Just east of Lake Eola, Thornton park is place to be when you want relief from the hustle and bustle of life. The park is home an array of colorful restaurants and boutiques with an European flair, giving a relaxing and inviting environment for guests to walk around and enjoy. The park has over 50 shops, dining destinations and other services that give guests everything they will need for a relaxing day! So whether you are in the mood to “sit outside with a glass of wine, enjoy a leisurely dinner before catching a show, or ready to put on your shopping shoes and spruce up your wardrobe and hairstyle, we’ve gotcha covered.” Benjamin French Bakery is this month’s entrepreneur of the month and is owned by Benjamin Coquillou. Originally from Bordeaux, which is in the south west of France, his passion for food started about 15 years ago and he decided to go to school to study and learn all about it! Finding Thornton Park by accident while walking around Lake Eola, he fell in love with the neighborhood and especially the European feel of the park. Benjamin French Bakery is different from any other bakery due to their dedication to their customers and making them feel like they are part of the family. Their love comes from the spirit that Thornton Park brings and the family friendly feel it prides itself on.
Built on the site of a former Naval Training Center, Baldwin Park is home to over 8,000 residents and has more than 125 businesses. With a wide array of housing choices, schools, parks, lakes and much more, this is what makes the park one of the most desirable places to live, work and visit. Just three miles from Downtown Orlando, there is no end to the awesome opportunities to meet new people, rock out at amazing events, and learn what Orlando is all about! The land that the park is built on has a long history with the United States military service. From WWII until 1968, the site was an Army Air Corps and Air Force base, which eventually became the Orlando Naval Training Center. The name of the park comes from Robert H. B. Baldwin, who was the former under secretary of the Navy. A veterans park on the northern shore of Lake Baldwin was created to commemorate the 60 year period of history that has made Baldwin Park what it is today!
Made up of local business owners, residents and member of local government, Mills 50 is committed to make the district more pedistrian friendly, safer for traffic and to maintain it unique urban character and charm. These goals are achieved from the help and generosity of the National Trust Main Street Center, the City of Orlando, as well as its many members and volunteers. Born with the tag-line “The Intersection of Creativity and CUlture”, Mills 50 is a grass-roors, member-based organization nestled between mills ave and state road 50 in a centrally located urban district in the city of Orlando. To reflect the creative and diverse culture of the park, they have 5 pillars of their district that are: creativity, health, unity, balance and diversity. With hidden gems like the Funky Monkey Wine Co, Anthony’s NY Style Pizza and Tony’s Deli, Mills 50 has something for everyone and will keep you coming back time after time!
A distinct neighborhood within Orlando, College Park derives it name from the many streets within its bounds that are named for institutions of higher learning, such as Princeton, Harvard and Yale, among others. Its close proximity to downtown Orlando provides a popular resident area for seniors and young professional looking to get their feet in the door and experience their passions. Along with the many churches and schools within the area, COllege park is also home to several recerational places to gather with friends and have a good time. Albert Park serves as a hub for many of the events that COllege Park holds, such as an annual Easter hunt and political candidate forums among others.
None of these places would be possible without the creation of Downtown Orlando. Mayor Buddy Dyer describes downtown as a “world-class urban core with residental, retail and commercial development: a diversified and thriving economy as well as center for digital media and vast cultural and creative amenities.” Made up of seven districts, downtown Orlando is a plethera of diverse and unique experiences that everyone can enjoy. From the restaurants that offer daily specials and throw themed parties, to the plaza that comes alive at night for a night of pure fun, Downtown Orlando is the place to have fun, make new friends and make memories that will last forever!