Saturday, January 30, 2010

Orlando Observations


I-4 goes right through Orlando

This was my first time in Orlando, so I wasn't sure what to expect. I know that it's the home of DisneyWorld and Universal Studios, but I am not a fan of theme parks, so I wasn't going to either of those places.

Amway Arena is located downtown, so I stayed close by, within walking distance. This meant that if I wanted to see any of the bigger attractions such as Kennedy Space Center, I would have to drive a bit.

After driving quite a bit in the earlier part of the trip, mostly on the interstates, I just wanted to keep it simple for a few days, so I decided to remain downtown. Ultimately, I just visited Loch Haven Park, which has the Orlando Museum of Art among other attractions. At $8, the museum has a reasonable collection of American art, and several special exhibitions. It just takes an hour to tour, so if you want to spend the afternoon, the Science Museum and Menello Museum of American Art are located nearby. There's also a Shakespeare Theater just across the parking lot that has an interesting program. Unfortunately I had to leave Saturday, but would have enjoyed a showing of Hamlet.


Another feature of downtown and surrounding area is the large number of small lakes scattered about. They really add colour to the city and make driving around much more interesting. The picture above is Lake Estelle from Rollins Street, near the Museum of Art.

I usually don't recommend restaurants as everyone's taste is different, but if you are staying downtown and looking for a lunch spot, try Shakers Cafe on Edgewater. I lucked out in that this place was a couple of blocks down from a coin laundry I was using, so I stopped in. From outside, it looks quiet and empty, but once you open the door you are greeted with the voices of happy diners, all enjoying a good meal. Specials are posted online daily, and prices are more than reasonable. I had a perfect Eggs Benny for $7, which is a steal. Great service too.

That's all I have to say about Orlando on this trip. I expect to be back and will try to get out to some of the more famous attractions next time.

Best,

Sean

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