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Girlfriend Getaway of the Month: Orlando

[Getaway Girl Casey Wohl is back with some great travel tips from sunny Orlando, Florida. Let her expert advice warm you up, and then start planning your next girlfriend getaway!] By Casey Wohl After graduating from Orlando-based Rollins College, my roommates (Sharon and Colleen) and I vowed to return to Orlando once a year for a weekend of girl time and college reminiscing. There’s plenty of adult fun to be had in this family-friendly city; it’s much more than just “the Mouse!” Here’s a glimpse at some of our Orlando favorites.

Where to Stay

Grand Bohemian Hotel ( An experience in art and music, the AAA Four Diamond Grand Bohemian Hotel provides guests with everything, from an art gallery to excellent dining to a fun and trendy lounge to a Starbucks to luxurious accommodations.  Located in the heart of Downtown Orlando, this is my favorite hotel in town! 

Where to Eat

Dexter’s ( The first Dexter’s was located next to my college campus, so we visited this establishment frequently.  With a fantastic wine list, delicious food, local artwork and live music, Dexter’s is a hip and trendy yet low-key hangout.  Sharon loves the Dexter’s Special with Sweet Potato Chips.

HUE Restaurant ( This trendy and stylish restaurant is one of my favorites.  The menu changes daily and features an impressive array of flavors.  Everything is outstanding, but you must try the award-winning Chilean Sea Bass.  HUE offers a full bar and one of downtown’s most popular happy hours. Their Disco Brunch (every third Sunday) is a blast!

Where to Shop

Park Avenue – Looking for the best in boutique shopping?  Look no further than nearby Park Avenue (located in Winter Park).  This upscale, outdoor shopping area features wonderful shops and boutiques unique to the area.  Stroll along the avenue, which dead ends into our alma mater Rollins College.  A day on Park Avenue is also a must during our visit.

Zou Zou Boutique ( – Located downtown in Thornton Park, Zou Zou owner Wendy Ricchi knows how to find the latest and greatest fashion trends straight from the celeb magazines.  With designers such as Ella Moss, VELVET, Sam Edelman, VOOM, Tracy Reese, Nanette Lepore, Rebecca Taylor, T-bags and more, I always stop by Zou Zou when I’m in town.

At Truffles and Trifles
At Truffles and Trifles

The Mall at Millenia ( Orlando’s luxury retail mall features department stores such as Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdale’s and Macys, as well as boutique stores like Intermix, Anthropologie, Gucci, Tiffany & Co., Chanel, Juicy Couture, Betsey Johnson, Tommy Bahama and more!

What to Do

Orlando Magic ( During college, Colleen and I worked at the Orlando Magic basketball games, so attending a game while we are in town is a must.  The arena is located downtown, so we typically grab a bite to eat and take a pedicab to the game.  We have a blast rooting for our team, usually while dancing in the stands.

The girls with Magic player Carlos Arroyo
The girls with Magic player Carlos Arroyo

Truffles and Trifles ( With more than 20 years in business, Chef Marcy has developed one of the most successful cooking schools in the southeast and one of the Top Five Cooking Schools in the country according to the Food Network.  Classes range from Mexican Fiesta to All Chocolate.  You will have a blast cooking….and eating!

Spa at Thornton Park ( Located across from Zou Zou Boutique, this spa offers exceptional services with reasonable prices.  If you have a group of girls, they can accommodate with a fantastic spa party complete with mani/pedis, massages, facials and more! 

Casey Wohl, The Getaway Girl™, is the author of the Girls Getaway Guide travel book series. Her third book, the Girls Getaway Guide to Nashville: Leave Your Baggage at Home™ will be published in Summer 2009.  For more information, visit


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