Mixing Business and Pleasure: Quick Escapes in Orlando

by  Darren Murph | Nov 26, 2012
Orlando, Florida skyline
Orlando, Florida skyline / Sean Pavone / iStock

There's rarely a time when Orlando isn't buzzing with people that don't call themselves citizens of Florida, but the winter months can make the roadways particularly zany. If you're in the region as a proud member of the Snow Bird contingent, an avid follower of all things Disney, or just flying down to one of the most widely used convention centers in the world, we've got some advice for you. In an effort to get you outside of the boardroom and into the wilds of Orlando, we’re offering up two restaurants, two attractions, and one bar that you can hit with just a few extra hours between meetings.

While we're sure you'd love to escape the seemingly endless halls of America's second largest convention center, sometimes you just need a good meal without a huge walk. Thankfully, Copper Canyon Grill is right on the premises and it's actually pretty fantastic. Yes, entrees can run you well over $20, but it may be worth the premium if you're pinched for time. The specialty is pure Americana cuisine, and those who love steak and crab dip will be duly satisfied.

If you're not opposed to a short cab ride, you can get way outside of your comfort zone at Sleuths Mystery Dinner Shows. It's dinner, but there's also a show involved, and it's chock full of comedy and mystery. If you're worried about being joined by clients who may be "too good" for such a "childish" endeavor, no one's stopping you from heading out alone!

As for activities? You won't need a travel guide to tell you that Disney World and SeaWorld are right next door to the Orange County Convention Center, and if you end up with a full day to spare, visiting either of those parks is a must. Sure, it's the cliché  thing to do in Orlando, but if you've never been, it's most certainly worth a day pass. The thing is, Disney itself is enormous. Those looking for thrills should head to the MGM section, while those who want the more conventional experience can head to the Magic Kingdom. If ever there was a business trip to bring your kids on, Orlando is it.

If you're overwhelmed by the thought of driving out very far just to drive some golf balls, you'll be pleased to know that Marriott's Grande Pines Golf Club Orlando is within a few miles of the conventional center. In fact, if you stay at the nearby Marriot Cyprus Harbor, you'll have the greens right outside of your door. Florida has an abundance of courses, but the proximity of this one enables those with afternoon meetings to get a few holes in prior to suiting up.

Before you head back to (presumably chillier) weather, it's worth a quick stop at Howl at the Moon. It's just a few miles from the convention center, and it's a highly enjoyable piano bar. Have a seat, blow off a bit of steam, and listen to a few locals tickle the ivories. I can think of plenty worse ways to spend a final night in Orlando.

This is a recurring feature exploring must-visit locales in a variety of cities. If you find yourself traveling to a place for business, why not venture out and enjoy your surroundings?

See our Orlando destination guide for more trip-planning information, then use our Travel Search price comparison tool to find the lowest rates on flights.

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