Sunday, April 26, 2015

Orlando - Who Knew?

Like many business travelers (especially those of us that do lots of trade shows and conferences), I end up in Orlando a lot!  I've always kind of thought of the area as a cultural wasteland (chain restaurants and Disney-themed and other touristy shops) So last time I was there, I thought that I'd do something different and I headed downtown Orlando. What a great surprise! I found a fantastic restaurant (Kasa Restaurant and Bar) on Orange Street, got a taste of the local nightlife and actually made my way back over one afternoon to the quaint neighborhood of  South Eola. This historic downtown neighborhood was a complete surprise to me with cobblestone streets (historical - not Disney-made), large shade trees dripping with Spanish Moss and bungalow homes. The best part of the area was Lake Eola Park where a fantastic Farmer's Market was underway, locals were gathering to do yoga in the large lawn, and swans swam in the lovely lake which was ringed by a .9 mile walking path that included small gardens, a swan boat rental dock, and several sculptures.
It was such a delightful surprise (I love it when that happens!) You'd better believe that next time I'm in Orlando for a conference or convention and I find myself with a little extra time, I'll be heading downtown to visit Lake Eola Park, or explore another new, interesting Orlando neighborhood.

Have you ever explored downtown Orlando?

Faves:Farmer's Market at Lake Eola Park
Restaurant: Kasa
Area - Lake Eola Park