The Orlando Real - Life in Orlando | Page #3

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By Kismet Kohn

Every third Thursday of the month, the city of Sanford holds an art and jazz night for the Orlando community. This event is fun for friends, family, and couples and offers delicious food, drinks, and entertainment! The next one is coming up next Thursday, February 16th.

Where is it?

The Art and Jazz night is located in the heart of Downtown Sanford. The streets are lined with beautiful brick buildings housing incredible restaurants and stores. The brick roads lead you to the Central Florida Zoo and the RiverWalk, which are just a few minutes away!

Sanford is a growing community conveniently located within a short drive from the highways that could take you anywhere from the beach to Disney in an hour. The city of Sanford is…

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By Holley Long

Many cities and towns in Central Florida are steeped in a rich history, and Winter Garden is no exception. The Winter Garden Heritage and Music Festival is a great time to learn that history, while also listening to local bands and enjoying special entertainment - coming up this weekend on February 11th! 

What is it?

The Winter Garden Heritage and Music Festival is an annual event that’s put on each year by the Winter Garden Heritage Foundation. It’s free to attend, and there are festivities held all day that are meant to entice people of all ages. 

Along with educational opportunities and shows, the festival has food vendors, a kids’ zone, and, of course, the city’s weekly Saturday farmer’s market. 

The Fall Heritage…

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By Yasmene Warren

Look out Orlando! There’s a new place to wine and dine in town, and it’s certainly going to give all the other spots in the Milk District a run for their money: It’s Otto’s High Dive.

What is it?

Located on East Robinson Street in Orlando’s Milk District is Otto’s High Dive, a Cuban-inspired neighborhood rum bar and restaurant. This location is a fairly new addition to Orlando’s restaurants as it had its grand opening in December of 2022.

Although it hasn’t been around that long, it has been a huge hit among restaurant goers and bar lovers alike. Otto’s High Dive operates Tuesdays through Saturdays from 4 p.m. to 12 a.m. and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The Food

Otto’s High Dive’s menu is filled with unique dishes…

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By Yasmene Warren

Nix the old, stereotypical Disney-themed gift shops that don’t do a good job at defining Florida to its core. Freehand Goods at East End Market has made it its mission to show everyone what the Sunshine State is really all about!

What is Freehand Goods?

Freehand Goods is a gift shop located inside the back of Winter Park’s East End Market on Corrine Drive. Established in 2016, this shop prides itself on being completely local as all the goods are custom made in house by hand. Each product has fun and unique Florida-themed designs that this shop says you can’t find anywhere else.

Freehand Goods also has both an in-person shop and an online store, so you can stop by or shop for its products on the go!

The Goods


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By Holley Long

If you’re like me, you fantasize about a trip to Italy at least once a week (mostly, I dream about the food). Until that trip becomes a reality, there’s a place in Orlando that will treat your taste buds to the authentic Italian experience. 

The Restaurant 

BiCE Orlando opened in the early 2000s, but it is just one of the restaurants in a global network that came on the scene nearly a hundred years ago. While BiCE began in 1926 as a neighborhood trattoria—a friendly gathering place—in Milan, Italy, it has expanded into multiple locations around the world, each with a unique theme. 

BiCE Orlando is a fine dining establishment that combines old world Italy elegance with modern touches. Located inside the Loews…

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By Kismet Kohn

Orlando offers so many different activities and places to go to for Valentine’s Day, ranging from a nice romantic dinner to a couples spa day. Whether you’re looking to spend some one-on-one time with your partner or you want to be out and about, Orlando has the place for you!

Horse Drawn Carriage Ride

If you’re looking for a classic romantic date, look no further than Downtown Winter Garden’s horse carriage tours by Soul Haven Ranch! These tours are only available on Valentine’s Day from 5:30 PM to 9:30 PM. It takes you along the beautiful Plant Street while you snuggle close to your significant other.

You can also experience this magical ride throughout the Christmas season as well!

Image by Soul Haven Ranch


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By Yasmene Warren

Arby’s is well known for “having the meats,” but this biscuit-selling restaurant is known for the exact opposite! Winter Park Biscuit Company is a one-of-a-kind, completely vegan restaurant located in Winter Park’s East End Market, and biscuits aren’t the only thing on the menu!

What and Where is it?

Winter Park Biscuit Company is a local small business located at the front of Winter Park’s East End Market on Corrine Drive. This shop is one of many in the East End Market and offers a fully vegan menu.

Winter Park Biscuit Company serves some dishes with meat alternatives such as Gardein and Impossible. Gardein is soy and gluten protein based, and Impossible is soy protein based. This company also has dishes with egg…

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By Yasmene Warren

You’ve had Mexican food. You’ve probably also had Cuban and Puerto Rican food. You may have even had some good Dominican or Venezuelan food. But how many Peruvian food joints in Orlando can you count on hand? We’ll give you one: Papa Llama!

What is Papa Llama?

Papa Llama - Good Food & Natural Wine is a restaurant on Curry Ford Road in Orlando that “focuses on the vibrant and unique flavors of Peruvian cuisine, paired with the raw & alive aromas of natural wine and craft beer,” according to its website.

Papa Llama was brought to life in 2016 by Peruvian immigrants Kevin and Maria Ruiz as an “experimental, third culture pop-up” and got its first brick-and-mortar up and running in August of 2020. This restaurant…

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by Yasmene Warren

Calling all coffee lovers! America may run on Dunkin, but Orlando’s Stemma Craft Coffee has quite a bit to offer “the city beautiful.” Let’s check it out!

What is Stemma Craft Coffee?

Stemma Craft Coffee is a new coffee shop located downtown on North Orange Avenue and has been serving the Orlando community sustainably sourced coffee since October of 2022. It’s open every day from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., so whether you’re an early bird or a late riser, there’s plenty of time to get a taste of what’s on the menu!

This coffee shop is all about family as owners and mother-daughter-duo Rebecca and María Blandon opened Stemma to honor Rebecca’s late father, who dreamt about opening a coffee shop with his family.

Stemma Craft…

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By Yasmene Warren

Living the city life doesn’t always have to mean living the expensive life, and that goes for a tourism hotspot like Orlando as well! We may be known for our thrilling theme parks, and that may be why you’re here, but what are some things you can do here that won’t break the bank? Let’s find out!

Disney Springs

Let’s start with something Orlando is known for: Disney.

Disney Springs is one of the many Walt Disney World parks Orlando has to offer, and the best part about its existence is that it’s free! Disney Springs offers free admission and free parking.

Image by Disney Springs

At Disney Springs, there are a multitude of dining options; whether you’re trying to dine in, eat out at a food truck, sit down at a bar or…

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