One of our favorite things in life is discovering new places in the world. We love traveling and it’s a big bonus if you’ve already done some research in advance. It’s even better if someone else has done that research for you! In September NSMBL flew down to Orlando to explore the city. We had the honor to interview Casey Wohl, better known as the ‘Getaway Girl‘.
Years ago, Casey decided to turn her love for traveling into a book called ‘Girls Getaway Guide’. The idea: the ultimate guide that you and your friends can use to get away for a few days and get to know a different city. This was the perfect occasion to ask her all about Orlando!
When we ask Casey to describe herself, her two biggest passions immediately come up: friends and traveling. She combined these two passions and developed a series of successful books about city trips for ladies. After getting divorced and getting fired from her old job, Casey found distraction in traveling with her friends. That’s when she realized that travel agencies and guides don’t focus on specific groups of people. They just tell you where, when and how to travel. Casey took matters into her own hands and started looking for the answer to why girls should travel. That makes her books incredibly recognizable and they make you feel like anything is possible.
Shopping, eating and drinking – Of course we were dying to know what Casey’s favorite places in Orlando are. We all know the most important things to know when you’re in a city are where to shop and where to eat.
Zou Zou Boutique
‘I love to stop by Zou Zou Boutique
and they have two locations (Downtown and Sand Lake Rd) for convenience. Wendy is the owner and does a great job finding fun, stylish and easy pieces that compliment anyone’s wardrobe. Zou Zou was born out of Wendyʼs love for fashion and her dream to house a collection of styles from both hard to ﬁnd labels and up & coming designers. Combining her vision and creativity, she created what would go on to become a nationally recognized favorite fashion destination for both clients and fashion editors alike.’
‘For breakfast, lunch dinner and a fabulous Sunday Brunch (and of course Happy Hour), it is hard to beat Dexter
‘s with three locations in the Orlando area. This is a favorite hang out for the Orlando locals. I remember their first location next to Rollins College in Winter Park as that was a popular place for us to hang during the college days. Per Dexters: Considered by many, many Orlando-ians as three of the Kewlest hangs to visit in town, we offer delicious foods/menus that change with the seasons, all freshly prepared by our chefs and served when you order them. An extensive wine list with affordable offerings and great service rounds out our picture for a successful restaurant visit.’
Texas De Brazil
One of my new favorite places for dinner is Texas De Brazil
located on International Drive. As you journey into this Brazilian steakhouse, you know you are in for a culinary feast fit for a king. Starting with one of the nicest salad/appetizer bars I have ever seen to the gaucho-dressed servers who venture around the impeccably decorated room with a wish list of meats including lovely little lamb chops to the deliciously spicy Portuguese linguica sausages and delicate pork loin to the amazing steak and chicken, all on skewers. It’s fun, delicious, interactive and you will not leave hungry. Plus, they have great cocktails and desserts.
Hotspots – Shopping and eating are fun, but after all of that you want to have a cool place to go out and have some cocktails and a little dance. According to Casey, that shouldn’t be a problem.
‘As an Orlando local, I am a Downtown girl, so many of my favorite places are in the Downtown area that is often overlooked by tourists who tend to stay in the south part of town. As for Downtown hotspots, they vary by taste and are often changing. I love meeting people for drinks at the Bosendorfer Lounge inside the Grand Bohemian Hotel
… You never know who you will see in this bar. It’s upscale, funky with a laid back vibe and great music. One time I was here with my girlfriends, the entire Houston Rockets basketball team was there.’
Howl at the Moon
‘If you are not in the Downtown area, a fun place to visit (especially with a group) is Howl at the Moon
, a dueling piano bar where guests sing their favorite rock n roll songs with the piano players. Always interactive and fun…adults of all ages can have a great time here… Especially a group of girlfriends.’
has many nighttime establishments that attract adults to this area and offer something for everyone’s taste in nightlife, like the Red Coconut Club, the groove – a dance club with a different theme each night – or Pat O’Brien’s, a re-creation of New Orleans’ favorite watering hole. But the most popular new activity for nighttime revelers has proven to be CityWalk’s Rising Star. In the wake of the popularity of shows like “American Idol” and “The Voice,” guests get to live out their dreams of taking to the stage and performing in front of a packed house.’
Things you can’t miss – There are a lot more activities that you absolutely can’t miss when you visit Orlando with your friends. Here are Casey’s three favorites.
1) Shop & Stroll Winter Park’s Park Avenue. The centerpiece of a lavish winter retreat since 1887, Park Avenue has long been the place for a relaxing stroll in elegant surroundings plus stop by my alma mater Rollins College at the end of Park Avenue. It is a beautiful campus.
2) Take a cooking class at Truffles & Trifles, the largest, most successful cooking school in the Southeast and was named one of the top five cooking schools in the U.S. by the Food Network.
3) Catch a “Cirque du Soleil” show that is billed as a theatrical ride for the senses, but make sure to make reservations.
Want to find out more? Check out Casey’s website or go to Visit Orlando for more information.