Orlando’s Lake Nona Community
Think you know Orlando? If you’ve only visited our theme parks and attractions, you’re only getting half the story. Head out from our tourism districts, and you’ll delight in hidden-gem communities that are local favorites thanks to incredible dining, entertainment, ecotourism adventures and much more — including the future-facing Lake Nona, minutes from Orlando International Airport (MCO). See why you’ll want to make this dynamic destination part of your next Orlando getaway.
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Located approximately 25 minutes east of International Drive, and officially inside Orlando city limits, Lake Nona is home to some of Orlando’s top sports, entertainment and dining. As one of the fastest growing and most innovative communities in America, the 17-square-mile area is recognized for its groundbreaking innovations around technology, mobility and wellbeing.
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The smart and connected community’s advanced technology infrastructure and commitment to collaboration has drawn visionary companies and entrepreneurs from across the globe, including Verizon, Johnson & Johnson, KPMG, and HCA Healthcare. But it’s not just businesses who are flocking to Lake Nona. The community’s thriving cultural landscape, engaging public art installations like the Lake Nona Sculpture Garden, weekly events, world-class sports facilities, miles of trails and public parks, and signature dining and entertainment options make Lake Nona a must-visit destination for Orlando visitors and locals alike.
At the heart of the community, Lake Nona Town Center offers a mix of retail, dining and entertainment options interconnected with iconic public artwork, walkable spaces and Move Nona autonomous shuttles operated by Beep. In fact, Lake Nona is one of the first communities in the country to offer shuttle service using autonomous vehicles. Since launching in 2019, the all-electric shuttles have carried more than 47,000 passengers, making Move Nona the largest and longest-running autonomous vehicle program in the county.
Lake Nona Town Center also hosts hundreds of events each year, including a weekly artisan and farmers market with live entertainment every weekend. From the annual Run Nona 5K to one of the region’s most sought-after holiday and cultural celebrations, Lake Nona is a perfect place to party.
Lake Nona is a sought-after destination for large-scale amateur and professional athletic tournaments thanks to its world-class sports facilities that include the United States Tennis Association (USTA) National Campus (the largest tennis campus in the world with nearly 100 courts) and Tom Fazio-designed course at the Lake Nona Golf & Country Club. Top organizations, including the LPGA, NCAA and USA Volleyball, host large-scale events within the community.
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When visiting Lake Nona, you can stay at a hotel that’s as forward-thinking as the community itself. Offering a luxury lifestyle experience, the Lake Nona Wave Hotel is among the most innovative in the world with many future-forward amenities, from View Smart Windows that provide guests with an extra 16 minutes of sleep each night, voice-automated in-room controls, TOTO smart toilets, keyless entry, and more. It’s the perfect base of operations for adventures not just in Lake Nona, but throughout Orlando.
Within walking distance of the Wave hotel is the 130,000-square-foot Lake Nona Performance Club fitness center, which includes the first-of-its-kind Chopra Mind-Body Zone and Spa overseen by world-renowned integrative medicine pioneer and Lake Nona’s longtime wellness ambassador Dr. Deepak Chopra.
The hotel is also adjacent to the Lake Nona Sculpture Garden, which has free admission and is home to a distinguished selection of works from one of the world’s largest private art menageries, The Lewis Collection. More public art by one of the Sculpture Garden’s key contributors, internationally renowned and Orlando-based artist JEFRË, can be found throughout the Lake Nona area.
Guests and Lake Nona visitors will want to indulge in the hotel’s innovative food and beverage program led by a talented team of culinary masters. The hotel’s signature restaurants and bars — BACÁN, HAVEN and Living Room Bar — each offer a distinct dining experience from morning to late night, making Wave one of Florida’s most culinary-centric hotels. What’s more, BACÁN is MICHELIN Guide Recommended.
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The culinary selections at Lake Nona Wave Hotel are just the latest entries in the community’s stellar dining options, which cover a wide range of cuisines. For instance, Canvas Restaurant & Market serves a new American menu with a focus on seasonal, regional produce and fresh seafood. This waterfront restaurant is also an ideal place to watch gorgeous Florida sunsets.
Nearby, Chroma Modern Bar + Kitchen focuses on tapas-style small plates and an extensive bar menu, including an impressive range of wines on tap and craft beers. The open-kitchen interior creates a vibrant environment that’s perfect for wining and dining, but there’s also much to be said for the restaurant’s covered patio and outdoor lounge that provide views of Lake Nona Town Center’s iconic art installation, “The Beacon.” Every night, Town Center visitors are captivated by different digital illustrations that illuminate on “The Beacon” tower’s 6-story display.
You can also grab a gourmet slice and locally produced beers at Lake Nona’s Park Pizza & Brewing Company. They serve wood-fired pizza and house-brewed craft beer in a laid-back, family-friendly environment with open-air seating options. Or, stop by Bosphorous Turkish Cuisine for an authentic taste of its namesake country.
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For even more dining variety, visit Lake Nona Town Center’s Boxi Park, a deconstructed food hall built from repurposed shipping containers. Here, one-of-a-kind food and beverage counters are complemented by a stage for live entertainment, sand volleyball courts, a kids’ playground and more. The only challenge is deciding what to order. Take your pick from tacos, lobster rolls, burgers, ice cream and more, as well as wine, beer and cocktails.
Don’t worry about eating too much, as you can always burn off the calories with a volleyball match or two. Speaking of which, Lake Nona offers ample opportunities to enjoy Orlando’s great outdoors. A quick game of volleyball at Boxi Park is a good place to start.
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If tennis is your racket, head to the USTA National Campus. In addition to hosting professional and collegiate matches throughout the year, this world-class facility offers numerous opportunities to learn and play for visitors of all ages and skill sets — including professional-grade courts that are free to use with a reservation in the Nemours Family Zone. They even have pickleball courts.
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Leave Lake Nona with the perfect golf swing courtesy of Drive Shack. Offering an innovative take on the sport, this venue turns golf into fun games like ShackJack, which is based on classic blackjack, and Monster Hunt, where you destroy monsters to save a princess. After your game, take a break with mouthwatering food and beverages on the outdoor deck overlooking Lake Nona.
You can also make a splash at Nona Adventure Park with water-based, family-friendly adventures. Between the inflatable aqua park and obstacle course, wake cable course, ropes course, climbing tower, and rock walls, it’s one of the most exhilarating ways to play when you visit Lake Nona.
As should be clear by now, you’ll definitely want to experience this community the next time you’re in Orlando — especially when you consider that it’s less than 30 minutes from Walt Disney World® Resort, Universal Orlando Resort, SeaWorld® Orlando and just about everything else you want to do in the Theme Park Capital of the World. We will see you there.
What is Lake Nona known for?
The visionary Lake Nona community is a nexus of technology, innovation and community. Top reasons to visit the area include exceptional dining, outdoor fun and sports, weekly events, and a wealth of gorgeous public art.
How far is Lake Nona from the beach?
Florida’s east coast beaches are an hour or less from Lake Nona. West coast beaches are approximately two hours away.
How far is Lake Nona from Walt Disney World® Resort?
Lake Nona is less than 30 minutes east of Walt Disney World.
There Is Always More to Do in Orlando
Endless adventures await in Orlando — and Visit Orlando powered by BestofOrlando.com can help you save on admission to top theme parks, attractions and experiences. Take advantage of our free planning tools to discover more ways to save money in the Theme Park Capital of the World.