Downtown Orlando, Florida
Orlando, Florida is a well-known city throughout the United States as well as worldwide, most often remembered for its famous theme parks and tourism. Amid these attractions, however, Orlando is rich in culture and history. Originating from the site of Fort Gatlin during the Seminole Indian War, the city was incorporated in 1875. It is said that the name “Orlando” is taken from a soldier during the war that sacrificed himself to protect his fellow soldiers. Downtown Orlando has developed quite a bit since then and is now glowing with colorful architecture, culture, and events.
“The City Beautiful”
Orlando was given the official nickname “The City Beautiful” for a reason—both the city and the surrounding areas are full of beautiful landscape and construction. Within the boundaries of Orlando alone, there are over 100 lakes. The downtown area, in particular, is full of notable restaurants, shops, and businesses. The main area of downtown lies north of Lake Eola and is bordered on the north by Marks Street, on the east by Mills Avenue, and on the west by the Orange Blossom Trail. It is comprised of 7 main neighborhoods, with the Central Business District being the most renowned area of downtown. In this district is where many nightlife attractions can be found, as well as some of Orlando’s most famous buildings. The city’s oldest building, The Rogers Building, a former English Gentlemen’s Club built in 1886, is still standing in this district, surrounded by newer skyscrapers. Also notable in this district are the St. James Cathedral, a historic church, as well as the SunTrust Center, a towering office complex that is currently the tallest building in Florida at 441 feet.
Downtown Orlando is home to many dining destinations, ranging from upscale to fast food. Thornton Park, located east of Eola Park on the in the southeast region of the city, features many small restaurants and shops. In the middle of the park, visitors can find a fountain that is a replica of a much larger one found in Paris, France. Other downtown attractions include Church Street Station, a historic train station turned commercial development located in the center of the city and featuring fine cuisine; the Orlando Museum of Art; and the Amway Center entertainment and sports arena.
Orlando is a very vivid city that hosts a variety of events each year. In April, you can catch the Florida film festival, where films from around the state are showcased at the Enzian Theater. “Fireworks at the Fountain” is an annual Fourth of July tradition held at Lake Eola Park, which attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors every year. Around the holidays, the city is full of sparkle and cheer—during the month of December, you can find Central Park decorated with beautiful stained glass windows, and see the Bach Festival Choir perform Christmas classics. Because of the temperate climate, no matter what the season, Orlando’s calendar is full of events that visitors of all ages can enjoy.