The Audubon Park neighborhood was developed in the 1950s and 1960s, built around and serving the nearby Orlando Air Force Base and later the Naval Training Center. Leafy streets named after birds are lined with midcentury bungalows, home to young families. Baldwin Park, while just as family-friendly, meanwhile, popped up almost full-blown where the aforementioned NTC once stood in the early 2000s, envisioned by city leaders as a tastefully dense cluster of walkable houses and townhouses with a mixed-use town center. Both communities now boast bustling food and dining scenes, vintage and maker boutiques, and plenty of natural beauty.
Lake Baldwin Park
2000 S. Lakemont Ave.,
Located on more than 23 acres bordering Lake Baldwin, the park is one of only two with a sandy beach on site, and it's off-leash dog-friendly during the hours of 8 a.m. to sunset. Pavilions are available for reservation, and there's a boat ramp and dock for kayaks, canoes and non-gas-engine boats, as well as 25 picnic tables and public restrooms.
Harry P. Leu Gardens, Leu House Museum & Mizell Cemetery
1920 N. Forest Ave.
The restored 19th-century home is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and was home to only four families between the years the Mizell family staked their claim in 1858 until Harry P. Leu donated the house and grounds to the city in 1961. The Leus, who purchased the home in 1936, traveled widely and brought back exotic plants for their garden, now a 50-acre floral jewel in Orlando's crown.
East End Market
3201 Corrine Drive
Orlando's first food hub, community space, neighborhood market and culinary incubator, East End Market is where locals gather on weekends to sit in the vegetable garden and enjoy some of the area's best artisan bites from Hinckley's Fancy Meats, La Femme du Fromage and Gideon's Bakehouse, among many others.
Palmer's Garden & Goods
2611 Corrine Drive
Near the intersection of Bumby and Corrine, Palmer's Garden & Goods is a locally owned spot to wander amongst the flowers and fill your garden with all that blooms – as well as garden decor and patio accents. The shop also offers landscaping and gardening services, and the staff are extra-knowledgeable.
New Broad Street dining district
Various locations on New Broad Street, Baldwin Park
Turn off Bennett Road onto New Broad Street and feast your eyes on the multimillion-dollar mansions on your way to the shopping and dining district that ends at the shore of Lake Baldwin. Make dinner reservations at the Osprey or Seito Sushi, munch a croissant from Café 906, or wipe the sweat from your brow while sampling Sichuan dishes from Taste of Chengdu (fingers crossed that chef Tiger Tang puts the final touches on this location soon).