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Florida Guide > Other Florida

Winter Park (2)

We first visited Winter Park about 6 years ago in 2001 when we wanted something a little different away from the parks. This lovely location is situated off the I4 north at Fairbanks Road and then travel upwards towards Park Ave. Here you can park your car and then wander around the tree lined avenues and browse around the shops and restaurants. There is an eclectic mix of curio and ethnic goods for sale, then there are the high street shops such as Origins and Gap, Williams –Sonoma and then finally the higher end art shops, jewellery, wedding and baby shops-in other words something to please everyone.

There’s lots of restaurants and coffee bars where you can sit outside and watch the world go by. Winter park is very much a place where you can dress smartly to go shopping-if you wish because after all this is Florida and just about anything goes down here-but it is very much meeting place where workers and residents get together even if it’s just to walk their little cute-sy dogs!

On the other side of the road is a lovely shady park with fountains and there you can have fun with the almost tame squirrels. At about half hourly intervals the huge Amtrak trains come thundering along with sometimes as many as 20 carriages on them and rather than being annoying it all just adds to the ambience of this mixture of business, work and play.

Further up Park Avenue is the Morse museum. This is home to a huge collectof simply stunning. Tiffany glass. jewellery, pottery, paintings, leaded-glass windows, lamps, and the chapel interior he designed for the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago. This takes about 45minutes to visit at an unhurried pace and costs about $4 or $5. Check closing times as we arrived at 4pm only to find it had just shut. On a very hot day the museum is a lovely cool oasis and a sea of calm.

No visit to Winter Park is complete without eating in one of the little resteraunts along the main avenue. My favourite is the Briarpatch where you can sit outside and watch the world go by. The food is delicious and the carrot cake huge!

Just up from there-I must mention my favourite costume jewellery shop-Golden Rabbit named after Bunny the shop’s owner. Honestly I asked him! If you like Bling-this is your thing.

Finally to finish off your day take a trip around the lake on a boat and see those fantastic mansions close up.

Everything mentioned is very wheel chair accessible-apart from the boat trip-it may be possible-it may not –depending on the user.

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Page added on: 18 March 2007
Viewed 2438 times since 1 September 2008.

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