Many visitors to the Orlando area are not familiar with Winter Park. The locals, however, love to wander to Park Avenue in Winter Park, to dine in one of the many fabulous restaurants, or to shop in their favorite boutique stores.
Winter Park was originally developed as a winter getaway for wealthy Northerners (which explains the Amtrak station in the middle of town). Winter Park is a thriving cultural and artistic center. It hosts five museums, including the Albin Polasek Museum and Sculpture Gardens; the Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art; Cornell Fine Arts Museum at Rollins College; Hannibal Square Heritage Center; and Winter Park Historical Museum. Winter Park also hosts two major art festivals – the Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival, usually held in March, hosts art displays in Central Park and along Park Avenue. This festival, which is one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious, features over 1,000 artists. The festival also has an extensive musical performance schedule, which makes this a big weekend for the Central Florida area. The city also hosts an Autumn Art Festival which highlights the work of Florida artists.
But Winter Park is much more – home to Rollins College and Full Sail University, as well as to numerous other highly-regarded schools – such as Winter Park High, Trinity Preparatory School, and the Geneva School. The railway station in downtown Winter Park serves both Amtrak, and the regional Sunrail.
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Walking along Park Avenue is a pleasure on a warm summer evening – the scent of roses, and the splash of the fountains in the park.
But beware! You will be sorely tempted by all the luscious restaurants. Everything from gourmet burgers, to Brazilian, Turkish, Italian, Sushi, French, Thai, and many more.
Who knew there are canals in Winter Park? Enjoy some time on the lakes, and view some of Winter Park’s magnificent lakeside homes.
There are 75 parks within Winter Park. Of course, many of them are small neighborhood parks, but several of them are well-known and draw visitors from throughout the area.
The best-known is Central Park, which occupies six acres in the downtown area beside Park Avenue. This park is a local favorite for many reasons. Young families can bring their babies and toddlers to stroll and play among the flowers, and watch the occasional train stop at the station. Central Park, and Park Avenue, is also a great place to take a stroll and either enjoy a leisurely lunch, or a sumptuous dinner, or a lazy Sunday brunch