Winter Park is big city Orlando’s little slice of small town. Nestled into an epicenter of tourism is a place where you can enjoy what Florida has to offer in a quieter and less amusement-park oriented manner. Established in 1882, Winter Park is equipped with a rich history, tasty restaurants, green parks and golf courses and even a college of its own. This little town is sure to give the “Florida Experience” that vacationers are dying to have.
If you want to get the most out of your stay in Winter Park, do as the locals do. Join us every Saturday morning for the Winter Park Farmers’ Market and get a taste of our local honey and famous citrus, buy a caterpillar and watch it transform, and watch your warm bag of kettle corn pop before your eyes. Oh, and be sure to bring your dog; it will surely make a few friends just as you will.
The bustling Farmers’ Market is located just beside of the backbone of the city: Park Avenue. The street name might not be original, but this brick road is lined with unique shops and restaurants you’re guaranteed to love. Park Avenue and the park that borders most of it (the real Winter Park) is home to most of the events that occur around here. There are jazz festivals and orchestras on the public stage, Halloween pet costume contests, and Cinco de Mayo chihuahua races that delight all who attend.
Also on Park Avenue is the Charles Hosmer Morse Museum that houses the world’s most extensive collection of Tiffany artwork (yes, ladies, the Tiffany behind the contents of that turquoise jewelry box). This is where you can learn about the history of why Winter Park exists and what it is about. You can stay right on the street in the Park Plaza Hotel, and then stop by the Sassafras Candy store to satisfy your sweet tooth, or pop into the Tiffany Deli right next to the museum for a sandwich and some sweet tea. Winter Park is also home to the original Tijuana Flats. For the best Mexican food in the southern U.S., definitely stop by this place. And order. The. Queso.
Rollins College is yet another claim to fame we have here in Winter Park. Its gorgeous lakeside campus is the sun lover’s dream school. The college isn’t alone in the fact that it sits by a lake. Wherever you are in the city, you are never any more than a 10-minute walking distance from a lake. You can paddleboard, ski, kayak, and fish in the clear water, and the city has rentals available for your enjoyment. Also, there is a must-do scenic boat tour that travels through our chain of five lakes.
If you want to ride roller coasters or fear your Hogwarts letter got lost in the mail, don’t worry. Winter Park is only about a half an hour’s drive away from Disney, Islands of Adventure/Universal/Harry Potter World, Sea World, etc. The beauty of Winter Park is that you can stay away from all the hustle and bustle and avoid the need to call pest control on Mickey Mouse. It’s all still accessible to you! We are also only a mere hour away from the ocean and beaches. Staying in Winter Park offers you the benefit of location, good weather, and access to everything Florida has to offer.
We invite you to soak up the sunshine, eat well, and get wet. Enjoy Florida’s finest, Winter Park!
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