Today is my sister's 35th birthday. What, you might ask, does that have to do with Orlando? Well, she lives there, so to celebrate her birthday, I asked her for her Top Three Favorite Places to go in Orlando. And she came through with flying colors! Now you can celebrate with a place to eat, a place to shop and a place to enjoy fantastic music.
1. Eat: Sushi Katana
Judging from the many positive reviews on sites like Yelp, TripAdvisor and Urbanspoon, my sister isn't alone in her regular visits to this Mall at Millenia sushi place. Rolls are varied and delicious. The fish is always fresh. The decor is suitably partan without being cold. Wine and sake selections are a step above many other Orlando sushi spots. And it's an easy drive from any area of Orlando, whether you're traveling from the theme parks or from downtown. Great Happy Hour specials make a visit even better, such as $2 off rolls and wine.
2. Shop: Winter Garden Village
Avoid the crowds at all the other malls and outlets by taking a drive to this more peaceful and pleasantly upscale outdoor oasis. Beautiful landscaping and architecture make this well worth the half hour's drive from the main tourist areas of Orlando, as well as a host of shops and restaurants. You'll find large stores like Marshall's, Staples, Barnes and Noble and Lowe's alongside smaller boutiques and salons, with plenty of food options. Plus, this is just a lovely place to window shop and relax away from the mall crowds. Visit their website for coupons and specials.
3. Rock: B.B. King's Restaurant and Blues Club
Great food, great drinks, great music -- what more could you ask for from an Orlando nightspot? Local music (and occasionally national acts) are always playing at this club, and the food is pure Southern comfort. Flavors are influenced by New Orleans and the great cuisine of the Mississippi Delta, including some of the best barbecue anywhere. Come on in, get some real finger-licking delicacies, and enjoy fantastic music. You can even rent the place for private parties. And with a location right on International Drive at Pointe Orlando, you can't beat the location.