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Gaylord Palms - Orlando / Florida Guide

Florida Guide > Dining

On a recent trip to our villa we were looking for something a little different to do and settled on a helicopter trip over the Disney area. We thoroughly enjoyed the view from the air and one place that the pilot pointed out to us was Gaylord Palms. Even though we have been travelling to Florida for over ten years now, it is not a place that we have ever visited and he thoroughly recommended it.

A few days later the whole family decided to make the short journey to Kissimmee and it so happened that our visit coincided with a worldwide ‘Snap-On’ tools convention! We parked and walked through the convention to the main hotel area and were wowed by the huge atriums we found ourselves in. Unfortunately due to the convention a few of the facilities were not available. We had done a little research on the website and were looking forward to having our lunch at Sunset Sam’s on the SS Gaylord; a 60 foot sailboat moored in one atrium but as that was closed for preparations for the evening of the convention (I have never so envied anyone attending a convention before! ) we decided on Wreckers Sports Bar.

The bar features a thirty seven feet sports screen and has all the atmosphere of a true American diner and the food was quite well priced for a hotel; portions as usual were huge and quality was very good. Staff were friendly and helpful. Other options for dining include a Steakhouse, Japanese Sushi Bar, Villa De Flora Mediterranean Restaurant as well as several coffee shops and bars.

After lunch we had a stroll through the atriums. Three Floridian environments are represented including the Everglades, the Islands of Key West and the olde worlde charm of St Augustine. First we headed to the Everglades atrium where a trail took us to Sawgrass Place to see snakes and baby alligators. Dependant on the day and time it is possible to see feeding sessions. Rivers flow throughout the atriums and large palm trees, misty bogs and the sounds of the Everglades evoke an authentic atmosphere.

Through to the other atrium we found ourselves immersed in the sights and sounds of the old Spanish towns with cobblestone streets and Spanish architecture – it is easy to forget you are still inside! Also here is a replica of the oldest Spanish fort in America and also treasure found on a wrecked Spanish ship in 1985, including gold thought to comprise one of the finest treasure troves found in the USA. Here is also docked the SS Gaylord and sand sculpture exhibition and turtle and fish can easily be spotted in the rivers. Some lovely shops (if a little pricey! ) were also very interesting to look around.
All in all, definitely a place we will return to –The family have promised me a marguerite on the ship for my birthday next year………. And I won’t be letting them forget!

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