A Couchsurfer’s Guide to… Orlando

Tiffany is a Couchsurfing Ambassador in Orlando, Florida. Tiffany and her team (Paul, Thassio, Brittany and Giovanni) have provided their tips to help you experience the best of Orlando on your next trip to Florida! Maybe even for the Orlando Couch Crash this December!

A Great Blue Heron at Orlando Wetlands Park by Jeff Holcombe / shutterstock

Best breakfast in town!
Nick’s Family Diner is the best breakfast spot in Orlando. It’s a family owned diner and they care about every customer that comes through the door. The staff is so friendly and the food is awesome and is so consistent every-time. People may not know about this hidden gem, as it is on the outskirts of town. I recommend a corn beef hash omelette or a meat lovers omelette (BYO up to 5 ingredients) and the hashbrowns are amazing. Friends of mine recommend sausage biscuits and gravy as well. It’s a small diner so there might be a wait but it’s well worth it!

Where to sweat!
Sunday mornings downtown at 11am you’ll find a big group doing Yoga near Lake Eola, feel free to join them for just $5! While you are there you can check out the huge farmer’s market, live music, or take a swan boat ride on the lake!

Lake Eola by Zhukova Valentyna / Shutterstock

Best place to grab a drink!
Orlando Brewing is the oldest brewery in the city of Orlando, and it is an all-organic brewery. There are less than 20 all-organic breweries in our country. They have 35 of their own crafts, ciders, organic wine and craft soda. They offer a free brewery tour Monday-Saturday at 6pm and this place is kid and dog friendly. All the beer is delicious and I highly recommend stopping by!

The perfect picture!
Orlando Wetlands Park. The last time we were there we spotted 24 wild alligators and hundreds of interesting birds. AND it’s FREE. You can walk or bike, or there is a trolley tour you can take around. The pictures you take will be stunning and look unreal.

A wild alligator at Orlando Wetlands Park by Deborah Ferrin / shutterstock

Best place to dance!
Cowboys is a bit of a culture shock for most Floridians, let alone travelers from abroad, but the all-night line dancing and country vibe makes it a fun escape and different from other nightclubs in Orlando. They offer free line-dancing lessons from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays, so boot-scoot your way over to Cowboys for some home-town fun!

Best day trip!
Visit numerous natural springs nearby! At DeLeon Springs you’ll find The Old Spanish Sugar Mill where you can make your own pancakes on a griddle at the table, all you can eat! There are two different types of batter and they also have a gluten free option. It costs about $5/person and then if you want you can add toppings like blueberries or chocolate chips, eggs, coffee, breakfast meats, etc. You can swim in the springs or take a boat ride while you are there! Nearby, Blue Springs is great for seeing manatees in the winter! For tubing and crystal clear water, you’ll want to visit Kelley Springs.

The Sugar Mill at DeLeon Springs by carlty94 / shutterstock

Best quick bite!
King Bao is a quick counter style restaurant featuring fluffy steamed buns filled with unique flavor combinations, tots with toppings, and dessert baos as well. King Bao is located in the unique Mills 50 District, a haven for artists, foodies and young professionals. This neighborhood has gained a particular reputation for being as good as it gets when it comes to Asian Fusion. You can also check out Tako Cheena for tacos, burritos & empanadas with Pan-Asian fillings.

One experience not to miss!
At Congo River Golf, you can hold and feed baby ALLIGATORS! There are 8 locations of Congo River Golf around the Orlando area. You can hold one for $10, or you can feed them with fishing poles. I’ve never had to wait, it’s always a quick stop. It’s a very unique Florida experience and everyone I take there really enjoys it.

By Kristina Bessolova /shutterstock

Cute cafe!
Stardust Video and Coffee. They may not have the best coffee in town, but the atmosphere is similar to a dive bar mixed with an art gallery. They also have a bar, delicious and bizarre food, and frequent events hosting comics, musicians, spoken word, and more.

Historic moment!
Located at the site at one of the deadliest shootings in America, the Pulse Memorial is a sanctuary of quiet reflection and love dedicated to honoring the senseless loss of innocent life and remembering the horrible attack that occurred on June 12, 2016. It’s open daily from 7:30 a.m. – 9 p.m.

Pulse Memorial, at the site of the deadly shooting at Pulse Nightclub. By Anthony Constantine / shutterstock
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