Why Orlando is on our Travel Bucket List
Looking for a wellness getaway? Consider Orlando for its bustling healthy activities, restaurants and more. There’s more to it than theme parks.
This isn’t Disney’s Orlando
If the mention of Orlando makes you think of busy theme parks, think again. Home to more than 100 lakes and parks, this central Florida city is an ideal locale for a healthy vacay. You’ll have access to fresh fruit, seafood and year-round perfect weather. And you’ll see a wellness scene more bustling than the line for Space Mountain. Read on to see why Orlando is emerging as the go-to spot for a feel-good getaway.
Take in Florida’s unique green scenery with a bike tour at West Orange Trail Bikes and Blades. You’ll explore the scenic route to the quaint Winter Garden, all while learning about the area and its history. But what’s a bike ride without a reward? Choose your indulgence at Plant Street Market. This artisanal food hub has everything: sushi, palettas, coffee, a brewery and more. Hint: The lime paletta is everything.
If you’re not a golfer, a visit to Tranquilo Golf Club at the Four Seasons will make you say “I get it now.” Suited up in our Nike golf gear, we hit the 18-hole championship course. The links showcase gorgeous landscapes, surrounded by wetlands. Want to get on the water? Try stand-up paddle boarding with Buena Vista Watersports. Master the board with the help of the friendly staff (it’s not as hard as it looks), then work up a sweat while taking in the gorgeous Lake Bryan.
Disney Springs is an outdoor pedestrian promenade that easily rivals LA’s The Grove for the title of “most picturesque shopping and entertainment centre.” Peruse their Marketplace Co-op for everything from clothing to art. Après shop, checkout the myriad of entertainment options (hello, Cirque du Soleil) or head to the roof at Paddlefish Restaurant to gaze the lake while sipping a glass of their Southern Sangria.
The only thing cartoonish about the Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World is its size – it’s the largest Four Seasons resort in North America. The chic, fresh décor make feeling relaxed and pampered easy. Three Insta-worthy pools and a lazy river provide endless opportunities to get some vitamin D, but you can find shade in the unique wicker pods that dot the impressive poolside (complete with complimentary towels, lemon water and SPF, of course). The resort also has a fitness centre, a 14,000-square-foot spa and six on-site restaurants. Stepping out to explore Orlando? Stop in at Lickety Split café for a refreshing cold-brew coffee (to-go).
Come for the atmosphere, stay for the food. At Canvas Restaurant and Market, the hipper-than-thou décor and quaintly lit patio overlooking Lake Nona, create a unforgettable dining experience. The menu has nods to Florida’s Latin American and Southern roots, with plenty of small plates ideal for sharing. Nosh on fresh oysters with house-made habanero hot sauce, burrata agrodolce and a roasted butternut squash flatbread. Looking for a full meal? Try the wood-fire grilled teres major complete with black beans, saffron rice and a chimichurri marinade. Sip on the French Quarter Cocktail, for added vacay vibes.
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