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Downtown Orlando has a great feel to it. In the Thornton Park neighborhood, around the 700 block of E. Washington Ave, there are plenty of cute restaurants under moss-draped trees. Try Benjamin French Bakery for a yummy baguette sandwich. Joggers run by, headed for Lake Eola Park, where a path circles the lake rimmed with gorgeous trees and blessed with abundant wildlife, and tourists paddle swan-shaped boats. This park is so beautiful, you must spend a few happy hours there! There is live music on certain nights at Lake Eola Park (check their facebook page).
Where South St and Orange Ave meet, in the heart of the business district, the buildings are lit gorgeously at night, and you can attend a concert at the modern Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts. Nightclubs line Orange Ave, where twinkling lights and blue raindrop lights decorate the avenue for blocks, beckoning you to spend a night on the town. Wall Street is a cozy pedestrian-only block with an assortment of bars. It leads to Heritage Square with its alligator sculptures, fountain, grove of cypress trees, and Orange County History Center, which has some beautiful exhibits on the beginnings of Orlando and Disneyworld. On Church Street a long line of historic wildwest buildings are filled with restaurants with happy sidewalk seating. Sak Comedy Club has hilarious, clean improv shows. And there is Plaza Cinema Cafe 12, a movie theater, surrounded by a few restaurants such as Spice Burger, Bento Cafe (classy interior, salty food), and Mochi frozen yogurt.
While in downtown, walk south under the freeway and then south on Delaney Ave to the Lake Cherokee Historic District to see mansions and large tropical trees over a shimmering lake. Or drive north and have a coffee in the College Park area.
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Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, 445 S. Magnolia Ave, Orlando FL 32801, call (844) 513-2014.
Benjamin French Bakery, 716 E. Washington St, Orlando FL 32801, call (407) 797-2253. This is in the Thornton Park neighborhood.
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Overall Visitor Rating: Unrated.