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Orlando Romantic Getaway

by Peg

Most people go to Disney World on Orlando vacations, but we discovered that Orlando itself is a great destination. Instead of staying in a hotel we rented a furnished apartment in Baldwin Park for $75 a night. It included use of the residents’ fitness center, pool, and recreation room! Baldwin Park is this incredible development that has housing from upscale apartments up to million dollar homes. It has its own mini downtown that includes a Publix grocery store, Cold Stone, restaurants and bars. You can walk there. The best part is that it’s only a 5 minute drive to downtown Orlando!

We loved visiting downtown Winter Park, which is about 10 minutes from downtown Orlando. It’s a street with lots of cute upscale boutiques and shops. Across from the shops is a park with the Orlando Train Station. It’s gorgeous! It’s so nice to walk around there at night and see all the Spanish moss growing on the trees.

Our favorite restaurant was this swanky sushi place near Winter Park. It’s called Shari. They have happy hour specials with $2 sushi rolls, sake, and Japanese beer. Their sushi is really good. What’s neat is that you can sit at the “bar” and watch your meal being prepared in their open kitchen. Or you can sit upstairs which overlooks the main floor. You can watch the chefs there too.

I think it’s important to recognize the hip little city that Orlando is and to forget about Disney. There are lots of cool little bars downtown and a huge underground music scene. There are also tons of little independent coffee shops and downtown Orlando restaurants, as well as a massive amount of chain restaurants. Such a fun place to visit!

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