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Orlando, Florida 72-Hour Vacation

Unexpected Orlando
Beyond Mickey Mouse

Downtown Orlando
Downtown Orlando


After a day of R&R, fuel up for a day of shopping and museums at with eggs Benedict or French toast with fresh berries at Mimi's Café near Mall at Millenia. Bargain hunters will want to start at the newly expanded Prime Outlets near Disney, with deep discounts at kate spade, Michael Kors, Banana Republic, Nike and others. If price is no object, head to the Mall at Millenia, where Jimmy Choo, Gucci, Tiffany and St. John are among nearly 150 retailers.

Peek in the trendy neighborhood shops like Zou Zou and Urban Think bookstore. Then motor north to wander through two museums in Orlando's Loch Haven Park: the Orlando Museum of Art, considered one of the best museums in the south, and the Mennello Museum of American Folk Art. Or head straight to Winter Park, a tree-shaded enclave with more shopping and museums.

Polasek Museum and Sculpture Gardens
Polasek Museum and Sculpture Gardens

Two museums are top Winter Park attractions: the Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art and the Albin Polasek Museum and Sculpture Gardens. At the Morse you'll see pieces from the world's largest collection of Tiffany glass and the stunningly restored chapel created by Louis Comfort Tiffany for exhibition at the 1893 World's Fair. With three acres of lush gardens, the Polasek museum takes you inside the Czech-American sculptor's former home with many art treasures, including his striking "Man Carving His Own Destiny" sculpture.

Along Park Avenue, shops and galleries display art, jewelry, haute couture, antiques and hand-made toys. The avenue's lush Central Park beckons with its graceful fountain, walking paths, tree-shaded benches and, often, concerts on the park stage.

Stylish Luma on Park
Stylish Luma on Park

End the afternoon with a ride on Winter Park's old-fashioned Scenic Boat Tour (407-644-4056), a local attraction for more than half a century. The fascinating, hour-long cruise take you along the city's historic chain of lakes and connecting canals with a seasoned skipper with plenty of stories to tell as you cruise the 12-mile "Venice of America." You might find out that "Franklin D. Roosevelt slept there," as guide points out, and "Harry S. Truman received an honorary degree over there."

For dinner, head to Luma on Park with a see-and-be-seen bar, streetside tables and a noisy dining room with a Manhattan hipness. Chef Brandon McGlamery's menu changes often, based on what's freshest and availability of local produce and seafood.

The newest late-night option in Winter Park is stylish Hannibal's Lounge in Hannibal Square, next door to Chez Vincent. Take a seat at the cool alabaster bar or in one of the cozy booths and listen to live jazz or piano music on select nights.

Continue to Day 3


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* Images courtesy of Orlando/Orange County Convention & Visitors Bureau, Inc.®

(Updated: 06/05/13 CT)

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