Downtown Orlando

By Damon Duvall
Wed, Sep 20, 2023 at 12:20PM

Explore Downtown Orlando: Restaurants, Hotels & Things to Do

Welcome to the vibrant, bustling heart of Central Florida - Downtown Orlando! With its rich history, lively neighborhoods, and diverse attractions, this city center has something for everyone. From tranquil parks to thrilling theme parks, world-class museums to pulsating nightlife, Downtown Orlando is a treasure trove of experiences waiting to be discovered. So why not join us on a journey through the city’s streets, where every corner reveals a new adventure?

Key Takeaways

  • Explore Downtown Orlando’s vibrant attractions, neighborhoods and activities.

  • Experience Lake Eola Park, delve into Central Florida’s history & visit must-see attractions like the Orlando Science Center.

  • Enjoy nightlife options such as wine bars or live music venues, stay in hotels or vacation rentals & explore free events around town.

Discover Orlando's Vibrant Downtown Scene

Orlando’s downtown area is a thriving hub of activity, where the historic core and central business district merge to create a lively atmosphere perfect for exploration. As you meander through the city’s streets, you’ll encounter an array of sights and sounds that reflect its diverse cultural heritage. From the serene oasis of Lake Eola Park to the bustling Church Street District, Downtown Orlando offers a unique blend of history, art and entertainment that truly sets it apart.

Lake Eola Park, adorned with a stunning swan-filled lake, playground, Chinese pagoda and the Walt Disney Amphitheater ranks high among Downtown Orlando’s must-see attractions. Want a peek into Central Florida’s past? Your best bet is the Orange County Regional History Center. Additionally, the vibrant neighborhoods of Thornton Park and Church Street District provide a wealth of exploration opportunities.

Experience Lake Eola Park

Nestled in the heart of Downtown Orlando, Lake Eola Park offers a peaceful retreat from the city’s bustling streets. With its picturesque lake, swan boat rentals, and inviting playground, this 23-acre park is an ideal spot for relaxation and recreation. Families will delight in the park’s diverse offerings, from feeding the swans to enjoying a meal at the Relax Grill. For those seeking a more immersive experience, consider attending one of the park’s special events, such as an outdoor concert or holiday celebration.

The tranquil environment and varied activities at Lake Eola Park have made it a popular destination for locals and tourists. The park’s features include:

  • Proximity to the city’s central business district and vibrant neighborhoods, such as Thornton Park

  • Ideal location for a leisurely stroll or afternoon picnic

  • Enchanting ambiance as the sun sets over the lake

These factors combine to provide a perfect backdrop for a memorable Orlando experience.

Dive into Central Florida's History

History enthusiasts and curious guests will find Downtown Orlando brimming with avenues to explore Central Florida’s rich and varied history. The Orange County Regional History Center, located near the Orlando City Hall, is a must-visit destination, showcasing fascinating exhibits that chronicle the region’s past, from its earliest Native American inhabitants to the development of the iconic theme parks that now define the area.

Besides the history center, Downtown Orlando also houses a multitude of historic sites and structures, including Cathedral Church of Saint Luke, the Rogers Building, and the Church Street Station Depot. As you wander through these landmarks, you’ll gain a deeper appreciation for the city’s unique story, as well as the vibrant culture that has evolved over time.

Explore Interesting Neighborhoods

Several distinct neighborhoods, each with its unique charm and character, lie beyond the frequently visited central district of Downtown Orlando. Thornton Park and the Church Street District are two such areas that offer a glimpse into the city’s diverse and vibrant atmosphere.

In Thornton Park, you’ll find a mix of high-quality restaurants, welcoming local pubs, and fashionable shops, set against a backdrop of historic homes and tree-lined streets. Just a short walk away, the Church Street District, including West Church Street, serves as the unofficial center of Downtown Orlando, with premier restaurants, trendy bars and nightspots as well as the historic Railroad Depot and Amway Center sports arena. Nearby, Orange Avenue offers even more dining and entertainment options for visitors to explore.

Whether you’re in search of a leisurely afternoon stroll or a lively night out, these neighborhoods are sure to delight and inspire.

Must-Visit Attractions in Downtown Orlando

Your Downtown Orlando trip wouldn’t be complete without exploring its diverse range of essential attractions. From the interactive exhibits at the Orlando Science Center to the thrill of catching a game or concert at the Amway Center or Camping World Stadium, there’s something to captivate every interest.

And for those seeking a taste of the performing arts, the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts offers a range of captivating shows and performances that are sure to impress.

Given the multitude of easily accessible and exciting attractions, it’s hardly surprising that Downtown Orlando enjoys immense popularity among both locals and tourists. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, a sports fan, or simply looking to immerse yourself in the city’s eclectic arts scene you’ll find plenty to keep you entertained in this vibrant urban playground.

Orlando Science Center

The Orlando Science Center, offering an engaging and educational experience, is an essential stop in Downtown Orlando. This interactive museum offers a range of exhibits and programs that cater to all ages, making it a perfect destination for the whole family, especially for those who have visited the Kennedy Space Center and wish to continue exploring the wonders of science.

Among the noteworthy attractions at the Orlando Science Center are Nature Works, KidsTown, and DinoDigs. With so much to see and do, you’ll enjoy a day of discovery and learning that’s both fun and informative. The center’s commitment to promoting science education and fostering curiosity ensures that every visit is a memorable and enriching experience.

Catch a Game or Concert

Downtown Orlando caters to sports enthusiasts and music aficionados alike with its selection of world-class venues. The Amway Center, home to the Orlando Magic, Orlando Predators, and Orlando Solar Bears, is a renowned sports and live entertainment venue located in the heart of Downtown. From pulse-pounding basketball games to captivating concerts featuring prominent artists, the Amway Center offers a diverse array of events that cater to a wide range of interests.

In addition to the Amway Center, the Camping World Stadium is another popular venue for sports and concerts. With comfortable seating and impressive sound and lighting systems, both venues provide an unforgettable experience for fans of all ages.

Why not enjoy a game or concert during your Downtown Orlando visit for some unforgettable memories?

Experience Performing Arts

Downtown Orlando, with its multitude of venues offering captivating live performances, is a paradise for performing arts enthusiasts. The Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts is a multi-venue performing arts center that showcases Broadway shows, concerts, and more, providing a cultural hotspot for visitors and locals alike.

Other performing arts venues in the area include the Orlando Shakespeare Theater, Mad Cow Theatre, and Winter Park Playhouse, each offering a unique and intimate setting for enjoying live performances. With such a diverse array of shows and events on offer, there’s something to suit every taste, making Downtown Orlando an essential destination for those who appreciate the arts.

Downtown Orlando Nightlife

As the sun sets and the city lights begin to twinkle, Downtown Orlando transforms into a buzzing nightlife hub, offering a diverse array of options for revelers seeking a memorable night out on the town. Some of the options include:

  • Wine bars and lounges for those seeking chic sophistication

  • Nightclubs for those looking for pulsating energy and dance floors

  • Live music venues for music lovers

With such a variety of choices, there’s something for everyone in Downtown Orlando’s vibrant nightlife scene.

Whether your preference is to relax with a glass of wine, dance until dawn, or enjoy a live performance, Downtown Orlando’s nightlife caters to all tastes. With so many options at your fingertips, your only challenge will be deciding which venue to visit first!

Sip and Socialize

For a laid-back evening, Downtown Orlando presents a variety of cozy wine bars and lounges ideal for sipping and socializing. These establishments provide the perfect backdrop for intimate conversations, offering an extensive selection of wines, craft cocktails and artisanal bites.

Some of the most highly regarded bars and pubs in the area include:

  • Tactical Brewing Co.

  • The Guesthouse

  • Independent Bar

  • Crooked Can Brewery

  • Mathers Social Gathering

  • Mcqueens Social Lounge

  • Casey’s On Central

  • Latitudes Rooftop Tiki Bar

Each venue boasts its own unique atmosphere, making it easy to find the perfect spot for a leisurely evening with friends or a romantic rendezvous.

Dance the Night Away

Those keen to dance into the wee hours will find Downtown Orlando’s lively nightclub scene filled with ample options. Some popular clubs include:

  • The Beacham: Known for its energetic atmosphere

  • EVE Nightclub: Offers a modern vibe

  • Tier Nightclub: Features multiple levels and a variety of music genres

  • The Attic Orlando: Known for its rooftop bar and live music

There’s a club to suit every mood and musical preference.

Other popular nightclubs in the area include:

  • Mango’s Tropical Café Orlando

  • Vyce Lounge

  • Tier Nightclub

  • Independent Bar

  • The Attic Orlando

With such a diverse array of venues, you’re sure to find the perfect spot to dance the night away and create unforgettable memories with friends.

Live Music Venues

A view of Orange Avenue in downtown Orlando, Florida

As a live music hotspot, Downtown Orlando boasts a plethora of venues featuring performances by both local and touring artists. Some of the popular venues include:

  • The Social

  • The Beacham

  • The Abbey

  • The Plaza Live

  • Will’s Pub

From intimate bars to larger concert halls, there’s no shortage of options for music lovers seeking a memorable night out.

The eclectic mix of musical genres featured at these venues ensures that there’s something for everyone, including:

  • Jazz

  • Blues

  • Rock

  • Pop

To stay informed about upcoming live music events, consult the Downtown Orlando website or follow local music venues on social media for updates.

Where to Stay in Downtown Orlando

Securing the ideal accommodation is crucial for a comfortable and enjoyable stay when visiting Downtown Orlando. From luxurious downtown hotels to personalized vacation rentals, there’s an option to suit every preference and budget. Plus, with easy access to popular theme parks like Walt Disney World and Universal Studios, you’ll never be far from the excitement.

Regardless of whether you’re traveling alone, as a couple, or with family, Downtown Orlando provides a variety of accommodations to enhance your stay. Rest assured that you’ll be well taken care of during your time in this vibrant and welcoming city.

Downtown Hotels

Downtown Orlando hosts a range of hotels, from budget options to luxurious accommodations. With amenities such as swimming pools, fitness centers, and on-site restaurants, you’ll be able to relax and unwind after a day of exploring the city.

Some of the most highly recommended downtown hotels include:

  • Embassy Suites by Hilton Orlando Downtown

  • Aloft Orlando Downtown

  • Marriott Orlando Downtown

  • Grand Bohemian Orlando, Autograph Collection

  • Crowne Plaza Orlando-Downtown

These hotels are conveniently situated in the heart of downtown, near Wall Street Plaza, providing easy access to attractions, dining, and nightlife.

Vacation Rentals

Vacation rentals, offering a more personalized experience, serve as a fantastic alternative to conventional hotels. With more space and amenities such as a kitchen, living room, and separate bedrooms, vacation rentals provide a home-like atmosphere that’s perfect for families or groups of friends.

You can find vacation rentals in Downtown Orlando through websites such as Airbnb, VRBO, and HomeAway. These platforms offer a wide range of properties, from cozy apartments to spacious homes, ensuring that you’ll find the perfect accommodation to suit your needs and preferences.

Proximity to Theme Parks

The city’s close proximity to world-renowned theme parks like Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando, and SeaWorld Orlando serves as a major attraction for visitors to Orlando. Staying in Downtown Orlando means you’ll be just a short drive away from these exciting attractions, making it easy to plan a day of adventure and fun.

With convenient transportation options such as car rentals, buses, and taxis, getting to and from the theme parks is a breeze. Plus, many downtown hotels offer shuttle services to popular attractions, ensuring a hassle-free experience for guests.

Why not choose Downtown Orlando as your base for exploring the top theme parks in Central Florida?

Free Activities in Downtown Orlando

Downtown Orlando offers a wealth of free activities for visitors aiming to maximize their trip without straining the wallet. From art galleries and outdoor adventures to monthly events, there’s no shortage of opportunities to enjoy the city’s vibrant atmosphere without spending a dime.

Whether you’re an art enthusiast, a nature lover, or keen to join a local event, Downtown Orlando caters to all interests. With so many free activities on offer, you’ll be able to experience the city’s rich culture and history without the added expense.

City Arts Factory

Art enthusiasts should not miss the City Arts Factory, which provides free access to a variety of art exhibits displaying a wide array of artistic styles and mediums. Located in the heart of downtown, this art gallery is the perfect place to immerse yourself in the city’s thriving arts scene.

From contemporary art and prints to paintings, sculptures, photographs, and drawings, the City Arts Factory offers a unique artistic experience for visitors of all ages. Be sure to take some time during your visit to explore the various exhibits and discover the creative talents of local and international artists.

Outdoor Adventures

For those seeking outdoor enjoyment, Downtown Orlando presents a range of activities to discover the city’s natural beauty and breathe in some fresh air. From paddleboarding and kayaking in bioluminescent waters to traversing the Orlando Urban Trail, there’s no shortage of outdoor adventures waiting to be discovered.

Other outdoor activities in the area include visiting local farms, taking airboat rides in the surrounding wetlands, and enjoying the many parks and green spaces that dot the cityscape. With so many options available, you’ll never run out of ways to enjoy the city’s stunning outdoor offerings.

Monthly Events

Downtown Orlando is the venue for a variety of monthly events appealing to a broad spectrum of interests. Some of the events include:

  • Art walks

  • Business networking events

  • Comedy shows

  • Food festivals

There’s always something happening in this vibrant city.

Some popular monthly events in Downtown Orlando include:

  • Downtown Comedy Wednesdays

  • International Food and Drink Festival

  • Mayor Buddy’s Book Club Meeting

  • Hispanic Heritage Month Art Exhibit Opening Reception

To stay informed about upcoming events, be sure to check the Downtown Orlando website or follow local event organizers on social media.


In conclusion, Downtown Orlando offers a diverse and vibrant experience for visitors, showcasing the city’s rich history, lively neighborhoods, exciting attractions, and thriving arts scene. From leisurely strolls through Lake Eola Park to thrilling nights out on the town, there’s never a dull moment in this dynamic city. Whether you’re here for a weekend getaway or an extended vacation, Downtown Orlando will leave you with memories that will last a lifetime.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it worth going to Downtown Orlando?

Downtown Orlando is definitely worth visiting for its lively atmosphere, great dining spots, trendy shopping options, nightlife, parks, lakes, and the Orlando Science Center with its engaging and educational exhibits.

What is the famous street in Downtown Orlando?

International Drive, commonly referred to as I-Drive, is the famous street in Downtown Orlando renowned for its many world-class theme parks and attractions.

Does Downtown Orlando have a nightlife?

Downtown Orlando definitely has a nightlife, with plenty of music and entertainment options on Orange Avenue and Church Street, as well as many establishments spread out around the area.

Can you walk around Downtown Orlando?

You can explore Downtown Orlando on foot by taking the self-guided walking tour, as well as enjoying shopping, dining, and entertainment in the area.

There are also nearby areas such as International Drive and Sunset Clear Paddle Board or Clear Kayak where you can take a stroll and enjoy the scenery.

Furthermore, Disney World and Universal are only a short drive away.

What are some must-visit attractions in Downtown Orlando?

Visiting Downtown Orlando? Be sure to check out the Orlando Science Center, Amway Center, Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, and Lake Eola Park.

Bookmark & Share

User Comments

Be the first to comment on this post below!

All listing information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed and should be independently verified through personal inspection by appropriate professionals. Listings displayed on this website may be subject to prior sale or removal from sale; availability of any listing should always be independent verified. Listing information is provided for consumer personal, non-commercial use, solely to identify potential properties for potential purchase; all other use is strictly prohibited and may violate relevant federal and state law. The source of the listing data is as follows: Stellar MLS (updated 6/16/24 12:20 PM) |

Listing Search

Translate Tool

Featured Listings
Altamonte Springs Real Estate
4.5 BATH
Welcome to your dream home! This stunning, unparalleled Mediterranean estate, nestled in a private gated community wit... Read More
Apopka Real Estate
Welcome Home to your spectacular, resort-worthy home on Bear Lake, located in Seminole County, with 125 ft of Lake fr... Read More
Apopka Real Estate
One or more photo(s) has been virtually staged. IMPRESSIVE HOME in Oak Hills with quiet country vibe just 25 minutes fro... Read More
Belle Isle Real Estate
LAKEFRONT LIVING AT IT'S FINEST!!! Discover unparalleled luxury living in this newly built custom home nestled along the... Read More
Belle Isle Real Estate
Whether you're making the move to Orlando or seizing the chance to own a breathtaking lakefront property, your opportun... Read More
Chuluota Real Estate
Welcome to 1055 Brumley Road, Chuluota, FL 32766—a private waterfront country estate located in one of the most desira... Read More
Clermont Real Estate
Nestled among the verdant landscapes of Central Florida, this charming home sits proudly on a sprawling 20-acres of the... Read More
Clermont Real Estate
Sitting upon 2.79 picturesque acres, this 4 bedroom/5th office estate was completed in 2024 by the extraordinary crafts... Read More
Clermont Real Estate
This is what lakefront living should look like. Rare opportunity to own two direct lakefront lots on Lake Louisa and the... Read More
Contact Wendy Morris


Wendy Morris LLC
DBA Wendy Morris Realty
Licensed in the State of Florida
BK 3146762
16797 Broadwater Avenue
Winter Garden, Florida 34787

Your privacy is our utmost concern. We will never sell your personal information. Privacy Policy
©2024 windermereluxuryproperty.com - all rights reserved. | Site Map