Orlando Guide; 72 Hours in Orlando

I wanted to bring this post out for all of you who are like me! Not exactly into Disney and just wanting to hangout, drink, eat and experience some pretty cool spots! (all while taking Instagram photos of course!) 72 Hours in Orlando? I’m bringing you the ultimate guide on what to do! Orlando has always been a top tourist destination , with Disney here why wouldn’t it be but that’s not exactly my idea of fun and if you’re anything like me (and that’s most of you reading this) it’s not your idea of fun either!  Let’s get right into this!

WHERE TO STAY

I’ve always been a hotel kinda girl ( I mean I work for the largest hotel management company in the world) but lately I’ve found myself getting more and more into the Airbnb thing! Although the amenities you get with a hotel and the no fuss service are great it’s always a little nicer having your own kitchen and your own space – I’m all about finding a house on Airbnb and would highly suggest it! In terms of travel and getting around Uber is everywhere and if you’re staying in and only planning on exploring one area a car isn’t necessary but I would suggest waying your options between using Uber and renting a car – with all the different neighborhoods Orlando has to offer, you’ll find yourself all over the city for some fun!

Below are some Airbnb’s I would suggest in the city! Take a look

UPSCALE LOFT SPACE CLOSE TO DOWNTOWN

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Eco-Friendly Backyard Bungalow + Pool + Downtown

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Atmospheric Studio in the Garden

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The Shed in Downtown Orlando

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FRIDAY

LUNCH

Head to Pig Floyd’s Urban Barbarkoa in the Mills 50 District for some local BBQ with an edge.  I can confidently say there isn’t one thing on the menu that you’d regret, especially if you love that essence of BBQ as much as me!  My mouth is watering as I think bout the Mongolian Beef BBQ Bento Box!

Locals Tip; be sure to get a seat on the patio! people watching as locals walk by is always fun!

MIDDAY ACTIVITES

This one is for those who are as into the Instagrammable spots as I am.  Since you’re already in the Mills 50 District take the self guided walking art tour.  By self guided I mean take some time to explore the different neighborhoods that Mills has to offer and they many murals along the way! The district has a listing of all murals and locations to make planning a little easier.

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Locals Tip; Stop at ROYALTEA and be sure to get the Royal Fruits Tea – it’s unlike anything you’ve had and so refreshing for a hot day

Next up head to Leu Gardens, since you’re already in the area this course be a nice little walk.  Leu Gardens is Orlando’s tropical and semi-tropical gardens on nearly 50 acres of land at Leu Garden you’ll see and be able to take photos with hundreds of species of flowers and plants and the many exhibitions they typically have on the grounds. Walking your way through the gardens should take at least 2 hours.

Local’s Tip; The trails are easy to walk so sneakers aren’t a necessity

DINNER

For Dinner, go to The Stubborn Mule on the residential side of Downtown Orlando.  I know you’ve been dying to get to Downtown Orlando and this spot is situated just between some of the most beautiful condo buildings Orlando has to offer!  Not just does The Stubborn Mule have the best patio on the east side of Rosalind but the menu is killer as well! I absolute recommend the Pastrami Press, You won’t regret it and if you’re planning on spending the night drinking you’re definitely going to appreciate this large sandwich!

Local’s Tip; Either get there after happy hour ends or call in the morning to put in your reservation

NIGHTLIFE

I’m going to give you a peek into what Downtown Orlando has to offer!  Everything you could possibly want to do regardless of your vibe and music choice can be done in Downtown Orlando! Friday night I highly recommend Wall St. Plaza for the Friday Night Block Party.  The crowd is mixed and you can definitely put together a cute outfit.  The fun thing about Wall St. is you get a wristband and the entire street is blocked off- that wristbands gets you into every bar on the street! The live entertainment these bars have to offer are perfect for the group who likes to dance. Wall St Plaza consists of Cantini, Waitiki, The Monkey Bar, The Hen House, Hooch and Shine!

Local’s Tip; If you plan on partaking in the $4 Fireball shots you’re going to want to head to Tin & Taco on Washington St. after or stop at 1 of the many food trucks around Downtown.

SATURDAY

BRUNCH

You’re probably still a little drunk from the many $4 Fireball shots you had last night so 10/10 you’re wanting breakfast! Head to Church St. and check out Artisan’s Table for a Croughnut or if you’re like Jeff the Fried Chicken Biscuit (it’s literally the size of my head).

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MIDDAY ACTIVITES

Since you’re already on Church St. I’d take some time to walk around the area and explore what Downtown Orlando has to offer during the day.  You can find all the stories about which Downtown buildings are haunted and why/how!  The architecture of some of those older Downtown Orlando buildings is amazing and the photos you can take will be envy worthy for sure!

Local’s Tip; Check out the Roger’s Building, the old time green building is a great backdrop for photos!

I’d say hop in your Uber and head over to Hannibal Square/Park Avenue, one of the smaller and of course super beautiful neighborhoods in Winter Park. You absolutely have to do some shopping while you’re in the area in local shops like TUNI, SOULTRE BOUTIQUE and DEAR JANE.

Winter Park has some pretty amazing bars and restaurants but while walking through Hannibal Square and Park Avenue be sure to stop in The Wine Room – You can load a card with as much money as you want and stop at the many wine machines for tasting! You have to try the pre Brie Flatbread while you’re here!

DINNER

Orlando seriously has so many amazing options for dining it’s pretty ridiculous but for a Saturday Night Dinner I’d say check out ICON Park and Tapa Toro to be exact!  The Tapas Bar and Paella Pit will draw you in on smell alone. Whether you want chicken or steak or maybe just some small plates – this spot has something for everyone!

NIGHTLIFE

You’re already on International Drive, so while you’re at ICON Park just walk on over to Cafe 34 Istanbul and wind down with some hookah and some drinks. Open 24 hours you can stay along as you’d like!

Local’s Tip ; The Orlando EYE is at ICON Park on is constantly changing colors – makes for the perfect Orlando Instagram shot

SUNDAY

BRUNCH/MIDDAY ACTIVITES

On Sunday you absolutely must head over to the Lake Eola Farmer’s Market, Not only are all the local artisans out and about selling their products but there’s a range of food trucks too! You can find yourself getting lost in the Farmer’s Market but I typically find myself gathering around the Tamale Co. Food Truck and the OverRice Food Truck after a late morning of checking out what the artisans have created!

Local’s Tip ; Head across the street to Eola Wine Co for a Mimosa Flight.  Who doesn’t want 4 half champagne flutes (orange, pineapple, cranberry and peach) and a whole Champagne flute of your favorite flavor!

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HAPPY HOUR

Before you head back home let’s end the weekend at one of my personal fav spots! The Guesthouse.  Not only s the bathroom lined with the most perfect Instagram worthy wall paper, the back patio bar is an airstream!  While you’re enjoying the great weather on the patio with locals and their pups under market lights you’re drink is being mixed by a mixologist in the airstream.  If you’d rather sit inside you’ll see a magnificent bar in the middle of a large space with seating all around!

Local’s Tip;  The drinks on this menu are the perfect mixology dream so order the Old Fashion at least once!

There you have it! Your 72 Hour Orlando Guide from an actual Orlando Resident. I would love to hear if you’re coming to Orlando for the first time or if you’ve been here before and what you have planned! I hope my guide was a big help!

XOXO

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8 Restaurants in Orlando to Check Out on Your Next Visit

Over the last 5 years or so I’ve done quite the bit of exploring in the city I call home – Orlando. From working in various nightclubs to hanging out with girlfriends I’ve cultivated quite the list of places you absolutely need to check out whenever you’re in town.  From Brunch to Happy Hour and even Dessert I’ve got a list of places that you’ll love!  If you’re a foodie like Jeff and I then keep reading to see my 8 Restaurants You’ll Love Here in Orlando and What I Recommend You Order!

Brunch at The Stubborn Mule

Jeff and I have done birthday brunches and Friday night Happy Hours here and I must say I’m ALWAYS done to have brunch t the Stubborn Mule. I definitely recommend the patio if the weathers night because there’s nothing like sitting outside, downtown with live music going and bottomless mimosas! I’ve now come to terms with the fact that my absolute favorite thing on the menu is the Cloud Nine Breakfast Sandwich.  When I tell you this is the mack daddy of sandwiches, it’s huge and you’ll be so pleased! Now me being the picky eater I am I do make just a few modifications.  The sandwich as is, is House Smoked Pastrami (YUM!) Melted Swiss and Dill Havarti Cheese topped with Mule Hash (potato, bacon and mozzarella cheese) Sandwiched between a toasted Biarly Smeared with Thai Peanut Cream Cheese and served with Home Fries.  Now I do without the Thai Peanut Cream Cheese (anyone who knows me knows I HATE peanuts) and I add a Fried Hard Egg. If you’re in Orlando you absolutely have to brunch here but remember make a reservation because within minutes of opening doors, the wait jumps to hours and hours long!

Pig Floyd’s Urban Barbakoa

Jeff and I usually find ourselves sitting on the outdoor, Market light lit patio of Pig Floyd’s on Sundays in-between football games just get out for a little. This was the first of now 2 locations here in Orlando and the BBQ is hands down amazing! There are so many things I could recommend and the vibe is one that is truly unrivaled but I’m going to keep it simple in saying the Brisket is amazing, the Tacos are killer and were always my go to until our recent visit when Jeff and I both tasted the Bento Box! Yes this BBQ joint has bento boxes and when I say they are good trust me! Jeff and both went for the Mongolian Brisket and it comes with Jasmine Rice, Cuban Black Beans, Apple Fennel Slaw, Vegetable Spring Rolls and Honey Siracha (don’t forget the chop sticks) Open Monday-Sunday if you’re in town head over to the Mills 50 District and check it out!

Krungthep Tea Time

I’m always down for some good sweets and tea but Krungthep has got way more than just that. This tea house right in the middle of Winter Park has got a killer Salad and Sandwich menu and has certainly become a place where all local bloggers want to photograph as well!  All it took was 1 time taking my sister here and she was hooked! I always order the Thai Tea and her go to is the Peach Tea garnished with fresh peach slices!  When you check it out make to order a Strawberry Cheesecake High Hat!  You’ll find yourself indulging in Vanilla Bean Ice Cream , Cheesecake Crumbles, Strawberries, Crushed Peanut,  Raspberry Syrup, Ghirardelli White Chocolate Syrup and a Waffle Cone on top (DELISH!) Walk in Anytime

ROYALtea Orlando

RoyalTea is one of my new favorite spots in the Mills50 District! Those who know me best will tell you I absolute HATE sweet Tea but something about what’s done at Royal Tea is just different.  The space isn’t much and it’s often packed so I usually grab my tea and head out the door but with teas ranging from the Royal Fruits Tea (my personal fav) filled with more fruit than I can name at the moment to Cheese teas which people seem to love, I’d say if you’re taking a walk looking at the many street murals Mills has to offer definitely stop in ROYALTEA and grab something refreshing!

Yellow Dog Eats

Leave it to Jeff to bring me on a date to a place I have NEVER heard of and then quickly became obsessed with! Yellow Dog Eats is in Gotha just of the edge of Windermere and has built quite the reputation for itself. Not only is the building itself super cool but the vibe is insane. I feel like I should be beachside hanging out.  The menu is full of BBQ, Tacos, Sandwiches, Wrap and more!  I am definitely suggesting a visit here and time of day and any day of the week on your next visit to Orlando.  I ordered the What the FIG and it was SO BIG I had to eat it with a fork!  The What the Fig sandwich consists of Pulled Pork stacked with Fried Onions, Bacon, Goat Cheese and then drizzles with homemade jalapeño- fig sauce and served on a Ciabatta!  Guy’s listen to me and order this sandwich – the flavors sound strange but complement each other so unbelievably well.

BackHaus German Bakery -Deli

Whenever I’m in the Ivanhoe Village area of Downtown Orlando I have to stop at Backhaus German Bakery. This bakery has been featured in many YouTube blogs and on my Instagram quite a few times and for good reason.  Whether you’re grabbing some fresh bread for the house or you want a sandwich and my personal reason for going some sweets, you can find it all at Backhaus. Located right on Orange Ave, Backhaus is the perfect place to grab a handful of Macarons, or a slice of Lemon Mousse cake.  As soon as you walk in your greeted with big smiles and a glass case full of desserts that you’re going to want to dive into so on your next trip be sure to check them out.

The Lake Eola Farmer’s Market

Every Sunday I try to get out to the Lake Eola Farmer’s Market. Not only is the weather typically amazing here in Orlando but there are so many vendors I love to check out.  More importantly I love grabbing Sunday’s Lunch at the Farmer’s Market because my favorite Food Trucks are ALWAYS set up!  From the OverRice Truck (Filipino food) to the Tamale Co and of course the always refreshing Green Tea Mojito stand!  If you’re here in a weekend the Lake Eola Farmer’s Market is definitely a place to check out and make sure you bring some cash because you’re going to want to try everything!

Eola Wine CO

Located on Central Blvd, just across from Lake Eola, the Eola Wine CO is a place that Jeff and I frequented quite often for a while and with a Mimosa Flight why wouldn’t we. Not only do they have a great variety of delicious flatbreads but they do a mimosa flight and Jeff and I recommend it to everyone!  You order the flight for $10 and get half a champagne flute of 4 different mimosa flavors: Orange, Pineapple, Raspberry and Banana then after consumption you choose which flavor was your favorite and you get a full flute of that flavor! I mean I think it’s a deal, I always leave with a buzz and love listening to the live music on Sundays while sitting on the patio in the heart of Downtown Orlando.

Be sure to leave a comment and tell me which places you check out when you come to town!

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Let’s Catch Up; Jeff’s Birthday Brunch, The Stubborn Mule & Henri Bendel

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Hi guys!  I know it’s been awhile but I promise I didn’t forget about you all.  This past weekend and week really was spent celebrating Jeff’s birthday so I was busy putting together quite a few surprises!  But I wanted to share this post with you!  I know you’re all always asking me about Brunch Spots in Orlando because obvs Jeff and I are major brunchers.  So this past Sunday I took Jeff to the Stubborn Mule for his birthday brunch!

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I ordered The Coachmen (veggie potato hash with cheese fondue) and added Maple Bacon and a side of Smoked Gouda Grits (ah-mazing!) and Jeff ordered the Cloud Nine which was Pastrami, Breakfast Potatoes and more between an Asiago Bagel (huge and delicious) We sat outside on the beautiful sunny morning and indulged in bottomless mimosas.  There was live music and we were just off Lake Eola, if you’re in Orlando I definitely suggest the Stubborn Mule for Brunch and Happy Hour!

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Some of you commented on my instagram asking about my outfit worn that day!  I love this mini cotton dress (similar here) (it’s the dress I wore the day I purchased my wedding gown!) I wore one of my favorite denim jackets (from old navy) thrown over my shoulders and the most perfect Sam Edelman sandals.  I grabbed my Henri Bendel Mini Carryall (no longer available via the brand)that Jeff bought for me the day he proposed and threw my Maison Coco NY flower strap on it! Super cute and casual – perfect for brunch!

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Anywhoo, tonight after work I’m going to my Henri Bendel store for a little Bendel Girl’s Night Out!  There will be snacks and of course champs!  They’ll be revealing the new collection and allowing us to shop it with a little discount in the air!  Gotta love those events.  I’ve got my eye on a few pieces in this new Retro collection because about a week ago I got a sneak peak AND the collection officially dropped online yesterday!  Between the Binocular Bag, the Mini Suede Bag and the Tilda (from the last collection) I am sold and the Binocular Bag is definitely in the running! I’ll be back later this week with a little bag reveal and review!

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Orlando Spotlight ; Some of My Fav Spots

 

Happy Thursday! Today I’m sharing a spotlight of a few places here in Orlando that are so great you just have to try them!  Those of you have been following me for quite some time know Jeff and I are complete and total foodies! SO much so that we have given ourselves the goal of eating at a food truck and having brunch in every state!  But that’s not what this is about.  I’m always getting questions on Instagram about the places Jeff and I frequent and I follow a ton of Orlando based Foodie pages so naturally why wouldn’t I share a few of my favorite restaurants.  So let’s get into it!

Let’s Start with Earl’s Kitchen & Bar because Brunch, Lunch and Dinner in a great atmosphere and right next to the best Mall in the city is something you can’t beat! When I want brunch close to home or a small bite with some happy hour drinks this place is my go to! Living in the part of town I live in Earl’s is convenient because it’s a cool and hip place that gives me a Downtown Rooftop feel without having to drive downtown.  Chicken and Waffles for Brunch or Wine and Sushi for Dinner, Earl’s is a place you’ll love.

Artisan’s Table is one of those places that is life changing! It’s a smaller Downtown Orlando Café with indoor and outdoor seating and there is almost always a wait.  My favorite meal of the week is brunch and I definitely look forward to our Sunday Brunch trips. I will say one thing I do not like is that they’re a scratch kitchen (which is great) however the menu is always changing ( my absolute favorite meal ever, the Pastrami Hash is no longer an option) Whenever Jeff asks me where I want to brunch I almost always say Artisan’s Table and for good reason!  With food that is filling but not tiring, this café knows exactly what they’re doing.

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Now I know earlier I mentioned how Jeff and I are completely into Food Trucks ( I mean how can you not be) Now this place isn’t exactly a food truck.. I mean it is but it isn’t. Caro-Bama BBQ is a must for some good home cooked BBQ.  Jeff and I discovered Caro-Bama at a Tuesday night food truck gathering we frequent in the Milk District and then later found out that the owners are good of friends of my good friend Vivian! (such a small world) Well they opened up a store front in Downtown Orlando in some prime real estate and if you’re in Orlando you’ve got to check them out!  I’m all about the Free Bird Sandwich which is slow smoked chicken on a toasted brioche bun topped with jalapeños, onion and bama white sauce and when I tell you it is insane, I mean it!  The menu is to die for and whether you’re stopping by the food truck or walking into the restaurant I promise you won’t be disappointed.

Now that I’ve told you some of my fav places in Orlando be sure to leave a comment and tell me some of your fav places in your city!

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On Saturdays We Brunch

One thing I absolutely love is a wardrobe piece that can easily be taken from day to night! On Friday I was out and about with my parents and we decided to check out the Banana Republic the factory store because I’d gotten an email that there was a major sale (as always) If you haven’t checked out the Banana Republic Factory Store you definitely should because there are always great sales! I snagged this jumpsuit for 40% off (similar) and it literally wardrobe perfection.  Classic and clean, this jumpsuit is the perfect piece for a day to night flip and I thought it would be the perfect looking for our Saturday brunch!

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We decided to head to Earl’s Kitchen for Saturday brunch and would you believe they have a brunch happy hour!  Before noon all food on the brunch menu is just $8 and all drinks are only $4!  Who doesn’t love a happy hour of any kind?  Jeff and I both opted for  the Chicken and Waffles and although it wasn’t the best we’ve had it certainly was delicious!  Paired with Orange Mimosas and a beautiful patio setting, Earl’s Kitchen in Millenia is definitely a must try place if you’re in the Orlando area.

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Back to the outfit!  I paired this killer off the shoulder jumpsuit with a denim jacket just thrown over the shoulders! I think the Old Navy denim jacket was the perfect piece to compliment this all black look!  I finished the outfit with my favorite Sam Edelman sandals and of course my Henri Bendel Claremont Top Handle bag and I felt Brunch Ready!

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