See how Orlando’s exceptional nightlife can raise the bar for business groups of all sizes and interests (The Edison at Disney Springs® pictured).
As Cvent’s No. 1 meeting destination in the country, Orlando attracts attendees who want to work hard and play hard. Each year, groups flock to annual trade shows, meetings and events at the Orange County Convention Center (OCCC), area hotels and other venues. But as the day’s business winds down, attendees who still want to network — or have a bit of fun — will discover this city offers a wealth of unforgettable nightlife options, including lively music halls, raucous comedy clubs, local breweries, cocktail lounges and rooftop bars serving spectacular views alongside craft cocktails. This is great news for attendees and meeting planners looking for unique venues for offsite events, starting with these popular choices.
Please note: Depending on the timing of your visit, some experiences may be temporarily modified. Learn more about healthy business travel in Orlando, and check with your preferred businesses for their current status.
Orlando’s dynamic International Drive, aka I-Drive, is the heart of our convention district, featuring world-class dining and entertainment within easy walking distance of the OCCC. Attendees can enjoy an easy stroll to nearby establishments or hop on the I-Ride Trolley, which runs throughout the convention district from 8 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. daily.
Here are some notable hot spots near the convention center:
At Pointe Orlando, the closest dining, shopping and entertainment complex to the OCCC, several venues transform into nightclubs after the sun goes down — and many are available for buyouts. Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar transports groups to a rustic Havana courtyard with exotic tropical foliage and upbeat Latin music ideal for a private party for 16 in the Gaucho Room, for example, or a complete buyout for up to 1,000 guests.
Steps away, The Hampton Social is known for their “Rosé all Day” Lounge and their coastal vibe with an expansive outdoor patio for al fresco dining, as well as indoor private and semi-private spaces for groups with bar and food packages.
Also at Pointe Orlando, Taverna Opa accommodates up to 500 guests and serves up hearty Greek fare in a 5,500-square-foot venue with private dining rooms, group menus and bar packages. An in-house DJ and belly dancing are sure to impress even your most discerning attendees. Another Pointe Orlando gem is The Orlando Improv Comedy Theater, which showcases some of the best in local comedy talent.
ICON Park®, the shopping, dining and entertainment complex on I-Drive that’s home to The Wheel, Madame Tussauds Orlando and other popular attractions that can accommodate groups, has several new venues including Ole Red, Blake Shelton’s own establishment that serves up piping-hot country music and southern barbecue, among other eats. Groups of up to 700 can do full buyouts, or attendees can come solo to listen to local bands jam each night. And the legendary Key West saloon, Sloppy Joe’s, will soon be offering live music and tropical libations in Orlando when their brand-new ICON Park location opens.
Learn more: Fresh Dining & Entertainment in Orlando’s Convention District
The standalone Mango’s Tropical Cafe on I-Drive accommodates up to 3,000 visitors for thrilling live shows, dancing on a massive dance floor and world-famous cocktails within a lively, Miami-style club. The Vodou Room is a smaller on-site venue, also available to groups.
ICEBAR Orlando, with its dance and club music, can accommodate up to 465 guests and is the perfect place to cool down with cocktails in glasses made entirely of ice. Faux fur coats are available to guests too chill to shiver. Nearby, Howl at the Moon features its famed dueling pianos and can accommodate groups up to 600.
Bronze Kingdom, home of the world’s largest collection of bronze African art, opened its I-Drive location’s doors in December 2020. Serengeti is an on-site, African-inspired restaurant and bar, serving signature American dishes with an African twist. Both the museum and restaurant can be booked for groups.
Just a short distance from the convention center, Restaurant Row on Sand Lake Road features distinctive dining establishments and some hot spots for a nightcap. One standout is Vines Grille & Wine Bar, known for fine dining with live jazz on select evenings. Restaurant buyouts for up to 250 seated and 350 reception-style are available, as well as private rooms for smaller groups.
Another top choice is The Whiskey, featuring nightly live music and more than 200 kinds of whiskey, bourbon, Scotch and rye. The Whiskey can accommodate 75 guests for a fully seated dinner event, or 100-120 guests, reception style. Both options are for full restaurant buyouts.
Nearby, Rocco’s Tacos and Tequila Bar offers more than 200 tequilas. This celebrated spot can also accommodate up to 150 for a private event. As rollicking as Rocco’s Tacos is, Eddie V’s Prime Seafood next door offers evening cocktails or a glass of wine in a more chill setting.
At Dellagio Town Center, also on Restaurant Row, your group will find several acclaimed restaurants to choose from including Big Fin Seafood Kitchen, Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar, and Dragonfly Robata Grill & Sushi. After a perfect meal, groups can head to Paddywagon Irish Pub, the spot for a perfect pint, darts and pool. The venue can also accommodate up to 200 for a private function.
Part of Universal Orlando Resort, Universal CityWalk has restaurants, bars and music venues galore. Hard Rock Cafe & Live Orlando is the destination for live music, comedy and dance performances packing the house with local and international stars.
CityWalk’s Rising Star karaoke club makes the singer the star from Tuesday through Sunday with a live band and backup singers. There’s also an exclusive seating area with table service for VIPs. Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville is a laid-back venue in a tropical setting with tiki bars, suspended airplanes and a volcano flowing with margaritas. And a taste of the islands is on tap at Bob Marley — A Tribute to Freedom, inspired by the Jamaican home of this reggae legend.
Pat O’Brien’s invites groups to indulge in their legendary Hurricane drink sipped at the authentic reproduction of the famous New Orleans venue with piano music nightly. The restaurant can also be rented for private parties.
Disney Springs, the 120-acre shopping, dining and entertainment complex at Walt Disney World® Resort, offers sophisticated nightspots. Inspired by the 1920s, The Edison is a restaurant that turns into a nighttime hot spot with a variety of evening entertainment including live bands and DJs. The Edison has semi-private event space to accommodate groups of up to 40 guests, and full-venue buyouts are also available for up to 400. It’s right above Enzo’s Hideaway Tunnel Bar & Restaurant, which serves Prohibition-era cocktails and hearty Italian fare.
Additional nightlife fun at Disney Springs includes House of Blues, which hosts world-famous musicians. Groups can book local bands or DJs and have their run of the place for up to 2,500. For smaller groups, several private areas are also available.
Meeting planners can also consider Wine Bar George by famed Master Sommelier George Miliotes. It offers space for private events for groups ranging from two to 250 guests.
Learn more: Orlando Wineries & Wine Bars
A speakeasy in an old shoe repair shop, a lounge in a historic furniture store, and a nightclub in a 1920s theater are just a few of the hot spots to visit in downtown Orlando.
There are also many rooftop bars all over Orlando — too numerous to mention here — and the newest is at AC Hotel by Marriott Orlando Downtown. Its SkyBar Rooftop Terrace delivers breathtaking, 360-degree views of downtown Orlando and Amway Center arena and is available for private parties of more than six with a minimum food and beverage order.
One of the most sophisticated lounges (with house rules — only shorts with collared shirts and loafers for men) is Mathers Social Gathering on the third floor of the historic Mather Building, once a furniture store. The bar is available for buyouts for as many as 160 people, and sections of the club can be reserved for eight to 50 people. The menu is focused on inventive cocktails, with sodas and juices made in-house. Live music can be heard Fridays and Saturdays.
Numerous downtown speakeasies in the same general vicinity lend themselves to an easy pub crawl. Hanson’s Shoe Repair is so exclusive, the entry password changes daily, revealed only by Twitter and Facebook. The Treehouse lends itself to a networking happy hour and offers group buyouts. The Courtesy not only serves craft cocktails; classes on how to concoct them can be booked for groups.
As far as nightclubs, there is no shortage in the downtown/Orange Avenue area. Eve is a dance club and lounge with an outdoor balcony terrace. For private events, the club works with outside caterers to offer creative menus for groups. The Beacham, housed in a 1920s converted theater, features live music as well as DJs nightly. For buyouts, the theater can accommodate up to 1,300, making it ideal for larger groups who want to experience “authentic Orlando.”
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