4 Fun Things to Do Around the Orange County Convention Center
When you stay at the Orange County Convention Center all day for an event you might be wondering, “What can I do around here besides go to Disney World?”
The location around the convention center in near 3 popular neighborhoods, Dr. Phillips (a bit of a strange name for a neighborhood), Tangelo Park and Williamsburg-so you will find there are many great cultural and recreational experiences waiting right outside your door.
If you are staying at an Orlando hotel or vacation home rental near the convention center (Hawthorne Suites is an AMAZING option), you will have the opportunity to enjoy Pointe Orlando, a shopper’s paradise.
Pointe Orlando has a variety of shops, from local flare like Tommy Bahama and Seaside gifts to traditional mall stores like Bath and Body Works and Tommy Hilfiger. You will also find a lot of great places to grab a bite here, see a movie or a comedy show.
If you want even more shopping, you can visit the much larger Florida mall about 5 miles East of the convention center. The Florida Mall spans about 1.8 million square feet and features more than 250 fine stores and restaurants, including many that are exclusive to Central Florida.
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You should probably start off your night after spending a day working or visiting a convention in Orlando with a great meal.
Check out the 3 best restaurants within 2 miles of the Orange County Convention Center:
Florida & amp; Caribbean themed fine dinging that boasts dishes such as yuca stuffed crispy shrimp and Mustard-dill Marinated Venison Loin with farro, hibiscus date demi and vanilla parsnip
Delmonico’s Italian Steakhouse
Your best bet for a steakhouse this close to the Orange County Convention Center. Try the East Utica Greens Escarole sautéed w/ Garlic, Prosciutto, Bread Crumbs, Romano & Hot Peppers and try their world famous Delmonico’s Delmonico Steak a HUGE 1-1/2 Pound All Natural Certified Angus Beef, Center Cut Rib-eye Steak from Midwestern Grain Fed Heavy Aged Beef, seasoned and perfectly seared.
Fiorella’s Cucina Toscana
Fiorella’s is a cute little Italian restaurant inside the Westin Orlando hotel- even vegetarian’s find they can have a yummy meal here. Some favorite dishes include fresh crab meat stuffed scampi and linguini alla vongole.
After your dinner you might not be ready to go back to your hotel, so you can check out some amazing Orlando night life. In Pointe Orlando Shopping Mall right near the convention center, you can:
- Listen to music at B.B. King’s Blues Club
- Knock back a few cocktails at Blue Martini
- Laugh at Improv Comedy Club and Fat Fish Blue
- Wear your minks in style at minus5° Ice Bar
- See a movie at Regal Cinemas with IMAX
At the Orange County Convention center, you are extremely close to the Butler Chain of Lakes that offer ample opportunity to go boating and fishing.
If you have a little extra time you can rent a boat or some tackle and enjoy all the lakes have to offer. Here are some tips for boating near the convention center:
- Boat Ramp: Try to get moving early if you want to go boating. Parking spots near the ramps fill up quickly and you wont want to have to walk a mile to your car after a day on the water. In Windermere, you can get your boat into the water at R.D. Keene Park & Boat Ramp into Lake Isleworth, which connects to the Butler Chain of Lakes. There’s a pay box that takes a $5 fee.
- Rent a Boat: Boatclub.com will deliver a pontoon or fishing boat to the boat ramp at R.D. Keene Park. A fun and EASY option is to rent a boat from Disney World Rent anything from a spunky mouse boat for two to a pontoon at their larger resorts like the Contemporary or the Grand Floridian.
- If you want to save some money and time, there are resorts on along the water that rent small boats when you stay on their property. You will still be close to the convention center but even closer to a day on the lake.
- Make Some Friends: Mud Island on the Butler Chain is where people go to hang out on their boats together and chat. The sandy shore of the cypress- and moss-covered island is ideal for beaching or anchoring alongside fellow boaters. This is a family oriented area, so leave ideas of getting too crazy at your resort please!
- Extra fun On Your Boat: Wakeboarding, waterskiing and all fast paced water sports are great in this area. You might even catch a competition if you come at the right time. The year round warm temperatures along with all the local lakes makes this the breeding ground of water tow sport champions!
Yes, that’s right, we are recommending adults go to theme parks too! The only thing that should hold you back from going to a theme park while you are in Orlando is if you don’t have enough time. Allow yourself at least half a day to visit a theme park or you will feel like you are wasting your money.
Epcot at Disney World is a great place to eat amazing food from around the world. There are dishes at Epcot you cannot find anywhere else. From bastilla(a minced-chicken pie sprinkled with cinnamon sugar), and jasmina salad at Restaurant Marrakesh to grilled tilapia with roasted corn and cactus leaves at La Hacienda de San Angel, you’re sure to find something to surprise you!
Epcot also has amazing cultural events such as the Epcot Flower And Garden Festival during the spring. If you come in the summer, you can enjoy their Summer Concert Series featuring U2 and BeeGees tribute bands. Fall in Epcot will bring you to the Epcot Food and Wine Festival, which is a very fun even if you are in Orlando without your kids for business or to attend a convention.
If you think of theme parks as a place for thrill rides- your best bet is to go to Universal Studios Islands of Adventure. They offer the most rides with high thrill factors. While you are there you can also check out CityWalk, which is Universal’s Downtown area. Here you will find great eats and shopping!
Need help preparing for your trip to the Orange County Convention Center? Ask one of our Orlando Vacation Experts always ready to answer your Orlando Vacation questions.
There is so much to see and do in Orlando many visitors are overwhelmed with the choices. Try to plan your trip around your business so you can see and do exactly what interests you.