Orlando
 

Arts, Culture & Recreation

Fall festival of the arts Fall festival of the arts

Orlando residents enjoy a high quality of life, reaping the cultural benefits of an urban setting, while not sacrificing an ounce of natural beauty. Should you eventually tire of gazing out at the sunset over the water, there are endless possibilities to keep you entertained.

A warm haven for artists from around the world, Orlando is home to a long list of galleries: Church Street Gallery of Contemporary Art, Prima Gallery, Orlando City Hall Terrace Gallery, Proctor Galleries & Antiques, Orlando Gallery of Photography, The Gallery at Avalon Island, Grand Bohemian Gallery, and the Oval Gallery on Orange.

Several significant museums showcase local and national history alongside the timeless work of international artists and crafts people, including the Orlando Museum of Art, the O.C. Regional History Center and the Wells'Built Museum of African American History.

For those who love professional dance, there is the Orlando Ballet, and for the musically inclined, the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra, the Orlando Opera and the Festival of Orchestras, a year-long permanent symphonic concert series, keep the soul moving. The theatre is also alive and well in Orlando, with the Studio Theatre, the People's Theatre and Orlando Black Essentials Theatre, just to name a few.

Those who love film will appreciate the Downtown Media Arts Center, which showcases independent films all year long. In need of a good laugh? Check out the SAK Comedy Lab or the Improv Comedy Club to lighten your spirits.

The Orlando Ghost Tours are a favorite with children of all ages. The eclectic mix of independent boutiques and coastal shops are guaranteed to delight even the most picky consumer. The large number of restaurants and cafes can satisfy any palate, from gourmet to vegetarian and everything in between. Of course the very best in fresh seafood is available virtually everywhere. "Once strictly a business center by day and a club zone by night, downtown is fast becoming a dining magnet." Andrea Bennett, New York Post - Online Edition, Feb 2004.

Parks

The natural beauty of Orlando is tucked into every crevice of the city and highlighted in numerous parks. Whether looking for a great picnic spot or just needing to get the dog out for a run, you will never feel far from nature no matter how far downtown.

To name just a few

  • Big Tree Park - A fabulous picnic spot under the shade of a 500-year-old Southern Live Oak tree, this park features tables and chairs carved by a local artist.
  • Bill Frederick Park at Turkey Lake - An enormous 300-acre park that offers a swimming pool, a fishing lake, a children's farm, an Ecology Center and a camping area.
  • Demetree Park - Developed in 1988, this park offers over 24 acres of footbridges and boardwalks in addition to a playground, picnic areas and basketball and tennis courts.
  • Dickson Azalea Park - A favorite of all ages for its lush landscaping and delightful song birds, this park highlights the Washington Street Bridge, which is a fine example of traditional Florida bridge architecture.
  • Harry P. Leu Gardens - Miles of paved walkways through a Camelia collection, a formal rose garden, a palm garden, a bamboo garden, a tropical stream garden, a kitchen garden, and a butterfly garden attract locals and visitors all year long.
  • Lake Eola Park - At the forefront of the city, this park features a sidewalk encircling the lake, beautiful swans and paddleboats for the adventurous.