Orlando – More than Mickey

by Analise Flatt on November 21, 2022 in Travels,

Orlando is very much known for being the home of Disney World and Universal Studios, which is great, but it has so much more to offer. It’s not just for the theme park lovers out there but it can appeal to the hearts of culinary, art, and culture enthusiasts as well. 


Staying in style at The Ritz Carlton

You can order lunch by the pool or just lounge with a cold drink in your free time. Photo courtesy Visit Orlando.

Luxury awaits at The Ritz Carlton, Grand Lakes. This beautiful property is an oasis from the busyiness of city life, but not far from all of the sites on your bucket list. You could be content not even leaving the property with the multitude of restaurants, the beautiful pool, a 18-hole golf course, beautiful walking trails, and more. The bright and airy rooms bring peace and rest plus there are view options of the pool, garden, golf course, and lake; you can’t really go wrong. 

Dining at The Ritz 

There are many options to choose from when it comes to dining but for breakfast Highball and Harvest is an excellent choice. Not only is the atmosphere on point with options for indoor and outdoor seating, but you also can’t go wrong with the menu. Your most difficult choice of the day might be whether to choose the buffet or menu, which you can solve by just going again! 

This bright and natural light filled restaurant executes the ideal luxurious dining experience. Photo courtesy Visit Orlando.

Knife and Spoon is a signature steak and seafood restaurant that was awarded the Michelin star which means that this restaurant simply cannot be avoided. The elegance of this restaurant is captured in every aspect from their cocktails to the atmosphere. It would be difficult to be unhappy with anything on their menu but when it comes to cocktails, the O-Beehive was unique and very fitting for being in the sunshine state. The Pappardelle Bolognese which is pancetta, beef, veal, lamb, tomato, and parmesan is an excellent choice, especially if you are a pasta lover. 

Exploring Orlando 

If you really want to do the fun and unique things that Orlando has to offer then Florida’s first Beer Spa is a must. This is very much an experience like nothing before. Whether you are traveling with a group, with your significant other, or by yourself, this is something that everyone can enjoy. You don’t even have to like beer to have a good time because for a little bit extra they offer white wine, red wine, and sangria options. 

The way that this experience is set up is that you walk into your room set up with music, a beer tap, two beer jacuzzis, a sauna, and a straw cooling bed. You have 60 minutes to enjoy all the amenities but they recommend that you spend about 30 minutes in the jacuzzi, 10ish in the sauna, the rest of the time on the cooling bed, and the whole time you can enjoy the unlimited beer from your personal tap. 

The cool exterior makes the performing arts center stand out in the city. Photo courtesy Visit Orlando.

You will definitely want to check to see what shows are going on at The Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts. This facility is truly incredible and innovative. There are a total of three different theatres, all having their own flare and personality. There are always several different shows happening and something for everyone to enjoy! The performing arts center is also always giving back to the community in different ways. 

The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of Art is the world’s most comprehensive collection of work by Louis Comfort Tiffany. There is a vast assortment of different art mediums such as paintings, art glass, and pottery.The chapel interior from 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago is truly beautiful and is housed at this museum. 

After a fun viewing at the museum you can dine nearby at The Glass Knife. Very chill atmosphere, excellent cocktails, and the roasted turkey club sandwich will melt in your mouth. They are also known for their variety of beautiful and yummy sweets. 

An afternoon out and about 

Cool off after your bike ride with a cold glass of beer. Photo courtesy Visit Orlando.

You can rent bikes from Bikes and Blades Co. and cycle down to Crooked Can brewery and Plant Street Market. The trail to get there is lovely and you will feel ready to have a glass of cold beer, world class oysters, or honestly anything you may be craving. Plant Street Market has 20 vendors featuring natural, organic food and handmade products all inside of one building. 

Dining in the city 

A good lunch option or even a fun afternoon snack is The East End Market, which is a neighborhood market and food hall in the Audubon Park Garden District of Orlando. The fun thing about this market is the uniqueness of all the vendors. Some of my personal favorites were Dochi, Gideons Bakehouse, and La Femme Du Fromage. Dochi is not your average donut, it’s a cross between mochi, the chewy japanese rice dessert and the classic American fried donut. Le Femme Du Fromage is the perfect place to pick out the perfect charcuterie board and has delicious flatbreads as well. 

Fun ambience for dinner and a show. Photo courtesy Visit Orlando.

To get a little taste of Disney you can head over to Disney Springs and have dinner at The Edison. You are not just having a meal at this super cool restaurant; but an experienceI. Not only is the atmosphere very cool and funky but they had a show going on and their cocktails were incredible.

There are so many fun ways to enjoy Orlando so check out all the city has to offer you. You can go to Visit Orlando’s website for more information on the city!


Cover Photo from Visit Orlando 

A lover of all things travel, pretty running trails and good coffee, Analise Flatt is a Senior at Stephen F. Austin State University studying Mass Communications with a minor in Travel and Tourism. Check out her Instagram to stay updated on her latest travel adventures.