Clustered near downtown Orlando, these micro-neighborhoods (Thornton Park, South Eola and Eola Heights) are home to the city's oldest bungalows, full of historic properties still standing from the 1880s through the 1930s. Turn-of-the-century developer James Thornton apparently resided on James Street, which was named after him in 1913. Fast forward a hundred years, and historic Eola Heights is still known for lovely, curb-appeal drives for the HGTV-loving set, while Thornton Park and South Eola comprise some of Orlando's coolest hangouts, with newer and more established restaurants, artsy and divey bars, and indie boutiques all lining the streets around two most iconic bodies of water: landmark Lake Eola and Washington Street's Four Rivers Fountain.
Lake Eola Park
512 E. Washington St.
Park on the street, grab your picnic blanket and take a turn around Orlando's central point: Lake Eola and its dancing fountain. The city's signature swan boats are available for a romantic rental from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily, along with plenty of actual swans (and other birds).
Patios for people-watching
As one of the city's most walkable neighborhoods, there are always pedestrians out and about in Thornton Park, making the area prime for people-watching. Snag a seat on the patio at Soco, 310 Lakeside, Relax Grill, the Stubborn Mule or World of Beer and settle in to watch the world go by.
512 E. Washington St.
Also known as the Eola House, the George Marsh House is in Lake Eola Park and was constructed in 1924. George Marsh was an important figure in Florida's citrus industry, and this home was placed on the register of Orlando's historic sites in 1991.
- Lake Eola Park
Constitution Green Dog Park
300 S. Summerlin Ave.
Next to the giant live oak on Thornton Park's west side, the Constitution Green Dog Park is open from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily, and features pet waste stations, water stations for humans and canines, plenty of seating and a double-gated entry.
420 E. Church St.
This contemporary gallery space is home to revolving exhibitions of multimedia art, over 100 exhibited international photographers, and is a treasured lecture and event space for Orlando's art community.