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The Essential Guide to Privately Owned Florida Vacation Rental Homes and Holiday Villas in Orlando, Florida.
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Shopping in Orlando

New York, Milan, Paris...Orlando? Many people visit Orlando with shopping on the bottom of their to do list, thinking they'll grab a few quick souvenirs and get back to sightseeing. But with more than 50 million square feet of shopping space in Central Florida, an array of specialty stores and new world-class stores coming onto the scene, Orlando is becoming a legitimate player in the upscale shopping arena. So get out your credit card and head out to do some shopping!

With five major upscale department stores opening last year alone, Orlando has become one of the fastest growing retail markets in the USA.
Central Florida now boasts at least eight major shopping malls to satisfy the shop-a-holic in you. The Millenia Mall, a brand new two-level 1.2 million square-foot shopping experience, is anchored by the world-famous department stores Bloomingdale's, Macy's and Neiman Marcus. 50 percent of the retailers are new to the Orlando market, including luxury stores such as Tiffany & Co., Chanel, Gucci and Louis Vuitton.

Also, new to the Orlando retail scene are Nordstrom and Lord & Taylor which recently moved into Orlando's Florida Mall. Other venues which have also recently opened at the Florida Mall include Kenneth Cole Reactions, and two new restaurants; California Pizza Kitchen and Buca di Beppo.

Aside from shopping malls, there are many specialty stores that offer quirky knick-knacks, chic souvenirs and hip clothing throughout Central Florida. Whether you're shopping for that perfect present or looking for something to accent your home, Orlando is sure to have just what you're searching for.

Just outside Orlando in Winter Park, take a stroll down Park Avenue. This European-style Avenue is filled with small boutiques, art galleries and antiques shops - with mainstream stores like Talbot's and Gap to specialty stores where you can find everything from the perfect couch to handmade stationary.

In Downtown Orlando you'll find several shopping areas catering to the discriminating shopaholic. Thorton Park features specialty stores perfect for an afternoon of meandering and exploring. And even the most experienced of antique shoppers will be impressed with what Antique Row on Orange Avenue or the nearby Ivanhoe shops offer in old-world treasures.

Looking for something artsy? After a visit to the Orlando Museum of Art don't miss the gift-shop, featuring art-related items reflecting the museum's permanent and temporary exhibitions. Right now you can find the New Studio Edition, Chihuly Glass, by world-renowned glass artist Dale Chihuly.

The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art is home to the world's most comprehensive collection of Louis Tiffany glass and features a museum gift shop with a wide variety of stained glass reproductions. In addition to Tiffany items, the gift shop offers prints and reproductions from several well-known artists including Monet, Degas and Rodin.

The Mennello Museum of American Folk Art in Loch Haven Park features the nation's most extensive permanent collection of Earl Cunningham paintings, and also boastd a vast collection of works by self-taught artists. The museum gift shop features artwork and crafts done by local Florida artists. Items include paintings, hand-painted trays and jewelry.

Walt Disney World Resort and Universal Orlando also offer extensive shopping areas for when you need a break from the parks.

Head back to Downtown Disney where you'll find an array of specialty stores amid the Disney paraphernalia. Be sure not to miss Celebrity Eyeworks and get fitted for sunglasses just like your favourite celebrity wears; Hoypoloi, a gallery featuring art glass, ceramics and sculpture; Starabilias, where you can track down movie memborabilia from classic movies; and Sosa cigars.

Universal City Walk offers many stores mixed throughout the restaurants and nightclubs. Snap up authentic items from your favourite sports stars at All Star Collectibles; get ready to catch a wave with hip beachwear from Quiet Flight Surf Shop; or find out Earth's delicate ecosystem at The Endangered Species Store.

Make sure to hit Celebration, Disney's version of small town America. Shop on Market Street where you'll find such stores as G.S Winston Fine Jewelers, Nottingham's, featuring old world antiques and antique reproductions and the Market Street Gallery with fine gifts and unique home accents.

The Mercado Mediterranean Village on International Drive offers up 60 specialty stores with an international flare, even including a place to get your winter shopping done. It's hard to think of winter jackets in the middle of sunny Orlando, but at Image Leather, you can have a leather coat made to order from the finest Italian imported leather.

Or maybe you just want to look like you've spent a million bucks. If that's the case, check out Beltz Designer Outlet Centre on International Drive, which has 45 of the hottest designer outlets, including Coach, Polo Ralph Lauren and DKNY.

Orlando offers an abundance of stores for the serious shopper and with so much shopping to do in Orlando you may want to buy an extra suitcase... and an extra credit card!

If you are shopping for theme park tickets, head to OrlandoFunTickets.com. They offer great discount tickets to the best Orlando attractions, including Disney Tickets, Universal Tickets, SeaWorld Tickets, and MORE!

Source: With special thanks to FLAUSA and all Florida's Convention & Visitors Bureaus.
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