Orlando’s Thornton Park District
Colorful and walkable with a distinctly European feel, downtown Orlando’s Thornton Park District is home to gorgeous Lake Eola Park — and so much more. Stroll the Orlando Main Streets district’s cobblestoned streets to discover over 60 locally owned specialty shops, restaurants and service providers, all just 20 minutes north of our main tourism districts.
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Orlando’s Thornton Park blossomed in the first half of the 20th century, as prosperous cattle ranchers and citrus growers put their money into not just stately homes, but brick-lined streets and other upscale community improvements. The latter included Lake Eola Park’s central Linton E. Allen Memorial Fountain, which debuted in 1957.
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Today, the district’s historic homes and luxury condominiums are supported by stylish eateries, chic boutiques, wine bars and more, all shaded by towering oak trees covered with Spanish moss. Whether you visit by day or by night, you’ll find it to be one of Orlando’s most gorgeous neighborhoods. It’s also one of the most dog-friendly areas of a very dog-friendly city, with most restaurants and bars allowing dogs on patios and lots of dog stations throughout the district.
The crown jewel of Orlando’s public parks system, Lake Eola Park alone provides ample reason to visit Thornton Park. Between live concerts and stage performances at the Walt Disney Amphitheater, to nighttime lights on the central fountain, to renting a swan-shaped paddleboat for an aquatic adventure, it’s a must-visit for anyone coming to Orlando.
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Lake Eola Park also features a nearly 1-mile paved walking path, a stunning mix of flora and fauna (including its famous swans), and an eclectic array of public art sculptures and unique architecture. The gorgeous setting hosts some of our most popular annual events, including October’s Come Out With Pride Festival, spring and fall editions of the Fiesta in the Park arts festival, December’s Downtown for the Holidays, and more.
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You can join more fun events around the district, including the 2nd Thursday Wine & Art Walk on the second Thursday of every month. It’s a fun-filled evening with art vendors, live music, DJs and a night market, and it’s always dog-friendly. Use our Events Calendar to see what this popular district has on tap ahead of your next visit to Orlando.
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.