Most Instagrammable spots in Orlando
It's quite possible our generation loves taking photos more than any that preceded us. Blame it on companies selling powerful mini cameras we can keep in our pockets, a higher level of overall narcissism, or perhaps more eye candy in our world than ever before.
Whatever the reason, our love of digitally capturing moments, when we possibly would be better off just living in the moment, probably won't fade anytime soon. I'm all for balance, but there is nothing wrong with looking for creative opportunities to enjoy color and light, because honestly it's a happy medium in a pretty devastatingly garbage world.
If you need some light-hearted, insta-worthy opportunities in your life, here is a list of places to enjoy and escape the tragic news feed we are being fed every single day. And if you ever feel weird trying to capture a moment, and someone's judgmental eyes are following you, ask yourself "Is what I'm doing making me happy or settling a small layer of anxiety in my life?". If the answer is yes, wave and smile at them and keep on snapping. It's literally what I do. The wave usually makes them mind their business.
It's one of the newer graphic walls in town, and it just so happens to be attached to a juice shop. Whether you actually go inside and grab a juice or acai bowl is up to you, but the colors outside cannot be denied. Model + Boss: Liv Jonse
Bathrooms at The Guesthouse
I don't know what it is about bathrooms at bars, but I've had some pretty intense pep talks with myself inside many of them. Calming nerves, having deep life thoughts, telling yourself certain truths, or ya know, just enjoying a good bowel movement. Whatever the theme of your bathroom adventure is, at the Guesthouse you are surrounded by calming wallpaper that is absolutely Florida and you can't help but pause the self-awareness chat for a selfie.
Exterior of Avalon Exchange
There's something about the slick yellow triangle that I just can't get enough of. The bonus of snapping any pictures here is that you can shop and always find a bargain inside.
Lake Eola Band Shell
It's beautiful from any spot around Lake Eola, but for it's full glory get up close and personal at different angles for some real stunning color play.
Inside Bambu Desserts & Drinks
You might stop in for a quick dessert or Boba tea, but you end up staying because the decadent furniture dictates you have a mini photo shoot. It's like a mini Entertainment 720 office. Where dreams come, to come true.
Maybe it's just me, but I love a good stoop with big, brash, colorful graphics. Beyond that, Colonial Lanes is actually a really fun bowling alley you probably need to visit if you haven't already. I have no idea if rumors about the possible demolition of Colonial Lanes is actually true or not, but to be safe, get your local bowl on while you can.
Andrew Spear Wall on Shine
I feel like I should pay Andrew Spear for every photo I take with this gorgeous mural as my backdrop. It's definitely my favorite in the city, and I get really frustrated if I ever see it vandalized. Keep the mural on Shine clean and pristine people! I also desperately want to make a Spearlife mural happen in College Park.
Porch Therapy at East End Market
No one ever tires of the succulents and other plants both inside and outside the East End Market.
Anytime I can fill my belly with good food while having my other senses stimulated I'm a happy camper. Fresh Kitchen is a bright and colorful photo opportunity in-between bites.
Rainbow walkway at the Town House Restaurant
While I wouldn't tell you to trek all the way out to Oviedo just to snap a pic of what I call Rainbow Road, if you happen to be in the area, it's worth a quick pit stop. It's Mario Kart Dreams coming alive.
Food aside, the Glass Knife is truly a stunningly beautiful new spot in Winter Park. While decor should never outshine the quality of food, it's hard not to get wrapped up in aesthetics and take one too many photos of all the details down to the bathroom sink.
The Pink Wall in College Park
In California there is a monstrously popular pink wall, so popular in fact that people often wait in line to snap a selfie. While I can't say I understand waiting in a line for a picture of a solid pink wall, I can tell you if that's your jam, College Park has a pink wall to quench your thirst.
Update: The pink wall has been painted over and is now a bright blue.
I can't tell if the hardworking people inside the greenhouses hate that Florida Cactus Inc. has become a popular place for photo shoots or not. To be honest, if I worked there in the sweltering temps and I saw a fashion bloggers I might get low-key irritated. Regardless, it's truly a serene place to visit, but you guys BETTER be buying stuff when you go.
It's dark and bruiting with exposed brick, shelves of books, rich textures and vintage furnishings. No shorts or flip flops allowed, so class it up a bit before you go. Photo by the talented Anna LaBeau Cabio.
The floors at Black Bean Deli
Why do we love beautiful floors? I don't know. We just do. And something about the tile at Black Bean Deli always makes me smile.
Bluebird Bake Shop
All carbs should be accompanied by cute, cozy nooks. Truthfully Bluebird has it all. The marble tables, the white penny tile, the accent wallpaper. Oh and delicious baked goods.
Downtown Credo in College Park
It's all about those window shots at the College Park Credo. Also quite popular is the multi-colored Orlando map inside as the backdrop of many self portrait shoots, casual latte in hand.
Women's bathroom at Hunger Street
Hunger Street has beautiful artwork all over it's exterior, but I'm partial to the Frida Kahlo wallpaper in the ladies bathroom. Another perk of this spot despite dim lighting, is you can take selfies in privacy away from judgmental eyes, aka unhappy haters.
Milk District Wings
It's one of my favorite walls to visit during Tasty Tuesdays as a colorful background to my food. This mural has been around for awhile, and I hope no one ever paints over it.
The sitting room at Reyes Mezcaleria
Before you sit down to enjoy tacos and elote you must take a moment to appreciate the room that was expertly put together by Sue Chin. Each piece was hunted down at local shops and hand picked by Sue who has impeccable taste and makes all her ventures instagram worthy.
Cosmic Pyramid Wall in the Milk District
So, I totally made that name up, call this what you wish. I love the colors of this mural and it's a beautiful addition to the Milk District. Artist: Veronika Rose
The porch at Buttermilk Bakery
Maybe it's the succulent planters, or the lighting, or the neutral gray tones; but I've seen some shoots go down on the Buttermilk porch.
The coffee window at New General
To my knowledge it's the only coffee window in Orlando, and New General made sure it was going to be a hard one to beat. A minimalist approach and a single neon sign make it a pretty hip coffee experience.
The Love Orlando wall at Orlando Shirts
The showroom at Orlando Shirts highlights the labor of love created by artist Hillery Powers. Locals actually hand colored in the Orlando-centric icons of this mural. It's the perfect backdrop to enjoy while you shop locally made shirts, hats, and more. Make sure to check their hours before you visit instead of sending them a nasty gram.
Update: This shop has closed and is now an online business only.
Hearts at Etoile Boutique
I'm all for more of these inspirational candy hearts all around the city. I've spotted others on Mills, and I'd love to see more. Let's make it happen in 2018. Artist: Philly street-artist Amber Lynn
Barnie's Coffee on Park Avenue
While I personally prefer a spot with more color, there is no denying people love Barnie's for low-key photo shoots. It hits all the basic marks. Marble, lattes, and avocado toast. Get it ladies, do you.
Art inside the Fashion Square Mall
I don't care what anyone says about the Fashion Square Mall. I love it. It's erie and kinda sad, which makes it the perfect place to walk around aimlessly while listening to the Stranger Things soundtrack. Honestly, try it. It's dope. Also, you can't miss the art corridor on the lower level movie theater entrance.
The bathrooms in the Dr. Phillips Performing Arts Center
Call me crazy, but I always make sure the shoes I wear are worthy of the floors in the Dr. Phillips bathrooms. They are glorious and selfie friendly. Sue me! Good bathroom lighting is hard to find!
I remember the first time I tried a Se7enbites pie at Pom Pom's, before the bakery was even open and freaking out over how amazing it was. I hadn't had a pie that good from a local business, ever. Fast forward a few years, and now Chef Trina has a wildly successful business with a very identifiable and highly Instagrammed exterior. There are few places I trust to fill my pie hole.
Milk District rotating sign
Outside Sportstown Billiards you'll find this ever changing sign with a new greeting what seems like every few weeks.
Pops of blue, white back-splash, a few light up letters for some sparkle, a mural, and oh yeah DOUGHNUTS! Valkryie may be a small space, but it's full of happy sensor triggers and pillowy doughnuts so good they may actually distract you from snapping a photo at all. Photo credit to my favs Fox + Film Photo
Personally, I'd live in this trailer, and the rent would probably be kinder to me than most studio apartments in Orlando. With the hand painted detail by artist Jessa Bray, and then the stacks of glistening jewerly and hand picked decor by Gypset owner Samantha; it's just a win win all around.
This one quickly snapped phone photo doesn't do the Maitland Art Center justice. The grounds and the architecture are stunning, and on a cool day it's a beautiful area to explore and get inspired.
I'm not sure how many articles and documentaries need to keep coming out about inhumane practices and detrimental environmental impacts of huge fashion retailers for people to stop supporting them. If you feel like weaning yourself off the corporate fast fashion lifestyle, start over at the Owl's Attic. It's such a gorgeous shop, with lots of picture perfect nooks, but more importantly, a great selection of items.
Orlando Postcard Mural
It's one of my favorite murals in the city, but the hardest part of shooting it, is finding that slim window when no cars are blocking it.
The glitzy and glittery lighting in the main dining room is enough to stop you dead in your tracks, but as you wander you find more design details making Morimoto a stunning place to dine. Make sure to capture all your photos before diving into the sticky spare ribs. Photo by: Rebecca Carmen
Sure photos in the dark aren't always the best, but this retro themed bar and arcade is full of amazingly intricate areas dedicated to 80's movies and video games. You won't be able to help yourself from taking a few pics between going for the high schore.
All photos are mine unless otherwise credited. Explore your city, support local business, don't take anything personal from someone who doesn't know you personally.