Favorite Places in Central Florida

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  #1  
Old 05-13-2020, 03:01 PM
ALadysMom ALadysMom is offline
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Default Favorite Places in Central Florida

I’m making a list of all the places I cannot wait too visit again once everything is fully open & safe. Would you like to share some of your favorite Central Floridian places?

Here are some of mine:

•PassAGrille (pristine beach on a point near St. Pete Beach) great sunset views over the Gulf
•Mt. Dora (quaint downtown)
•John’s Pass Boardwalk (eateries, water rentals, and shipping near St. Pete Beach)
•Downtown St. Pete Beach art fairs every Sat morning (pre-coronavirus)
•Bern’s Steakhouse, Tampa (awesome steak and wine cellar tour. Dessert in keg room is not to be missed!)
•Winter Garden, FL (great downtown)
•Party Boat Fishing from PassAGrill, FL (inexpensive day of sun & fun on the Gulf)
•Cape Canaveral Space Museum and SeaShore
•The Columbia (Cuban restaurant with several FL locations)
•The Don Cesar Hotel & Maritana Restaurant (St. Pete Beach)
•Honeymoon Beach State Park
•downtown Winter Park, FL
•Downtown on St. Armand’s Circle, Sarasota, FL
•The Mote Aquarium, Sarasota
•downtown Celebration, FL especially the dog store & farmers market
•Shingle Creek Hotel & Spa, Orlando
•Key West (not in central Florida but there used to be a fast shuttle boat from Ft Myers to Key West) Also Loved the day trip via seaplane from Key West to The Dry Tortugas.

I would love to add some of your favorite places to my “must visit” list. Thanks for sharing!
  #2  
Old 05-13-2020, 03:08 PM
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John_W John_W is offline
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When you get to St. Armand's Key, you should look for this guy in the traffic circle. Skip the commercial at the beginning.

Just One Person Stops to Listen - After the Song He Says This - YouTube
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Old 05-13-2020, 03:28 PM
davem4616 davem4616 is offline
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Opa's Greek Restaurant in Orlando...best roast lamb this side of the Atlantic...the waitstaff toss napkins up into the air to the music of "Zorba The Greek" and the belly dancers dance on the table with the patrons.....it's wild and crazy and totally safe and appropriate for kids too
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Old 05-13-2020, 03:59 PM
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alwann alwann is online now
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Default Where to go

Tarpon Springs is kinda neat for walking around and enjoying Greek cuisine.
  #5  
Old 05-13-2020, 04:39 PM
ALadysMom ALadysMom is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John_W View Post
When you get to St. Armand's Key, you should look for this guy in the traffic circle. Skip the commercial at the beginning.

Just One Person Stops to Listen - After the Song He Says This - YouTube
Thanks for the link.That guitarist is very talented. Sorry but I couldn’t hear the conversation at the end. What was said?
  #6  
Old 05-13-2020, 04:57 PM
ALadysMom ALadysMom is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davem4616 View Post
Opa's Greek Restaurant in Orlando...best roast lamb this side of the Atlantic...the waitstaff toss napkins up into the air to the music of "Zorba The Greek" and the belly dancers dance on the table with the patrons.....it's wild and crazy and totally safe and appropriate for kids too
Thanks for the suggestion! The tossed napkins might be scary if I can get some Saganaki too :0 (flaming Greek cheese Opa’s is now in my list.

I forgot a couple of wonderful places:

Fort DeSoto Park near St Pete
& Tibby’s New Orleans —fantastic—restaurant in a little strip center near Winter Park (A northern Orlando Suburb) The Coop near Winter Park is a great grab & go for fried chicken in the park. 4Rivers Smokehouse is awesome. I also love Rocco’s Tacos on Sand Lake road Orlando (try to get a table overlook the lake & be sure to get fresh table-side guacamole & fantastic margaritas Yum!
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Old 05-13-2020, 04:59 PM
ALadysMom ALadysMom is offline
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Tarpon Springs is kinda neat for walking around and enjoying Greek cuisine.
Thanks! I’ve read that Tarpon Springs is known for its sponge harvesting. Are there any waterside spots to see the boats unload?
  #8  
Old 05-13-2020, 05:09 PM
ALadysMom ALadysMom is offline
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Oooo...I just remembered...beach bars...caddy’s & rum runners in St Pete Beach are awesome for bar food, stiff mixed drinks in plastic cups, live music and sunset right on the beautiful beach. Have too much to drink? There’s Uber or a Gulf Blvd. shuttle & many nice beach hotels. St Pete Beach is my favorite beach. Beats South Beach, Waikiki and Cocoa, I think.
  #9  
Old 05-13-2020, 05:20 PM
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I believe some sponge diving is still going on, but never saw a catch brought in during my visits there. Lots of shops selling sponges, however.
  #10  
Old 05-13-2020, 09:36 PM
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Thanks! I’ve read that Tarpon Springs is known for its sponge harvesting. Are there any waterside spots to see the boats unload?
When I was 12 in 1962, my 6th grade class went on a field trip to Tarpon Springs and they took us out in a boat. It wasn't very big, maybe ten of us at a time, and we watched the hard-hat diver go down and bring up a sponge. They still have the tours.

Tarpon Springs is home to a Greek Community and part of their heritage was hard-hat diving for sponges. There use to a very famous Greek Restaurant at the harbor in Tarpon Springs called Louis Pappas. It first opened in 1925 but I found that it closed in 2005. We had another very popular one in St. Petersburg (Pasadena), but it also has closed. They still have smaller locations in Clearwater and Tampa. So if you see a 'Louie' Pappas Restaurant, it's excellent Greek food.

St. Nicholas Boat Line

Tarpon Springs Tours - Tarpon Springs Sponge Docks

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https://www.louispappas.com/?fbclid=...-Amofw9wHW_JGU

This huge building was the Pappas Restaurant at Tarpon Springs, it closed in 2005.

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Now the nearest to Tarpon Springs is this Clearwater shopping Center location.

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  #11  
Old 05-14-2020, 05:36 AM
LadyKahuna LadyKahuna is offline
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Two Tails Ranch in Williston is worth a visit. It is an elephant rescue ranch with lots of other animals too.
  #12  
Old 05-14-2020, 06:44 AM
GaryKoca GaryKoca is offline
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There is always Gator Land, Homossasa Springs, and Bock Tower.
  #13  
Old 05-14-2020, 06:57 AM
dennisgavin dennisgavin is offline
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IF you go to Winter Park do the canal boat tour. Not sure if it is currently in operation but I would look
for it in the future.
  #14  
Old 05-14-2020, 07:33 AM
Halbraun Halbraun is offline
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Cedar Key.. any one of many springs (Blue, Manatee, Salt, others) bank fishing for crappie any where along the St John, the gardens at UofF, Rainbow River..
  #15  
Old 05-14-2020, 07:44 AM
deantilman@comcast.net deantilman@comcast.net is offline
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Linda’s LaCantina in Orlando across from executive airport on E Colonial. The best steak! Been eating there since 1960.
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