A popular city for families, business people, and snowbirds, Orlando, Florida has something for everyone. And while many come for Walt Disney World or Universal Orlando, if you have 48 hours in this central Florida city for business or pleasure, you will have no problem finding other things to do. Here are some ideas for your quick getaway to the Sunshine State.
For an off-the-beaten-path Orlando experience, check in to the Grand Bohemian Hotel in Downtown Orlando’s arts district, home to an impressive collection of modern art. Start your day with a hearty helping of southern comforts in downtown Orlando at The Coop – A Southern Affair. This centrally located hot spot boasts delicious dishes including their signature breakfast chicken and waffles benedict. If you’re looking for lighter fare, grab a cold brew at the Foxtail Coffee Company, or check the daily special breakfast menu at the Artisan’s Table before heading out for the day.
After a leisurely brunch in town, head back in time to first century Jerusalem at the Holy Land Experience. This unique park opened in 2001, allowing guests to relive significant events in both Christian and Jewish faiths. While here, enjoy not only the architecturally accurate replicas of various holy landmarks, sit in on one of the many educational historic talks given by on-site archaeologists.
More of a museum buff? The Morse Museum of American Art in Winter Park may be more up your alley. Home to the largest collection of Louis Comfort Tiffany Glass in the world, the museum is located 15 minutes from central Orlando, is open six days a week and offers guided and audio tours, various exhibits and an exclusive shop to purchase your own piece of Tiffany glass. Still in the mood for more museums? Head south to Loch Haven Cultural Park, for a guided tour of the Albin Polasek Museum and Gardens.
Time for an authentic trip to Spain — complete with Flamenco — head to Orlando’s hottest tapas and paella spot Tapa Toro. Feeling like staying local? Try four-time James Beard nominee Kathleen Blake’s The Rusty Spoon for a locally sourced menu that includes Canaveral shrimp and a “Whim of the Chef” Butcher’s Plate with house-made condiments. Finish the evening with a nightcap and live piano jazz at the intimate Bösendorfer Lounge.
Time to be an astronaut for a day! Grab a cup of coffe and make your way to Cape Canaveral, just an hour away from Orlando. Holding off on breakfast will be worth it when you arrive at Zachary’s Restaurant just minutes away from Kennedy Space Center. Enjoy traditional home-cooked breakfast favourites and southern staples like corned beef hash.
Tip: Ask your server if they have traditional Greek galactoboureko when you visit, or get some baklava to go for later.
After a hearty breakfast, head to Cape Canaveral’s Kennedy Space Center and enjoy being right in NASA’s headquarters, the only place in the world to see where real launches take place. Plan at least half a day here to enjoy many attractions including a tour of Space Shuttle Atlantis, Shuttle Launch, the Astronaut memorial, IMAX films, and unique Instagram-worthy photo opportunities.
Hang up your flying suit and spend a relaxing afternoon at Cocoa Beach. The gateway to Cape Canaveral, this beach town is famous for much more than the setting of I Dream of Jeannie. Enjoy a variety of activities and excursions including deep-sea fishing, rounds of golf, parasailing, boutique shopping, sampling local cafes, or simply lazing on the beach collecting shells. To fuel your coffee needs, try Cafe Monte Carlo, or if your palate is craving fresh and unique flavours for lunch or dinner, nothing beats the highly rated Fat Snook for an organic, locally sourced seafood-centric dishes.
Head back to the Downtown Arts District for a bit of culture by checking out the gallery listings. For your last night in the deep south, enjoy soul food dining options like the high-end Soco restaurant or the unassuming local favorites Nikki’s Place and Jesse’s Rib Shack. End your night with a perfectly shaken sidecar at Hanson’s Shoe Repair, the hidden speakeasy atop Bauhaus.
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