Exercise your wallet on an Orlando shopping spree. (Photo: Rafael Tongol)
Shoppers, rejoice! A stay at Delta Hotels Orlando Lake Buena Vista places visitors near three main Orlando shopping areas: a super-sophisticated mall with rows of haute couture shops, an outdoor marketplace blossoming with seriously cool boutiques you won’t find anywhere else in Central Florida, and a tourist’s wonderland that’s wall-to-wall with stores and attractions.
If you didn’t blow all your dollars on butterbeer and are ready for a seriously sweet shopping extravaganza, start here.
Delve Into Design
Drive time from Delta Orlando Lake Buena Vista: 6 minutes
Duration: 1.5 hours
Even if you don’t have Disney on the brain, these two shops are prime for outfitting your home with lovely and unique pieces that scream sophistication and sweetness. The Art of Disney features one-of-a-kind models and screen prints as well as memorabilia from Disney parks and films.
D-Living is like what would happen if Crate & Barrel and Cinderella Castle had a baby — think embossed stationery and 500-thread-count sheets strewn with satin “hidden Mickeys.” So chic.
Seek a Solitude Between Stores
Drive time from Disney Springs: 12 minutes
Duration: 45 minutes
Orlando lacks a giant, Gothic cathedral, but the Mary, Queen of the Universe basilica and shrine has some of the loveliest stained glass and bronze sculpture you’ll see in America’s grandest houses of worship.
Inside you’ll find everything your shopping day won’t have: peace, quiet, solitude and tranquility. Take in the permanent collection of religious art, some of it centuries old.
Expand Your Comic Horizons
Drive time from Basilica: 17 minutes
Duration: 30 minutes
Coliseum of Comics, the Southeast’s largest retailer of comic books, gaming and collectibles is perfect for channeling your inner superhero. You’ll find thousands of comic books and graphic novels, models for the collector in your life, and movie memorabilia and apparel.
You already know superhero movies seem to premiere at least once a month. You’ll want to be outfitted for the midnight showing.
Surf’s Up at CityWalk
Drive time from Coliseum: 13 minutes
Duration: 2 hours
You’ll burn through a few hours (and a few credit cards) with no problem at CityWalk, an outdoor marketplace full of shops and eating establishments situated right outside the Universal Orlando Resort.
Two places not to miss: Quiet Flight Surfboards, the Orlando outpost of the Cocoa Beach must-visit, and PiQ Gifts. The latter is a Spanish import full of quirky curios like a taco-shaped cheese grater and a heart-shaped ice-cube mold (get it?).
Don’t Forget Fido
Drive time from City Walk: 16 minutes
Duration: 30 minutes
Doggie boutiques always have the sweetest stuff, whether Fluffy needs a new raincoat or Fido just chewed through his last organic bone. At Woof Gang Bakery you’ll take home some of the homemade treats like adorably shaped and iced doggie cookies (fire hydrants are a fave), specialty pet food and supplements, and more.
Pick up pup-themed decor and outfits for any four-legged friend, no matter the size, from Silky Toy Terrier to St. Bernard.
A Most Unusual Museum
Drive time from Woof Gang: 10 minutes
Duration: 1.5 hours
Take a breather from all that swiping and sit in the air conditioning for a while. Park for free at the I-Drive 360 parking garage and walk past the giant Ferris wheel (known as the Orlando Eye) to the Skeletons: Animals Unveiled museum and gift shop. Inside you’ll find nearly 500 real animal skeletons from very tiny mole rats to the largest elephants.
At the end of the exhibit, there’s a place to sit down and watch live Dermastid beetles naturally clean bones to prep them for display. The museum cheekily calls them their “hardest-working employees.”
Stop by the gift shop, of course, and pick up some cool fossilized bones, ostrich and snake jerky, and a couple of owl pellets to dissect when you get back home.
Chow on Hush Puppies and Chill to Live Blues
Drive time from Skeletons Museum: 9 minutes
Stay for: As long as you like
Pointe Orlando was one of the first International Drive shopping districts to emerge in the late 1990s, and it’s hitting its stride right this moment. Lafayette’s is a little slice of the Deep South with some of the best live blues every night of the week.
Take a load off, order a couple of drinks and some jalapeno hush puppies, and settle in for a couple of sets. Dinner options abound, including shrimp and andouille sausage pizza, jambalaya pasta and four different po’boy sandwiches.
This article was brought to you by Delta Hotels, where simple is made perfect.