5 Great Places to Have a Picnic in Orlando, FL

When the weather cooperates, we all love to get outside and explore the world around us. There is nothing more refreshing and soothing to the soul than a picnic in the sun, surrounded by the beauty of nature. Every city in the United States has incredible locations for picnicking. Below are 5 Great Places to Picnic in Orlando.

Lake Eola Park

In the heart of downtown Orlando is this absolutely charming city park. The park bustles with life. A Farmer’s Market takes place every Sunday and a fireworks display frequently occurs at the fountain in the park. Sunset over the lake is magical as it reflects on the water and shimmers against the skyscrapers of Downtown. If you’re looking for a romantic picnic, you can also try one of my favorite things – renting a swan-shaped paddle boat for the lake. But, beyond all these activities, Lake Eola Park makes the list of best picnic spots because there are a number of fabulous places to lay out a blanket along the lake and enjoy the day.

Harbor Park

At the end of a long, stretched out dock, a gazebo straight out of the movie sits peacefully. Harbor Park is a small, open grassy area along Lake Baldwin, but it shines as a picnic destination. There are sidewalks and boardwalks with benches, open fields, and dramatic views at sunset with the gazebo standing alone in the still water. A quiet picnic could not find a better location.

Blue Jacket Park

Blue Jacket Park was built for picnics, and not just picnics – stylish ones. The large fountain at the heart of the park is built from white stone, just like the bridges along the walking paths, and the picnic tables that dot the open lawns. There are even large stone pavilions that seem to have been brought from a large estate in England or from the set of the movie, Pride and Prejudice. Still, this park is a great place to kick back and enjoy the sun and occasionally see hot air balloons take off from Blue Jacket Park.

Bill Frederick Park

A 187 acre park popular with campers, boaters, and fishers alike. The park sits on Turkey Lake and has several fantastic walking trails, many of which lead to the lake’s edge and open spaces for picnicking. A stop at the All Children’s Farm is a must when visiting Bill Frederick Park as well as a game on their disc golf course.

Mead Botanical Garden

Just north of Orlando is this breathtaking oasis. Admission to Mead Botanical Garden is free and there is a large, open picnic area. There are over 47 acres of gardens and plant life to explore. The pond at Mead Garden is home to turtles, wading birds, and fish and children will have a blast keeping an eye out for all three. If you’re looking to picnic in incredible natural surroundings, then Mead Botanical Garden is the place. One of their truly unique features is Yoga in the Garden, offered every Saturday and Wednesday morning. I highly recommend taking their Yoga class in the morning and staying for a lovely picnic in the Garden.

Looking for Orlando Airport Parking?

Fun Summer Things To Do In Orlando, FL

Summer is finally here!  The kids are out of school, and backyard barbecues are taking place all over the nation.  After the year we had in 2020, and most people having chosen not to take a vacation, you can almost rest assured that families will be out in full force this year.

With this in mind, we thought we would offer a few great vacation ideas to help you plan, as well as some places that would be great for just a few days away.  We all need time to recharge and some well-deserved play in the sunshine.

Here are some of the best places to check out this summer!

Universal Orlando Resort

6000 Universal Blvd, Orlando, FL 32819

Universal Orlando Resort, commonly known as Universal Orlando or simply “Universal,” formerly Universal Studios Escape, is an American theme park and entertainment resort complex based in Orlando, Florida. The resort is operated by Universal Parks & Resorts, a division of Comcast’s NBCUniversal. Universal Orlando is the second-largest resort in Greater Orlando, after the Walt Disney World Resort, which is nearby, covering 541 acres of land. Universal Orlando consists of two theme parks, and the Volcano Bay water theme park, a night-time entertainment complex, eight Loews Hotels, and an upcoming park, Epic Universe.

Walt Disney World Resort

Orlando, FL 32819

The Walt Disney World Resort, also called Walt Disney World and Disney World, is an entertainment resort complex in Bay Lake and Lake Buena Vista, Florida, United States, near the cities of Orlando and Kissimmee. Opened on October 1, 1971, the resort is owned and operated by Disney Parks, Experiences and Products, a division of The Walt Disney Company. It was first operated by the Walt Disney World Company. The property covers nearly 25,000 acres, of which half has been used. The resort comprises four theme parks, two water parks, 27 themed resort hotels, nine non-Disney hotels, several golf courses, a camping resort, and other entertainment venues, including the outdoor shopping center Disney Springs.

Universal Studios Florida

6000 Universal Blvd, Orlando, FL 32819

Universal Studios Florida is a theme park located in Orlando, Florida. Primarily themed to movies, television, and other aspects of the entertainment industry, the park opened to the public on June 7, 1990. It is owned and operated by NBCUniversal and features numerous attractions and live shows. Universal Studios Florida was the first component of the larger Universal Orlando Resort to open. It ranked ninth in the world and sixth in the U.S. among amusement parks for attendance in 2017, hosting an estimated 10.2 million visitors. In addition to the theme park aspect, early design focused on providing guests with a behind-the-scenes look at film and television, with a significant portion of the park operating as an active production studio.

SeaWorld Orlando

7007 Sea World Drive, Orlando, FL 32821

SeaWorld Orlando is a theme park and marine zoological park in Orlando, Florida. It is owned and operated by SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment. When combined with its neighbor Discovery Cove and Aquatica, it forms SeaWorld Parks and Resorts Orlando, an entertainment complex consisting of three parks and many hotels. In 2018, SeaWorld Orlando hosted an estimated 4.594 million guests, ranking it the 10th most visited amusement park in the United States.

Looking for Orlando Airport Parking?

Things to Do for the Fourth of July in Orlando

Everyone’s favorite summer holiday is quickly approaching! Nothing says July 4th like BBQs, pool days, parades, and fireworks! But with the country beginning to emerge from the worst of it, some celebrations are returning in the area. Read on to see what’s happening around Orlando this Independence Day and gather up some ideas for your Fourth of July weekend.

4th of July Celebration

If you want some good, old-fashioned family fun, head over to Avalon Park, a planned community suburb in East Orlando. They’re hosting a 4th of July Celebration on Sunday from 5 to 9 pm where you can enjoy live music, vendors, an apple pie bake-off, and once it gets dark, fireworks! The celebration will be perfect for kids, too, since they’ll have a wet and dry bounce park plus a Bike Parade that anyone can enter (just decorate your bike, wagon, or stroller in festive red, white, and blue!). If you want to burn a few calories in anticipation of all the hot dogs and apple pie you’ll be eating, register for the Firecracker 5K taking place at Avalon Town Park on Sunday at 8 am. After the race, you can go home and rest before coming back out for the evening celebrations.

Delaney Park

A laid-back day barbequing with family and friends is one of the best ways to spend the Fourth of July, and if you’re looking for a public park to host a BBQ, check out Delaney Park. It has great picnic areas with grills that you can rent for around $30 a day. Or, just bring a picnic blanket and find a spot among the 7.5 acres of oak-shaded grass!

Walt Disney World

No discussion of things to do in Orlando would be complete without talking about Disney World! Typically, the party is on at Disney World for Fourth of July with themed performances, activities, and decorations followed by an evening firework show. We’re not sure what will happen this year due to COVID as Disney hasn’t announced it yet, but there will likely be some type of modified celebration, like they held for Mardis Gras. Either way, you’re sure to still have a fun day enjoying all the rides and theme park attractions! One thing that will be going on is the Taste of Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival, running through July 5th, which involves topiaries, gardens, and outdoor kitchens.

Cocoa Beach

Cooling off at the beach is the perfect way to spend a sweltering Fourth of July, and while Orlando might not be right on the coast, its location gives it easy day-trip access to both the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. The closest beach to downtown, Cocoa Beach, is only an hour away and is a great place to spend your holiday soaking up the sun. This beach town is known for surfing, partying, and volleyball – so you’re sure to have a festive time. But if you’re looking for a chill, family-friendly day, head to the part of the beach by Lori Wilson Park, which is quieter.

Looking for Orlando Airport Parking?

Arboretums and Botanical Gardens to Visit in Orlando

When considering a vacation, or even just a day out with the family, why not consider visiting a local arboretum or botanical garden?  You can enjoy a delightful getaway with a visit to one of these beautiful gateways to all that nature has to offer.

Arboretums and botanical gardens work to promote common respect and educate with a drive towards an appreciation of the world of gardening and the insects that work to pollinate our plants and flowers. 

These nature monuments are just waiting to be discovered and welcomes all visitors for a day of tranquility, enjoying their peaceful beauty.  Make sure to check out one of the arboretums or botanical gardens listed below.

Harry P Leu Gardens

1920 N Forest Ave, Orlando, FL 32803

Explore an amazing 50-acre botanical oasis minutes from Downtown Orlando. Each garden is designed specifically to further our mission: inspire visitors to appreciate and understand plants. The garden and historical home were donated to the City of Orlando in 1961 by Mr. Harry P. Leu and his wife, Mary Jane. We hope you enjoy your visit.

Mead Botanical Garden

1300 S Denning Dr, Winter Park, FL 32789

With 47 acres to explore in Winter Park, your senses will come alive with the sights, sounds, and scents of the garden.  A place where you can find tranquility and interact with nature in a way rarely experienced in an urban setting.  With its hiking trails, creek, boardwalk, tall pine trees, greenhouse, butterfly garden, and pond that’s home to turtles, fish, and wading birds, you’ll find much to discover and experience at Mead Botanical Garden.

Central Park Rose Garden

111 W New England Ave, Winter Park, FL 32789

Central Park’s beautiful fountains, landscaped planters, and oak tree canopy bring thousands of visitors annually to admire its beauty. There is also a spectacular Rose Garden located on the southern border of the park.  This 11-acre park hosts numerous events and activities throughout the year, including the annual Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival and the Olde Fashioned 4th of July Celebration.

Nehrling Gardens

2267 Hempel Ave, Gotha, FL 34734

Nehrling Gardens is the former home of famed horticulturalists Henry Nehrling, who purchases the property in 1885 to establish a garden where he could experiment with tropical and subtropical plants year-round.  This particular garden was one of Florida’s earliest experimental botanical gardens where Dr. Nehrling tested over 3000 new and rare plants for the Bureau of Plant Industry, now known as the USDA.

Looking for Orlando Airport Parking?

Things to Do for Mother’s Day in Orlando

Mother’s Day is coming up next month! The moms in our lives work so hard and give so much, so it’s important to take a day to make them feel special. Whether you’re celebrating your own mother, a step-mother, the mother of your children, or a friend who is a mom, here are some ideas of wonderful things to do with her.

The Stubborn Mule

Since Mother’s Day always falls on a Sunday, it’s traditional for many people to take their mom out for brunch. This is always a winning idea, and in Orlando, there’s no better place for brunch than The Stubborn Mule. Lots of people know this, though, so make sure you make a reservation well in advance! The restaurant has a playful vibe, a lovely outdoor patio, and sources food from local small businesses, farms, and fisheries.

Lake Lily Park

May is the beginning of picnic season! The weather is warming up, trees and flowers are blooming, and outdoor celebrations are a safe option during COVID-19. A great place to take your mom for a picnic locally is just outside downtown Orlando, at Lake Lily Park, so named for the beautiful lily pads dotting the lake. This lovely 10-acre park has plenty of benches and a gazebo where you can set up camp. After you eat, take a stroll on the boardwalk around the lake and try to spot some fish, ducks, and turtles!

The Tea Room Experience

Do you and your mom like feeling fancy? There’s nothing fancier than an English-style afternoon tea! And The Tea Room Experience is hosting a Mother’s Day Vintage Tea Party on the Friday and Saturday of Mother’s Day weekend! Attire is Vintage Chic and you’ll be greeted with a mimosa upon arrival. After that, enjoy bottomless loose-leaf tea and a lovely, multi-tiered selection of treats including finger sandwiches, savory bites, petite desserts, and fresh-baked scones with cream and preserves.

Botanical Garden

A lot of people get their moms flowers for Mother’s Day – but how about taking her to see thousands of blooming flowers? Harry P. Leu Gardens are a lovely place to spend Mother’s Day with your special someone. Moms get in free on Mother’s Day! You and mom can enjoy wandering along trails that wind through 50 acres of landscaped tropical gardens, lakes, and 200-year-old oak trees. Make a day of it with special popsicles from Park Season Pops and a stop into the Leu House Museum – a lovely restored 19th century home on the property. Make sure you stop by Florida’s largest rose garden before you leave, which will be in full bloom in May.

The Ravenous Pig

If your mom is more of the traditional type, you might want to treat her to a classy night out. Consider one of the most accoladed restaurants in the Orlando area, The Ravenous Pig in Winter Park. This stylish gastropub is owned by a husband-and-wife chef duo who have been semi-finalists for a James Beard award for four years running. In addition to delicious food, they also serve craft beer brewed on-site and cocktails.

Looking for Orlando Airport Parking?

Best Car Washes in Orlando, Florida

If you’re looking for a place to wash your car and get the best service for your money, we have a few great suggestions for you in the city of Orlando, Florida. It doesn’t matter if it’s your own car or a rental car, clean or dirty, old or new, whether you’re on vacation or close to home, these car washes and detailers are guaranteed to make your vehicle look like a million bucks. These guys have seen it all. Don’t be afraid to show up with your cookie crumbs, your beach sand, or your toddler’s fast-food mess into the shop. You’ll be amazed at your car’s transformation! Let’s take a closer look at what car washes Orlando has to offer.

First, we recommend Breezee Mobile Detailing. Several packages are available depending on what you’d like done to your car. Would you like a car wash? An interior detail? An exterior detail? Everything detailed? You’re in luck, as they do them all. They even offer add-ons to your package, including a clay bar, engine detail, pet hair removal, water spots removal, or deep stain removal. Pricing on all detailing work depends on the size of your vehicle. Larger SUV’s and trucks will be more expensive than cars or minivans. Appointments are necessary for service, so be sure to call or go online to book your appointment.

Second, we suggest Detail Pros Orlando Inc. This shop touts itself as being the #1 detailing shop in Orlando, Florida. They are a mobile detailing shop, so they can come to you at your home or office any day of the week for your convenience. Not only do they wash and detail cars, but they also do boats, motorcycles, and RV’s as well. All cars are washed by hand and several packages are available depending on how deeply you wish to detail your car. Detail Pros Orlando Inc pride themselves on fast and friendly service and state-of-the-art methods. Not only are they flexible and convenient, but they offer affordable prices as well.

Finally, Royal1 Mobile Detailing might just be what you’re looking for. This shop offers same-day service and will come out to your home or office to service your car. They offer ceramic coating, paint correction, and also fleet detailing. You’ll also enjoy leather seat conditioning, shampooed carpets, and the inside and outside of your windows cleaned. Are you a first-time customer? A military vet? A senior? Then you’ll have the privilege of receiving 10% off your next detail.

If you’re on a time crunch and looking for a quick drive through car wash in Atlanta, you’ll find what you’re looking for at Laser Brite Car Wash on E. Michigan St., Octopus Car Wash on N. Mills Ave., or Shiner’s Car Wash on S. Orange Blossom Trl. In a pinch, these drive through car washes will help keep you looking good until you can get that detailing done.

Wherever you decide to go, your car will be well taken care of. In the great city of Orlando, Florida, you’ll find detailers who truly care about their work and, most importantly, your car. With our recommendations, you’ll be in excellent hands.

Looking for Orlando Airport Parking?

Pet-Friendly Hotels Around Orlando

Those of us with pets know it can be hard to travel. You have to arrange for a pet sitter, spend extra money paying them, stock up on food and supplies before you leave, and deal with guilt for leaving your furry friend behind.

One solution that works well for easy-going or adventurous is bringing them along with you! So, if you’re planning a trip to Orlando and want to (or have to) bring your fur baby along for the ride, you’ll need accommodations that are pet-friendly. To give you a jumpstart, we’ve analyzed a few of the very best hotels and B&Bs in Orlando that accept pets. All are highly rated and we’ve included a variety of options from budget-friendly to luxurious. Read on and choose the one that best serves your needs!

Hyatt Regency Orlando Airport

If you’re taking a quick trip through the city and want to be close to the airport, book a stay at the Hyatt Regency Orlando Airport, which is located in the main terminal of the Orlando International Airport. You can’t get more convenient to the airport than a runway view from your (soundproof) hotel room window and a short escalator ride down to the security line! And in addition to the prime location, you’ll be enjoying a luxurious stay, with access to amenities like a pool, a fitness center, an on-site restaurant, laundry service, and free Wi-Fi. Your pet will be treated like a VIP (very important pet) and receive a bed, food bowl, and treats!

DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Orlando at Seaworld

Bringing more than your pet along with you? A fun place for families to stay is the DoubleTree Resort at Seaworld. This hotel is in the perfect location for family fun – it’s on 28 tropical acres two miles from Seaworld and within 15 minutes from Disney World and Universal Studios. The outdoor pool and complimentary Wi-Fi will keep both kids and adults entertained during downtime and the free continental breakfast and on-site dining options open all day will keep the whole family fed. Their generous pet policy allows pets weighing up to 70 lbs. for a $30 additional fee.

Grand Hotel Bohemian Orlando

A lot of the hotels in Orlando are centered around Disney and kids -but if you’re traveling child-free and looking for a place that’s a bit more sophisticated, you’ll want to book a room at the Grand Hotel Bohemian Orlando. The hotel has an aura of sultry romanticism, achieve with moody lighting, draped fabric, and intimate common areas. Enjoy the Bohemian’s “cool factor” by sipping cocktails and enjoying live jazz music on the piano in the Bösendorfer Lounge, sampling eclectic foods at The Boheme Restaurant, and unwinding in the rooftop pool and hot tub. Pets are welcome for a $150 fee. You may have up to two pets weighing no more than 40 lbs. each per room.

Looking for Orlando Airport Parking?

What to do in Orlando, Florida

If you’re on vacation, on business, or a local to Orlando, Florida, with family or on your own, there is plenty to do in this great city. We have a few recommendations for you, however, you might wonder why theme parks are not on our list. Everyone knows Orlando is home to Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, and the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, but if you’re reading this list, you want something different to do. So here are our suggestions of something else to do while you’re in Orlando, Florida.

First, we recommend the wonder of the ocean at SeaWorld. SeaWorld is indeed open, however, you’ll need to book your reservations online. Come on down and enjoy the Orca Encounter or Sea Lion High: The New Class. Several rides and attractions are open as well, including the Kraken, the Manta, and Abby’s Flower Tower. Not only that, but you’ll be able to wander the park and encounter animals such as dolphins and penguins. The entire family will enjoy SeaWorld, so book your trip today!

Next, the Orlando Science Center is your best bet for not only a fun day, but an educational one as well. Bring the kids to discover fantastic exhibits at the center such as Planet Pioneers, which asks the question, “Could you survive on another planet?” You’ll go on a trip to Mars and find out for yourself! NatureWorks is another exhibit that teaches all about the varying ecosystems of Florida and introduces you to animals who live there. DinoDigs is another favorite, with giant fossil replicas and also authentic ones. You do not want to miss the amazing adventure found at the Orlando Science Center!

The Kennedy Space Center is a must-see for all aspiring astronauts, both young and old. Here, you’ll be able to train to be an astronaut, play on various “planets”, or you can go on a guided tour. You’ll be able to wander the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame, the Rocket Garden, or take a ride on the Shuttle Launch Experience! Whether or not you’re a space lover, you will be once you visit the Kennedy Space Center. Learn all about the Mars rovers, future missions, and those missions of the past. You’ll even be able to see the actual Space Shuttle Atlantis up close and personal. Whether or not you’re a space lover, you will be once you visit the Kennedy Space Center!

Finally, Gatorland is a fun break from the norm and will delight children of all ages. Florida is known for gators and crocs; at Gatorland, you’ll be able to see them all for yourself! But there’s so much more to enjoy here than gators, they also have wild cats, snakes, and tortoises. They also offer a one-of-a-kind gator zipline that takes you directly above their gator pool! For the one who wants to do something different while in Orlando, Gatorland is for you!

There’s much more to do in Orlando than your average theme park. If you’re ever in town, check these out, or make your own adventure today!

Links

On Air Parking (MCO) – https://www.onairparking.com/parking/Orlando-International-Airport-MCO

SeaWorld – https://seaworld.com/orlando/

Orlando Science Center – https://www.osc.org/

Kennedy Space Center – https://www.kennedyspacecenter.com/

Gatorland – https://www.gatorland.com/

Looking for Orlando Airport Parking?

Best Legitimate Places to get Vaccinated near MCO

There are currently three vaccines that have been approved for emergency use by the US government—Pfizer/BioTech, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson.  Depending on what region of the country you live in will determine which brand will be available to you.

If you are considering receiving the vaccine, it is advised that you look around for a distribution center and make an appointment.  Many of the centers that are administering the vaccine do require patients to have an appointment ahead of time.

Places To Receive The Vaccine

When looking to receive the COVID vaccine, you can contact the local public health department to set up an appointment. 

Orange County Health Department

832 W Central Blvd

Orlando, FL 32805

407.858.1430

Hours:  Monday – Thursday 8 am to 4 pm  Friday 8 am to 5 pm

Several Orlando retailers are authorized to distribute the vaccine as well.  It is suggested that you call ahead of time, as an appointment may be necessary.

·         Walmart

·         Sam’s Club

·         Publix

·         Winn-Dixie

·         CVS

·         Walgreens

Orange County health officials will be administering the vaccine.  The event is drive-thru and appointment only.

·         Orange County Convention Center

There are two federal vaccination sites run by FEMA available.  These sites are for walk-ups only, and no appointment is required.

·         Valencia College West Campus

·         Orange County Library South Trail Branch

There are several hospitals offering vaccinations.  It is suggested to call ahead of time as appointments are required.

·         AdventHealth

·         OrlandoHealth

All veterans who receive care through the VA healthcare system may receive their vaccination free of charge.  Contact the VA ahead of time, as appointments are necessary.

·         Orlando VA Healthcare Center

Looking for Orlando Airport Parking?

3 Surprising #Bucketlist Places to Attend St. Patrick’s Day Celebrations

St. Paddy’s Day is coming up, and here in the United States, that means parties, parades, and general revelry! The biggest celebrations tend to happen in cities like Boston, New York, and Chicago -but there are festive cities that may surprise you that you should add to your travel bucket list for the holiday!

Of course, the celebrations need to look a bit different this year due to social distancing measures, but either way, these 3 fun cities are places you need to check out -whether you’re ready to party this March or want to wait ‘til next year!

San Francisco

San Francisco has an assortment of bar crawls happening around town, but one of the more pandemic-friendly activities you can do is attend the Patrick’s Pawade. This benefit for rescue dogs includes yoga and meditation, picnicking, live music, a raffle, and more! Festive canine costumes are encouraged and prizes will be given to the best dressed.

You can stay safe because it’s being held outdoors in a park, just be sure to double mask and keep a six-foot leash length between you and other dog owners. Get your tickets here.

Orlando

Planning a trip to Disney World in mid-March? Just because you’ll be in sunny Florida doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the holiday in true Irish style. Spend your day at Raglan Road, an Irish Pub and Restaurant in Disney Springs that always has a great St. Paddy’s Day bash.

Reserve your table now for this authentic and chill day of celebration. It’s less of a raucous party and more of an intimate day of great food and music that’s completely family-friendly. Irish hospitality includes gifts, competitions, and giveaways. Strict social distancing measures will be enforced for your safety, including 2-hour time slots and no gathering around the stage and bar.

While you’re enjoying the music and dancing onstage, you and your family can enjoy contemporary Irish fare prepared with local ingredients. Think of it as the next step up from pub food!

Houston

Texas normally doesn’t come to mind when you think of St. Patrick’s Day, but Houston loves the holiday! This year, they will be holding their 62nd Annual Houston St. Patrick’s Day Parade on March 13th at noon. It’s truly a community event that anyone can join whether you want to go so far as to build a float, decorate your vehicle, or just grab some buddies and put on some festive outfits.After the parade, head over to the 15th Annual Irish Stew Cook-Off, which will be going until 6 pm. Your $15 donation at the door helps support the parade. There will be dancers, bagpipers, and face painters, plus you’ll get to sample lots of delicious Irish food. They judge more than just stew, too -cooks will also be preparing chili (it is Texas, after all), Irish coffee, and Irish desserts and meals. After awards and raffles, stick around ‘til 11 pm for live music all evening.

Looking for Airport Parking?