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From Gucci bags and Tiffany diamonds to Ocean Pacific flip flops and second-hand treasures – plus everything in between – Orlando has boldly emerged as an international shopping dynamo.
Retail Therapy in Orlando
What a difference a few years make. At least that’s the case in Orlando where nearly overnight, the area has exploded onto the retail scene with a myriad of luxury department stores, upscale boutiques, outlet malls, antique shops and farmers markets. In many cases, entertainment complexes are also part of the mix, combining shopping with dining and high-energy fun. From Gucci bags and Tiffany diamonds to Ocean Pacific flip flops and second-hand treasures – plus everything in between – Orlando has boldly emerged as an international shopping dynamo. And, with more than 52 million square feet (4.6 million square meters) of retail space – and growing – visitors can bet that all tastes and budgets will be delightfully satisfied!
Orlando is now home to nine world-class malls that offer great shopping options for the entire mind, body and spirit. Among the newest on the scene is Festival Bay Mall at International Drive, featuring trendy beachwear and popular names in outdoor gear and western and collegiate garb. Many of Festival Bay’s retailers, including National Book Warehouse and Zirbes’ Emporium, are new to the Orlando shopping scene, adding to the mall’s attraction. Anchor stores Ron Jon Surf Shop, Bass Pro Shop Outdoor World, Steve & Barry’s University Sportswear, and Vans Skatepark, plus restaurants like Fuddruckers and Dixie Crossroads Seafood Restaurant, offer a lineup sure to attract the Generation X in everyone. New in 2006 will be Ron Jon Surf Park, offering lessons and waves in an indoor surf pool for all levels of experience.
The Mall at Millenia brings together a luxurious blend of trendy and classic tastes. The stunning two-level shopping complex is anchored by the world-famous Bloomingdale’s, Macy’s and Neiman Marcus. The mall’s more than 150 stores appeal to a variety of preferences, from the practical and contemporary Crate & Barrel, Pottery Barn Kids and Urban Outfitters, to the elegant and refined Chanel, Gucci, Jimmy Choo and Louis Vuitton. Shoppers also get a sneak peek at cutting-edge fashion footage shot at designer collection events in New York, London, Milan and Paris through a partnership with the Videofashion Network. Complementing the mall’s retail offerings are seven full-service restaurants including McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood Restaurant, Brio Tuscan Grille, P.F. Chang’s China Bistro and The Cheesecake Factory, as well as a dozen casual eateries in the Orangerie Cafés.
Exceptional eateries. Handsome home goods. Shoppers are in for a real
treat when they visit The Florida Mall. This upscale retail showcase
features an impressive array of more than 270 stores including
Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue, Dylan’s Candy Bar and Bare Escentuals.
Among the mall’s delectable dining options are California Pizza Kitchen,
Buca di Beppo, Salsa Taqueria & Tequilla Bar and Le Jardin Restaurant
located at the adjacent Florida Mall Hotel.
The Altamonte Mall is attracting both locals and visitors thanks to its recent multi-million dollar renovation and expansion. Whether catching a movie at the new 18-screen AMC theater, browsing through Barnes & Noble Booksellers, or dining at the sensational Seasons 52, there’s something for everyone at this impressive retail standout located just 15 minutes north of downtown Orlando.
Orlando boasts five
additional shopping malls – Orlando Fashion Square, Osceola Square Mall,
Oviedo Marketplace, Seminole Towne Center and the West Oaks Mall, each
with its own distinctive flair and endless shopping possibilities. In
total, the malls boost Orlando’s unbeatable shopping experiences by
nearly 1,000 stores, restaurants and movie theaters, including popular
department stores such as McRae’s and Dillard’s and specialty shops like
featuring Mickey Mouse, Woody Woodpecker or Shamu can be found at each
of the major theme park’s fully stocked gift shops. In addition, guests
experience a diverse mix of great shopping, restaurants and nighttime
fun at Walt Disney World Resort’s Downtown Disney, Universal Orlando’s
CityWalk and The Waterfront at SeaWorld entertainment complexes. At
Downtown Disney, visitors groove to the tunes at the two-story Virgin
Megastore; shop in the largest Disney character store on earth; and
discover the latest play sets at the interactive Lego Imagination
At Universal CityWalk, visitors discover today’s trendiest merchandise. They can choose from wristwatches and glasses at Fossil, go retro with a lava lamp at Dapy or pick up a colorful sundress – or two – at Fresh Produce.
Pointe Orlando, located on International Drive, is an inviting collection of outdoor shopping, dining and entertainment undergoing an extensive renovation. This year will open five restaurants new to the Orlando dining scene—The Capital Grille, The Oceanaire, Tommy Bahama’s Tropical Café & Emporium, B.B. King’s and Maggiano’s Little Italy.
In neighboring Kissimmee, Old Town Shopping, Dining and Entertainment Attraction offers more than 75 specialty stores, 18 amusement rides and eight restaurants. Along the way, learn how to pull taffy at Old Town Candy Store and watch a candle maker at Kandlestix, or marvel at vintage cars during the weekly Friday and Saturday car parades.
Not to be overlooked are Orlando’s fantastic line-up of outlet centers that offer brand-name products at great prices. Imagine shopping among the racks at the upscale Burberry, Coach, Cole Haan, Barney’s New York and Hartstrings, not to mention leading discounters such as Ross Dress For Less, Dress Barn, Perfumania and Toy Liquidators. The discriminating, value-minded shopper will find bargains galore at Orlando Premium Outlets, Lake Buena Vista Factory Stores, Prime Outlets Orlando and Kissimmee Value Outlet Shops.
Looking to slow the pace down a bit? Orlando’s got just the answer. For starters, on charming Park Avenue in downtown Winter Park, visitors can stroll down brick streets shaded by a canopy of old oaks to find specialty boutiques, galleries, antique shops, museums and outdoor cafes. In downtown Orlando’s Thornton Park, books, clothing and culinary delights await shoppers of all ages. And, at Market Street in Celebration, shoppers can peruse the collection of fine shops including Sherlock’s of Celebration, a fine wine and English tearoom shop; and Lollipop Cottage, a children’s clothing and gift boutique.
Antiquing is also a popular pastime for shoppers looking for great deals on cherished treasures. Orlando’s Antique Row on Orange Avenue in downtown Orlando offers a variety of exquisite collectibles and the nearby Lake Ivanhoe shops boast antiques and fine gifts. Thirty minutes north of downtown, antique lovers find a treasure trove of hard-to-find items along First Street in downtown Sanford. A 30-minute drive west of Sanford takes shoppers to Mount Dora, a charming community filled with quaint antique and gift stores. While in Mount Dora, antique shoppers should make sure to visit Renninger’s Twin Markets, located on more than 110 acres (44 hectares) of rolling hills.
Speaking of farmers (and flea) markets, Orlando offers several popular shopping spots for thrift-conscious buyers. Flea World in Sanford and Osceola Flea & Farmers Market in Kissimmee offer more than 2,600 wholesale dealers combined, each providing cut-rate merchandise and great deals on locally grown fruits and vegetables. Shoppers with a green thumb and a taste for fresh produce and baked goods also enjoy the selections at the Sunday Eola Market held every week in Lake Eola Park and the Winter Park Farmers Market held every Saturday in this charming community’s downtown.
For the last-minute shopper, the Orlando International Airport hosts an impressive collection of retail shops including L’Occitane, Brookstone, Swatch and Bijoux Terner, plus several theme-park related stores. International passengers can pick up last-minute purchases at the well-stocked duty-free shop.
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