This is a guest blog post by Sydney, a Local Apartment Expert from 407apartments. She works to connect Orlando renters with an apartment that meets their lifestyle and budget through 407apartments local Orlando apartment search.
Sawgrass Apartments certainly checks the box for a number of things on every renter’s wish-list, with well thought out floor plans, plenty of storage, pet friendly policies, and must-have amenities like a pool and valet trash service. However, there is an additional item that makes Sawgrass a prime option for renting in Orlando, and that is the location! With easy access to major highways like SR 436, I-4, and the East-West Expressway (408), you’re never far from something to do in Orlando. If you’re new to town and looking to get plugged-in to the true Orlando lifestyle and culture, we suggest you get out and explore downtown Orlando! These are a few of our favorite things to do in the downtown Orlando, and each of these activities is less than 15 minutes from your front door at Sawgrass Apartments.
Take a Walk Around Lake Eola
Orlando locals love to visit Lake Eola to get their daily steps in. Whether you prefer to walk, run, or jog, the 0.9 mile sidewalk path that circles the lake is a picturesque place to get some exercise. I usually find that 3-laps is the perfect 40-60 minute workout, and there is a lot to see around the lake with an amphitheater, sculptures, docks, and swans. You’ll probably recognize Lake Eola from photos, as the lake is situated with a perfect view of the Downtown Orlando skyline and is also home to the Linton E. Allen Memorial Fountain, a somewhat unofficial Orlando landmark. If you get hungry, nearby Downtown food options are endless, although our personal favorite is Relax Grill and Bar, because they offer outdoor seating overlooking the lake with great happy hour specials for appetizers and cocktails. Every Sunday, Lake Eola hosts a Sunday Market with fresh fruits and veggies, homemade goods, local artwork, and a variety of vendors selling local foodie favorites for lunch. Lake Eola is only a 15 minute drive from Sawgrass Apartments, and public parking is free if you parallel park near the lake.
Explore the Thornton Park District
Thornton Park’s website claims this area is “Downtown for grownups,” and with a wide variety of unique restaurants, bars, and shops to explore, we most certainly agree. This area is known as one of the most desirable and expensive places to live in downtown, but luckily the area is just 15 minutes from your apartment front door at Sawgrass Apartments. Thornton Park is a great place to visit for date night, weekend brunch, or happy hour. If you want to explore the area in a single evening, you must check out their Wine and Art Walk, held on the 2nd Thursday of every month. For $15, Orlando locals receive a glass and a map of 25+ businesses around the Thornton Park area who open their doors to the wine walkers for a free drink! This event is a great way to see all of Thornton Park on foot and explore their numerous unique shops, restaurants, and bars.
Go Out for a Night in Downtown Orlando
On Friday and Saturday night, Downtown Orlando is buzzing with Orlando locals out to blow off some steam after a long work week. The area is full of unique themed bars with live music, dancing, and your favorite cocktails. Gather a group of friends, meetup at your apartment at Sawgrass, and you can drive or Uber to Downtown Orlando in under 15 minutes! If you’re not sure where to start, here’s our favorite Friday night bar crawl lineup:
- Herman’s Loan Office is the classiest place to kick off the night. This speakeasy-style bar offers some of the best cocktails in Orlando handcrafted by skilled bartenders dressed to match the mid-1900’s theme. It’s important to note that there is no signage for Herman’s Loan Office, you’ll need to follow Google Maps to their entrance off Pine Street, and approach the back door, where you’ll be let in to the lounge to grab a cocktail and settle in for some good conversation by their snug fireplace.
- Ferg’s Depot is located close to Herman’s Loan Office, and is our favorite 2nd stop for dinner and drinks. The restaurant is an anchor of Church Street, situated in an old train station complete with cable cars that have been converted into an outdoor bar. Ferg’s is a huge location, with multiple separate rooms each with a different feel. For a quick-stop, we recommend heading to the back bar room to order buffalo shrimp or the ahi tuna nacho appetizer along with your favorite beverage.
- Chillers/Cahoots/Latitudes is always a party with 3 separate floors, each with a themed bar with the main entrance off Church Street. Chillers is on the first level, with a lineup of spirited frozen drinks with names like Hot Mess, Show Me Your Coconuts, and Banana Banshee, how can you go wrong? Climb the stairs to the 2nd level, and play arcade games at Cahoots. Or, climb two flights to level 3 to check out our favorite in the lineup, Latitudes! Latitudes is an all outdoor rooftop bar overlooking Downtown Orlando with a live DJ. The best part about these 3 bars is that once you enter, you can move freely between the levels with a drink in-hand!
- The Lodge is a truly unique Orlando spot that feels like an authentic ski-resort lodge. The bar is decorated wall-to-wall with themed décor that changes with the holidays, especially for their month-long celebration of Christmas in July. They offer a short but impressive list of local craft beers on tap, and often have a DJ taking requests for 90’s favorites. For the most authentic experience, grab a drink hit the dance floor, any and all tacky dance moves are encouraged.
- Tanquerays is located in the largest cellar of any building in Downtown Orlando boasting some of the best live music in Orlando. They have a stage with a band lined up every single night of the week, playing both original music and popular songs with their own twist. After midnight, the bar usually has a good number of locals gathered to hear the band, making this a great final stop on your tour of unique bars in Downtown Orlando.