Lake Eola Park
195 North Rosalind Avenue, Orlando, FL, USA
Lake Eola Park Orlando Reviews
A jewel in the center of downtown Orlando Jul 24, 2013
We have been having a lot of rain lately, but last Sunday the weather was sunny, a good day to go out and enjoy some of the city's many delights. I have already been to Lake Eola park for a brief visit when I first arrived in Orlando in November 2011, but this time I wanted to walk and explore the full length (about 1 mile) of the park.
There were already a lot of people when we got to the place around 11 am. It is a popular urban park for the city's residents especially on weekends when a farmers market is set up. It is pet friendly too, so many people bring their dogs. One can jog or run at a casual pace, or just take a leisurely stroll in the park's wide walkways, plus the iron-and-wood docks provide great views of the lake and its avian population. The trees, plants and flowers surrounding the walkways are thick and vibrant in color, making it a pleasant outing.
Obviously, the lake itself is the main feature of the park. It is actually a sinkhole with an ornate fountain in the middle. The fountain is illuminated at night, when you can see the colors changing like a light show. During the day
the fountain constantly shoots water upward in an attractive display. If you fancy a boat ride on the lake you can rent a "swan boat" which is actually a pedal boat in the shape of a white swan. The rental fee is $15 for 30 minutes which I thought was quite expensive!
But wait, there are a lot of real swans (both black and white ones) swimming on the lake or roaming around the whole place. As we ambled around the park we saw many of them, along with geese and ducks. Be careful though, if you don't watch out they might chase you, or sneak up behind you and nip your feet!
We also had a look at the farmers market (open only on weekends) where they had various booths selling home made soaps, baked goods, various types of arts and crafts, clothing, etc. They had about 3 or 4 food vendors, a burger/hot dog stand, a fruit stand, a fresh juice stand, and other shops as well. There is an area nearby with picnic tables and chairs where you can eat and/or relax. If you don't fancy fast food, plenty of regular restaurants are within walking distance outside the park. In fact, you can have a splendid view of the city skyline from anywhere within the park.
This place is very much family oriented. There is a kids playground and a restaurant besides the lake. Public restrooms are situated in convenient spots. At the entrance there is an amphitheater which plays host to regular cultural events, festivals and other fun activities held throughout the year. We also saw a Japanese "garden," a World War II memorial, and a Confederate States of America (CSA) monument.
Overall, the park is clean and well-maintained. This is the place locals come to relax, unwind, chill, get inspired, or just people watching. New York City has its Central Park, but Orlando (besides Disneyworld) has this lovely little oasis in the heart of the city!
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