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Orlando, Florida: A Shopper's Paradise
Orlando, Florida is recognized around the world for its fabulous theme parks which are the destination for many Florida vacations. Although it may be less well known, Orlando also boasts some of the finest shopping in Florida. From posh designer handbags and straight-off-the-runway threads to theme park T-shirts and ball caps, in markets and sprawling outlet centers to upscale malls, Orlando, Florida has something for everyone and every budget. So, if you need a break from the heat or shelter on a rainy day, shopping solace is just around the corner!

Shop 'til you Drop on your Florida Vacations!

Shopping may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you're trying to think of things to do in Orlando on Florida vacations, but when you do decide to venture out for some retail therapy, there are plenty of options available. Most of the shopping areas have entertainment and other alternative activity options nearby, so if the male members of your party don't feel like spending their Florida vacations window shopping, they can venture off to find their own fun.

International Drive is a three-mile strip with one of the largest concentrations of shopping options in the Orlando, Florida metro area. From designer boutiques with deep discounts to outlet malls with quality shopping at bargain prices, Orlando's popular International Drive Resort Area is a well-known destination for serious shoppers. More than 485 shops and outlets make shopping in this popular destination an attraction that is not to be missed by those looking for great shopping on their Florida vacations. Offering souvenirs, gadgets, jewelry and name brand designer outlets, all at great prices, the area is known for providing the ultimate shopping experience. And, best of all, the shops are just a trolley ride away from five of the world's best theme parks; SeaWorld, Discovery Cove, Wet 'n Wild, Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure.

Festival Bay Mall at International Drive has something for every member of the family! While the ladies in the group go peruse the trendy sportswear at hot Orlando, Florida shops such as Ron Jon Surf Shop and Steve & Barry's University Sportswear, the men can check out the cool sporting equipment at Bass Pro Shop's Outdoor World or get in on the action at Vans Skatepark. Then the whole family can meet up and catch a matinee movie afterwards at Cinemark Theaters, making this a great spot to relax from the hustle and bustle of most Florida vacations.

Another International Drive destination, Orlando Premium Outlets, is Orlando, Florida's only upscale outlet center. Created with the budget shopping connoisseur in mind, it features 110 designer and brand name outlets including Armani Exchange, Burberry, Calvin Klein, Coach, Dooney & Bourke, Dior, Fendi, Giorgio Armani, Polo Ralph Lauren Factory Store, Timberland, and Tommy Hilfiger.

If digging through rack after rack of discounted designer clothing doesn't fit into your idea of fun things to do in Orlando, Florida, the Mall at Millennia offers a selection of exclusive luxury boutiques and specialty stores. This distinctive shopping destination features more than 150 sophisticated shops, such as Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Gucci, Apple, and Tiffany & Co. The mall's dramatic architecture and innovative uses of water and technology make it an exciting place to people watch or window shop on your Florida vacations. Take in the hottest runway fashions from NY, London, Paris, and Milan as they are broadcast on LED screens atop 35-foot high masts. If a martini or appetizer is on your to-do-list, you're in luck! More than just the ultimate shopping destination, the Mall at Millenia treats guests to a distinct selection of dining and nightlife venues for every taste.

Old Town is a "fun for the whole family" shopping complex in Orlando, Florida featuring brick-lined streets, 8 affordable restaurants, 75 specialty shops and 15 amusement park rides--a great off-the-beaten-path destination for family-oriented Florida vacations. In an effort to transport you back to a simpler time, Old Town offers a variety of candy shops and old-fashioned collectibles you won't find anywhere else. Every Saturday night, Old Town draws huge crowds for its "Saturday Nite Cruise," featuring classic cars, hot rods, street rods and antiques from 1972 or earlier, rolling to the tune of live 50's and 60's music.

If you are on the hunt for Mickey ears for your kids or any other Disney-related gear, the Disney Marketplace is the place to go. Disney Marketplace offers unique, diverse shops and restaurants, all in an exciting waterfront setting. Discover the biggest Disney character store in the world right in Orlando, Florida and peruse dozens of unique and imaginative chain and specialty stores packed with fun merchandise. And, if you're staying at one of the nearby Disney hotel properties, canopied water taxis will shuttle you to and from the Disney Marketplace in style!

Conclusion

If you are burnt out on the theme parks and other traditional activities that Orlando, Florida vacations have to offer, a day of shopping can provide an excellent escape for the whole family. Shopping is a great way to avoid coordinating separate activities to satisfy each member of your group. From outlets to luxury boutiques and specialty shopping districts with varied entertainment options, there truly is a shopping destination for every individual to enjoy in Orlando.
About the Author
Fraser Hannah spent eight years working as a freelance television production manager and researcher before leaving to join his family's business working with the elderly. He founded Traveling2Florida.com in 2003 after purchasing his own vacation home in Florida and being frustrated by the lack of vision shown by many of the existing vacation rental sites.
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