100 things to do in Orlando before you die (updated for 2015)

100 things to do in Orlando before you die (updated for 2015)

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click to enlarge The Morse Museum houses the significant collection of works by Louis Comfort Tiffany
The Morse Museum houses the significant collection of works by Louis Comfort Tiffany

21. Marvel at the intricate workmanship of Louis Comfort Tiffany and his artisans at the Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art, the most significant collection of Tiffany's work – not just glass windows and lamps, but pottery, mosaics, watercolors, jewelry, enamelwork and furniture as well (445 N. Park Ave., Winter Park; morsemuseum.org).

22. On an overcast, carefree day – or perhaps when fall first gets the air to cool and crisp – take time to stroll beneath the oaks, camphor and pines highlighted on the city's Significant Trees Map (cityoforlando.net), a loop that travels through various parks as grand as Leu Gardens and as humble as Big Tree Park.

23. Browse acres of antiques at one of Renninger's Flea Market and Antiques Center's annual extravaganza events (20651 U.S. 441, Mount Dora; renningers.net).

24. Bust out that bicycle and take the Cady Way Trail toward Winter Park to treat yoself at Jeremiah's Italian Ice (6864 Aloma Ave., Winter Park, 407-679-2665; jeremiahsice.com). Just hop off at Forsyth Road and find the slush stand on Aloma Avenue.

25. Go to at least one show at the Orlando International Fringe Theatre Festival. It's the longest-running fringe festival in the United States, and 2016 is its 25th anniversary (orlandofringe.org).

26. Take the required courses so you can experiment with the high-tech tools at the downtown library's Dorothy Lumley Melrose Center (101 E. Central Blvd., 407-835-7323; ocls.info). Record an album, set up a photo shoot, make your own movie – whatever you do, don't neglect this rare resource.

27. Go ice skating outdoors in Florida: November through January, enjoy Winter in the Park in Central Park's West Meadow (corner of Morse Boulevard and New York Avenue, Winter Park; 2015 dates TBA at cityofwinterpark.org).

28. Jump feet first into the shockingly (but also refreshingly) cool springs at Wekiwa Springs (1800 Wekiwa Circle, Apopka; floridastateparks.org/wekiwasprings).

29. Eat vegan for a whole day without getting bored: Skyebird (skyebird.com) or Drunken Monkey (drunkenmonkeycoffee.com) for breakfast; Dandelion (dandelioncommunitea.com), Infusion (infusionorlando.com) or Woodlands Indian buffet (woodlandsusa.com) for lunch, Extract (extractjuicebar.net) or Grounding Roots (groundingroots.com) for a mid-afternoon snack or juice break; Loving Hut (lovinghut.us/florida) or Ethos (ethosvegankitchen.com) for dinner (plus beer/wine at Ethos), and the award-winning Vegan Hot Dog Cart (facebook.com/theveganhotdogcart) for fourthmeal.

30. Buy a $4 suit – seriously – at Community Thrift (5456 S. Orange Ave.).

31. Pick from any number of classic songs and belt them out during karaoke at Big Daddy's (3001 Corrine Drive; bigdaddysorlando.com), which happens pretty much every night of the week.

32. Find your perfect sausage among the plethora of house-made varieties at Cavallari Gourmet (1954 W. State Road 426, Oviedo, 407-365-8000; cavallarigourmet.com).

33. Walk through Mead Botanical Gardens (1500 S. Denning Drive; meadgarden.org) on a full moon and either become slightly crazy or super romantic.  

34. Get some culture while smashing a cocktail: Take a happy-hour tour of the stunning collection of contemporary art at the Alfond Inn (300 E. New England Ave., Winter Park, 407-998-8090, thealfondinn.com), 5:30 p.m. on the first Wednesday of the month, May through September.

35. Buy plants for your home and garden from Leu Gardens (1920 North Forest Ave., leugardens.org) at the annual plant sale, a massive flora and fauna bonanza that takes place every March. Admission to the park is free during the sale, so make sure you spend some time exploring the gorgeous formal gardens while you're there.

36. Dine at the Florida Hospital cafeteria (it's surprisingly good!) in Ivanhoe Village, where you'll find a comprehensive selection of comfort foods and bottled smoothies. The Lakeside Cafe even specializes in vegetarian dishes (601 E. Rollins St., floridahospital.com/orlando).

37. Get married (or attend a wedding) at the Acre (4421 Edgewater Drive; theacreorlando.com), one of the coolest event venues in Orlando.

38. Buy a man a cocktail and he drinks for an evening; teach a man to mix a cocktail and he drinks for a lifetime: Take a class at the Courtesy (thecourtesybar.com; $55; 5:45 p.m. the first and third Saturday of the month; email [email protected] to reserve a spot).

39. Get wasted with Elvis Presley on the stage at Whiskey Lou's, because Whiskey Lou's (101 N. Bumby Ave.) has the best Elvis Presley mannequin this side of Madam Tussauds.

40. Go to a Grapefruit League game – of the Major League Baseball teams that come to Florida for spring training, the Atlanta Braves, Detroit Tigers and Houston Astros all stay relatively near Orlando. See game schedules at floridagrapefruitleague.com.

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