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A day out in Winter Park, Orlando - Orlando / Florida Guide

Florida Guide > Days Out

A day trip to Winter Park, Orlando.

If you’re looking to do a bit of retail shopping and have a bite to eat then won’t go wrong with Winter Park. This peaceful, upscale community may be just outside the hustle and bustle of Orlando, but it feels like a different country. The town' s name reflects its early role as a warm-weather haven for those escaping the cold blasts of Northeast winters. From the late 1880s until the early 1930s, wealthy industrialists and their families would travel to Florida by rail on vacation, and many stayed in the area, establishing grand homes and cultural institutions. The lovely, eight square mile village retains its charm with brick-paved streets, historic buildings, and well-maintained lakes and parkland. Even the town' s bucolic 9 Hole golf course is on the National Register of Historic Places.

On Park Avenue you can spend a few hours sightseeing, shopping, or both. The street is lined with small boutiques and fine restaurants and bookended by world-class museums: the Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art is well worth a visit, with the world' s largest collection of artwork by Louis Comfort Tiffany, and the Cornell Fine Arts Museum, on the campus of Rollins College which is the oldest college in Florida.

We decided to hit the boutiques first and one shop that really is worth a look is the Forema Boutique which is basically a ladies clothes shop for women of all ages, very classy. Jmclaughlin is another which caters for both men and women and we really enjoyed the variety and quality of clothes on offer here, but that was enough retail therapy for one day.

Next and Also along Park Avenue are 3 great wine bars you need to check out. The first one is called The Wine Room which offers 156 handpicked wines dispensed by Enomatic machines. You obviously couldn’t taste them all but we tried the Californian chardonnay. We then went on to the Carmel Café and Wine Bar which again had a great selection of wines from across the world.

The final one was the Eola Wine Company, what a great wine bar and Restaurant, the décor inside was amazing almost like a throwback to the 1940s. The food smelled delicious so we decided to try some tacos and a glass of cabernet sauvignon. This place was definitely out favourite place on Park Avenue and I can seriously recommend the fish tacos.

I would have no hesitation in visiting Winter Park again as I feel we did not see everything so another trip is already pencilled in for a return.

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