Perfect Weekend: 48-Hours in Orlando, FloridaBy Angelica Malin
Looking for a great summer holiday? Orlando is the fantastic destination for foodies, families and couples alike, with lots of fantastic restaurants, attractions, hotels and the perfect weekend for a sunshine-filled break. If you’re searching for the city’s best eats, discover our Orlando foodie guide here. For more exciting accommodation options in Orlando, check out this HotelsCombined blog on Where to Stay in Orlando: Popular Theme Park & Attraction Guide. For the perfect long weekend, here’s our lowdown on where to eat, sleep and visit in Orlando:
Orlando is a great place for all the family; with the world-famous attractions of Disney World and Universal Studios, family-friendly resorts and hotels, and a fun night-life scene, there’s so much to discover in Orlando. What’s more, Orlando’s weather cannot be beaten – guaranteed sunshine, what more could you want?
Summer is a great time to visit. In June, the weather is mostly hot and humid, and can get very wet. The average maximum daytime temperature in Orlando is as high as 32°C! In July and August, the average daytime temperature can reach a scorching 33°C, and the average temperature is 23°C. Glorious.
Orlando really is a place for everyone. Lots of families travel to Orlando, thanks to the many theme parks and attractions, but increasingly more couples and solo travellers are visiting Orlando. Orlando is a magical place for first-time visitors, and anyone from toddlers to grandparents will be excited by the fun, lively atmosphere of the city.
Where to Stay
There’s lots of fantastic accommodation in Orlando, including some amazing new boutique hotels in beautiful Winter Park, one of our favourite parts of the city.
One of our favourite hotels in Orlando – the award-winning Alfond Inn is a Boutique Hotel in Winter Park, with 112 luxury rooms and downtown Winter Park’s famous Hamilton’s Kitchen restaurant. The hotel is simply stunning, with artwork decorating the entire hotel, and the most wonderfully designed rooms. The hotel also boasts a rooftop pool, gym, fantastic food and a trendy bar for relaxing in the evenings with a cocktail. There’s nowhere in Orlando quite like it.
A more family-friendly alternative, Loews Sapphire Falls Resort at Universal Orlando™ is a magical, themed hotel which aims to transports guests to a paradise in the heart of the tropics. Imagine: blue waterfalls cascade across lush grounds, and in the distance, the calming sounds of steel drums. Loews Sapphire Falls Resort features a beautifully landscaped, resort-style pool with a water slide surrounded by cascading waterfalls and boasts 1,000 guest rooms and suites, as well as many restaurants and bars. Perfect for visiting the parks, guests staying at this on-site hotel enjoy exclusive theme park benefits at Universal Orlando Resort™ including Early Park Admission.
Where to Eat
Orlando’s food will blow you away. Discover the best places to eat in Orlando in our Instagram foodie guide here.
One of the trendiest spots in town, the modern design and décor of LUMA in beautiful Winter Park will seduce you from the off. It’s a popular spot in the area for locals and tourists alike, serving up sophisticated, impressive food in an easy, cool atmosphere. You can eat outside in the summer months, for the ultimate al fresco dinner in the sunshine.
If you’re looking for a brunch spot with incredible, fresh food, a perfect al fresco setting and a seriously cool, relaxed vibe, then Hamilton’s Kitchen is the place for you. Located at trendy upmarket hotel The Alfond Inn, Hamilton’s Kitchen serves locally sourced ingredients that are full of flavour. You can dine inside by the open kitchen, where you will experience the sights, sounds and aromas of their delicious food, or enjoy brunch in a lovely sunshine-filled patio.
Owned by a health coach, this hipster-casual Mills50 destination is the place to come for plant-based eats. The Sanctum serves hearty vegetarian and vegan dishes, all non-GMO and mostly organic, with gluten-free fare as well, so it’s perfect for plant-lovers. It’s a little tucked away, but well worth discovering.
Market on South is Orlando’s first vegan commissary kitchen and bakery that offers full plant-based dining and beverage menu that includes items like BBQ, cupcakes and kombucha. They’re also host to Valhalla Bakery, which serves up some of the best vegan bakes in town. Seriously, they need to be tasted to be believed.
Where to Drink
Urbain 40 is an American Brasserie and Lounge featuring chef-crafted cuisine that offers imaginative staples for brunch, lunch, dinner and late night. This place is simply too cool – it has a speakeasy feel, with a low-lit ambience, amazingly well stocked bar and the best Italian-inspired food around. Come here for something you simply wouldn’t find elsewhere in Orlando.
What to Do
Of course, no trip to Orlando would be complete without a visit to the famous parks. Universal Studios Orlando is a truly once-in-a-lifetime experience. We say: take your holiday to the next level at Universal Orlando Resort™. There’s three amazing theme parks to choose from – Universal Studios Florida™, Universal’s Islands of Adventure™, and Universal’s Volcano Bay™ water theme park, as well as spectacular on-site hotels. We loved the original Universal Studios, with its endless fun, parades and more – don’t miss the Mummy Returns ride, it’s too much fun.
Walt Disney World Resort is the world’s most popular theme park, and it’s no surprises why. The resort is simply amazing, with 4 theme parks, 2 thrilling waterparks, endless shows and performances, Disney World will bring out the big kid in everyone. There’s nothing you can’t do at Disney World, whether it’s flying with Dumbo, tackling huge waterslides, watching stunt shows or eating Mickey Mouse shaped ice cream, the magic of Disney World is just waiting to be explored. Take. Me. Back.
Once you’ve had your fill of the theme parks, do something different in the city. Downtown Orlando is a great place to explore, with a more artistic, bohemian side. We loved Lake Eola – an unchanging emblem of Downtown Orlando. Lake Eola is surrounded by the dining and shopping of Thornton Park, South Eola District and the Central Business District, great for exploring the best of Downtown Orlando. Don’t miss Mills50 – a central urban district within the city that features a vibrant, diverse, mix of artists, restaurants, businesses, specialty shops and more.
I loved Winter Park, a unique destination in Orlando for fine dining, fashion, and art, with a real community feel. You can’t miss a boat trip in Winter Park – found on Lake Osceola, the Winter Park Scenic Boat Tour offers hour-long guided cruises through three lakes and two narrow man-made canals on the tranquil Winter Park chain. You’ll learn the history of Winter Park, Central Florida’s oldest community, which was originally founded by wealthy Easterners in the 1800s. Yes, please.