I recently went on a trip with Visit Florida and saw on our itinerary that while in Orlando we would be visiting Artegon Marketplace. At first I just skimmed past it thinking it must be their biggest mall and didn’t think it would be something unique I would write about- yet, now here I am writing about my 9 days in Florida and it’s the first thing I want to write about!
Artegon Marketplace is called the “anti-mall” because it’s 99% local artists and shop owners, yet it’s still a huge complex with so many shopping options, art installations from Florida artists, and unique food. With a Food Truck Fridays, games, a new fresh produce marketplace opening, and the possibility to see art shows in Florida right here at the mall, it’s definitely something I wanted to share with you guys.
It’s 865,000 square feet of shopping paradise and there are more than 150 local artisans here. The new marketplace Eat Street is going to be a lot like Pike Place in Seattle and opens in 2017. For now, they have I’d guess about 15 food options such as ice cream, waffles, sushi, booze, tea shop, frozen yogurt, and more.
There is a movie theatre, glow in the dark 18 hole mini golf, indoor trampoline park, and a tightrope to walk with a harness on called Skytrail, the largest ropes course in Florida.
I’ll start with my favorite part which was candle-making at Bowes Signature Soy Candles… while drinking and island cocktail out of a fresh pineapple from the neighboring Tiki Bar. I made candles in Goa one season and I love mixes scents. I did it in Hocking Hills last year with my mom. I bought Ben a candle from here called Monkey Farts. It smelled like bananas lol, hilarious.
I made a creation I called “coconilla” which was coconut and vanilla. The colors go opaque and pastel as they dry so that turned out a light pink. Just what I wanted!
I’ve written about my love for Etsy in the past when I ran that huge giveaway. I love to shop for local things when I travel, and in Florida I thought I wouldn’t be buying anything as often at the beaches it’s those typical souvenir shops. I loved this “anti-mall” because it was kind of like if you searched on Etsy for designers in Florida, except you saw the results in person!
Another unique thing about Artegon Marketplace was that all the shops designed their own shop fronts in cool ways. My favorite design was the beehive for the honey shop. There were interactive areas too- for example, a charging station where you pedal bike pedals to make the electricity. One guy was sitting there doing that while he ate his pizza- genius.
A few other shops at Artegon Marketplace that caught my eye were an Indian henna shop, Sweet Mermaids candle and soap shop, and Simply Savory who sold homemade dips and sauces (and gave free samples which I’m a sucker for). I was looking for baby gifts and loved Baby ME. There was an entire corner of the mall that was full of art, like a mini-Orlando art gallery. If you’re into art, you’ll love this place. From the bathrooms to the walls there is art everywhere and as a blogger, I have to say it made for some great photos!
While it’s 99% local places there a few shops that already had space there and still stuck around once Artegon came to exist like Subway, Bass Pro, and Ron Jon Surf Shop. To me, these things don’t matter but I know some people would be curious why those brands were there.
Artegon Marketplace location and contact information:
The address is Artegeon Marketplace, 5250 International Drive, Orlando, FL 32819. International Drive or “I Drive” is where you find attractions like Madame Tussaud’s wax museum, Sea Life, and the Orlando Eye as well as shopping centers.
To find out more details on exact shop listing, check out their website: www.artegon.com. The hours are 11a-9p except on Sundays when it’s 11a-7p. They have free shuttle buses, WiFi, and wheelchairs. It is pet friendly and there are water bowls outside some shops.
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I visited this anti-mall during my trip to Florida in collaboration with Visit Florida tourism board. All opinions are my own and I loved this place!