We think these hoods are worth a visit:
Unfortunately laid out in a 1960s plaza configuration with three gas stations smack dab in the center, this super-cool area doesn't encourage pedestrian traffic. However, its FULL of great stuff: Park Ave CDs (local music shop), Juniors Diner (as close to a greasy spoon as you can get in Orlando), Stardust Coffee (hub of creatives of all stripes), several local lady-shops, Blue Bird Bake Shop (one of the very few designer cupcake shops in town), a kareoke bar, italian restaurant, hip hair-do shop and a stationary shop with local merch sold all over the US.
Winter Park (video!)
Walk shady sidewalks window shopping the upscale clothing local boutiques, mall staples (Gap, Restoration Hardware, William-Sonoma, etc), restaurants and coffee shops. A park large enough to sunbathe and read in (though no one does) is at the center, with a history center, train station and college nearby.
Antique and furniture shops, a tiny vegan grocery store, two froyo spots, sports bar, nice weekend brunch/weekday lunch restaurant, gay bar, local record store, vegan restaurant.
Doesn't get cooler than this. Two local restaurants, one local bar, a lady-clothes boutique, skate shop, bike shop and coffee/lunch spot.
Historic Downtown Winter Garden (video!)
Take a quick drive to Winter Garden for a snack from the french bakery, a show or movie at the Garden Theatre, quick tour of the history center and a few shops here and there.
Sand Turkey District
The classy side of the tourist corridor. Most locals call it "restaurant row." Bunch of high end restaurants spilling out of refurbished 1980s shopping plazas right next door to Italian-style shopping centers. Popular bars and fro yo spots, too.
Local vegetarian restaurant and art store, two bike shops, retro-looking grocery store, chain quick service restaurants. Annual jazz and holiday events.
Business by day, drunk chicks in heels propped up by drunk boyfriends by night. Its our version of New Jersey. Party down and throw up. Improv comedy theatre, performing arts center, legit theatre and several upscale hotels, too.
Couple local anchor restaurants, several design firms, Asian groceries and restaurants, an art supply store.
Creative Village (Coming soon!)
Downtown Booty District
Popular gay bar, some strip clubs, lots of bus stops, and whores.
walkable area just outside of downtown with a custom t-shirt shop, couple salons, several restaurants and bars and a laundromat in the middle of it all.
Tourists think this is Orlando.
Downtown Mount Dora
Lovely little downtown, worth the hour or so drive. Annual antique and art festivals. And one cupcake shop.
The soon to be gentrified part of downtown. Give it five years, thanks to the newly built Amway Center.