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World Travel Guide > Guides > North America > United States of America > Florida > Orlando

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Orlando Nightlife

Orlando boasts a surprisingly vibrant and active night-time bar and club scene, with three main venues, Downtown Disney's Pleasure Island, Universal's CityWalk and Downtown Orlando, where there is an ever-changing line-up of nightclubs.

Bars in Orlando

Monkey Bar

Sophistication isn’t a word that immediately comes to mind when you talk about downtown Orlando, but this Martini bar offers an oasis of cool among the brash neon. Oversized cocktails, retro tiki décor and a good bar menu mean there’s a healthy crowd, especially for happy hour.

Address: , 19 North Orange Avenue, Orlando, 32801
Telephone: (407) 481 1199.
Website: http://www.wallstplaza.net/monkeybar

Pat O’Briens

A faithful reproduction of the famed New Orleans watering hole, Pat O’Briens boasts a party atmosphere and a young crowd. They serve authentic Hurricanes, the drink the bar invented, and there’s a healthy dose of live music, including the duelling pianos so associated with the original.

Address: , Universal Orlando Resort, ,
Telephone: (407) 224 2106.
Website: http://www.patobriens.com

Sky 60

Florida’s climate is perfect for rooftop bars, and this chic spot is among the best in town. There are curtained cabañas where the great and the good order bottle service, and a chrome-decked lounge with views over Downtown. Cocktails and people watching seem to be the order of the day.

Address: , 60 North Orange Avenue, Orlando,
Telephone: (407) 648 5441.
Website: http://www.skysixty.com

Clubs in Orlando

Bliss Ultralounge

Somewhere between a dance club and a lounge are the 'ultralounges', where DJs play, but dancing is less important than posing. Bliss is perhaps the epitome of this scene in Orlando, and bright young things sit louchely in the dark wood interiors that surround the VIP areas. Loud and lively.

Address: , 123 West Church Street, Orlando,
Telephone: (407) 719 9168.
Website: http://www.blissorlando.com

Roxy

This upscale dance club runs a variety of nights throughout the week, with some attractive drinks specials on weeknights. Music runs from techno and hip hop to indie and Latino. There are plush private rooms with bottle service for high rollers and even beds with hookah pipes.

Address: , 740 Bennett Rd, Orlando,
Telephone: (407) 898 4004.
Website: http://www.roxyorlando.com

The Beacham

The largest dancefloor in downtown Orlando is in a relatively historic building, dating back to 1922. High ceilings and industrial interiors surround the huge space. The club attracts a good selection of international dance acts and DJs, and there is always a good-sized line at the door.

Address: , 46 North Orange Avenue, Orlando,
Telephone: (407) 648 8363.
Website: http://www.beachamorlando.com

Live music in Orlando

House of Blues

This well-oiled franchise is part of Downtown Disney, and is as consumer-friendly and mainstream as you might expect. This doesn’t mean they don’t host some great acts though, and many big names pass through.

Address: , 1490 East Buena Vista Drive, Orlando,
Telephone: (407) 934 2583.
Website: http://www.houseofblues.com

The Plaza Live

Built in the 1960s as the city’s first two-screen theatre, the Plaza has been transformed into a live music venue (it also hosts a fair amount of comedy). The main stage hosts the bigger name acts, and holds around 1,200 people. There’s a smaller room for around 400 for lower-key performers.

 

Address: , 425 North Bumby Avenue, Orlando, 32803
Telephone: (407) 228 1220.
Website: http://www.plazaliveorlando.com

The Social

This is a hip smaller venue that’s part of the same complex that houses The Beacham. You’re likely to see a young crowd coming for mid-to-big name indie bands and alternative rock. It’s not a spit and sawdust kind of place, and it’s actually quite clean cut for a rock venue.

Address: , 54 North Orange Avenue, Orlando,
Telephone: (407) 246 1419.
Website: http://www.thesocial.org

Classical music in Orlando

Dance in Orlando

Theatres in Orlando

Orlando Repertory Theatre

This is a professional company that works in partnership with University of Central Florida to stage family-appropriate classics and riffs on kids' literature. There's the regular main stage season, an ‘American Classics' series that honors US playwrights, and a youth academy for aspiring young actors.

 

Address: , 1001 East Princeton Street , Orlando,
Telephone: (407) 896 7365.
Website: http://www.orlandorep.com

Music and Dance in Orlando

The Bob Carr Performing Art Centre

This is the premier venue for theatre, ballet and opera, and is also home to the Orlando Ballet, Central Florida's only professional resident ballet company and one of the few ballet companies of its size performing full-length classical ballets.

Address: , 401 West Livingston Street , Orlando,
Telephone: (407) 440 7000.
Website: http://www.orlandovenues.net

Culture in Orlando

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Renaissance Orlando at SeaWorld

This beautiful resort-style hotel is right opposite SeaWorld, and has an impressive lobby atrium and a spectacular indoor courtyard. For the price, this hotel has great rooms and the restaurant choice is reassuringly diverse. All in all, this property offers superb value in this price range.

Sheraton Safari Hotel and Suites

With larger than average rooms, a great pool and an ideal location just outside Walt Disney World Resort, this make this a good family choice. As you can imagine, the décor is largely animal prints and exotic details. There’s been attention paid to the outdoor areas, including a 24m (80ft) water slide in the pool. The hotel is currently undergoing a US$25 million renovation, due for completion this spring.

Walt Disney World Swan and Walt Disney World Dolphin

The former operated by Westin and the latter by Sheraton, these are the archetypal fancy Disney hotels with all the attendant allures. Between the two hotels, there are 2,267 luxury rooms and 254,000 sq ft of meeting and exhibition space. They share 17 restaurants and lounges, four swimming pools, two health clubs, and a wide array of recreational activities.

Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress Resort

An 18-storey atrium welcomes honeymooners and families, screeching parrots and all. It’s hard to imagine a more replete resort hotel, and there’s a whole world to explore, from one of the best pools in the country to the comprehensive sports on offer to the destination restaurants.

Galleria Palms Hotel & Suites

One of the best-located budget hotel options you’re only a mile and a half from Disney but you can stay at a fraction of the price of similarly placed hotels. The rooms aren’t the largest you’ll ever stay in but they are clean and modern and there’s even a free breakfast.

Doubletree by Hilton Orlando at SeaWorld

Formerly the Doubletree Resort Orlando, a US$35m refurbishment in 2010 means this is now one of the best value hotels on International Drive. Set in 11 hectares (28 acres) of landscaped gardens, there are three main pools and a children’s pool. There are varied dining options on site, and a myriad of choices just nearby.