Orlando’s Audubon Park Garden District
The charming Audubon Park Garden District, aka Audubon Park, is one of many hidden gems scattered throughout Orlando and its neighboring cities and towns. Part of the Orlando Main Streets program, just 10 minutes from downtown's core and adjacent to Winter Park, this bohemian district is perhaps best known for one of Central Florida’s most beautiful natural attractions: Harry P. Leu Gardens. It is also home to East End Market, a trendy community hub featuring locally produced food and merchandise, but much more awaits you here.
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These factors all helped Audubon Park Garden District earn a Great American Main Street Award in 2016 — the highest honor a district can achieve nationally — making it one of just three Florida districts to receive the designation since 1995. See why you’ll want to make Audubon Park part of your next visit to Orlando.
Beginning in World War II and through most of the Cold War, Orlando was home to two high-profile military installations: the Naval Training Center (NTC) Orlando and McCoy Air Force Base, the latter of which was the region’s largest employer before Walt Disney World® Resort opened in 1971.
Until the NTC’s decommissioning in 1999, these bases brought countless servicepeople and their families to the area. Many of those patriots built homes in what became known as the Audubon Park neighborhood, which — in honor of its namesake, the National Audubon Society — features tree-lined streets named after birds. In fact, Audubon Park was the first neighborhood in Central Florida to receive recognition as a Wildlife Habitat Community, certified through the National Wildlife Federation, which in turn has helped the district attract businesses and events focused on sustainability.
Today, the Audubon Park Garden District encompasses not just the original neighborhood, but also a vibrant main strip with sought-after dining, shopping, nightlife and special events. What’s more, land adjacent to Audubon Park that used to house the NTC was redeveloped as the exclusive Baldwin Park neighborhood, which has even more in store for serious foodies and shoppers — as does neighboring Winter Park. Factor in Leu Gardens and East End Market, and you’ll understand why Orlando’s Audubon Park Garden District is popular with visitors and locals alike.
Located on Audubon Park Garden District’s northwest edge, Harry P. Leu Gardens is a 50-acre botanical garden bursting with color and unusual greenery. You can easily spend hours in the garden enjoying its many offerings. Take a guided tour of the Southern-style grounds or just run through the giant bamboo stalks, hyper-manicured lawns and camellias, which bloom from October through March. (Speaking of camellias, Leu Gardens has the largest documented collection in the Southeast and one of the largest in the country.)
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Situated at the heart of Audubon Park Garden District — both physically and spiritually — East End Market features some of Orlando’s top food entrepreneurs, tradespeople, artists and chefs. Take pleasure in discovering treasures from among the dozen or so merchants, all presented in a food hall atmosphere.
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Once there, you’ll find delectable bites like artisan cheeses, gourmet pastries and açaí bowls — not to mention truly decadent cookies and cakes from Gideon’s Bakehouse. In fact, the latter is so popular that they had to open a second location at Disney Springs®. Audubon Park will also tempt your sweet tooth at Kelly’s Homemade Ice Cream, Sugar Dough Bakehouse and The Salty Donut.
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Also of particular note to foodies is Domu — one of 46 MICHELIN Guide restaurants in the Orlando area. And though it’s not at East End Market, the Audubon Park Garden District also boasts the One MICHELIN Star Kadence, known for its out-of-this-world sushi-tasting experience.
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You can also enjoy more boutique shopping beyond East End Market, starting with an unusually large number of independent retail shops. These include a record shop, vintage clothing stores, shops with locally made merchandise, vintage furniture and home goods, four booksellers, and more.
Audubon Park even features one of Orlando’s most popular microbreweries, Redlight Redlight. Sample their own locally sourced creations along with dozens of other choices that range from the finest Florida brews to eclectic imports from around the world. You can also show off your vocal skills at Big Daddy’s for nightly karaoke starting at 9 p.m.
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Audubon Park’s neighbor, Baldwin Park, also has eateries that deserve any serious foodie’s attention, including The Osprey, as well as numerous upscale shops and service providers. Explore everything else waiting for you in this fun district during your next Orlando getaway.
What district is Audubon Park in?
The Audubon Park Garden District is a self-contained district in the City of Orlando and adjacent to the City of Winter Park.
What is Audubon Park known for?
A Great American Main Street Award winner, the Audubon Park Garden District is known for sought-after dining, shopping and nightlife. It’s also home to Harry P. Leu Gardens.
Are there things to do at night in Audubon Park?
Orlando’s Audubon Park Garden District has a vibrant nightlife scene, including a brewery and a popular karaoke bar.
There Is Always More to Do in Orlando
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