Orlando Expedited Itinerary – 1 day
Breakfast at Virgin Olive Market. Walk up the street to window shop at the antique and indie stores of Ivanhoe Village. Turn east at Princeton Street and find the Orlando Science Center. Hang a left North on Mills Avenue/17-92 and turn right on Fairbanks Avenue to get lunch and Fair Trade Certified Coffee at Austin’s Coffee. Continue down Fairbanks Avenue to meet Park Avenue for an afternoon of some serious high-end shopping. Find a selection of great Vietnamese restaurants back towards Orlando at Mills Avenue. and Hwy 50. Dandelion Communitea Cafe is an American vegetarian alternative in the same neighborhood. Skip over to the Milk District, bordered by Bumby Avenue and named for the TG Lee Milk factory, to finish the day with a micro-brew at the Milk Bar. Head back downtown to rest your head in retro style at The Courtyard at Lake Lucerne.
Central Florida Weekend – 3 day
Day 1 – Check into one of the four historic homes that make up The Courtyard at Lake Lucerne. Located at the intersection of Interstate 4 and State Road 408, The Courtyard is the perfect home base to explore Central Florida. Enjoy breakfast at The Courtyard, followed by stroll around Lake Lucerne. Then strike out north on I-4 with your picnic basket to Blue Springs State Park near Orange City. The springs are the winter home to the West Indian Manatees, and the park has many picnic areas and hiking trails. Back south on I-4, work up an appetite strolling the streets of Historic Downtown Sanford. Dinner at Hollerbach’s Willow Tree Cafe, a German restaurant offering all kinds of wiener schnitzel, is sure to entertain.
Day 2 – One of the best things about shacking up at The Courtyard at Lake Lucerne is its proximity to all of the downtown Orlando action. By foot, you can take in multiple art studios, performing arts theaters, and a movie theater. The Latin American feel of the Corona Cigar Bar is fun, even if the exotic rums are overpriced. Lunch at Relax Cafe or Spice Modern Steakhouse will give you a picturesque view of the city’s official seal, Lake Eola. If you are attending events at the Amway Center or the Citrus Bowl, don’t worry about parking; they are both within walking distance as well. If the hustle and bustle of Downtown’s nightlife aren’t your style, you can slip into BBQ Bar (there is no food served) or Independent Bar for a hipster, jeans-and-t-shirt diversion. Conversely, you can trek east on Colonial Drive/Hwy 50 and have dinner at the very unassuming strip mall location of SEA Thai. The food is modestly priced, absolutely delicious, and served by an almost intolerably polite staff. Further east on Colonial, beer snobs will love to spend the evening at one of the best beer bars in the world, Redlight Redlight.
Day 3 – End your Orlando visit with a touch of class and do some high-end shopping and noshing on Park Avenue in Winter Park. Plan for dinner at the very polished Funky Monkey Wine Bar on Mills Avenue/Hwy 17-92 south of Winter Park. Schedule dinner to catch a screening of a documentary or indie film at the Enzian Theater up the street from Funky Monkey in the City of Maitland. After the film, the Enzian’s outdoor bar is a verdant setting for a nightcap. However, if you’re in the mood for a more rowdy experience, head right back down Mills Avenue to Will’s Pub for some of the best local Orlando music.