Orlando is known for its attractions that draw travelers from all over the world. Residents are lucky, not only do they have year-round access to the Disney theme parks and other popular tourist attractions, but also the chance to venture off the beaten path to find even more of what the city has to offer. Orlando has something for everyone, amazing restaurants, posh shopping experiences, and spas and salons to pamper you after your adventures. Grab your friends and family and plan to check out one of these can’t-miss local destinations.
When it comes to restaurants, Orlando has every type of cuisine you can name. If you’re looking for something outside of the popular chains, check out one of these local favorites.
Shish.Co Mezze & Grill isn’t much to look at from the outside, but they make up for it with some of the most delicious Mediterranean and Middle Eastern food this side of the globe. Be sure to try their Gyros overflowing with succulent lamb, one of their Turkish-style coffees, or a sampling of their delicious and vegetarian-friendly appetizers.
For bistro-style tapas, check out Scratch in the Winter Park area just outside Orlando. Their extensive wine and beer menu pairs perfectly with their seasonally-rotating small plates and their romantic ambiance.
If you’re looking for a ritzy dining experience, look no further than Norman’s. Norman Van Aken is an incredibly well-known chef whose Ritz Carlton based restaurant has won numerous awards for his Florida fusion cuisine that combines flavors with Latin, Caribbean and Asian flare. You don’t have to stay at the hotel to eat at the restaurant, but reservations are recommended.
Orlando has loads of shopping options, whether you’re searching for souvenirs to send to your family or luxury items, you’re sure to find what you’re looking for. Bargain hunters will love the outlet options in the area, including the Orlando International Premium Outlets located right off of I-4. The outdoor shopping experience features over 180 retailers who offer 25-65% or more off of regular store prices daily.
Near the airport, the Florida Mall offers 250 stores with Macy’s, Dillard’s, JCPenney and Dick’s Sporting Goods as the anchors of the open-air shopping center. The family-friendly property has both an M&M’s store, and a Disney Store on-site, making it easy to shop for local souvenirs right along side of luxury staples like Apple, Coach, and Rolex.
For extreme luxury visit the Mall at Millenia. The 150 stores on the property include top of the line retailers like Gucci, Prada, Louis Vuitton, and Chanel, as well as the five restaurant eateries The Capital Grill, P.F. Chang’s China Bistro, The Cheesecake Factory, Brio Tuscan Grille, and California Pizza Kitchen.
Florida has a signature look, beachy waves in your hair and sun-kissed skin. If you want to recreate that look for yourself, or even try something different, check out one of the hundreds of salons and spas in the area. One the best perks of being an Orlando local is that you can book appointments at the luxe hotels in town, without having to pay to stay the night. Check out the spa at the Waldorf Astoria for a full spectrum of beauty services, and access to their spa and tea room on the property. These are just a few ideas of hundreds of options that Orlando has to offer. Start your journey at any one of these, and open your mind to the possibilities of where you might go next.
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