There are plenty of spooky places in Orlando and I’m not talking about the Haunted Mansion at Walt Disney World. I came across an article about the American Ghost Adventures and was immediately intrigued. It’s not often I come across something in Orlando that I didn’t know existed, but this was one of those special times.
In doing a little research I learned the AGA is actually voted #2 on TripAdvisors Sights and Landmarks in Orlando. This group of local guides take you on tours through Downtown Orlando, Daytona, Winter Garden, Mount Dora and Deland. Tours are 2-4 hours long and according to the reviews give you a lot of history about our little patch of earth. They offer a Haunted Pub tour too. The tours consist of a guide taking you through out the streets and venues of Orlando, give you an opportunity to learn about EMF and other paranormal equipment and even take you into an old building that is writhing with paranormal activity. Don’t believe me, take a look at this YouTube video, here.
Their Facebook, as well as, TripAdvisor is teeming with rave reviews from locals and tourists alike. I found multiple articles both recent and dated that said this is one of the best lesser known attractions of Orlando. I even found an Orlando Sentinel article of a group of kids going on the tour and really enjoying it! Believers and non-believers alike seem to relish these tours. I’m a firm believer that we should try to step out of comfort zone every once and while to experience something you might not normally experience.
I am definitely putting this on my list of MUST DO’s in Orlando. Now I just have to find a friend brave enough to go with me. Look for a follow up on this one!
Image Credit: Yelp.com
TripAdvisor.com just named Orlando fourth best city for pizza, thanks to two popular theme park pizzerias: Red Oven Pizza Bakery at Universal’s CityWalk and Via Napoli in the Italian Pavillion at Disney’s Epcot. I definitely enjoy a good slice of pizza, every now and again (truth: more now than again). My husband is more of a New York style lover, while just about anything with an abundant amount of cheese and sauce will make me happy. That’s not to say that I don’t have a sophisticated pallet, rather I’m not afraid to branch out and try new things. Odd toppings, crazy sauces and all types of crust send me into pizza amour!
I can’t think of a district in the Orlando region I haven’t had a slice in, but true to our local theme I’d like to present my downtown favorite. Anthony’s Pizza of Thornton Park, is located at the corner of Summerlin and Washington. Anthony’s Pizza has been in operation since 1998. They truly do pizza right! Anthony actually started his first pizzeria in New York City in 1976. Now owned and operated by Anthony’s nephew, they have stayed true to their New York state of mind. The ivy covered building offers indoor seating, or if you’re a people watcher, like me, find a place on the patio. It’s a great location for a glass of wine and good conversation!
Anthony’s offers everything from the traditional New York pie to a unique Stuffed VIP (double crust with a side of marinara), and a plethora of toppings, you’re sure to find something you can fall in love with. Feeling adventurous, try one of their speciality pies or calzones. You can even make this a date friendly restaurant with their authentic Italian pasta entrees. Whatever you decide, I can assure you, you won’t be disappointed.
Image Credit: ThorntonParkDistrict.com
This Saturday, July 25th the Center for Contemporary Dance and Orlando Ballet School is presenting the 3rd Annual National Dance Day Orlando . This event seeks to bring educational, community-driven dance opportunities for non-dancers and dancers. According to their website ‘This year’s event will encourage families and friends to begin the morning of July 25 at the NDDO Community Celebration, located at Cultural Park, to participate in exercises, dance routines, and performances by Central Florida dance professionals. Within walking distance of the park is the Orlando Ballet Central Campus where 30 free specialized dance classes will be offered throughout the day to ages 3-100, including special needs movement classes.’ There are a variety of classes to choose from in styles such as salsa, barre, swing and even hip hop.
If you haven’t heard, this weekend is going to be a little wet and rainy. What better way to spend a rainy Florida day than learning a new dance style or routine?
For more information on this event click here.
Image Credit: Dribble.com
Being a Texas native, I am an avid southern food lover. One of my first lunches in Downtown Orlando, I found this counter-style restaurant and was instantly in love. The founder of 4Rivers Smokehouse, a fantastic BBQ restaurant, set out to create a restaurant with passed down recipes and using seasonal ingredients. Their signature dish – fried chicken! Doesn’t get much better than fried chicken in my world.
As I stood in line, it’s nearly impossible to pick exactly what I wanted. It all looks and smells divine. I decided to go traditional and have the fried chicken with mashed potatoes and fried okra. All of it was so amazing! Rarely do I clean my plate but this meal was too good to go to waste.
I also really enjoyed the seating arrangements. You feel like you’re sitting at grandma’s table, because you are. The restaurant is full of mismatched dining room tables and chairs, giving you that “come in and stay awhile” feel.
If you haven’t tried this fantastic location, you have to put it on your to do list!
Image Credit: 10 Best
The Orlando Farmer’s Market, located at East Central Street & North Eola Drive at the icon Lake Eola Park, every Sunday is not your typical farmer’s market. Not only do they have local vendors selling their delectable fruits and vegetable, they also have live entertainment from 12-4P, jewelry, clothing and a beer and wine garden! You can bring your whole family, even the furr-baby, out with you and make a full day of it!
For more information and a list of vendors click here.
Image Credit: TodaysOrlando.com
The Mead Botanical Garden begs you to come in and take a stroll through the the winding trails and ample flora & fauna. Nestled amidst homes, businesses and Rollins College, this sprawling 46.7 acres park offers an amphitheater, butterfly garden, bike trails and a boardwalk. There are also facilities to hold meetings, weddings and other social functions on site. You can schedule a guided hike with one of their expect guides. They even hold an annual ‘The Great Duck Derby’ where adopted rubber duckies are raced in the lake. They have a community garden, where families can rent “a bit of earth” for a full year, to grow organic fruits and vegetables.
The Mead Botanical Garden was originally made to house Theodore Mead’s orchid after his death in 1936 by two of his friends. The city of Winter Park has played a steady hand in the maintenance, restoration and upkeep, as well as many local volunteers and local organizations. Their mission is to enrich the community through the discovery, enjoyment and celebration of nature and the cultural arts.
Get out there and see all that this beautiful garden has to offer. As their website says, take only pictures and leave only footprints. Be respectful of this natural beauty.
Image Credit: Meadgarden.org