Help me find a low-key party location in Orlando
June 13, 2014 7:28 AM   Subscribe

I'm planning an alumni party for my workplace's residents and fellows who will be at the national annual meeting for our specialty. The conference is at the Orange County Convention Center. I'm looking for a place within walking distance of the conference, with good food (doesn't have to be fine dining, or anything, but needs to be tasty) and a pleasant ambiance where our doctors can catch up on what they've been up to for the past year. It'll be a Tuesday night in September.

I looked at Howl at the Moon but they look too noisy (duelling pianos in the next room over = probably not conducive to conversation). Most of the remainder of what I'm seeing on google maps looks like hotel restaurants, which I'm not against, but am hoping for something a bit more interesting (with more personality) if it's available.

The convention is in a different city every year. In the past, the places they have really enjoyed included a private room at a beach/marina-themed place, a place with a chocolate bar theme, and a semi-private balcony in a hipstery bar in Vancouver which had amazing hors d'oevres and no theme at all. The year we had it at a rock'n'roll-themed bowling/billiards place I got mixed reviews where some people loved it but some people thought it was too loud.

Proximity to the convention center is important, too.

This is always a challenge for me because I can never visit the venues to scout ahead. I'm hoping you all can help me again.
posted by joannemerriam to Travel & Transportation around Orlando, FL (3 answers total)
Lee's Lakeside in Orlando use to be a standard for events. It's on Lake Eola and has a nice view of the skyline.
Lee Rose (the original owner) died a few years ago, so I don't how it's fared since. My sister-in-law had her last baby shower there (a bout 5 years ago) and enjoyed it.
posted by AMValen at 8:00 AM on June 13, 2014

Best answer: Lake Eola is not within walking distance of the convention center. There really isn't anything within walking distance - it's not a city set up for walking, unfortunately. If you can't arrange transport, you're probably best at one of the nearby hotels.
posted by judith at 3:48 PM on June 13, 2014

Best answer: Finding something with personality on that side of Orlando is definitely a challenge. You may want to look at what the Universal properties have to offer, since you'll probably need some sort of transportation (traffic on that side of town is unpredictable and walking is not easy). The retro-themed Cabana Bay Beach Resort just opened and might offer something fun. I think there's also smaller lounges at the Hard Rock Hotel that might suit your needs.
posted by cndelia at 8:29 AM on June 16, 2014

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