"take it from a local..." Top 5 Page for this destination Orlando by shohman

Orlando Travel Guide: 3,111 reviews and 5,932 photos

More than theme parks

Orlando gets a bad rap, but it is actually a very cool town if you look beyond the glitz. If you stick to Theme Parks, you are missing the true Orlando. The city itself has a very 'young at heart' attitude, and it is truly a melting pot of different cultures. You won't find many natives down here, and that makes for a great opening line when meeting strangers. There is a great arts community here and there is always something to do.

Most people seem surprised that Orlando has an international demographic. You will find people from all over the world living here. We have a huge island culture (Puerto Rican, Jamaican, Haiti) A Vietnamese section, a large group of folks from the UK and a good mix of other cultures. If you look REALLY hard, each one has restaurant hidden throughout the city, most with non-descript storefronts, but service some of the most satisfying meals anywhere.

For art, there's the Winter Park Art Festival every March that attracts artists from all over the World. Also, there is the yearly Nude Nite art show which is one of the funkiest art shows anywhere.

For nightlife, there is pretty much anything you want. The downtown area has several bars and clubs for any crowd. The dance clubs seem to rotate every couple of years and most have a short life. I'm more of a laid back pub type. Fiddlers Green is a great pub that reminds me of Boston pubs. For a laid back, no frills bar, Casey's on Central Ave is a place every local has been at one time or another. Some of the best people watching anywhere, you are as welcome in a suit as you are in shorts and a t shirt and the staff is great.

There are also several beautiful parks for biking, walking, even a canoe trip and most people here are active.

Please note, some of my tips are from areas just outside the Orlando city line. Areas like Winter Park, Maitland and Casselberry have some great things to offer but an outsider would most likely not know to look there.

Best of Orlando According to Shohman

Best Pint of Guiness - (tie) Fiddlers Green and Casey's

Best Celebrity Spotting - Golds Gym, Turkey Lake Road: recent sightings include Shaq, Justin Timberlake, Vince McMahon and Triple H, and VT member Shohman

Best After Work Bar- Wall Street Cantina

Best Place to take a walk- Lake Eola

Best Low Carb Meal- blue cheese burger wrap at The Alehouse

Best Place to Feel Ugly, Yet Accepted - Hue

Best Place to Take a Nap - the couch at Tatame Sake and Tea

Best Shave - Broadway Joe's. Where else can you get fed, sung to and shaved smooth as a baby's bottom for just $25?

Best Place For an Out of Towner to Feel at Home - Fiddlers Green

Best Cup of Coffee - Stardust Coffee and Video

Best Butcher - Petty's Meats, Longwood

Best Place to Become a Crime Victim - Walmart Parking lot, Kirkman Rd

Best Sandwich - Boar's Head Ultimate, Publix Deli

Best Stainless Steel Tub of Beer on Ice - Tijuana Flats

Best pho: Pho 88

Best Sushi: Sushi Katana

Best place to feel hip even if you aren't: Stardust Coffee and Video

Best Art Show: Nude Night

Best Place to Catch an Indie film: The Enzian

Best Produce: Winter Park Farmer's Market

Best Place to sit and relax: Palmano's Coffee Roaster

The City Beautiful

This is Orlando's motto, and I must say they do a great job. Yes, there are run down areas, but they do a great job of making most of the city a sight to behold. The almost constant sunshine also makes it a prime spot for taking great pics.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:no snow, very hip, cheap to live here
  • Cons:brutal, hot Summers
  • Intro Updated Oct 10, 2009
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Reviews (59)

Comments (44)

  • Kaspian's Profile Photo
    Apr 11, 2011 at 1:17 PM

    Do you write on Yelp or just look things up?

  • iandsmith's Profile Photo
    Oct 31, 2010 at 12:47 AM

    Mmm, I can see I stand little chance of running across you during my sojourn in Orlando but thank you for the tips. Cheers

  • Hexepatty's Profile Photo
    May 21, 2010 at 4:57 PM

    Stilll lame: listening to x on WM Player and listening to Peyote on Itunes at same time. LAME. I'll never trust christians again!

  • XenoHumph's Profile Photo
    Dec 28, 2009 at 9:12 AM

    Very useful tips, especially the restaurant ones! Thanks.

  • jumpingnorman's Profile Photo
    Oct 15, 2009 at 8:23 PM

    Wonderful Orlando VT Meet --- nice pics and you guys looked like you had a lot of fun...wish I was there, Norman :)

  • tropicrd's Profile Photo
    Oct 15, 2009 at 4:37 PM

    Great pics--now where are the va's pics and did they have a good time too?

  • SONG's Profile Photo
    Oct 15, 2009 at 8:25 AM

    Scott , it was SO nice to meet you at last and your lovely fiance. A big congrats on her latest accomplishment!! I also have posted pics of the meet on my page. Hope to see more of both of you in the fufture.

  • nomad7890's Profile Photo
    Oct 15, 2009 at 6:48 AM

    Great photos Scott! How can I not bring my camera. It was good to finally meet you as well as Stella. -All the best, Martha

  • spgood301's Profile Photo
    Mar 16, 2009 at 12:04 PM

    If I call in sick tomorrow morning, would the boss get suspicous? Or maybe want to come with me? :-)

  • balfor's Profile Photo
    Jul 24, 2008 at 8:35 AM

    You're welcome Scott! Hope your day is filled with great surprises! Need to get down there again sometime. Orlando is a fun town. :-)

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