Orlando’s College Park Main Street
Orlando’s theme parks and attractions made us famous, but we’re more than the sum of those parts. Venture away from our tourism districts and you’ll discover neighborhoods and towns bustling with delicious dining, eclectic retailers, vibrant arts and unforgettable entertainment. Part of the Orlando Main Streets program, College Park Main Street is one of the most charming in that regard — and it’s just 10 minutes from downtown. See why you will want to experience this hidden gem the next time you visit Orlando.
Learn more: Orlando Neighborhoods
Orlando is one of many U.S. cities with a College Park neighborhood. In most cases, the name marks the area closest to a college — but in Orlando, it’s because numerous streets are named after colleges. Drive around for a bit and you might even find your own alma mater.
If that strikes you as a quaint system, it’s probably because the community itself is quaint. Regardless, its residents and visitors never want for the finer things in life. Locals note that College Park combines the best of big-city and small-town living, providing immediate access to Orlando’s world-class cultural and entertainment opportunities while delivering a close-knit community with the sort of hometown feel where you can still know the people you interact with every day.
That’s a hard combination to beat — especially once you factor in the area’s incredible dining, shopping, culture and entertainment.
Come hungry to College Park, because it has several eateries you’ll want to try. The Tap Room at Dubsdread is a longtime local favorite thanks to fresh seafood, prime cuts of steak, homemade desserts and more. And golfers, take note: This restaurant is the official clubhouse for Dubsdread Golf Course, a public, 18-hole course that opened in 1924.
Learn more: Eat & Drink in Orlando
In recent years, College Park has gained even more stellar dining options. Dig into some of Orlando’s freshest pasta, gelato and other Italian favorites at Trevi Pasta, or enjoy pan-Asian plates at Jade Sushi & New Asian. You can even learn to cook at a local culinary school, Truffles & Trifles, which hosts fun classes perfect for date nights.
For something more casual, look into hidden gems like Christo’s Cafe or Gabriel’s Submarine Sandwich Shop, which has been serving sandwiches at the same location for more than 60 years. And when you’re ready for something sweet, The Soda Fountain is ready for you with a full lineup of ice-cold, tasty treats — including an adult milkshake menu, aka “The Blacklist.”
Learn more: Ice-Cold Treats in Orlando
Other culinary highlights include Southern Home Bakery, Armando’s, Tornatore’s Cafe & Pizzeria, and College Park Cafe. You can also check out a uniquely awesome collection of salt-and-pepper shakers while enjoying a great meal at Shaker’s American Cafe.
Learn more: Orlando for Adults
Also for grown-ups, The Local College Park and Ollie’s Public House are popular watering holes with tasty food menus. For a more refined experience, grab a seat at Digress Wine.
Learn more: Orlando Wineries & Wine Bars
Famed author Jack Kerouac started writing The Dharma Bums while living in a College Park cottage from 1957 to 1958 — the same period during which On the Road was published. Today, The Kerouac Project gives a rotating lineup of up-and-coming authors the chance to write and sleep in the same historic home.
Learn more: Orlando Arts & Entertainment
College Park also traditionally hosts several fun cultural events, beginning with April’s Dancing on the Drive. Taking over the neighborhood’s main thoroughfare, Edgewater Drive, it features a giant dance floor, food trucks and vendors. November’s JazzFest features several bands, and December’s Holiday on the Drive turns the area into a wintery wonderland. (Please note that College Park’s annual events are subject to changes and cancellations.)
Learn more: Orlando Events
If relaxation is your favorite form of entertainment, head to The Spa, which has been voted as one of Orlando’s best. Services include massage, waxing, nail and skin care, body treatments, and a Dermalogica Skin Bar, as well as an outside cabana area with a hot tub.
College Park boasts numerous shopping opportunities. Local retailers with a wide range of merchandise include Good Crowd, Bijou’s Boutique and Ritzy Rags.
Learn more: Orlando Neighborhood Shopping
You’ll find much in the way of specialized shopping here, too. For example, Orange Cycle has anything and everything to do with bicycling. Foundation is a hip music and clothing store, and Naked Bar Soap Co. is an amazing source for handcrafted soaps and other bath and body products.
Last but not least, if you want to look your best for MegaCon Orlando or other comic-book conventions, stop by Embellish FX. It’s a cosplay emporium with costumes, wigs, masks, cosmetics and everything else you’ll need to become your favorite fictional character.
These are just some of the many reasons why visitors and locals alike can’t get enough of College Park. See why for yourself the next time you’re in Orlando.
What is College Park known for?
Orlando’s College Park Main Street District is known for exceptional dining, unique shopping, historic architecture and fun annual events, combining the best of big-city and small-town living.
Why is it called College Park, Orlando?
Orlando’s College Park got its name because many of the streets are named after famous colleges.