Golf club and balls (Photo: My Lit’l Eye/Alamy)
It may seem as though The Mouse and his cohorts have a permanent grip on your wallet when you visit Orlando, but fear not — there are plenty of budget-friendly ways to while away your days in this town. Below are a few of our favorites.
- Orlando Farmer’s Market. Every Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Lake Eola Park in the heart of downtown Orlando plays host to the area’s largest farmer’s market. On offer are tropical plants, freshly prepared food (like crepes and kettle corn), treats for Fido and, of course, fresh local produce. After purchasing your goodies, take a stroll around the lake’s nearly mile-long path for views of the city skyline. You can also hop aboard a swan-shaped paddle boat and explore the lake, which you can rent for $15 per half hour.
- Orlando Bike Tours. Every first and third Saturday of the month you can get a two-wheeled glimpse of the City Beautiful with Orlando Bike Tours. Tours touch on several different focuses, including culture, food and drink, and wellness. Depending on which tour you choose, you can pedal your way to three local juice bars or coffee shops, or past eight (soon to be nine) sculptures downtown courtesy of See Art Orlando. Knowledgeable locals lead the tours, and prices run from $20 per tour — which includes the cost of the bike rental — if you book in advance.
- The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art. Although trendy boutiques and upscale restaurants line most of Park Avenue in Winter Park, the north end of the street is occupied by the charming Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art, home to a venerable collection of Louis Comfort Tiffany stained glass. Every Friday night from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., November through April, the museum waives its $5 admission fee and offers live music, art demonstrations and curator tours — free of charge. Nearby is the Park Social, a retro speakeasy where you can put the money you saved to good use at happy hour, when cocktails are $6.
- Fairways Mini Golf. Let’s face it — you’re probably here with the kids. If you’re looking for a quick night out, you’re staying near the theme parks, and you’ve got a competitive streak, try Fairways Mini Golf. Built in the style of a traditional golf course, you’ll face sand traps, water hazards and sloping greens as you putt your way through 18 par-3 and par-5 holes, all with views of — and possibly screams from — The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. A round of golf is $14 for ages 10 and up.