Florida Guide > Miscellaneous
Think of Orlando and in many peoples vision it throws up images of Mickey Mouse and the gang plus the many theme parks and chain restaurants that are on every corner…. almost. But if you choose to venture away from the usual haunts there are many other things to see and do. A trip to downtown Orlando with it high rise office building and condos while not sounding particularly fun, is worth a visit if you are looking for something more slow paced and relaxing to fill the day.
If your visit to downtown Orlando is over lunchtime, there is not a pair of Mickey ears in sight. The crowd is young and hip and they fill the cafes and restaurants and create a city buzz. We had a lovely light and healthy lunch in one of the Restaurants just after Church Street Station. There are a few to choose from.
There are some great old buildings too and although Church Street Station has long closed it is still worth a visit as the old railway depot is still there. It is a large building o the corner of Church Street Station. In its heyday it was a hotel for the 19th century railroad. The railway opened in Orlando way back in 1880 and the hotel was built in 1889 to cater for it.
There are actual guided tours of the downtown area and we visited the Well’s museum named after Orlando’s first African American Doctor and it was originally a hotel built in 1926. It boasts famous guests such as Ray Charles. Another impressive building is the city courthouse this dates back to 1927, costing a million dollars to build, a fortune in its day! (It is rumored to be haunted, but we never met any spectors the day we visited). The Regional history center is also in the courthouse building.
To the evening now and for the clubbers out there amongst you this is where locals go to party away from the tourist scene and popular haunts like Down Town Disney’s Pleasure Island and Universals City Walk. There are plenty of bar and restaurants to choose from and it is like dining in a normal neighborhood restaurant.
There are also theatres to choose from and the last shows such as The Phantom of the Opera plus Ballet and Orchestral shows are often to be found.
So come on downtown, and get exploring!
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