Though perhaps best known for the commercial stretch of SR 436 that runs through it like a great river of multi-generational strip malls, Altamonte Springs is also home to one of Orlando's most popular shopping centers, a beautiful lake-set park and something of a "Where's Waldo?" of hidden dining gems.
See & Do
Cranes Roost Park is the cultural center of Altamonte Springs, hosting free events year-round. Whether family festival, culinary fair, free musical offerings or state-of-the-art fireworks, you'll find it here. Its centerpiece lake is bordered by a mile-long paved walkway. Nearby Congo River offers up top-shelf mini golf in true Central Florida tradition, along with live gators to delight the youngest out-of-towners from northern climes.
It is not implausible to estimate that it would take someone years of eating out three times a day to hit up every restaurant in Altamonte Springs. Eateries range from recognizable mall-anchored chain to bonafide fine dining and span near-infinite ethnicities. Try Hana Sushi for creative, delicious, reasonably-priced Japanese or Kohinoor for a serene environment in which to enjoy traditional Indian fare.
Those looking to stick to the immediate area around either Cranes Roost or Altamonte Mall might look to hit up the Happy Hour at the Elephant Bar (they have two every day). For something exceptionally casual, try St. Andrews Tavern, just a couple of miles up SR 436, for darts, pints, authentic British fare, friendly locals and more than a few U.K. expats.
I-4 runs right through Altamonte Springs, offering convenient access to downtown and points east (Daytona Beach) and west (downtown Orlando and the city's many theme parks), so there's no shortage of places to stay. From the Howard Johnson Plaza Altamonte, home of the Legendary Why Not Lounge, a popular venue for music, comedy and more, to the Embassy Suites Orlando North and its gorgeous location on Cranes Roost Park, your bases are well covered here.
Altamonte Mall is undoubtedly the best-known of the city's retail hubs but just steps away, buffering Cranes Roost Park, sits Uptown Altamonte, an extensive, outdoor "city walk" of a venue with additional shopping in the form of Pier One Imports, Baer's, DSW and other specialty shops including WineStyles, where tastings and classes are often the order of the day.