With Disney, Universal or Seaworld right here, the actual city of Orlando and with it the beautiful downtown area that helped Orlando earn its nick name “The City Beautiful” is overlooked too often. While tourists storm the parks and other entertainment venues though, Lake Eola and the adjacent park is a favorite among locals, not only because of its peacefulness but certainly also because of the surrounding trendy restaurants and bars of Thornton Park. The almost one mile long loop around the lake is perfect for an afternoon stroll or jogging.
Just some random quick facts:
- Lake Eola Park was established in 1888
- The fountain in the center will soon celebrate its 100th anniversary (established 1912)
- Like many other lakes in Central Florida, Lake Eola is actually a sinkhole with its deepest point at 80 ft!
- Believe it or not but Lake Eola Park was a horse race track at some point throughout its history
I was in the downtown area today showing properties and so before my showing appointments I took some time to walk around Lake Eola and take some pictures. It’s not Central Park but I think Lake Eola makes a great alternative to the beach or theme park plan of a Saturday or Sunday. Why not meet up friends for brunch and then stroll through the park.
Also fun, despite the cheesiness, is renting one of the “swan boats” and exploring this little lake (approx. $12 per 1/2 hour, fits 4 people). With its new (2007) playground, Lake Eola is also a great place for kids. The Walt Disney amphitheater (hosting the popular UCF Shakespeare Festival in Spring) and cute Asian pavilion are other highlights of the park. On a weekend day it is nothing uncommon to see weddings and wedding photography by Lake Eola. Can’t blame those newly weds, it really is a romantic setting, so check it out when you have some time!
The actual address and info for Lake Eola Park is as follows:
Lake Eola Park
195 N Rosalind Ave
Orlando, FL 32801