Want a change of pace from the Orlando area theme park lines, crowds, fantasy and hype?
Why not get off the beaten theme park path and discover some hidden gems a short drive from the big parks?
(This is part 3 of a trilogy of posts – see also Beercation: Take a look at Orlando North Seminole County FL – a Stones Throw from Theme Parks and Part-2: Food Worth Going out for — Orlando North Delivers Taste over the top )
Here’s a few notable Seminole County (Orlando North) ideas for your consideration:
- HOTEL: Orlando Marriott – Lake Mary (rates under $200.)
Just off of I-4 East of Orlando, the Lake Mary Marriott is a perfect pivot point for both Orlando proper and theme parks and Seminole County towns and villages. In addition to comfortable rooms, the Lake Mary site boasts incredible food and catering (including craft beer and food pairings for events!) Here’s a few pics to whet your whistle:
- CRAFT BEER BAR: Celery City Craft (craft beer taproom, wine, growlers, bistro) -Sanford, FL
Sanford, FL was originally known as “Celery Capital” based on the celery fields a hundred or so years ago. Today, Celery City Craft is THE place for a wide choice of over 100 local, US and international beers (draught and bottles) with wine and food available. Without the pretentiousness of many newfangled “craft beer” boutiques, Celery City is friendly, down-home and a great place to grab a brew or two and settle in with good food. Beer flights (sample sizes of multiple brews served on a “paddle”) available.
- LIVE ENTERTAINMENT WITH FOOD AND DRINK: Route 46 Entertainment Area (newly re-opened) – Sanford, FL
Make an entire evening out of dinner and live entertainment by visiting the newly opened Route 46 area – stop for delicious country BBQ (with many sauces!) and then stay for live band entertainment at the outdoor seating area or visit the indoor “saloon” complete with a turn of the century bar.
- NATURAL ISLAND GETAWAY WITH KAYAKS AND BBQs (in a city neighborhood!) – Wekiva Island – 1014 Miami Springs Dr, Longwood, FL 32779
Nestled against the Wekiva River, this close to zero carbon footprint recreation area features craft beer (25 local and national craft beer taps + over 100 cans,) wine, foot trucks (Check out Firepit Fridays!), kayak and canoe rentals, boot launch, cabana rentals (weekday and weekends,) event areas (think weddings, receptions, corporate events), a gift shop and weekend entertainment. Bring the family and friends and spend a lazy day/evening in the wilderness against the natural backdrop of FL cypress, the slow-moving Wekiva River, otters with BBQs available with all cabana. Check their website (link above) for special events and evening hours. Boat stowage available.
- FURNITURE STORE BY DAY – CRAFT BEER BAR BY NIGHT: Washburn Imports and Imperial Bar – Sanford, FL
One word for this craft beer and wine bar (come furniture store by day) – AMBIANCE! When the sun sets on the fine furniture at Washburn Imports in Sanford, the bar opens and the place comes alive. Aside from the incredible artistic bar (designed by local artist Blair Sliger,) the beer is fresh and local, the wine exquisite and the decor – well, think about sitting on heavy, expensive, imported wood furniture that eeks of Malaysia or the Philipines. If I lived closer, this would be my #1 choice for a Friday or Saturday night romantic spot – even if I didn’t have a date! A must see in Sanford… even if you just stop in for a single nightcap.
- SOMETHING DIFFERENT WITH FRIENDS – LimoCycle.Com – Sanford, FL
Ever wanted to convince yourself that you are burning calories and improving your health during an evening of bar-hopping? I’m not a fitness and drinking crazed person, so I always opt for the “no-peddling” seat, but the Limo Cycle is lots of fun and exercise. Drinks are included with the price (as low as $40 per person) and reservations are accepted. Tell Steve (the owner) I sent you – he’s a great guy and knows plenty about the local area history. Options range from 2 hour pub tours, game events to 5 hour birthday party tours. Whether you’re single, a couple or part of a group that wants to try something different – LimoCycle.com is a good option with lots of available potential stops (Sanford Brewing, Wops Hops Brewing, Celery City Craft, etc.)