Dana Damato

Correspondent

  • Los Angeles, CA, USA

Dana Damato is a correspondent who lives in Orlando and Los Angeles. Damato covers the cities of Dallas and Los Angeles for Forbes Travel Guide. She is a freelance travel writer and host for various publications and the editorial director for the travel blog DrivetheNation.com. She is addicted to adventure and indulges in new cultures. She loves to taste new food, drink different wines, visit new destinations and bring those experiences to life through words.

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  • On March 26, 2013
    Dana Damato answered the question: Dana Damato

    What are the best seafood restaurants in Orlando?

    When you get a craving for seafood in the Orlando area, check out a couple of these top Orlando seafood restaurants:

    The Oceanaire Seafood Room is located on Orlando’s famous strip – International Drive. The Oceanaire is one of Orlando’s most unique, sophisticated and sleek seafood restaurants and has been voted one of the best seafood restaurants in the United States. Have the chef prepare a mouthwatering Macadamia Nut Crusted Hawaiian Mahi or their Pan-Seared Maryland Rockfish.  The Oceanaire in Orlando is open on Monday-Thursday: 5-10pm; Friday-Saturday: 5-11pm; Sunday: 5-10pm.

    Ocean Prime is a part of Orlando’s Restaurant Row – a strip of restaurants located in Sand Lake Road in Orlando. Ocean Prime serves fresh and authentic seafood to satisfy almost any palette. Start the night off with their signature appetizer, the Jumpo Lump Crab Cake, followed by their Prime feature, Sea Scallops with Parmesan Risotto, English Peas and Citrus Vinaigrette. Ocean Prime is open on Monday - Thursday 4pm – 10pm; Friday - Saturday 4pm – 11pm; Sunday 4pm- 9pm.
  • On March 26, 2013
    Dana Damato answered the question: Dana Damato

    What is Orlando’s dining scene like?

    The dining scene in Orlando highly depends on the area you’re dining in. Orlando has a booming crowd of locals and visitors and believe it or not – the dining scenes for both are pretty similar. Florida is a laid back and casual place to be and the dining scene is not different. Unless you know you’re going to be at a five star restaurant with a strict dress code, feel free to show up in flip flops and shorts.

    The crowds are mostly families and younger people with a very friendly atmosphere. Don’t feel the need to be stiff in an Orlando restaurant - the attitude is warm and welcoming for everyone that walks through the door. If you’re down by the Disney and Universal area, you will find more families with young children dining out. If you’re in the Downtown Orlando area, you’ll find more of a young professional crowd.
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  • On March 20, 2013
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    What is nightlife like in Orlando?

    Take your Mickey ears off - Orlando will surprise you with its thriving and lively nightlife! Downtown Orlando is a mecca for the night owls to come out and enjoy a few drinks, good music and socialize with friends.

    Downtown Orlando and a large variety of different restaurants, lounges, bars and clubs to enjoy and visitors can expect a young and hip crowd full of young professionals. Downtown Orlando is a big happy hour town and several professionals will head out of work early on a Friday evening to enjoy a few hours of Happy Hour. For a nightclub scene, Tier Nightclub, Vain Nightclub and 23 are popular clubs. For a more laid back atmosphere to sip a custom made drink and chat with friends, The Courtesy, Eola Wine Company and NV Artbar are the places to go. For a complete list of Downtown Orlando clubs and bars, please click here.
  • On March 20, 2013
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    What is the one must-do activity in Orlando?

    If there were only one activity you had to do in Orlando – would you know what it is? There are a lot to choose from but when it comes down to the wire, the one definite thing to do is go to Disney World. As cliché and typical as that may seem, it’s the crème de la crème of what makes Orlando…”Orlando.”

    Orlando isn’t known for Disney because there’s nothing else to do here. It’s known for this theme park because it is, indeed, a memorable experience that can be enjoyed by all. Disney World has several theme parks such as Magic Kingdom, Hollywood Studios and Epcot, amongst others. Families and individuals can spend a full day at Disney World and get a real “Orlando” experience. You can literally eat, sleep and play right on Disney property – you’d technically never have to leave the premises and you can expect a truly “magical” time!
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  • On March 18, 2013
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    What are the best golf courses in Orlando?

    Orlando attracts national conferences and annual corporate meetings due to its large amount of event space and venues. Several clients and colleagues will spend a day on the golf course to close deals or talk business. Here are a few of the best places to golf for leisure or business.

    Ritz Carlton

    The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club has a strong emphasis on maintaining the area’s ecosystem, designer Greg Norman built this exquisite course amongst the various ponds, live oaks and cypress heads.  The Ritz Carlton Golf course is an 18-hole, par-72 course with an optional caddie concierge service.

    Metro West Golf Club

    Built in 1987 – the Metro West Golf is a residential course but attracts many visitors from around the country. This 18-hole, par 72 golf course, designed by Robert Trent Jones, Sr., is only minutes away from Universal Studios and rests on a large plane of spring-fed lakes and shady trees.

    ChampionGate Golf Club

    ChampionsGate Golf Club in Orlando offers two excellent 18-hole championship golf courses designed by Greg Norman. As one of the more popular golf courses in Central Florida, ChampionsGate in designed around scenic wetlands and undulated greens. Offering a true Florida golf experience, this course features beautiful Pine Oaks and Cypress groves.
  • On March 18, 2013
    Dana Damato answered the question: Dana Damato

    What are the best water activities in Orlando?

    Since Orlando is famous for it’s amusement parks – what better way can you enjoy a water activity than at one or Orlando’s famous water park? There are several water parks to choose from – and if you come in the summer time you’re going to want a good activity to do that will cool you down from the Florida heat.

    One of Orlando’s best water parks is Disney's Blizzard Beach. Blizzard Beach has one of tallest and fastest waterslides in the country along with kid-friendly slides so the all ages can have a great time.

    Wet ‘n Wild is another one of Orlando’s famous water parks located on International Drive. Wet ‘n Wild has several attractions to choose from or single riders, multi-person rides and relaxing rides for lounging. They have lifeguards at each ride and attendant to make sure each person is safe and getting the most out of their visit.
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  • On March 14, 2013
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    What is the weather like right now in Dallas?

    If you’re going to Dallas this month – now is the best time to go because the weather is perfect. Dallas has been known to have peculiar weather whether it’s too hot in the summer, or snowing in the winter. If you’re planning a trip to Dallas right now in the middle of March, you’re in for a great treat.

    Right now, Dallas is dry with a high in the low 80’s and a low in the mid-60’s.  The weather is great to spend outside at a sports game, running or walking around an outdoor shopping area. During the time of the year, it doesn’t rain often in Dallas so visitors don’t have to worry about bringing a raincoat or umbrella when they are planning to spend the day outdoors. There are plenty of parks and recreational areas for families and friends to go out for a sunny day out side.