From Gucci, Prada and Louis Vuitton to a pair of Mickey Mouse ears or a Harry Potter wand, Orlando’s shopping options are unparalleled. A shopping trip to the shops in the surrounding districts is just as worthwhile as a day of shopping in the heart of the tourist district. Luxury shopping malls, cheap factory outlets and theme park shops are all within a 20 minute drive.
Shopping in the tourist district
In the tourist district in Southwest Orlando, the finest shopping center, the largest shopping mall in Central Florida and three outlet centers are only 15 minutes away from each other.
According to collegetoppicks, at the glamorous Mall at Millenia, visitors will find everything from the latest Apple gadget to luxury brands such as Neiman Marcus, St. Laurent Paris, Prada, Tiffany & Co. and Cartier, as well as sophisticated fashion from Bloomingdale’s to H&M, from Tory Burch to C. Wonder. Here are more than 150 shops with goods for every taste, valet parking, concierge service and currency exchange offices
Just minutes from Orlando International Airport is The Florida Mall, the area’s largest mall with more than 250 stores across 170,000 square feet, including Coach, MAC Cosmetics, Michael Kors, Original Penguin, and The Art of Shaving, and whimsical stores like Build- A-Bear and the M&M store.
For those who want to combine shopping with fun, the shops, restaurants and entertainment at Pointe Orlando, an outdoor complex in the heart of the International Drive Attraction District, are the place to be. In addition to the WonderWorks experimental hall, which is completely upside down, Central Florida’s largest IMAX theater and the sophisticated Orlando Improv Comedy Club & Dinner Theater also provide variety. Shops like Armani Exchange, Hollister, Victoria’s Secret and Tommy Hilfiger attract a mostly younger crowd.
In the heart of the tourist district are three outstanding outlet centers. At the Orlando Vineland Premium Outlets, visitors will find more than 150 branded stores offering discounted merchandise. These include Armani, Banana Republic, Brooks Brothers, CH Carolina Herrera, Diane Von Furstenberg, Elie Tahari, Coach and Nike.
The second branch, Orlando International Premium Outlets, has 180 stores, including the US outlet of Baccarat/Lalique, the only Victoria’s Secret outlet in the Southeast and the only 7 for All Mankind outlet (at both premium outlets) in the entire region. Smart shoppers book a personal shopper at Last Call by Neiman Marcus or at Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5th.
Just one mile from the Walt Disney World Resort are the Lake Buena Vista Factory Stores, accessible by free shuttle from 60 hotels. Here you will find the only outlet of the Swiss chocolate manufacturer Lindt, the only Old Navy outlet in the region, the Rawlings Factory Store sporting goods store, which is unique in the world, Eddie Bauer, Izod, Nine West and a store with hundreds of Disney characters. All in all, around 400 designer brands can be found in the 50 village-like shops.
Both Walt Disney World Resort and Universal Orlando Resort have their own shopping and entertainment complexes: Disney Springs has more than 40 stores, including the world’s largest Disney Store, restaurants and entertainment. Universal CityWalk is home to more than a dozen shops and boutiques, from the Quiet Flight Surf Shop to the Gift Shop at NBA City to the Universal Studios Store, as well as restaurants, bars, clubs and entertainment areas.
A little shopping trip
The three diverse shopping districts of Winter Park, North Orange Avenue and Thornton Park in downtown Orlando are particularly inviting for a leisurely stroll in Orlando.
Winter Park shows a whole different side of life in central Florida: brick buildings, historic buildings and a mini version of New York’s Central Park invite you to linger. The shopping district stretches over 10 blocks along the fashionable Park Avenue shopping street. Hannibal Square offers additional shopping and dining options. Here visitors will find everything from name-brand shoes and designer underwear to fine wines and original dog biscuits. Here, individual boutiques run by locals mingle with nationally known shops such as Restoration Hardware, Williams Sonoma and the Pottery Barn.
Thornton Park, a colorful shopping district east of Lake Eola in downtown Orlando, is a well-kept secret among locals. Visitors can find the latest trends at Zou Zou Boutique or design their own t-shirt at Mother Falcon. More than a dozen lounges and restaurants create a lively atmosphere.
Located on Lake Ivanhoe, North Orange Avenue is characterized by small antique shops, vintage clothing shops and unique gift boutiques. Rock & Roll Heaven still sells vinyl LPs and singles starting at $1. Washburn Imports sells exceptional furniture from India, Thailand and Indonesia and houses an Imperial Wine Bar with a beer garden in the middle of the store. At Déjà vu Vintage Clothing, visitors will find clothing and accessories from the 1940s.
Those interested in antiques, collectibles or local art galleries will find what they are looking for on a trip to the historic inner districts of Kissimmee and St. Cloud. The buildings reflect the history of Central Florida. Lanier ‘s Historic Downtown Marketplace in Kissimmee offers 1,672 square meters of antiques, and Main Street is home to Makinson Hardware, dating back to 1884, Florida’s oldest hardware store.
Interesting finds and special souvenirs
Souvenirs with local flair can be found at these places:
The Orange County Regional History Center Emporium in Downtown Orlando carries items that reflect Central Florida’s cultural heritage, such as rare vintage photographs, quirky Florida souvenirs, tasty Florida specialties, vintage toys and books, and seasonal souvenirs.
The Museum Shop at the Orlando Museum of Art is a place where visitors can find the extraordinary, such as Chihuly glass and artifacts, one-of-a-kind jewelry, paintings, sculptures and crafts by Florida artists.
City Arts Factory is Downtown Orlando’s largest art gallery community. Here you will find original art by regional, national and international artists.
The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art has the world’s largest collection of works by Louis Comfort Tiffany. The Museum Shop sells exclusive gift items inspired by Tiffany’s work, such as jewelry, stained glass, glass bowls and vases. Other artists represented in the museum have also inspired the museum shop. There is also a comprehensive range of books on Tiffany’s work and on the decorative arts of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Located off the lobby of the Grand Bohemian Hotel in Downtown Orlando, the Grand Bohemian Gallery features an eclectic collection of paintings, photography, sculpture, glass and jewelry by international and local artists.
Where the locals shop
Those who eat consciously should visit the new East End Market, the weekly farmers’ markets or even a farm in Orlando. There are also a growing number of Vietnamese, Korean, Chinese and Thai restaurants and shops known as the Mills 50. Adventurous visitors will find authentic Asian cuisine and shopping here.
Ancient Olive on Park Avenue in Winter Park is Central Florida’s premier tasting bar specializing in tasting ultra-premium extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar from around the world.
East End Market – Located in the colorful Audubon Park area, this new market, which opened in 2013, is a hub for good food. Ten independent food companies sell regional specialties such as bread freshly baked daily, Italian main courses and desserts, organic juices, homemade cheese and much more. Txoko’s Basque Kitchen will also be launched soon and will cause a stir with a new culinary concept by Henry Salagdo. The Spanish River Grill’s chef was recently nominated for a James Beard Award.
The following Orlando Farmers’ Markets are worth visiting:
- Audubon Park Community Market (Mondays)
- College Park Farmers Market (Tuesdays)
- Orlando Farmers Market (Sundays)
- Winter Park Farmers Market (Saturdays)
If you’re passionate about fresh country air and fresh eggs, Ocoee ‘s Lake Meadow Naturals Farm is the place to be. Dale Volkert’s public chicken farm is minutes from major attractions and offers guided tours and a farm shop.
Most visitors interested in authentic Asian cuisine head to the restaurants of the Mills 50 District. But also the nearby food markets like the Tien Hung Oriental Foods Market with its exotic products and spices as well as other unusual Asian specialties are an experience. Exceptional gifts and goods imported from Asia, such as elegant fabrics, can be found at Dong A Imports.
Spice and Tea Exchange on Park Avenue in Winter Park stocks a wide range of quality spices including an assortment of ground chillies, grated cheese and smoked spices.