All for the Best

Best of Orlando—the cutting-room floor.

Welcome to our annual Best of Orlando issue, where readers vote for their favorites in 75 categories. It’s basically an online write-in ballot so we get the occasional entry that confuses—and amuses—us. Some favorites this year: “The Guy With the Nice Hair’’ (Best TV Sportscaster); “Outside’’ (Best Workout Facility/Gym); and “My Own Kitchen!’’ (Best Bakery). 

Our staff also weighed in with some picks you’ll find scattered throughout the list. Unfortunately, we ran out of room amid all the nice photos and graphics, so following are 10 that didn’t make the cut but probably should have: 

Best Ban: Selfie sticks at Disney parks. Can’t you hear your mom about now? “Put that thing down before you put Mickey’s eye out!’’

Best Horn Solo: The little ditty that plays on the Florida Lottery machines when you cash in a ticket, announcing that you’ve won… a free ticket, most likely.

Best Name for a Vessel of Beer: Growler. Be sure to eat something while you’re quaffing these big brews and you’ll avoid growling yourself.

Best “I Feel Pretty Good About My Life” Exercise: Surveying some of the unfortunate souls at the website. At what sad point did mug shots become entertainment?

Best Shot: A proposal in Daytona Beach to open a gun range that includes a restaurant serving alcohol. Thankfully, there will be a rule that says if you drink, you can’t take to the range for 24 hours.

Best Place to Talk to the Animals: Dusk at Mead Botanical Garden in Winter Park. Listen for the owls. 

Best Place to View Stands of Cypress Trees—Oops!: Lakeside land along the now-closed Ivanhoe exit of I-4 was a bird-filled haven of established cypress and their ever-changing seasonal colors. Unfortunately they are now splinters, victims of the “Ultimate” rebirth. 

Best Place for Getting Mowed Down in the Parking Lot by a $60K Car Filled With $3 Bottles of Wine: Trader Joe’s. 

Best Detour at Night: Taking the Anderson Street exit off I-4 just so you can drive past the magnificent Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts. 

And lest I forget: Best Candidate for a Magazine Cover goes to Milfred the Rooster. Well, all 15 finalists in this year’s cover pet competition were great. Let’s just say that Milfred was the most unique entrant. How did he and the other hopefuls do in the online voting? Check next month’s Pet Issue to find out.

Elsewhere in this issue, Kristen Manieri explores the concept of taking small fry to fine-dining establishments—it’s not a far-fetched idea, with many such local restaurants being kid-friendly. We also offer an overview of the fun in store at I-Drive 360, a look at back-to-school tech and accessories, and a journey to the new Gates Hotel in Key West.

Finally, if you’ve ever wanted to go back to the house where you grew up, you’ll want to read Greg Dawson’s column on the subject. It turns out you can go home again. And if you can go inside, consider yourself extremely lucky.

Categories: Column