Watson offices are closed 9/28 - 9/30 due to Hurricane Ian. We will resume normal operations 10/1

Articles Tagged "orlando"

The Watson Blog Home
July
5

Reading Spots

Summer in Central Florida is ideal for outdoor activities, and sometimes that means bringing along your latest read. When our real estate agents want to unwind, they grab a good book and head to these wonderful reading spots throughout Central Florida. 

Click Here to Read More...

May
2

Florida BBQ

BBQ may be popular from coast to coast, but this beloved cuisine is embedded in the DNA of the South as one of Florida's famous foods. When our real estate agents are craving BBQ, slow-cooked meats and tangy sauces are just minutes away at these top restaurants.

Click Here to Read More...

April
4

Florida Nature

National Wildlife Week is celebrated every year in April. This year, it'll be observed from Tuesday, April 5, through Saturday, April 9. As an initiative of the National Wildlife Foundation, it has connected nature lovers of all ages and backgrounds since 1938 – and that includes our real estate agents.

In the United States, there's virtually no place better to be for National Wildlife Week than right here in Florida. 

Click Here to Read More...

March
7

Food Halls

So you're hungry, but you don't know what you want, or maybe you're with friends, and you can't agree on a place to eat. Sometimes referred to as "food courts on steroids," food halls are the answer to your dining dilemmas. Food halls have grown in popularity in recent years and you'll find several throughout Central Florida. You just may run into some of our real estate agents at these great food halls around Orlando and Winter Park.

Click Here to Read More...

January
5

Florida Orchestras

Are you ready for another amazing year of music and culture in Florida in 2022? Florida is home to a vibrant collection of orchestras, featuring both experienced performers and youth groups honing their craft. Tickets sell quickly for the biggest shows, so now is the perfect time to start planning your concert schedule for the year. We've got the details you need to find the best performances throughout the area.

Click Here to Read More...

December
1

Gator Bites

A live alligator may not be a delightful sight, but gator tail is an exotic food experience that will delight your taste buds. Head to these great restaurants when you're craving this iconic Florida famous food.

The Black Sheep on Broadway - 128 SW Broadway St., Ocala, FL 34471
With a name like The Black Sheep on Broadway, you may think this gastropub is all about red meat. Yes, they have delicious burgers and steak sandwiches, but they're also known for their fried gator tails. Get them as an appetizer, served with zippy Cajun remoulade sauce, or on the Cuban gator sandwich. Stop in for live music on a Friday or Saturday night. Hours are 11 a.m. - midnight Tuesday through Thursday, 11 a.m. - 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday, and 11 a.m. - 10 p.m. Sunday.

Fish on Fire - 7937 Daetwyler Dr., Orlando, FL 32812
The exterior of Fish on Fire is decorated in traditional Florida pastels. Inside, the food is unlike any other restaurant. Founders Jay Herrington and John Mitchell are longtime fishing buddies, so they're seafood experts. The cleverly named Allies Gator is seasoned with Everglades spices before frying for a unique flavor. Specials such as shrimp & grits fritters showcase their inventive spirit. Hours are 11 a.m. - 11 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, 11 a.m. - 11:30 p.m. Thursday, 11 a.m. - midnight Friday and Saturday, and 11 a.m. - 7 p.m. Sunday.

Tibby's New Orleans Kitchen - 2203 Aloma Ave., Winter Park, FL 32792
Find flavors of the bayou at Tibby's New Orleans Kitchen. Cheesecake usually comes after a meal, but Tibby's serves a savory shrimp & alligator cheesecake to whet your appetite. If you prefer, order your gator bites straight up, hand-battered with a side of remoulade sauce. The menu includes other favorites such as boudin, jambalaya, and muffuletta. Tibby's is open 11 a.m. - 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. - 10 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. - 10 p.m. Saturday, and 10 a.m. - 9 p.m. Sunday.

Cocoa Beach Fish Camp Grill - 5602 N. Atlantic Ave., Cocoa Beach, FL 32931
Cocoa Beach Fish Camp Grill definitely lives up to their slogan, "Swamp Food with a Flair." Choose gator bites with their signature Camp Sauce or a trio of gator sliders on brioche buns topped with coleslaw. If you're starving, take the Da Rougarou challenge. This beast of a sandwich features a pound of pulled pork, eight strips of bacon, andouille sausage, mac & cheese, coleslaw, crispy onions, and two Black Angus patties. Hours are 11 a.m. - midnight Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. - 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday.

JT's Seafood Shack - 5224 N. Oceanshore Blvd., Palm Coast, Fl 32137
Just as straightforward as its name, JT's Seafood Shack serves fresh, delicious food in a casual setting. The tin roof, wood doors, and diner-style decor provide a classic ambiance. Fried gator tails, shrimp & grits, and crab cakes are only a few of the seafood favorites on the menu. Follow them on Facebook for information about specials. JT's is open from noon - 9 p.m. daily except Friday and Saturday when hours are extended to 9:30 p.m.

Famous foods are just one part of the amazing lifestyle in Central Florida. Contact us at Watson Realty Corp. for experienced help buying or selling your home.

 

November
3

Florida Empanadas

Florida's famous foods embrace a diverse range of flavors that provide a welcome variety. Empanadas are a prime example of a traditional food that encompasses a number of styles and influences. When you get a craving for empanadas, head to these great local restaurants. 

Latinos y Mas - 2030 S. Pine Ave., Ocala, FL 34471
Treat your taste buds to global cuisine at Latinos y Mas in Ocala. Contemporary Latin dishes get some Mediterranean flair for true international fusion. Hearty Empanadas Colombianas feature cornmeal patties filled with beef stew and potatoes. Pair them with a roast beet salad topped with feta cheese and homemade balsamic vinaigrette.

Latinos y Mas is open 11 a.m. - 8:30 p.m. every day but Sunday, with extended hours until 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

Arepara La Nueva - 29 S. Semoran Blvd., Orlando, FL 32807
At Arepara La Nueva, there's a flavor of empanada to suit every taste. Choose from shredded or ground beef, shredded chicken, ham and cheese, fish, or cheese. Their signature Empanada de Pabellon is stuffed with black beans, shredded beef, sweet plantains, and white cheese. Stop by this Orlando gem whenever you're craving authentic empanadas. Hours are 8 a.m. - midnight daily, with extended hours as well as curbside pickup from 11 p.m. - 2 a.m. Thursday through Sunday.

Tipico Latino Restaurant - 566 Barton Blvd., Rockledge, FL 32955
Take a trip to the Dominican Republic without leaving the Space Coast. Dominican cuisine, as served at Tipico Latino Restaurant, has been shaped by influences ranging from Puerto Rican and Haitian to Japanese and Hungarian. At just $2 each, you can indulge in beef, chicken, and cheese empanadas to your heart's (and stomach's) content. Tipico is open 11:30 a.m. - 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 11:30 a.m. - 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

Latin Shark - 26 N. Orlando Ave., Cocoa Beach, FL 32931
It's not surprising that a restaurant named Latin Shark would boast the best-fried fish around Cocoa Beach. But according to the many fans posting on social media, it's the amazingly authentic Venezuelan empanadas that keep them coming back for more. Get your day off to a perfect start with one of their delicious breakfast empanadas, then come by at 7 p.m. on Friday for live music. Hours are noon - 9 p.m. Monday and Tuesday and 10 a.m. - 9 p.m. Thursday through Sunday.

El Pollo Colorao - 227 Saint Joe Plaza Dr., Palm Coast, FL 32164
Pizza empanadas? No, it's not a dream. That's one of the flavors you'll find when you visit El Pollo Colorao Puerto Rican Eatery in Palm Coast. Customers rave about the authentic Puerto Rican food, including empanadas with chicken, beef, and cheese to go along with the aforementioned pizza. When you want to switch it up a bit, be sure to try the mofongo, a traditional Puerto Rican dish of mashed green plantains that are fried and filled with your choice of ingredients. El Pollo is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Want to learn more about the benefits of living in Florida? Contact us at Watson Realty Corp. and talk to one of our friendly, knowledgeable real estate agents.

October
21

Cuban Sandwiches

With its satisfying mix of flavors and textures, the Cuban sandwich has become known as the unofficial state sandwich of Florida. We head to these wonderful restaurants when we're craving a Cuban sandwich, one of Florida's famous foods.

Click Here to Read More...

September
17

Oysters

Not all oysters contain pearls, but the delicate, flavorful meat hidden inside the shell is just as desirable. And when you call Florida your home state, you've got access to plenty of places to check out this seafood delicacy. We satisfy our cravings for one of Florida's famous foods at these favorite seafood restaurants. 

Click Here to Read More...

June
9

Bubble Tea Florida

Have you tried the latest tea trend that's sweeping Central Florida? Bubble tea was first created in Taiwan, where it's known as boba tea, and it's a sweet, refreshing tea with a texture unlike any tea drink. That's because of the sweet, chewy tapioca balls, called boba, which give the drink both its name and its fascinating flavor. Whether you're brand new to bubble tea or you already have a favorite flavor, there's a local tea shop that's ready to serve you. We've got the delicious details in our guide to five of the best places to enjoy bubble tea around Central Florida.

Click Here to Read More...

May
12

Vacation Tips

Living in Florida makes it easy to enjoy a huge selection of family-friendly attractions, and for so many people Disney ranks at the top of the list. The number of Disney theme parks, water parks, resorts, and unique attractions near Orlando homes for sale provides endless entertainment for Florida residents. Our real estate agents have some tips to help you make the most of your Disney experience, including some advice on special deals available only to Florida residents.

Click Here to Read More...

October
28

2020 has been a year of adjustment and adaptation. The so-called "new normal" of life during Coronavirus-19 means still doing the things you love but with an extra abundance of caution. That includes going to theme parks, especially the ones in Central Florida's entertainment haven of Orlando. Luckily, the parks have taken great precautions to keep guests happy, healthy, and safe. We've rounded up each of the major Orlando theme parks COVID-19 safety updates into one spot to make it easier for you to plan your next trip.

Walt Disney World COVID-19 Safety Updates

The Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Epcot, and Hollywood Studios comprise Walt Disney World. These four have seen a number of enhanced safety measures and operational updates. For starters, park hopping is not currently allowed. If you want to hit Magic Kingdom and Epcot in one day, better wait until COVID-19 is under control. Additionally, park hours are reduced to encourage guests from leaving during the day and returning – once you leave the park, there is no re-entry.

Each of the four parks has updated entry requirements, as well. First, you'll need a park reservation via the new Disney Park Pass system and valid park admission for the same park on the same day. Guests age 2 and up are also required to wear face coverings at all times in public areas except while swimming or seated for dining. In addition to the traditional security screening, guests will be temperature screened before being allowed entry. Anyone with a temperature greater than 100.4 will not be allowed to enter, nor will anyone in their party.

Once inside, you'll notice the ways Walt Disney World has transformed its experience to safely create magical memories. Physical signage reminds guests to maintain at leas six feet of separation from other guests while also creating helpful paths. Barriers are utilized to block access to areas where physical distance would be harder to maintain. Cashless and contactless payment methods are also highly encouraged as often as possible.

Disney World has also increased cleaning in many high-traffic areas, including public elevators, escalators, benches, tables, restrooms, handrails, and more. You can also stop at various hand sanitizer and hand-washing stations set up throughout the parks.

While there's still lots to enjoy at Disney World's four parks, certain attractions and events remain closed during this time. Parades and nighttime spectaculars, two fan-favorite events, are temporarily paused. Character greetings and playgrounds also remain suspended for the time being.

Universal Orlando COVID-19 Safety Updates

Universal Orlando consists of two parks – Universal Studios Florida and Island of Adventure – and Universal CityWalk. Universal Orlando is moving a few steps closer to normal operating procedures. Temperature screenings before entry are no longer being performed, and social distance has been updated to three feet instead of six. 

Enhanced and increased cleaning procedures ensure that high-traffic areas remain sanitized in accordance with Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines. This includes dining areas, restrooms, elevators, escalators, and more.

Guests age 3 and up are required to wear face coverings at all times while inside the park, except when eating or at designated U-Rest face covering removal areas. Face coverings must cover your nose and mouth and under your chin. They must fit snugly against the sides of your face and be secured behind your ears or around your head. Face coverings with exhalation valves or with mesh openings of any kind will not be allowed.

Universal Orlando has buffed its digital offerings to minimize the amount of physical contact you'll have with team members. With the official Universal Orlando Resort app, you can choose a virtual line return time to essentially book a spot on certain attractions, ensuring you spend less time waiting in line. You can also order meals for pick-up or delivery with your phone at many on-site restaurants.

SeaWorld COVID-19 Safety Updates

Like other Orlando theme parks, SeaWorld's COVID-19 safety updates prioritize social distancing, facial coverings, contactless experiences, and more. Employees who feel sick are required to stay home until they have recovered.

All guests and employees are required to wear face coverings inside the park except when eating, drinking, or in a designated relaxation area. Just like in Universal Orlando, all coverings must cover the nose and mouth, fit tightly around the edges of the face, and be secured either behind the ears or around the head.

Animal exhibits, restaurants, gift shops, rides, and other attractions in the park have been reorganized to comply with social distancing guidelines. Physical signage and markings designate where guests should stand and walk in these areas.

LEGOLAND Covid-19 Safety Updates

LEGOLAND Florida Resort employs all the standard safety protocols you've read about for the other Orlando theme parks. Facial coverings over the mouth and nose are required at all times in the park except when eating or drinking.

While temperature checks are no longer performed, LEGOLAND is counting on guests to abide by the honor system. By entering the park, you confirm that you have not experienced any of the common COVID-19 symptoms, have not been in contact with anyone with COVID-19 systems in 14 days, and are not currently under any self-quarantine orders. 

Signage and markings indicate acceptable, socially distant pathways through the park. Sanitation stations have been installed throughout, and guests are encouraged to use them whenever possible. Increased cleaning ensures all high-traffic areas of the park are frequently sanitized.

It's fitting given LEGOLAND's plastic brick aesthetic that the park is only accepting plastic forms of payment at this time – keep your cash at home. Guests are also encouraged to leave space between their vehicle and others in the parking garage – a welcome change for many drivers!

August
27

There's an interesting feeling of civic pride you feel when you discover a celebrity you know and love is from your hometown. But for every well-known celeb from the Sunshine State, there's another handful of famous people from Florida you didn't know were from here.

The Allman Brothers Band, Lynyrd Skynyrd, & More | Jacksonville, FL

Jacksonville may as well one of the capitals of Southern Rock given the number of legendary bands from the genre it's produced. Lynyrd Skynyrd of Freebird fame, The Allman Brothers Band, Blackfoot, Molly Hatchet, and .38 Special all hail from the Bold City. Rock bands continued to emerge from Jacksonville during the 90s and 2000s as well. You probably know Limp Bizkit hails from the First Coast, but so do Cold, Yellowcard, Evergreen Terrace, Shinedown, and The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus.

Maya Rudolph | Gainesville, FL

Gainesville was home to a famous rocker of its own (the late, great Tom Petty), but a well-known comedian also hails from Gator Country. Maya Rudolph was born in Gainesville in 1972. The famous actress was a prominent cast member on Saturday Night Live and has starred in several feature films, including Bridesmaids, Inherent Vice, and Big Hero 6.

Bob Ross | Daytona Beach, FL

America's favorite televised painter just so happens to be one of the most famous people from Daytona Beach, FL. That's right, Bob Ross was born in the city in 1942. He served 20 years in the Air Force before eventually becoming the honey-voiced master of zen with a paintbrush we all knew and loved.

Chipper Jones | DeLand, FL

The popular Atlanta Braves slugger hails from DeLand, FL. Chipper Jones also fits as a famous person from Daytona Beach, FL, too; he was raised in the Daytona Beach metro area. That being said, he got his start in baseball playing little league in the DeLand area.

Wayne Brady | Orlando, FL

Despite being born in Georgia, Wayne Brady is still one of the most famous people from Orlando, FL as he spent the majority of his young life in the Central Florida city. The likable improv comedian got his start with Orlando improv troupe SAK Comedy Club, where he developed skills that would catapult him into the national spotlight on TV shows like Whose Line Is It Anyway?.

Mandy Moore | Longwood, FL

Mandy Moore is one of the few famous people from Longwood, FL. Her family moved there when she was two years old, and it's where she spent the majority of her formative years. Mandy Moore got her start as a singer with a handful of chart-topping hits to her name before taking on roles as an actor later in her career.

Kate Upton | Melbourne, FL

The eye-catching model moved to Melbourne, FL as a kid in 1999, where she attended Holy Trinity Episcopal Academy and even competed nationally as a young equestrian. She later built her career as a head-turning model and actress.

Jim Morrison | Melbourne, FL

Jim Morrison is, without question, one of the most famous people from Florida. Hailing from Melbourne, FL, Morrison made his name as the front man for rock band The Doors. His vocals, lyrics, and memorable live performances have left a lasting impression not just on his fans, but on the entire rock genre for decades after his untimely passing.

September
11

Cooking a new recipe at home is nice, and so is grabbing a bite at your favorite hole-in-the-wall joint. But occasionally, why not live like royalty? And if you happen to be in Central Florida's crown jewel city, you've got bountiful options for fine dining. So the next time you want to dine on something a little more luxurious, try one of these upscale restaurants in Orlando, FL.

Kres Chophouse

Kres boldly proclaims to not be your father's steakhouse. Indeed, don't let its location within a 1930s landmark building fool you into thinking Kres is all old-school. Rather, they blend the past with the present to create a modern dining experience founded on the principles of polished service without pretension. As for the menu, Kres serves up aged in-house steaks, locally sourced seafood, and even unique dishes like elk.

The Palm Restaurant

Nestled within the beating heart of Universal Orlando lies a Hard Rock Hotel, and within that hotel you'll find the colossal dining experience of The Palm. Feast on juicy steaks, flavorful seafood, or Italian specialties like veal martini in an atmosphere that's upscale without the quiet stuffiness you might find at other restaurants.

Highball & Harvest

This eatery set inside the Ritz-Carlton Orlando pays homage to both the classic highball cocktail and the "highball" train conductor signal to depart at full speed. You might wonder what that has to do with a fancy restaurant, but it makes sense; full-speed trains were the primary means of transporting harvests from field to table back in the day, and Highball & Harvest maintains the same farm-to-table philosophy in its unique menu creations to this day. That philosophy yields delicious results, like triple-dipped fried chicken and wood-fired duck breast.

The Boheme

The Boheme promises to put a twist on breakfast, lunch, and dinner with its artful and unexpected culinary experience. Bold, bright colors bring the dining areas to life as much as the innovative dishes on your plate. Try the cast iron waffles for breakfast or a lamb burger dressed with feta and olive tapenade for lunch. The dinner menu features corn-fed beef steaks, fresh Mediterranean salmon, and unique sides like yellow beets and Yukon mash.

Chatham's Place

For more than 30 years, Chatham's Place has aimed to provide diners with more than just a meal, but a magical experience. It starts in the front of the house with impeccable service and continues into the kitchen, where the team of chefs prepare refined dishes made with fresh ingredients – many of which are sourced from the executive chef's personal garden. Entrees like the filet mignon, spicy chicken Louisiana, and Florida black grouper are nothing short of culinary masterpieces.

The Oceanaire

Longing for the best seafood Orlando has to offer? Look no farther than The Oceanaire, an upscale restaurant serving up fresh, sustainably caught fish, oysters, and more from the sea. This isn't your typical seafood restaurant; sure, you can order crab cakes and salmon, but the menu offers so much more. Try the chicken-fried lobster served with cheesy grits or take a bite out of jerk-seasoned Ecuador swordfish served with fried plantains and pineapple salsa. You won't view seafood the same after a trip to The Oceanaire.

Victoria & Albert's

Victoria & Albert's hearkens back to a different era when dining was a sophisticated experience accentuated by exceptional service and palate-pleasing dishes. Whether you choose to dine in The Dining Room, Queen Victoria's Room, or at The Chef's Table, you'll be treated to a truly elegant, intimate experience – and that's to say nothing of the cuisine. Chef Scott Hunnel and his team source global markets every day for each season's unique flavors and ingredients, ensuring dishes like Spanish octopus with Iberico ham and sherry vinaigrette shine with unmistakable yet signature zest.

July
10

Modern day living in a big city like Orlando is hard. We've never been more connected to the world at large, able to access alarming news and information whenever we want it. Add to that the typical stresses of day-to-day, metropolitan life – work, kids, traffic, crowds, maintaining relationships, the list goes on and on – and we're all basically pressure cookers desperately in need of a break.

Instead of connecting to the outside world, try connecting to your own energies with a yoga session. Yoga is a great way to keep your mind and body healthy and active, and it's been proven to help relieve tension and stress from your body. Discover for yourself that yoga is more than funky buzzwords like Zen and chakras by visiting one of these incredible yoga studios in Orlando, FL.

Orlando Power Yoga

Orlando Power Yoga specializes in the Baron Baptiste style of yoga, which creates a flow between traditional yoga poses and dynamic connecting poses. With a focus not just on the poses themselves, but on the motions between poses, you're guaranteed to get a good workout at any of this company's three yoga studios in Orlando, FL.

Project 7 Yoga

Even if you're new to yoga, you'll feel at home at Project 7 Yoga's studio. They practice all levels of yoga with an emphasis on safe movements, deep breathing, and meditation. Students of this studio are quick to rave about how the instructors at Project 7 push them to reach beyond what they thought they could accomplish in comfortable ways.

Inspirit Yoga

Yoga is about connecting with and improving your mental and physical well-being, and Inspirit believes that shouldn't have to cost you a fortune. That's why you can drop in to any class for only $5 cash – no advance registration or membership required. It's the perfect affordable pick-me-up after a long day at the office.

College Park Yoga

Don't just learn yoga; experience yoga. That's what the instructors at College Park Yoga offer their students: an experience that you can carry with you into a lifelong practice of safe, effective exercise. It's also a great studio to check out if the sweat and intensity of hot yoga makes you a little leery.

Elevate Yoga

Elevate Yoga splits its offerings into two studios: the "Earth" studio where traditional mat yoga is practiced, and the "Air" studio where brightly colored silk hammocks are used in aerial yoga. Drop-in classes are affordable at $8, or you can purchase a package with multiple classes included.

Goat Yoga Central

If you're wondering what goat yoga is, well…it's the same as normal yoga but there are goats. Goat Yoga Central combines the serenity of yoga with the rejuvenation of animal therapy to create a truly wholesome and invigorating mind and body experience. Put another way: You haven't lived until you've done yoga with a goat on your back.

June
21

Even if summer is your favorite time of year, there are still days where the sun's draining rays are just too much to bear. There's plenty to occupy your time at home, sure, but getting out of the house is liberating – especially when the kids are out on summer break. Luckily, there's so much to do in Central Florida's most prominent city that doesn't involve being outside. Beat the heat this summer with these popular indoor activities in Orlando, FL.

Sea Life Aquarium

Come face to face with stunning undersea life at this Orlando aquarium. From majestic sharks to inquisitive sea turtles and so much more, you'll gain a new appreciation for all aquatic creatures with a visit to Sea Life Aquarium.

Ripley's Believe It or Not!

Take a journey into the odd side of life at Ripley's Believe It or Not, a museum celebrating all things weird, bizarre, and strange.

Splitsville Luxury Lanes

Splitsville pairs its unique take on the classic game of bowling with an even more classic '50s aesthetic to create one of the city's most exciting bowling destinations. Be sure to try to decidedly un-bowling-alley menu featuring sophisticated dishes like tuna steak sliders, fresh-rolled sushi, and filet mignon (!).

Wonderworks

Wonderworks bills itself as Central Florida's most unique attraction, and we'll be honest: it's hard to argue that declaration. This is, after all, an indoor amusement park where you can get knocked around by hurricane-strength winds, play hoops against a virtual 7 ft. defender, and lay on a bed of nails.

Escapology

The escape room craze is alive and well in Orlando, and you can experience the best the city has to offer at Escapology. Engage in historical-themed escape rooms like the Cuban Crisis or take on a world-class hacker in Th3 C0D3.

Orlando Science Center

Looking for a place to take the kids that's as educational as it is fun? Pay a visit to the Orlando Science Center and watch as your little ones are wowed by the natural ecosystems of Florida, the kinetic wonders of engineering, and the prehistoric world of dinosaurs.

Monkey Joe's

Monkey Joe's is another popular spot for your kids to have some fun this summer. Bounce houses, obstacle courses, and arcade games make Monkey Joe's a paradise in the eyes of any child.

Madame Tussauds Orlando

You'll probably never meet Taylor Swift in real life, but you can still get a photo with her amazingly lifelike wax facsimile at the famous Madame Tussauds. She's just one of the dozens of attractions you'll find in this iconic Orlando indoor attraction.

Crayola Experience

As you'd expect from the name, Crayola Experience is a dazzling world of color brought to life with 26 hands-on attractions. There's so much for kids to enjoy here, from naming and wrapping their very own crayon to seeing firsthand how crayons are made.

K1 Speed

Feed your need for speed at the appropriately named indoor go-kart track K1 Speed. Strap in to electric carts that reach speeds of 50 MPH and zip around the professionally designed track for an adrenaline-pumping experience you won't soon forget.

Orlando Museum of Art

Enjoy the city's finest collection of art from around the world at Orlando's Museum of Art. Traveling exhibitions join collections of awe-inspiring art dating from the ancient Americas to modern pieces.

The Mall at Millenia

This sprawling Orlando mall is home to more than 150 upscale stores and dining options, featuring big-name destinations like Bloomingdale's, Banana Republic, Louis Vuitton, and more.

June
12

Florida is a strange place. We say that with nothing but love, because we'd have it no other way. Maybe it's the blistering sun, or maybe it's the fact that we live with dinosaurs (hello, alligators). But whatever the reason, there's no denying that Florida is a little odd. So it makes sense that the folks from Guinness World Records have made a lot of trips to Florida to document many eccentric world record attempts. From watermelon-eating contests with hundreds of people to tattooed senior citizens, here are some of the most bizarre Guinness World Records set in Florida.

Longest Marathon Playing Badminton, Doubles

Back in 2014, four Tampa residents doubled up and played badminton for an exhausting 32 hours and 25 minutes to achieve this record. We're tired just thinking about it, honestly.

Largest Gathering of People Dressed as Scientists

More than 1,100 people slipped into their white lab coats in Kissimmee and set a world record (1,139 to be precise, because scientists like precise figures). It might make more sense when you consider this occurred at a science equipment distribution conference.

Longest Video Game Marathon on an MMORPG

If 32 hours playing badminton sounded like a lot, how about 32 hours playing a video game? That's how long Ian Haimes of Clearwater spent on World of Warcraft® during his record-breaking marathon session.

Largest Watermelon Eating Contest

259 people chowed down on watermelons in Safety Harbor last summer, making for the world's largest watermelon eating contest. It was for a good reason, too; the contest was part of Melons for Moolah, an event held to raise money for local charities.

Largest Collection of Flamingo-Related Items

We love our flamingos in Florida. But no one loves them more than Ocala resident Cindy Dunlow. She owns 793 flamingo-related items – although it's entirely possible that number has grown since she set the record in July 2016.

Most Claps in a Minute

Miami resident Seven Wade was only nine-years-old when he achieved the world record for most claps in a minute. In only 60 seconds, Seven managed to clap more times than we've probably clapped in our entire life: 1,080 times!

Most Tattooed Senior Citizens (Male & Female)

Melbourne is home to two record-holders: Chuck Helmke and his partner, Charlotte Guttenberg. Chuck's body is 97.5% covered by tattoos, while Charlotte edges him out slightly with 98.75% coverage.

Longest Scanned Document

During the 2008 Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Annual Conference in Orlando, a document stretching out to 3,875 feet was scanned on a Trüper 3600 scanner by Böwe Bell + Howell. The Trüper 3600 was not available for comment, though we're certain it was exhausted.

Fastest Mile Ran While Hula Hooping

We're definitely getting out in the weeds now. Thomas Gallant of St. Johns broke the world record for fastest mile ran while hula hooping by completing his mile in six minutes and 53 seconds. Very impressive considering we can't even hula hoop for 30 seconds standing still.

Most Cherry Stems Knotted in Three Minutes

Al Gliniecki of Gulf Breeze knows his way around a cherry stem. Using his tongue, he tied 39 cherry stems into knots in three minutes in 1999. And more recently, he set the record for most cherry stems tied in a minute with 14!

Largest Gathering of People Dressed as Ninja Turtles

First it was scientists, now it's people dressing as chemically altered reptiles who fight crime. In 2014, 1,394 people suited up as their favorite Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles® characters at the Nickelodeon Suites Resort in Orlando, setting a world record that likely won't be broken anytime soon.

Most Concrete Blocks Broken Consecutively While Holding a Raw Egg

In the ultimate display of martial arts mastery and delicate grip, Kevin Bergquist of Bradenton shattered 28 concrete blocks with his bare hand – without breaking the raw egg he clutched in his smashing hand. We're not sure how this idea came to be, but we love it.

February
8

Summer's only just begun but it's already heating up outside in Orlando. Is there a better way to combat the rising temps than with a refreshing scoop of ice cream? We don't think so, which is why we've compiled this list of eight of the finest ice cream shops in Orlando, FL. Read up, then go satisfy that sweet tooth!

Aloha Isle at Magic Kingdom Magic Kingdom, Adventureland, Suite B, Orlando, FL 32836

Okay, so maybe nothing can beat Disney World as Orlando's top attraction. But Aloha Isle at Magic Kingdom at least lets you enjoy both at the same time. Park-goers flock to Aloha Isle in droves to enjoy its famous Dole Whip®, a refreshing sweet treat available in pineapple, vanilla, or a swirl of the two flavors. Mix it up with an ice cream float or try it on top of a pineapple upside down cake – there's no wrong way to enjoy this frozen dessert.

Florean Fortescue's Ice Cream Parlour 1000 Universal Studios Plaza, Orlando, FL 32819

Tucked away in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Florida, Florean Fortescue's Ice Cream Parlour lets visitors explore a world of interesting and unusual ice cream flavors plucked straight from the Harry Potter films and books. Chocolate Chili, Granny Smith, and Sticky Toffee Pudding make up the menu, but none compare to the shop's defining offering: Butterbeer™ soft-serve. Whether you're a Harry Potter fanatic or not, there's no denying the delectable delights on display at this ice cream shop.

Ghirardelli Soda Fountain & Chocolate Shop 1710 E Buena Vista Drive, Located at Disney Springs Marketplace, Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830

Everyone knows Ghirardelli for its decadent chocolates, but this specialty shop proves the chocolatier knows a thing or two about creating heavenly sundaes. Go for the classic banana split complete with Ghirardelli chocolate ice cream and hot fudge draped over top or feed a family of four with the intimidatingly named Earthquake, a towering confection featuring eight scoops of ice cream, eight toppings, and a healthy helping of chocolate chips, cherries, and whipped cream.

Beaches & Cream 1800 Epcot Resorts Boulevard, Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830

[caption id="attachment_102" align="alignnone" width="648"]ice cream shops in Orlando, FL The Kitchen Sink | Photo Credit: Beaches & Cream[/caption]

Beaches & Cream stands apart from the crowd of ice cream shops in Orlando and in the Magic Kingdom area for two reasons. First, it successfully captures the atmosphere of a classic 1950s soda shop, making dining here like eating in a time capsule. If the charm of its unique aesthetic doesn't win you over, perhaps Beaches & Cream's impressive dessert menu will. It's all good, but the star of the show is undoubtedly the famous Kitchen Sink, a gargantuan dessert stuffed full of ice cream, entire candy bars, whole brownies, and a full can of whipped cream. Clearly designed for large parties, this frozen treat is as much a spectacle as it is a delicious dessert.

Ginther's Swirls Ice Cream 11036 International Drive, Orlando, FL 32821

Most of the shops on this list so far stood out for their bombastic takes on ice cream, but sometimes you just want a classic waffle cone or milkshake. Enter Ginther's Swirls Ice Cream, a charming little walk-up shop offering traditional soft serve and scoop ice cream in mainstay flavors like chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, and rocky road. Milkshakes, malts, twirls, sundaes, and slushies make up the rest of Ginther's classic menu.

Friendly's 8718 International Drive, Orlando, FL 32819

Friendly's might be a chain along the United States' east coast, but its menu of signature sundaes, ice cream cones, and strangely named Friend-Z® and Fribble® milkshakes are anything but unoriginal. Mouth-watering sundaes like the Hunka Chunka PB Fudge and Ultimate Cookies 'N Cream have kept ice cream lovers coming back to Friendly's for years.

Twistee Treat Multiple Locations Throughout Orlando

[caption id="attachment_103" align="alignnone" width="600"]ice cream shops in Orlando, FL Twistee Treat | Photo Credit: @twisteetreat[/caption]

Even if you're not immediately familiar with Twistee Treat, chances are you've seen its 25' tall ice cream cone-shaped buildings dotting various streets in Orlando. Make no mistake, though: Twistee Treat is more than just a roadside attraction. As the owners of the popular ice cream destination like to say, it's what's inside the cone that counts. And on that front, Twistee Treat delivers. Favorites like the Waffle Taco and Cookiewich stand alongside classics like ice cream cones and sundaes to create a menu that's both unique and traditional.

Kelly's Homemade Ice Cream 3114 Corrine Drive, Orlando, FL 32803 1817 S Ferncreek Avenue, Orlando, FL 32806

Kelly's Homemade Ice Cream prides itself on offering delicious ice cream that's handcrafted right there in the store. No matter which location you visit, you'll have access to Kelly's homemade signature flavors. These include Cookie Monster, blue velvet ice cream with Oreos, and Blondie, vanilla ice cream with Golden Oreos, Heath Bar, and white chocolate chips.

Login to My Homefinder

Login to My Homefinder