Re: Orlando forumites, I'm looking for your advice
spent most of the 90's in the Central Florida area (mostly to escape the UK! but business too) and as already mentioned, Daytona Beach is a short 45 minute drive from the Orlando area. As for eating, you'll pretty much find everything you need on route 192 (Kissimmee). In fact, if you're into wildlife, etc, take a drive East on 192 until you see a big white Cobra and visit the Reptile House there (a place most people miss!). It's just after St. Cloud... and the 192 goes right out to Melbourne which is also a really nice beach area, just south of Daytona Bch.
Some typically good places to eat on the 192/Kissimmee: Tony Roma's Ribs, Outback Steakhouse, Kobe Steakhouse, not to mention some of the nicest and cleanest Denny's Diners in the country! 24hr eating too.
The Florida Mall on Orange Blossom Trail is good for shopping, as are all the Brandname Outlets on Int. Drive, although the rest of that area is a bit of a tourist trap and the new Hard Rock Cafe smack bang in the middle of it. Downtown Disney is a cool vibe at night.
Man... I could go on... miss the place!! I escaped the UK again and currently reside too far north in MA lol