Romantic Day Trips
A little off the beaten path, these charming neighborhoods and small towns, from Lake Eola to Lake Wales, are worth the drive.
Discover charming pockets around town for romance.
is the hometown heart of Central Florida arts, culture, nightlife and entertainment. From world- class performances at the Dr. Phillips Center to celebrated fine- dining options, Downtown Orlando is dynamic year-round. Be sure to take a stroll around Lake Eola to see outdoor sculptures, beautiful swans, or perhaps take your own ride in a swan boat. Nearby Thornton Park offers a great French bakery and charming sidewalk cafes. 400 S. Orange Ave.; 407.246.2555; www. downtownorlando.com
Just north of downtown is the area’s first resort community, where wealthy Northerners came down in the late 1800s to escape cold winters. Today, the area is popular for its scenic lakes, thriving arts community and shopping and dining scene. Park Avenue is the main thoroughfare and is chock-full of local boutiques, retail stores, sidewalk cafes and art galleries and even a scenic boat tour operation on the lakes. The Morse Museum of American Art holds the most-comprehensive collection of Louis Comfort Tiffany stained glass. 151 W. Lyman Ave.; 407.644.8281; www.winterpark.org
Quaint, friendly and free of pretention, the welcoming enclave with brick-paved streets and faux gas lamps is timeless yet trend-forward. Adults sup and sip wine and martinis in welcoming dining rooms, cafes and watering holes— chic, bohemian or cozy. A brewery and indoor locavore market, plus a weekly farmers market, offer up artisan wares and groceries. 300 W. Plant St.; 407.656.4111; www.cwgdn.com
About an hour from Orlando and seemingly in the middle of nowhere, Bok Tower Gardens is a gorgeous 250-acre National Historic Landmark that sits on peninsular Florida’s highest point. The property features Olmsted- designed landscaped gardens crowned with a majestic bell tower that plays music by the hour. 1151 Tower Blvd.; 863.676.1408; www. boktowergardens.org