South of the East-West Expressway, the neighborhoods that make up the Downtown South area – Wadeview Park, Delaney Park, Conway Gardens, Dover Shores – are largely residential. The allure: exciting architecture, sybaritic green spaces and #thatskylinetho.
Since 2000, the Timucua Arts Foundation has brought international artists and musicians to Orlando to perform. Concerts take place in a self-built home, the Timucua Arts White House. Their calendar is filled with musical events ranging from Indian sitar to hard-bop jazz.
Timucua Arts White House, 2000 S. Summerlin Ave., timucua.com
A drive through Delaney Park is the best way to get a sense of Orlando's long real-estate history. From 1930s restored bungalows to midcentury ranches from the '60s to ultra-contemporary new builds, homes in this neighborhood are far from cookie-cutter.
The reasons to go straight to the source for bursting blooms are varied: you could arrange a bespoke bouquet, order flowers direct (read: way cheaper) for your wedding, or rent space at Florida Flower & Orchid and start selling your services. The unassuming warehouse on Grant Street doesn't look like much until you start winding your way through buckets of protea, ranunculus and peonies.
Florida Flower & Orchid, 535 W. Grant St., 407-423-7033, wholesaleflowersorlando.com
To best see the skyline, step away. Abutting State Road 408, aka the East-West Expressway, is Lake Lucerne, with its double fountains, wide walkways and city views that are hard to beat. After a walk around the perimeter, stop at the Aloft hotel's W XYZ bar for a quick cocktail.
Big breakfast eaters, there's plenty for you at Zaza New Cuban Diner, but for those who don't prefer a nap-inducing first nosh, a couple of caramelized quesitos and a cup of strong Cuban coffee will more than satisfy.
Zaza New Cuban Diner, 3500 Curry Ford Road, 407-228-0060, zazacubandiner.com
If you've managed to battle through the carts filling the tightly wound aisles at Freshfields Farm on a weekend afternoon, you deserve some ice cream. Opt for the vanilla soft serve topped with fresh Florida strawberries in season as your sweet reward.
Freshfields Farm, 400 E. Compton St., 407-423-3309, freshfieldsfarm.com