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“Green” Things to Do in Orlando

AAA/Sherry Mims
By AAA Travel Editor Sherry Mims
April 26, 2019
When you visit Orlando, make sure to add some “green” experiences to your itinerary. With eco-friendly options and green spaces inside the city limits, the City Beautiful features more things to do than just the usual high-energy Orlando resorts and theme parks.
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Aloft Orlando Downtown
500 S. Orange Ave.
AAA Inspector Rating
(407) 380-3500
This 1968 property once housed the Utilities Commission but now sports a sustainable makeover. Reclaimed teak paneling, LED lighting, a rooftop solar field and an efficient HVAC system contributed to a coveted LEED Gold status from the U.S. Green Building Council. The hotel presents a comfortable yet sustainable place to begin your exploration of Orlando.
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Leu House Museum with table of colorful flower and plant arrangements
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Harry P. Leu Gardens
1920 N. Forest Ave.
(407) 246-2620
The colorful grounds provide a restful alternative to crowded Orlando theme parks. Instead of standing in line or looking for what to do, you can follow meandering paths and enjoy the flowers and greenery. Check out the various gardens and then join a guided tour of the 1880s Leu House Museum, which is a preserved farmhouse on-site.
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Orlando's Lake Eola Park features plenty of amenities, including this sculpture.
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Lake Eola Park
512 E. Washington St.
(407) 246-4484
The 23-acre destination offers plenty to love with a scenic lake, playground and rainbow-colored Walt Disney Amphitheater in the heart of Downtown Orlando. Take a stroll around Lake Eola to watch the festive fountain and paddleboats. If you come on a Sunday, check out the farmers market from 10-4 in the southeast corner.
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The Orlando Urban Trail runs next to Lake Formosa and The Mennello Museum of American Art in Orlando Loch Haven Park.
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Orlando Loch Haven Park
777 E. Princeton St.
(407) 246-2283
There are many things to do within this cultural corridor, including museums, but stay outdoors for some fresh air. Check out the giant oak that's nicknamed "The Mayor" or visit the sculpture garden next to The Mennello Museum of American Art, which offers a prime place to sit lakeside and relax. Then plan to walk or bike the adjacent 2.5-mile Orlando Urban Trail, where you might spot blue herons or turtles on your journey.
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The garden provides organic produce for this plant-based Orlando cafe, where there's outdoor dining.
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Dandelion Community Cafe
618 N. Thornton Ave.
AAA Inspector Rating
(407) 362-1864
One of the best plant-based Orlando restaurants features a garden that you can sit beside and even eat from when you order a freshly prepared meal. Ingredients—many grown on-site—are organic, non-GMO and free of artificial colors, flavors and preservatives. Order a bowl or wrap, such as the “Giddyup” tempeh chili or Chickpea of the Sea salad, and enjoy your lunch outside.
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