Mickey and friends helped grow The City Beautiful. But the best character in the region comes from the local restaurants, shops and people away from the parks.
A fine dining place in a local neighborhood with a staff that remembers you is the kind of place I'll keep patronizing again and again. Menu changes daily.
Stardust is a great place to unwind with friends over a glass of wine or cup of coffee, or see a local band that's playing. They also have some great titles.
Granted, this is a little more than an hour north of Orlando, but it's an amazing experience to see this many manatee in once place. Worth the drive.
We may have left NC, but thank goodness we can still get good 'cue. And brisket. And dessert. Oh, God, the dessert. But you'll be too full, so get it to go.
Nestled in a gorgeous setting of Loch Haven Park and three lakes, OMA offers permanent and visiting collections. Look for "free admission" days, but donate!
Come with a group and order everything from all parts of Asia. Don't miss the Roti, the Udon noodles, the Kimchi rice. Beer lovers will enjoy the vast menu.
With a farmer's market on Sunday, a gorgeous walking path and rentable swan boats in the middle of downtown, Lake Eola Park is a gift to the community.
Great for kids AND adults - especially if you can go at night and see their amazing observatory. I got to see Jupiter. The shop has neat gifts, too.