The Orlando Science Center just got an impressive remodel and the large, airy Morse Museum shop is a great bet for gift-shopping of the scarf/vase/enameled brooch variety, but we never skip a stop into the tiny nook at Rollins College’s Cornell Fine Arts Museum. It’s not large enough to have much in the way of gift and ornaments, but the walls are stuffed with a serious collection of art books – many, but not all, related to past and current exhibitions – making it our favorite place to search for titles on all types of visual culture. And speaking of gifts, the two volumes of Art for Rollins, which explore the growing Alfond Collection of Contemporary Art, make a thoughtful gift for any local art lover.
Whether you’re a studied music head or you’re in need of schooling, Uncle Tony will not lead you astray. The vinyl pickers at this boutique record store finally got a permanent shop for their groovy collection of rare and hard-to-find discs that basically define what tasteful music is. Flip through their racks, which range from psych to jazz to funk to soul, and you’ll see immediately that these aren’t the same old bins that’ve been kicking up dust in the area for ages.
2. Premier Couples Superstore, 5009 S. Orange Blossom Trail, 407-857-2050, premiercouples.net
3. Pipe Dreams Fifth Dimension, 8385 S. U.S. 17-92, Fern Park, 407-331-7887, pipedreamsmecca.com
2. Coliseum of Comics, multiple locations, coliseumofcomics.com
3. Acme Superstore, 905 E. State Road 434, Longwood, 407-331-0433, acme-superstore.com
2. Plato’s Closet, multiple locations, platoscloset.com
3. The Bargain Box – Junior League of Greater Orlando, 2010 N. Orange Ave., 407-898-1700, jlgo.com/bargain-box
2. Acme Cleaners, 600 N. Westmoreland Drive, 407-841-2301; also 204 E. Ridgewood St., 407-872-1040
3. Parisian Cleaners, 701 Virginia Drive, 407-894-2655
Wander into the Lovely in Audubon Park and you will see where it gets its name. It’s set up in booths where different collectors present their rustic, vintage or kitschy wares. Find unique treasures to bring your environment into that delicate balance that everyone’s internal decorator seeks: reconciling the past with the present in a way that’s stylishly familiar.
2. The Vape Shoppe, 51 E. Church St., 407-455-5500, thevapeshoppe.net
3. The Vaporatory, 790 N. State Road 434, Altamonte Springs, 407-504-7368, thevaporatory.com
2. Renninger’s Antique Center, 20651 U.S. 441, Mount Dora, 352-383-8393, renningers.net
3. Washburn Imports, 1800 N. Orange Ave., 407-228-4403; also 116 E. First St., Sanford, 407-322-1449, washburnimports.com
Artegon’s new top-tier comic and toy store, Gods & Monsters, is the second-largest of its kind in the country and offers pretty much whatever you’re looking for in terms of action figures, statues and collected editions of your favorite comics. But tucked along the back wall in the Offworld Lounge are themed tabletop gaming booths – some sci-fi themed and decked out in faux metal branded with Weyland-Yutani logos, others looking like the VIP booth at a Westerosi tavern – that invite you to step in, sit down and start a session of your favorite game or try out a new one for free. Keep an eye on their calendar for upcoming special guests, themed nights and competitions.