Rediscover Orlando: Unplug, Unwind in Vacation Paradise

Orlando community leaders reveal their go-to spots to hit reset and relax.

By design, Orlandoans needn’t go far when it’s their turn to relax. So we asked the people who keep this dream machine running: Where do you go to disconnect and decompress?  Here are their answers:

Orlando Leaders

“It’s definitely gonna’ be our nearby beaches. I grew up going to Cocoa Beach and have since fallen in love with all of our beaches across Brevard County, including Sebastian Inlet State Park located along the Brevard and Indian River County line.” — State Rep. Anna V. Eskamani

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“Pretty much every day my wife Susie and I walk our dog Sammie to help unwind and decompress. And on the weekends we take this even further and visit different neighborhoods or city parks. One of our favorite places is the area at Mennello Museum, with the sculpture garden and lakefront along Lake Formosa.” — Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer

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“My favorite place to chill is the Orlando Urban Trail. I walk it most days as part of my fitness routine. I recently purchased a bench to remember my mother who passed away in June. She loved lakes, and I see people sitting on her bench at Lake Highland Park all the time.” — District 4 Commissioner Patty Sheehan

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“My favorite place to unwind is in my music parlor at home. Secondly, I enjoy riding my motorcycle on country roads to clear my mind.” — Orange County Mayor Jerry L. Demings

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“For many years, yoga has been my chill place. For me, it’s the Chopra Mind-Body Zone at the Lake Nona Performance Club, and if I’m lucky the last third of a practice I will reach a special, indescribable meditative state.”— Rasesh Thakkar, Sr. Managing Director, Tavistock Group

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“Easy answer for me this is my happy place: kayaking or just enjoying the tranquil view of Lake Jessamine in my backyard. It’s where I go to wind down and recharge. I feel incredibly lucky to live in this beautiful Edgewood area that is just minutes from downtown, Universal Orlando Resort and the airport.It’s the perfect location!”—Karen Irwin, President & COO of Universal Orlando Resort

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“My two favorite places to disconnect, decompress and unwind are Zaza Cuban Comfort Food and CFS Coffee in Winter Park. I love to eat at CFS Coffee and enjoy their relaxing ambiance and I love to go to Zaza to have great conversations with friends.”— Gaby Ortigoni, Ppresident and CEO, Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando

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“As a huge sports fan, I really enjoy a live sporting event surrounded by friends and family. It allows me to disconnect from my day-to-day responsibilities and be present in the moment. We are so fortunate to live in a destination where we have access to fantastic sports teams and special events throughout the year. You’ll find me at Orlando Magic games, bowl games at Camping World Stadium and golf tournaments, often hosting people from around the country that travel to Orlando for these events.”

— Casandra Matej, President and CEO of Visit Orlando


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