Top 10 Social Distance Savvy Downtown Orlando Experiences
During this time, social distancing has become the norm. The good news is that there are plenty of experiences waiting to be discovered in downtown Orlando that allow you to stay safe and turn up fun. But don’t stop with these Top 10 Experiences. Share your own with us by posting to your favorite social media site and using the hashtag #TurnUpDowntown or by tagging us.
1. Free Parking
Until September 1, 2020, enjoy FREE parking when you come downtown and support participating local restaurants and retailers. Download the ParkMobile app and use the code ParkDTO for up to two hours of free hour parking at any on-street space. You can also get up to three hours of free parking with validation in certain City of Orlando parking garages. We want to make it easy for you to experience all of these Top 10s. Learn more about Park DTO.
2. Choose Your Move
Once you’ve parked, getting around is half the fun. Bicycles and electric scooters are available to rent throughout downtown. Walk, run, cycle, or scoot across the Colonial Drive Overpass , the newest segment of the Orlando Urban Trail that connects the downtown core with Ivanhoe Village and Mills 50. You could snag a FREE ride on LYMMO, the circulating bus with five different bus loops through downtown that lets you hop on and off and visit multiple districts, attractions, and neighborhoods in the cool comfort of air conditioning and free Wi-Fi.
3. Swan Swooning at Eola
One of the most photographed and iconic places in downtown Orlando is its crown jewel, Lake Eola Park. Even if you’re a local, you haven’t lived until you’ve taken a voyage across Lake Eola on a swan paddle boat. Each boat holds up to four passengers and can be rented daily from 11am to 6pm. After your ride, take a walk around the park to see five different species of swans. They have strict diets, so use the coin-operated feeders near the playground on the east side of the lake and Ting Pavilion if you want to feed them. Learn more about the swan boat rentals.
4. Discover Downtown
Locals and visitors alike should stop by Discover Downtown, your one-stop spot for information and all things downtown. Check out the 30-foot indoor mural by renowned artist and Orlando native Boy Kong. Download the CITYunseen augmented reality app and watch the mural come to life. Show your Orlando pride with Orlando-themed gear and gifts created by local makers and artisans. You can also charge up your phone and upgrade your face mask game while there.
5. Artful Walks
Take a self-guided walking tour of the nine sculptures in the See Art Orlando collection. Six of them are located around Lake Eola, and all are within walkable distance of one another. Keep your CITYunseen app open and unlock unexpected visuals at five other augmented reality public art installations throughout downtown.
6. Fun Facts
Do you know why there are alligators in front of the Orange County Regional History Center? Did you know that Central Florida’s first highway still goes through downtown? What about the original name for Lake Eola? Find out these answers and more while cooling off inside the History Center. And don’t forget to pose with those alligators. One of them is already “smiling!”
7. Engaging Eye Candy All Around
Take a walk through downtown Orlando, and you’ll discover art in unexpected places, including larger-than-life butterflies, a vintage Orlando postcard, hanging gardens, even a parking garage covered with murals. These outdoor canvases are known to inspire social media posts. They also inspired this Orlando Date Night Guide piece that celebrates art and downtown’s food scene: Orlando Murals + Menus: A Full Day Art and Food Itinerary.
8. Pooch Pursuits
Calling all dogs! Tell your human to take you to the Constitution Green Dog Run where you can go unleashed and sniff, chase, fetch, run, sniff, roll, play, and sniff! There’s an on-site doggy fountain to stay hydrated and a wash station to hose off after all that rolling, fetching, and sniffing.
9. Step Back in Time
Mixing architecture and history is a great way to spend the day and learn more about downtown Orlando with the self-guided Historic Districts Walking Tour. You’ll learn about structures that were designed and built when horses were still clopping along Church Street and see how they’ve been adapted for modern uses.
10. Sunset Picnic in the Park
Order ahead for pick-up at your favorite downtown restaurant or food truck to support the tastemakers who put Orlando’s food scene on the map. Or pack a picnic basket with your favorite tastes from home. Pick a soft spot on the lawn in Lake Eola Park and watch the sun set on downtown’s skyline while the fountain’s light show turns up the night. This is the City Beautiful.