Winter Park - Orlando / Florida Guide
Florida Guide > Days Out
We have been visiting the Orlando area for the last 12 years and although we love the theme parks and shopping malls sometimes we just like to do something a little different. For the last few years we have tried to fit a visit to the beautiful city of Winter Park into our holiday plans.
Winter Park is a suburb of Orlando situated to the north of downtown. It has lots of top class stores, art galleries, museums, and antique shops. From highway 192 or the International drive areas take the I4 east bound to Fairbanks Avenue, turn right onto Fairbanks and continue for approximately 2 miles then turn left onto Park Avenue and you have arrived in Winter Park one of Orlando’s best kept secrets. This is one of the few places in Orlando where you can truly relax.
Park Avenue is the main shopping area. Here you will find everything from designer fashions and jewellery to beautiful furniture and antiques there are also a few real estate agents where you can shop for that beautiful lakeside villa you’ve always promised yourself, if you’ve got a few million $’s to spare!! The price tags tend to be on the high side for most things so you might prefer to window shop as there aren’t too many bargains to be had. There are lots of restaurants in the area serving all types of cuisine. You won’t find any of the fast food chains but Brandywines Deli has a great selection of mouth watering sandwiches, be warned thought it is very popular with the locals including the students from the nearby Rollins College so you may have to wait for a table at the more popular times. Lots of the restaurants have tables outside so you can sit and watch the world go by as you enjoy your meal.
There are several museums and art galleries in and around Winter Park which are well worth a visit if you have the time. The Morse museum of American Art is my favourite as I love Tiffany glass, the museum houses one of the world’s best collections of Tiffany’s work with lots of examples of everything from table lamps to huge window panels. If you do fancy a trip to this museum be warned that it is closed on a Monday.
Another attraction worth a visit is the Scenic Boat Tour. The boats tour the lakes and canals that form part of the Orlando chain of lakes and pass some of the most expensive real estate in the area. The guides are well informed about the homes and are happy to fill you in on the details of who owns what and how much it is worth, this is a real eye opener. There are some really magnificent houses and some really quirky garden ornaments including a life size model of a cow, apparently the original owner of the house made his money from live stock! The scenic boat tour can be found at the end of Morse Avenue, there is a small amount of free parking close by, the boats leave on the hour between 10am and 4pm daily.
Winter Park is a million miles away from the usual Orlando attractions but in my opinion is one of the real treasures the area has to offer and is well worth a visit.
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