Guests of the Aloft Orlando Downtown will find tons of fun stuff to do that doesn’t involve theme parks
Orlando has been synonymous with theme parks for decades. Forget that most of them are not actually inside the city limits. More important: Orlando itself has become a hot destination, with a flourishing downtown and unique sections of the city where the adventurous traveler can find plenty of things to do that don’t involve mouse ears, monsters or thrill rides.
Right in the heart of it all is Aloft Orlando Downtown, the city’s foremost boutique hotel. Aloft has plenty going on — its pool is the place to be — but outside the doors, there’s plenty of action.
Join us for a quick tour:
• Two of downtown’s major venues are within a brief walk of the hotel. A couple of blocks away is the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, which draws a top acts. Orlando has become a major tour stop for entertainers of all stripe. Also close is the Amway Center, home to the NBA’s Orlando Magic and superstar concerts.
• A little more than a half-mile from the hotel is Lake Eola Park, perfect for a sunny stroll on a 1-mile sidewalk theat circles the lake. Visitors can also rent swan-shaped paddle boats for a relaxing excursion. Central Boulevard, which runs along the Lake Eola’s south side is loaded with intimate eateries and bars, as well as the Orlando Farmer’s Market, which runs year-round on Sundays. Just off Central you’ll find Mathers Social Gathering — while it serves alcohol, it’s anything but your typical watering hole. Located on the third floor of a vintage furniture store from the 1800s, the speakeasy-style establishment is designed as an elegant yet comfortable space that promotes friendly mingling among locals and visitors alike.
• Orlando Weekly has called Thornton Park “Orlando’s chicest neighborhood.” A mile-and-a-half from Aloft and just east of Eola Lake Park, it’s filled with bars, trendy boutiques, it’s brick-lined streets flanked by Craftsman bungalows. You’ll find live entertainment on a nightly basis. Cool, casual Dexter’s is one of the area’s favorite eating, drinking and hangout spots.
• Quaint, leafy Winter Park, less than a 20-minute drive from the hotel, is home to 70 parks. Its walkable main drag, Aloma Avenue, is home to an array of independent eateries, drinkeries, galleries and shops. A Scenic Boat Tour takes you through a chain of small lakes and canals, where you’ll see plenty of lush green space and grand homes.
• For folks looking for something more authentic-Florida outdoorsy, a half-hour ride north will put you in an area abundant with natural springs. Wekiva Springs State Park offers a wealth of natural fun — you can hike, swim, kayak or take a lazy tube ride through lush tropical hammocks.
• Eight miles north is a film buff’s paradise, the Enzian Theater, a single-screen haven for indie, foreign and classic films and home to the renowned Florida Film Festival. Moviegoers can retire to the adjacent Eden Bar, with its outdoor ambience beneath towering 400-year-old oaks. The ideal place for a film discussion.
About Aloft Hotels
With over 150 hotels now open in over 20 countries and territories around the world, Aloft Hotels, part of Marriott International, Inc., delivers a fresh approach to the traditional staid hotel landscape. For the ‘always on’ next generation of traveler, the Aloft brand offers a tech-forward, vibrant experience and a modern style that is different by design. For more information, please visit www.alofthotels.com and follow along on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
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