EXPLORE ORLANDO – About Orlando https://aboutorlando.com Insider Tips for Orlando Florida Wed, 18 Sep 2019 20:37:00 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.5 Rollins College Florida https://aboutorlando.com/rollins-college-florida/ Wed, 04 Sep 2019 19:48:20 +0000 https://aboutorlando.com/?p=5348 Since 1885, Florida's oldest post-secondary institution, located in Winter Park, has been independent, nonsectarian, and coeducational.

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Background Information
Rollins College Florida’s oldest recognized college in the State was founded in 1885. The college was named in honor of one of the earliest benefactors, Chicago businessman Alonzo Rollins. As a private Liberal Arts college, Rollins provides a college experience of a college campus that is right in the heart of the Winter Park community.  Within the framework of a liberal arts program, the more than 1,700 undergraduate students enjoy small classes and personal interaction with an accomplished faculty that is noted for innovative teaching and scholarship. Contiguously recognized by publications such as U.S. News and World Report as a top ranked Southern college.

The Campus of Rollins College Florida

The historic 70-acre campus is nestled on the shores of Lake Virginia. With its beautiful Spanish-Mediterranean architecture, Rollins provides a unique setting for academic pursuits and community involvement. In keeping with its liberal arts philosophy, the campus is home to the Annie Russell Theatre, longest running theater in Florida , and the Cornell Fine Arts Museum , featuring the oldest collection of American and European art in Florida. The interdenominational Knowles Memorial Chapel is used for weddings, musical performances and Protestant service, Sunday mornings and Catholic Mass Sunday evenings.

Educational Options at Rollins

Rollins offers both Bachelor and Master’s degree programs. Undergraduates can choose from more than 500 courses in 28 different majors.
At the graduate level, degrees are offered in Mental Health Counseling, Education, Human Resources, Liberal Studies and Business Administration. The Crummer Graduate School of Business at Rollins is consistently ranked as one of the top MBA program by Forbes and Business Week.
The evening studies division of Rollins College, The Hamilton Holt School, was designed for adults seeking professional or personal growth. Programs are designed for those seeking a bachelor’s or a master’s degree.

Notable Alumni from Rollins

There is large list of alumni who either attended or graduated from Rollins College Florida.   Most notable Rollins alumni are Fred Rogers, class of 51 and F. Duane Ackerman, class of 64.  Actor Buddy Ebsen attended Rollins in 1927 when his family lived in the Orlando area.

How to get to Rollins College

Rollins College is located at 1000 Holt Avenue, Winter Park, FL 32789. The campus of Rollins College is located in picturesque Winter Park about 15 minutes north of Downtown Orlando and can be accessed at the southern end of Park Avenue where it intersects with W. Fairbanks Avenue.

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Leu Gardens https://aboutorlando.com/leu-gardens/ Mon, 26 Jun 2017 22:42:34 +0000 https://aboutorlando.com/?p=4939 Beautiful gardens, meandering paths on a beautiful serene lake, Leu Gardens offers monthly events and free admission on the first Monday of the month.

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Harry P Leu Gardens
1920 N. Forest Avenue, Orlando FL
Lush landscape of Leu Gardens offers a quiet reprieve from the busy Orlando area attractions .

Minutes away from bustling downtown Orlando lies the beautiful Leu Gardens. Relax in the formal gardens along the shores of Lake Rowena, or meander along paths and foot trails located throughout the 50 acres of manicured grounds and artfully designed gardens that seamlessly flow from one to another.

The lush gardens were the creation of the late Harry P. Leu and his wife Mary Jane, who acquired the property and home in 1936. A tour of the home explain how they transformed the 1898 farmhouse into a rich man’s estate.

As a local, prosperous businessman and Orlando native, Harry P. Leu and his wife traveled the world to collect specimens of exotic plants for their garden. The Leus’ resided on the grounds until 1961, at which time they donated their estate to the City of Orlando, with the stipulation that their home and gardens would be made available to the public. In the heart of the gardens is the Leu House Museum, listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Originally the grounds were a drive-through garden, as evidenced by the large paved walk-ways. Numerous foot trails, benches and a gazebo have been added to encourage your stay. A typical tour of the grounds takes about an hour and a half, but feel free to take your time here.

Next Page: Rental Facilities, Seasonal Blooms and Monthly Events

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Central Florida Zoo https://aboutorlando.com/central-florida-zoo/ Mon, 26 Jun 2017 20:19:37 +0000 https://aboutorlando.com/?p=4921 Get back to nature and avoid theme park lines at the Central Florida Zoo in Sanford Florida. The kids will love all the zoo has to offer.

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The Central Florida Zoo
3755 NW Hwy 17-92
Sanford, FL

There is so much to see and do at the Central Florida Zoo in Sanford FL. See more places to take kids in the Orlando area, visit AboutOrlando.com

There is more to see and do at the Central Florida Zoo than ever before!  A few of my favorites:

Prior to opening its doors as the Central Florida Zoo in 1975, the zoo has undergone a handful of name and location changes since it was first established as the Sanford Zoo in 1923. Currently situated in a 116 acre blackwater river floodplain swamp, a very important habitat along the St. John’s River, the Central Florida Zoo is dedicated to the environment and the animals.

Looking for a unique venue for your next gathering? The Zoo provides rental facilities for business functions, parties and even weddings.Unforgettable birthday parties for your child can be had at the Central Florida Zoo! The zoo offers a unique environment for children’s celebrations.

Yes, Monkeys love to eat fresh roses! Find out interesting facts about the animals at The Zoo. Check out the giant air plant, Tillandsia Utriculata, an endangered species, just one of 800 plant species sharing a home with the animals.

Special Exhibits You Won’t Want To Miss:

  • Alligator and Crocodile Exhibit
    Want to see some big teeth, long claws and threatening eyes? (And I don’t mean your teacher) Your Family should prey on the Alligator and Crocodile Exhibit with it’s glass viewing deck.
  • Spider Monkey Exhibit – A favorite among zoo goers!
    Although there is more to a monkey than a tail, the tail deserves applause. A Spider Monkey’s tail is sometimes longer than the body. It is muscular and tactile and is used as an extra hand. When swinging by the tail the hands are free to gather food. A one arm stride can swing a monkey up to forty feet.
  • Aldabra Tortoise Exhibit.
    The Aldabra tortoise is the second largest tortoises in the world! The life span of this tortoise is somewhere around 100 years. It is believed that tortoises are the longest lived of all animals.
Next Page: Camps, Volunteering, Education and Parties at the Zoo

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Sanford Senior Center https://aboutorlando.com/sanford-senior-center/ Sat, 30 Apr 2016 01:28:13 +0000 https://aboutorlando.com/?p=4592 A great facility in Downtown Sanford with an abundance of activities including water aerobics and a billiards room. The Sanford Senior Center for active 55+.

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Sanford Senior Center in Seminole County offers water aerobics, table tennis and a billiards room in addition to a great selection of activities for seniors and those 55+.  Find Senior Resources @ AboutOrlando.com #AboutOrlando
Sanford Senior Center is located at 401 E. Seminole Blvd., Sanford.
A bustling senior center in Seminole County that is open Monday through Friday from 7:30 am until 4:30 pm. Check the Sanford Senior Center website for the updated event calendar or call 407-688-5129 for more information.
Places and Spaces:
One of the largest senior facilities in the Central Florida area, the Sanford Senior Center has an outdoor pool, a Billiards room and many rooms where you will find the abundance of daily and weekly activities taking place.
Invigorating Games:
Try your hand at Table Tennis, games are played twice a week. The Billiards room is open daily and an off-site Pickleball game is a fun way to spend a Wednesday morning. Water Aerobics is a cool way to stay fit when the summer temperatures start to heat up.
Hands On Activities:
Arts and Crafts every Monday and Zentangle Art-Drawing on Tuesday are a fun way to unlock your inner creative side.
Get Fit:
There are plenty of opportunities to get up and get moving, no matter what your fitness level is. Seniorcise is offered three times a week, Yoga on Wednesday and Line Dancing on both Wednesday and Friday mornings. The center also offers a 5 pm Health and Fitness class for those seniors that aren’t available during the day.
With so many activities going on, the Monday Movies are a great way to sit back and relax during a free afternoon flick.
Located at one of Central Florida’s most picturesque spots on the shores of Lake Monroe near Downtown Sanford with lots of shopping and dining options nearby.

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Maitland Senior Center https://aboutorlando.com/maitland-senior-center/ Wed, 27 Apr 2016 19:04:24 +0000 https://aboutorlando.com/?p=4544 Maitland Senior Center offers classes in French, Italian and Spanish along with a diverse selection of exercise and continuing education opportunities.

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Maitland Senior Center offers classes in French, Italian and Spanish along with a diverse selection of exercise and continuing education opportunities.  Find Senior Resources @ AboutOrlando.com #AboutOrlando
Maitland Senior Center is located at 345 S. Maitland Ave., Maitland.
It is a Senior Center in the heart of Maitland, circled by the Maitland Public Library, Art & History Museums and a quiet park for strolling or relaxing. It is a designated Senior Center with rooms for classes, a kitchen for any meals and a large fellowship hall for large class activities or social activities. There is a computer room with enough computers to serve a number of participants in a class or individual use. Check with the center director for assistance.
The Maitland Senior Center has a pretty active following in many groups. Many have been meeting for a number of years. The Tuesday AM "Current Events" conversation and the Thursday AM "Writer’s Critique" group have been meeting for a decade or more.
Social Connections:
In addition to the Current Events and Writer’s Critique groups, the center also has some more laid-back offerings such as Knit & Crochet, Chess, Bridge (lessons also), and Mahjong (lessons also).
Health and Well Being:
Four days a week you’ll find the well-attended morning Yoga class. A little easier is the chair yoga, offered on Thursdays. Line Dancing and Tia Chi are other morning activities that are sure to get you up and moving.
Continuing Education:
A wide range of classes can be found at the Maitland Senior Center: I Phone / I Pad, Men’s Cooking Class and an Art Class. For the musically inclined both a Beginner and Intermediate Recorder Class are available back-to-back on Friday mornings. Very popular at the center are classes for the languages of French, Italian and Spanish. It is best to call ahead and check on the availability of the classes.
Added Bonus:
Friday Flicks. Every Friday at 1:00 pm the center will show a different (and fairly current) movie. Sign up in advance at the office to reserve your seat.
Getting There:
The Maitland Senior Center is located off of 17-92 in between the I-4 Exits of Lee Road and Maitland Blvd. There is plenty of parking available at the center..
Hours of Operation:
Open Monday through Friday from 9 am until 4 pm. The center is closed on the weekends and major holidays.
Call 407-539-6251 or visit http://www.itsmymaitland.com for further details of programs offered and any charges.

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Marks Street Senior Center https://aboutorlando.com/marks-street-senior-center/ Wed, 27 Apr 2016 16:58:33 +0000 https://aboutorlando.com/?p=4539 Visit the historic building on the outskirts of Downtown Orlando. Marks Street Senior Center offers classes, evening dances and has a great fitness center.

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Lots of classes and events each week at the Marks Street Senior Center in Orlando.
Marks Street Senior Recreation Complex at 99 East Marks Street, Orlando, is a designated Senior’s Activity Center that has operated as such for decades. Converted from a public school, it provides the rooms and facilities to meet the mixed use requirements of the facility. A fitness center, with state of the art equipment, exercise rooms, a kitchen, a computer classroom, a billiards hall, a ballroom, and many classrooms permit a large number of activities to function simultaneously throughout the day all week long.
Get Fit:
At the center, there is always lots of printed information available regarding the multitude of events available. The exercise classes taught by Waleska are very popular evident by the large class size. She is a great teacher and support to the participants with a full range of activities for all levels. For those who want a little more cardio in their workout, be sure to check out the Friday and Saturday Step Class or the Tuesday, Thursday Spin class, The majority of classes are free and there is a $10 annual charge for the fitness center.
Continuing Education:
The Seniors Now Computer Learning Center provides opportunities to learn computers, to refresh their skills or teach other seniors computer techniques and programs.
Like to Dance?
Visit the Marks Street Senior Center on Tuesday evenings for Ballroom dancing with a live orchestra band. Wednesday and Friday evenings also feature a live band and you’ll find themed dance nights on select Saturday evenings. If you are just starting out, be sure to check out the Ballroom dance lessons starting at 10:30 am on Friday mornings. All dances and dance classes do have a nominal fee.
Did You Know?
The beautiful facility was built in 1925 utilizes the Spanish Revival architecture that was popular in Florida during that time. Orlando Architect, Howard M. Reynolds created many beautiful buildings, many of which have been designated as Orlando’s Historic Landmarks. Other Orlando area schools designed by Reynolds include what is now the Marks Street Senior Recreation Complex, Cherokee School, Jones High School, Grand Avenue Elementary, Winter Park Ninth Grade Center and Princeton Elementary.
Getting There:
The SunRail is a handy commute down to the bus station/train stop downtown Orlando. There is the free loop bus from the Lynx Central Station to Magnolia and Marks Streets. Contact SunRail at 855-724-5411 or Lynx at 407-841-5969, tdd 407-423-0787.
Hours of Operation:
Monday through Saturday there are scheduled programs. There are no programs on Sunday, though the fitness room and billiards room are open during the center operation hours, Monday – Saturday 8am – 8pm and Sunday 1pm – 6pm. Call for programs, fees and hours at 407-254-1066 or online at http://ww,orangecountyfl.net.

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Blue Martini Orlando https://aboutorlando.com/blue-martini-orlando/ Tue, 16 Feb 2016 21:18:52 +0000 https://aboutorlando.com/?p=4324 Live music and great Happy Hour deals at Blue Martini Orlando now located at Pointe Orlando on International Drive near the Orange County Convention Center.

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Looking for the hottest bar on International Drive? Blue Martini located at Pointe Orlando offers music, dancing, cocktails and more. This popular Orlando nightclub, originally located at the Mall of Millenia, caters to tourists as well as locals at the International Drive location. Conveniently located just a short distance from the Orange County Convention Center, Blue Martini brings live entertainment and great drink specials to the already booming nightlife at Pointe Orlando.

Places and Spaces

Indoors and outdoors with a transitioning bar in between. All cool and comfortable (yes, even the outside patio). Ceiling fans and an impressive A/C system do a great job here making sure patrons remain as cool as can be, even on warm summer days.

There are large screen, high definition TV’s scattered throughout the bar – enough to satisfy sports fans, but not so many as to even consider this a sports bar.

Designed for entertaining, Blue Martini can segregate sections of the venue for private or semi-private parties – everything from an fun outing for 6 to an intimate party with 1000 of your closest friends.

Cocktails and More

Who doesn’t feel even a little bit sexy holding a stemmed Martini Glass? You’ll find over 40 specialty martinis and cocktails on the menu, but feel free to make requests of the knowledgeable bar staff if your favorite isn’t on the list. Choose one of the classics like the traditional Cosmopolitan or be daring and go for the decadent Chocolate Martini, all of which are served in your own mini shaker to keep the contents chilled.

The signature, name-sake martini is perfect for those who enjoy a sweet drink. The ‘Blue Martini’ is comprised of Van Gogh Blue Vodka, Cointreau, Blue Curacao, sour mix and orange juice. Though surprisingly not served in a martini glass, this tropical drink fills an over-sized snifter and is garnished with a blue glow stick and colorful orchid.

You’re not limited to ordering just martinis here. The wine list is also impressive (and very affordable during Happy Hour) and beer is offered by the bottle and on tap.

Getting Hungry?

I don’t usually consider going to a bar for dinner, but Blue Martini serves a surprising selection of very tasty dishes. The satisfying Thai Chicken served over Napa Cabbage Slaw and the Beef Tenderloin with fingerling potatoes are two of the Signature Dishes that are both very impressive and beautifully presented. The Beef & Portabella flatbread at Blue is a must order item that is tasty, plentiful and perfect for sharing.


Whether a DJ spinning top 40 mixes or a live band performing upbeat dance tunes, music is an every evening occurrence at Blue Martini. Check the online schedule for performers and start times.

An abundance of Happy Hours every day of the week make the pricey martinis a little easier to swallow. Monday through Friday you’ll find discounts on all drinks and most menu items from 4 – 8 pm and on Saturday and Sunday from 3 – 8 pm. Another reason for taking advantage of the happy hour is that Wednesday through Saturday there is a $10 + cover charge. The most popular night is Wednesday when ladies receive free admission and half off drinks all night.

Throughout the year, Blue Martini hosts a bevy of holiday and special events, from the Little Black Dress Party in July to their ultra sexy themed Halloween costume party in October.


Where to Park for the Blue Martini at Pointe Orlando:
Blue Martinin Orlando is located at Pointe Orlando on International Drive. The Pointe Orlando complex offers a parking garage that can be accessed from International Drive or Pointe Plaza Avenue. There is a fee for parking in the garage. Blue Martini does not validate parking. Be aware that there is a good walk from the parking garage to the venue. Valet parking is also available in front of Capital Grill (on International Drive).
Dress Code:
As casual as most of Orlando tourist spots are, take note that Blue Martini does have a dress code. What exactly it is seems to be open for interpretation. It is best to call ahead if in doubt.
Cover Charge:
Some nights you might find a hefty cover charge to enter the Blue Martini. Again, something you wouldn’t expect at most Orlando bars. If this is a concern, be sure to call before heading out. For the budget conscious, the daily happy hour deals are some of the best around.


Blue Martini Orlando
Pointe Orlando
9101 International Drive, Suite 1182
Orlando Florida 32819


Guests must be at least 21 years old to enter

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Altamonte Mall https://aboutorlando.com/altamonte-mall/ Sat, 07 Nov 2015 20:07:13 +0000 https://aboutorlando.com/?p=4160 For shopping in the Orlando area, be sure to check out the Altamonte Mall in Seminole County near I-4 at SR 436.

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Seminole County Mall, Altamonte Mall.  See More Orlando Shopping at AboutOrlando.com
Altamonte Mall
451 E Altamonte Dr, Altamonte Springs, FL 32701
(407) 830-4422
Conveniently located on SR 436 in Seminole County, just south of I-4. The Altamonte Mall, has been a mainstay shopping mall since 1974. The current anchor stores are Sears, JC Penney, Macy’s and Dillard’s.

Geared to family shopping the indoor mall also has a large selection of trendy shops that are popular for the Gen Y group. Currently there are 120 stores with with destination shops like Teavana and Apple to the unique concept of Oceanology with men’s and women’s casual fashions.

A big draw to this shopping mall is the AMC Altamonte Mall 18 movie theater which is separate from the mall but connects to Dillard’s via a covered walkway. The movie theater has has abundant parking in addition to a small parking garage.

Check on-line for the mall layout to save time when shopping. The home page also lists current store sales and upcoming special events.
Located on the upper level of the mall near Dillard’s is a large food court with quick-service favorites. For casual dining, there is a Miller’s Orlando Ale House, Season’s 52 and Bahama Breeze all located on the mall property.

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Fashion Square Mall https://aboutorlando.com/fashion-square-mall/ Fri, 06 Nov 2015 23:36:34 +0000 https://aboutorlando.com/?p=4148 Shopping and family entertainment at this indoor, Orlando mall. Convenient shopping at the Fashion Square Mall on Colonial Drive in Orlando.

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Orlando's original mall, Fashion Square Mall.  See More Orlando Shopping at AboutOrlando.com
Fashion Square Mall
3201 E Colonial Dr, Orlando, FL 32803
(407) 896-1132
The Orlando area’s original mall is growing and changing. In addition to a popular selection of stores and boutiques, the mall now has a section dedicated to family fun and entertainment.
The two story, indoor mall’s four anchor stores are JC Penney, Sears, Macy’s and Dillard’s. You’ll find lots of convenient parking in the lots and a parking garage
Coliseum of Comics, 6000 sq. ft. dedicated to comics, toys board games and more, the largest store in the Central Florida area.

For visitors this mall is a great alternative to some of the overcrowded shopping centers that are closer to the attractions. The newly remodeled indoor mall is also a great place to spend a rainy day with the kids as it features a Premiere Cinemas movie theater and Strike Outs, a bowling alley and entertainment center.

National Entrepreneur Center, located at the Fashion Square Mall is a partnership between Walt Disney World, Orange County Government and the University of Central Florida. The facility was designed and developed to be a “shared facility” providing resources, classes and seminars for small businesses.


The large anchor store Dillard’s is one of the chain’s clearance centers offering extreme discounts and weekly specials. Call 407-896-1211 for this weeks special deals.

In addition to the interior food court, the mall also has a Panera Bread which can be accessed without entering the mall.  On the mall property near Colonial Drive is a stand-alone Olive Garden and Noodles and Co.

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Mall at Millenia https://aboutorlando.com/mall-at-millenia/ Fri, 06 Nov 2015 20:51:00 +0000 https://aboutorlando.com/?p=4143 For an upscale shopping adventure be sure to visit Mall at Millenia on Conroy Road in Orlando. In addition to shopping, the mall features several high-end restaurants.

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Visit Orlando's Mall at Millenia for a premiere shopping experience.  See More Orlando Shopping at AboutOrlando.com
Mall at Millenia
4200 Conroy Rd, Orlando, FL 32839
(407) 363-3555
Visit the Mall at Millenia for an upscale shopping experience where services and amenities are second to none. The award-winning mall is a world class shopping destination with upscale offerings of Prada, Versace, Gucci and Chanel just to name a few. Anchor stores include Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdale’s and Macy’s.

Don’t expect any special coupon books or online discounts at this high-end mall. Go on-line at Mall of Millenia for information on stores or mall layout. Be sure to visit the Concierge desk for Foreign Currency Exchange and Traveler’s Cheques. Complimentary wheelchairs and strollers are also available.


During the holidays, the Mall at Millenia is transformed into a magical wonderland. The Santa Photo Experience has become so popular that the mall now offers a Santa Line Management System (a fast-pass of sort).In August the mall features a high-energy Back-to-School fashion show with local celebrity and radio personality.


At the main entrance of the mall you’ll find upscale dining options at The Capital Grille, Cheese Cake Factory and Brio Tuscan Grille. This mall entrance also provides valet parking for a fee regardless if you are dining at a restaurant or not. Some of the more popular restaurants even offer a pager service so that you can continue shopping until a table is ready for you.

The mall also has a full food court with a variety of fast food favorites including Panera Bread.


This section of Conroy Road contains several other shopping areas which include IKEA, Best Buy, DSW Designer Shoe Warehouse, Target, Toys R Us, Total Wine & More.

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