Articles Tagged "orlando fl"

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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. 

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Florida Real Estate

Record home prices, rising interest rates, and low inventory have created an incredibly tough environment for buyers. It's still entirely possible to land a property despite the current market conditions. Buying a home in a hot seller's market just requires some extra work, time, and a lot of patience. 

Our real estate agents have been working closely with buyers to navigate the complexities of this unprecedented market. Here are 7 tips we frequently share with our clients:

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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.



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.


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.

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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.


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.

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