Florida, Lake Nona

Lake Nona Region of Orlando, Florida

If you find yourself wanting to escape the chain restaurants and tourist traffic of the outskirts of Disney, check out the small town of Lake Nona. In just 25 minutes from the Celebration/Lake Buena Vista area, you can find a slice of the Orlando authenticity you’re looking for (minus the Mickey ears).

While staying near the ESPN Sports Complex for my boyfriends basketball camp, I began to research “cute coffee shops” nearby. Not wanting to brave I-4 toward downtown just for coffee, I zoomed out on Google maps and found Canvas Restaurant and Market in Lake Nona.

With wide open views of the lake, Canvas was the perfect spot to order up a coffee and relax. There is a restaurant inside, but I chose to order from their market café and post up outside.

I also couldn’t resist ordering my latte with a side of chilaquiles.

Along with the lake, a beautiful stained glass house by artist Tom Fruin is situated on the property.

Inside Canvas you can find their market stocked with cute, funny, and thoughtful gifts!

Five minutes down the road, you’ll find Boxi Park in Lake Nona. A hub of shipping containers that house everything from ice cream to cevichĂ©. A dog park, children’s play area, and volleyball courts, make Boxi Park perfect for any visitor. On most days you can also find live music!

Across the street from Boxi Park is Lake Nona Town Center. The town center houses a courtyard lined with bars, restaurants, public art and boutiques.

Park Pizza Brewing Co. offers a break from the Florida heat, delicious brews, and a pizza lovers menu. My favorite beer was the Old ’98. A golden ale with hints of cucumber, honeydew and thyme.

Is it really a Conk adventure if I didn’t find street art? Don’t leave without taking a photo with the Lake Nona wings mural by Colette Miller!

If you’re in the Disney area and want to escape to a more local scene, don’t miss Lake Nona. I will for sure be visiting again, mainly for the Mexican street corn…