cake donuts, raised yeast donuts, vegan donuts, and specialty donuts available.

Watermark is a multi-faceted news publication delivering news and happenings relating to the LGBT community. 

With about 1,000 hives that are moved around the state to produce the varieties of honey, Webb's Honey offers Florida honey varieties including Orange Blossom and Wild Flower Honey. 

 

The Wells' Built Museum is located inside of the historic Wells' Built hotel, a hotel built by one of Orlando's first African-American doctors, William Monroe Wells in 1921. It was built to host black travelers who were not welcome in the segregated hotels in the area. Today it is a museum dedicated to African-American history in Central Florida.

An excellent bottle shop, bar, and lounge in Orlando's Milk District. Whippoorwill offers some of the best prices on bottled and canned craft beers (with an additional corkage fee if you chose to enjoy your beverage in house) and a rather extensive and creative draft selection. You can also enjoy coffee at their cafe before 3pm. 

Will's Pub is small, holding just over 200 people for their many live music rock 'n roll performances. Located in Orlando, this little business was made for those who just want to have a good time, listening to a variety of live music performances and drinking beer with a group of friends. There have been hundreds of performances here by both local artists and nationally known musicians and they never disappoint. With it being a pub, there's food and many beverages to pick from, all while listening to a great selection of music.

Try some one of a kind Maryland crab cakes, and other seafood platters!

This isn’t a normal amusement park with thrilling coasters or family fun rides. WonderWorks is more than 100 hands on exhibits that challenge the mind and spark creativity in the visitor’s imagination. With a couple of different zones that can be explored: natural disasters, physical challenges, light and sounds, space discovery, imagination lab, and far out art gallery, it's hard to be bored here. There is also an indoor ropes challenge, a 4D simulator ride, and a laser tag arena for the kid in all of us. WonderWorks has only six locations in the United States and Florida is lucky to have two of them. 

At the World of Chocolate Museum and Café, guests can expect nothing but the sweetest things. The museum houses 25 different sculptures that are made entirely of chocolate and the tour will take you through the process of finding the perfect cacao beans to turning it into the beloved treat that so many enjoy. By the end of the tour, your mouth will be watering for a taste of the chocolate you just learned about, and you'll be in luck as they have samples for everyone after the tour is complete. The café that is attached has food such as paninis and salads, as well as pastries like chocolate croissants, but try the hot chocolate if you have a chance, it's delicious!

Jazz & more!

Located in the Communications Building on the University of Central Florida campus, WUCF broadcasts jazz music and other non-commercial programs 24/7!

We deliver knowledge, reliability and dependability to meet our customers needs. Our main priority is too meet our customers desires and expectations professionally, responsibly and insure satisfaction. We offer a variety of services. Here are some services, Framing, drywall, orange peel, pressure washer, base, crown molding, install laminated wood, tiles, back splash, kitchen and bathroom remodeling, fencing, install doors, wall paper removal, siding, gutters and other home improvements. We are licensed and insured. 

Phoenix Tears productions is one of the shining pillars in interactive theatre. Every month they perform a series of short plays written by local writers and cast from local actors and directors. These shows usually only last a couple minutes, but every show has multiple performances, sometimes with a special local musician to spice things up.

Alongside this, they perform interactive, audience participation plays, where the audience quite literally becomes a part of the production. An audience member may walk directly up to an actor and ask them questions, and they will find out new information that nobody else knows. Every one of their interactive shows features a main character who is murdered, then the audience has to decide who did it.