We swear this is true: The area around Lake Ivanhoe, on the north side of Orlando's downtown, was a booming pineapple farm at the end of the 1800s. Entrepreneur George I. Russell, who settled near the lake, cultivated both the varieties that already grew here and plants from Hawaii and Puerto Rico. Eventually, Russell's pineapple farm grew to more than 20 acres. Once trade opened with Cuba, the pineapple trade died out, and Russell opened a water park, called Russell's Point (later renamed Joyland), in 1910. Now, Ivanhoe Village is home to Orlando's arts and culture district, lively bars, casual restaurants, antique and vintage shopping and more.
1211-1235 N. Orange Ave.
The quaint stucco buildings directly across from Gaston Edwards Park house a multitude of different entertainments, including the Hammered Lamb, Yay! Tiny Shop, Jarboe Boutique, Tim's Wine Market, Oxford Eyes optical shop, The East Tattoo shop and more.
The Imperial Wine Bar at Washburn Imports
1800 N. Orange Ave.
Does it get more indie Orlando than a wine bar in a furniture store? John Washburn turned a corner in 2010 and the patio of his home-goods store into a wine bar and beer garden featuring 35 wines and 35 beers, plus a selection of small plates.
- Photo by Christopher Keith Garcia
- Orlando Museum of Art
Rock & Roll Heaven
1814 N. Orange Ave.
The Heaven is like this weird pop/rock culture time capsule stuffed to the gills with records, CDs, tapes, memorabilia, toys, posters, buttons and stereo equipment. There's really nothing else like it. Dig deep.
Gaston Edwards Park
1236 N. Orange Ave.
Locals love this park for its waterfront location with grilling area, playground, fitness stations, volleyball courts and linkages to the Orlando Urban Trail.
- Photo via ivanhoevillageorg
- Lake Ivanhoe
Loch Haven Cultural Campus
In and around Loch Haven Park on the east side of Princeton Street are many of the cultural centers Orlandoans know and love. The Orlando Science Center, Lowndes Shakespeare Center, Orlando Museum of Art, Orlando Repertory Theatre, Mennello Museum of American Art and Orlando Ballet are all located in this corridor.
- 'Waltzing Matilda Twin Vortexes' at the Mennello Museum of American Art
Orlando Fire Museum
814 E. Rollins St.
Learn the history of Orlando's Fire Department in the red-brick firehouse, formerly known as Station 3, in Loch Haven Park. Check out the museum's pride and joy, a restored 1926 American LaFrance fire engine.