You’re already halfway through the year, which means it’s time for a break from the day-to-day. No matter how long you've been adulting, don't you need an any-season vacation as much as the next grade school kid? Yes. Yes, you do. You need a getaway.
And lucky for you, Orlando is the hometown or nearest big city for a few of the Day Trippin’ crew, and we think you need to get away to there like ASAP. Because there’s a ton to do, both on the cheap and at the four-dollar-sign-Google level.
Here’s a quick guide to some of our favorite spots for a quick day-cation.
When you want to catch a vibe
Kings Dining & Entertainment
This is not just a bar nor is it just a bowling alley. It’s both plus a lot more. Head to Kings hungry, thirsty enough sip grand margaritas and ready to dance.
Address: 8255 International Dr, Orlando
An opportunity to wear a nice pair of shoes. This rooftop bar always has great music; top 40 with a splash of mainstream reggae and Latin tracks.
Address: 400 W Church St, Orlando
The ICON Orlando at ICON Orlando 360
The ICON Orlando at ICON Orlando 360 is a relatively new plaza/attraction/food & bar scene is like Pointe Orlando or City Walk but with its own twist. It features the fifth tallest Ferris Wheel in the world, the Sea Life Orlando Aquarium and Madame Tussauds Wax Museum. There's plenty of restaurants and bars too. The Eye is like an al a carte for fun things to do: pay for what you want as you go.
Address: 8401 International Drive Suite 100, Orlando
Aero Downtown Orlando
Aero is a great place for those who like EDM and House Music. Downstairs, you can find Old 64, which plays anything from Backstreet Boys and Metallica to Cardi B, Calvin Harris or Drake, this place caters to everyone. These two neighboring hot spots are great to dance the night away.
Address: 60 N Orange Ave, Orlando, FL 32801
Sunday Funday at Ember in downtown Orlando
Every Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., the party is at Ember in downtown Orlando. Starting with brunch, going hard through the afternoon and ending with an after party, you can’t miss the vibe at Ember. This is a big courtyard/restaurant with live music by spinning DJs. Enjoy mimosas, great food and lots of space to move around and socialize. Get the spinach, mushroom & feta flatbread or live with regret. LOL. Music is usually House, POP and Hip-Hop.
Address: 42 W Central Blvd, Orlando, FL 32801
When you want to be outdoors
Soccer (or Futbol) at Exploria Stadium
The best thing about seeing either Orlando City SC (the men’s soccer team in MLS) or the Orlando Pride (the women’s team in the NWSL) is that the stadium is right downtown on Church Street, within range of several garages. You can either get food and drinks really close by or at the stadium and the atmosphere is electric.
Address: 655 W. Church Street, Orlando
Walk your pet around Eola Park (Free)
Lake Eola is in the heart of Orlando. I love coming here on the weekends when I'm home. There’s a chill mood around the lake. People walk their dogs, some do yoga under the trees. Ducks follow you for food and kids play in one of the many gardens. It's the perfect place to disconnect for your smartphone. You can rent a swan boat and pedal around the lake. Sometimes there's a green markets and live music. Definitely make Lake Eola a priority when you visit city.
Address: 512 E Washington St, Orlando, FL 32801
Paddleboarding at Wekiva Springs
Warning: The water is pitch black and there are alligators. However, this doesn’t stop anyone, including Chunky and me, from getting in the water and doing some exercise. The water is cooler because it’s a natural spring, so it keeps you fresh in the summer months.
Address: 1014 Miami Springs Drive, Longwood
BK Adventure Eco-Tours
Take it outdoors with BK Adventure Eco-Tours. There are only six places IN THE WORLD to see bioluminesence, and Florida is one of them. So while you’re in Orlando, take a quick drive out to Kelly Park in Brevard County for a night kayaking tour to see the other-worldly, dinoflagellate bioluminescent plankton or comb jellies light up the waters. Peak viewing times are May to November. Call in advance to book.
Address: Merritt Island
Contact: 407-519-8711 – office, 407-361-9969 – mobile (feel free to text)
When you want QT with the fam
Walk around City Walk at Universal Studios
You’ve already decided you don’t want to step a foot inside any theme park. But there’s no reason why you should avoid City Walk. Yes, it’s super tourist-y, but for a reason. There’s a lot to see and do without breaking your piggy bank.
Watch performances on the plaza, feel the vibe of the people and eat or drink whatever you crave. There’s a really cool reggae club on the second floor. You can take a picture with the wave outside of Billabong, ya know, because Instagram. And even catch a movie after dinner.
Address: 6000 Universal Blvd, Orlando
The Escape Game Orlando
What the...? Escape Game Orlando is insane. I can’t even begin to describe it. Think of it as being inside a video game where you have to work in teams, figure out puzzles and make a successful exit. Work fast, time is ticking!
Address: 23 1/2 South Magnolia Avenue, Orlando
Pirate’s Cove Adventure Golfing
Enjoy a mini golfing experience like no other. Pirate’s Cove Adventure Golfing brings the adventures and legends of infamous pirates to life. Putt your way through bridges, waterfalls, caves and other extraordinary landscaping.
Address: 8501 International Dr, Orlando
The Crayola Experience
Your coloring pencils and crayons have come to life! See how crayons are made at the Crayola Experience, let your inner Picasso loose and take pictures with walking and smiling crayons. This colorful experience will draw a smile on everyone’s face.
Address: 8001 S Orange Blossom Trail Suite 1300A, Orlando
When you’re ready to nosh
Arepas el Cacao
This is my favorite hangover-bring-me-back-to-life food in Orlando, even though it’s not in Downtown. I’m Venezuelan so I take my arepas very seriously, and this place is the truth. Authentic seasoning on the beef, chicken and shrimp and real, country-style Venezuelan cheese (llanero). There will be a line of other partygoers, but wait it out. Arepas el Cacao is open until 3 a.m. It’s also a perfect breakfast snack.
Popular late-night dining options in downtown Orlando include the Red Mug Diner, Gringos Locos Tacos, Hamburger Mary’s and Santiago’s Bodega.
Address: 5389 S Kirkman Rd, Orlando, FL 32819
Two words: Mango Margaritas. Sure the Mexican food is also amazing, but people come here for the delicious and buzz-inducing margaritas. On the rocks or frozen, both are $7.50 each or $26 for the pitcher. Go with the pitcher for sure. Get the white sauce with steak nachos. So good. Oh and don't go alone. Grab the crew and a spot on the front porch. I’ve been coming to Agave Azul for as long as I can remember.
Address: 4750 S Kirkman Rd, Orlando
Don’t skip out on the flamenco dancing that happens here. The dancers are so passionate about that they do, it shows! You’ll forget you’re in Orlando.
Orlando: 125 W Church St., Orlando
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