The Theme Park Capital of the World is family-friendly, but embrace the magic of leaving the kids at home for cool wine bars, innovative dining, and unique museums.

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Winter Park Sultre and Briarpatch storefronts
Photography by Boogich/Getty Images.
| Credit: Photography by Boogich/Getty Images.

Winter Park

For a leisurely day, stroll through this tony neighborhood teeming with stores, museums, galleries, and its 11-acre Central Park (no relation to the one in New York City) with a rose garden in the middle. Explore art indoors (the Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art) and out (the sculpture garden at the Albin Polasek Museum).

walt disney world swan dolphin resort pool
Credit: Photo Courtesy Visit Orlando

Walt Disney World Swan And Dolphin Resort

Don't want to be swarmed by kids at Disney? Stay at this resort that's geared to the over-21 crowd. The hotel boasts poolside activities for travelers both extroverted (DJ sets) and introverted (quiet cabanas). For great grub, check out the Food & Wine Classic from November 8 to 9. 

The Ravenous Pig restaurant shrimp grits
Credit: Photo Courtesy Visit Orlando

The Ravenous Pig

Dine like a local at this New American spot in Winter Park, which sources many of its ingredients from nearby farms. The menu rotates seasonally (agnolotti stuffed with corn in the summer and squash in the fall) and is sure to charm adventurous eaters with dishes like gator ribs and frog-stuffed peppers.

Wine Bar George

Taste some world-class juice at the only master sommelier–led wine bar in Florida. The robust list includes eight on-tap varieties (a Sonoma Chardonnay, a Melon de Bourgogne Muscadet), which pair well with snacks like olives and hummus. The trilevel space has a mix of seating, whether you want to dine alfresco or on a repurposed barrel.

Winter Park Scenic Boat Tour
Credit: Photo Courtesy Winter Park Scenic Boat Tour

Universal’s Aventura Hotel

If you're more into wizards than princesses, hit Universal Studios and stay at the Aventura. It offers one-hour early admission to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter (so you can be first in line for the new Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure ride) and a free shuttle to the park. Hello, convenience! 

East End Market

If you're going to try some of the many food halls in Orlando, start with this interactive market. Along with 12 food merchants (La Femme du Fromage for cheese, Skyebird for kombucha) and retail shops like Freehand Goods (great for souvenirs!), there is an event space for live music, classes, and an incubator kitchen.