Lake Eola Park is affectionately considered as one of Orlando’s top ‘natural’ playgrounds (ie. one that doesn’t involve Disney or Universal) – a pleasant downtown spot for picnics, exercise, paddle-boating or just a quick escape from the nearby high-rises.
The 23 acre site, located off East Washington Street, features an almost one-mile-long walkway around the lake perimeter, as well as other attractions such as an event amphitheater, a children’s’ playground, a bright red Chinese pagoda and a Conference States of America monument.
Activities at Lake Eola Park
Probably the best way enjoy the lake at Eola Park is to actually get in the water in one of the cute paddleboats available for hire all year round. Designed to look like elegant white swans (and presumably fit in with the natural scenery), these are available for $15 per half hour, which allows you enough time to cover all corners of the lake, getting up close with the iconic fountain in the center along the way.
Walt Disney Amphitheater
Visit Orlando and you’re never too far away from something Disney-related. Lake Eola Park subtly markets the brand in the form of a small, but actually rather good amphitheater, hosting monthly events, such as fundraisers, open-air movies, live performances, and festivals.
Orlando Farmers Market
If you’re in the downtown area anytime on a Sunday between 10:00-16:00, be sure not to miss out of Lake Eola’s very own farmers market located at the corner of E. Central Boulevard and N. Eola Drive. Expect handicrafts, locally-sourced produce, plants, a pet section, ready-to-eat food and live music and the beer garden.
For one of the best vantage points across the water, look for the bright red pagoda that looks out over the lake. The Chinese-Buddhist monument recently underwent some repairs, and now includes a cool LED light installation.
Eating and Drinking
Visitors are free to bring their own picnics along to Lake Eola, but for something a bit more civilized (without any of the fuss), the lakeside ‘Relax Grill’ is highly recommended. Located towards the northwest corner of the park, this café-cum-restaurant serves some tasty American-Mediterranean food including burgers, sandwiches, salads and fresh seafood. Arrive for sunset (18:00-20:00) on a Friday to enjoy the beer and wine buffet for just $10!
T’ai Chi & Kung Fu Classes
Lake Eola Park has steadily become one of the most popular places in downtown Orlando for martial arts, with T’ai chi & Kung Fu sessions running Monday, Wednesday and Saturday evening, as well as yoga on Sunday at 11:00am (all donation-based).
Lake Eola Park
Lake Eola Park is easy to reach in the heart of Downtown Orlando, borderd by East Robinson Street, Rosalind Avenue, East Central Boulevard, and North Eola Drive. The gates are open daily from 10:00-22:00.
- Opening Hours: 10:00 - 22:00
- Location: East Central Blvd., Downtown Orlando