Top Things to Do in Winter Park, FL
Places to visit in winter park.
Ways to tour Winter Park
Walking & Biking Tours
Top Attractions in Winter Park
1. Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art
2. Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens
3. Rollins College
4. Central Park
5. Lake Virginia
6. Kraft Azalea Gardens
7. Rollins Museum of Art
8. Winter Park
9. Mead Botanical Garden
10. Casa Feliz Historic Home Museum
11. Lake Baldwin Dog Park
12. Hannibal Square Heritage Center
Tours & Sightseeing
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- Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art
- Central Park
- Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens
- Kraft Azalea Gardens
- Rollins College
- Lake Virginia
- Winter Park
- Lake Baldwin Dog Park
- ICONic City Tour Of Orlando
- Full Day Orlando Art Hopper Museum Tour From Orlando Hotels
- Full Day Patron of Winter Park Historic Tour -From Orlando Hotels
- Get Up And Go Kayaking - Winter Park
- Scenic Boat Tour
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The City of Winter Park
Park Avenue in Winter Park Near Orlando
The City of Winter Park & Park Avenue District
Throughout the Orlando area, unique neighborhoods, towns and cities offer outstanding dining, vibrant arts and culture, bespoke retailers, and outdoor adventures. The City of Winter Park is one of the best thanks in large part to the acclaimed restaurants, shopping, arts and more in the upscale Park Avenue District. If you haven’t been there yet, you owe yourself a visit — here’s why.
Discover: A Perfect Day in Winter Park
Approximately 20 minutes northeast of downtown Orlando, and not to be confused with Winter Garden to the west, Winter Park gained its name after the arrival of the South Florida Railroad in 1880. The highly rated Rollins College — Florida’s first four-year university — opened shortly thereafter, heralding the city’s refined future.
Discover: Winter Park Virtual Tour
Today, Winter Park’s epicenter is Park Avenue, a tree-lined, cobblestoned street bursting with acclaimed eateries, museums and some of the Orlando area’s best shopping. The city also has much for outdoor enthusiasts, including a robust parks system and the gorgeous Winter Park Chain of Lakes.
To really experience Winter Park, you’ll want to stick around for a few days. One of the best places to do so is The Alfond Inn . Owned by Rollins College, the recently renovated, AAA Four Diamond property boasts 112 guest rooms, a full range of amenities (including a pool) and a riveting art collection. What’s more, all of the hotel’s profits endow a scholarship program at Rollins.
Discover: Orlando's Top Hotels & Resorts
Some of Orlando's top culinary artists ply their trade in Winter Park, including James Beard-nominated Chef Brandon McGlamery. He has one of Winter Park’s MICHELIN Guide Recommended restaurants, Prato , as well as Luke’s Kitchen in nearby Maitland. They specialize in innovative Italian and classic American cuisine, respectively.
Discover: Orlando’s MICHELIN Guide Restaurants
Also nominated for James Beard Award honors, Chefs James and Julie Petrakis operate The Ravenous Pig , a seasonal gastropub that ranked as a MICHELIN Bib Gourmand eatery. You can also try the Petrakises’ fare at another MICHELIN Recommended eatery, The Polite Pig at Disney Springs ®, offering shopping, dining and entertainment at Walt Disney World ® Resort.
Discover: Orlando’s Top Chefs
In addition to being a One-MICHELIN-Star eatery, Soseki Modern Omakase has earned a MICHELIN Sommelier Award for Beverage Director Benjamin Coutts. Also rated as a MICHELIN Bib Gourmand is Swine & Sons , while AVA MediterrAegean , Kai Asian Street Fare and Doshi are MICHELIN Recommended.
Discover: Winter Park Dining
Other local favorites in the Park Avenue area include steaks and seafood at BoVine Steakhouse and blu on the avenue , Umi Sushi , French cuisine at Chez Vincent , New American at 310 Park South , Bosphorous Turkish Cuisine , Italian at VINIA Wine & Kitchen , and farm-to-table goodness at Boca Winter Park and The Alfond Inn’s fresh-focused Hamilton’s Kitchen .
Just a short drive from the city’s core, enjoy Spanish cuisine at Bulla Gastrobar , seafood at Reel Fish Coastal Kitchen , an authentic taste of Italy at Rocco’s Italian Grille & Bar or Bar Italia , world-class desserts at The Glass Knife , Southern cooking at The Coop and 4 Rivers Smokehouse , and choice cuts at Christner’s Prime Steak & Lobster , Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar , Ruth’s Chris Steak House , and The Tap Room at Dubsdread , among many other options.
Shopaholics will adore Winter Park’s exquisite array of retailers , many of which are on and near Park Avenue. For instance, homegrown boutiques like Tuni Trendy + Chic and John Craig Clothier will have adults looking their best, while Tugboat & The Bird and Bebe’s and Liz’s will do the same for children.
Discover: Winter Park Shopping
You’ll also find outposts from nationally recognized retailers Lilly Pulitzer and J. McLaughlin. Both are part of the lineup at Shops on Park, which offers 20,000 square feet of shopping and dining on Park Avenue.
And yes, you can buy more than clothes in Winter Park. Specialty merchants include The Ancient Olive Gourmet , Bang & Olufsen Winter Park , The Farmacy , Peterbrooke Chocolatier, Williams-Sonoma and Writer’s Block Bookstore, to name a few. On Saturdays, the city offers even more unique shopping at the Winter Park Farmers’ Market.
For still more retail opportunities, make the short drive from Park Avenue to Winter Park Village . The outdoor shopping center has a host of stores and restaurants, plus one of the area's best movie theaters.
Feed your inner artist at Winter Park’s galleries and museums, including Rollins Museum of Art , which offers free admission. This facility’s collection — more than 5,700 pieces from the ancient to modern periods — is so expansive that a portion is displayed as the Alfond Collection of Contemporary Art at The Alfond Inn.
Discover: Orlando Arts, Culture & History
Nearby, you can peruse the world's most comprehensive collection of Louis Comfort Tiffany's creations at The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art . Similarly, the Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens is devoted to the work of its titular sculptor. Or, develop your own artistic talents with a course or two at the Crealdé School of Art.
The latter is adjacent to the Hannibal Square Heritage Center, where you can learn about its namesake Hannibal Square district’s origins as an important African American community. Officially founded in 1881, Hannibal Square was the site of one of the country’s earliest Civil Rights marches in 1887 and is now one of Winter Park’s most expensive sections.
Discover: Things to Do at the Hannibal Square Heritage Center
Winter Park also hosts two annual, outdoor art shows. In March, the Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival attracts more than 200 artists to Park Avenue and adjacent Central Park, while October's Winter Park Autumn Art Festival exclusively features Florida artists. Admission to both is free.
Discover: Orlando Events
If live theater is more your thing, book a date at The Winter Park Playhouse . Just blocks from Park Avenue, the 123-seat venue is one of the few professional musical theaters in Florida. And at Casa Feliz, you can enjoy a tour of the historic home on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
The Winter Park Chain of Lakes — 12 in all — includes 2,781 acres of pristine waterways, and the Winter Park Scenic Boat Tour is a fun, relaxing way to experience it. You’ll see all manner of wildlife, not to mention multimillion-dollar mansions, during the narrated, one-hour excursions, which also go past Rollins College and Kraft Azalea Gardens.
Discover: Orlando Ecotourism
The latter is one of 11 amenity-laden public parks maintained by the city, with other standouts including Mead Botanical Garden, Lake Baldwin Park, Phelps Park and Ward Park. If seeing so much green has you aching for a tee time, don't worry: You can get your golf on at the Winter Park Golf Course, a 9-hole, public course that's on the U.S. National Registry of Historic Places.
Naturally — no pun intended — Winter Park’s lakes provide plenty of aquatic adventures beyond the Scenic Boat Tour. Look into paddleboard and kayaking rentals while you’re in the area and explore it all at your own pace.
With so much to see and do, it’s no wonder why locals adore Winter Park — and why you should make it part of your travel plans the next time you’re in Orlando.
There Is Always More to Do in Orlando
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This Charming Florida City Near Orlando Is the Perfect Break From the Theme Park Crowds
Even though Winter Park is near Orlando's theme parks, it feels leaps and bounds away.
Cobblestone streets dotted with Michelin-recognized restaurants and locally owned shops, lakes with boat tours, and grassy areas for kids to play tag and fly kites: This is Winter Park, Florida. A hop, skip, and a jump from Orlando’s theme park scene , this town chartered in 1887 thrills in other ways. Its original purpose still holds true: New Englanders founded it as an escape from cold weather . But since that time, the 10-square-mile city has become a year-round destination. Orlando residents love the place, but they can’t keep it a secret anymore. No matter why you’re in the Orlando area, a few days in Winter Park would provide a welcome respite before heading home. In fact, the town has so much going for it, we’d argue that it merits a trip on its own.
Downtown, Park Avenue — where stand-out restaurants and local boutiques dot the brick streets — is the place to be. Just off Park Avenue, Rollins, a small liberal arts college founded 135 years ago, contributes to the town’s robust array of cultural activities. A short walk from downtown lies the waterfront, where six lakes are connected by navigable canals. Ready to plan a trip to this charming city? Here's what you need to know.
Related : The 12 Best Places to Visit in Florida
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Best Things to Do in Winter Park
If you like culture, nature, and shopping, Winter Park will be a new favorite. With a rose garden and beautiful fountains, 11-acre Central Park on Park Avenue hosts many of the city’s festivals and events, including holiday festivities and the Olde Fashioned Fourth of July Celebration. It’s also the perfect place to take the kids to burn off steam in between visiting stores or before going back to the hotel.
More spectacular than you’d imagine, the Morse Museum , located on Park Avenue, features a large collection of Tiffany works as well as other American art. The stunning chapel, which was crafted for the Chicago World’s Fair, is a must-see.
When you’re ready for a break from walking, take the hour-long Scenic Boat Tour around Winter Park’s many lakes, where you'll spot beautiful homes while you learn more about the city's history. Kids of all ages are welcome (even encouraged) to join the fun on the 18-passenger pontoon boats. Water sports, like paddleboarding and kayaking, are also popular around the lakes.
On Saturday mornings, dozens of vendors sell their produce, bread, sweets, and more at the Saturday Farmers’ Market . It's the perfect place to grab ingredients before heading to a park for a picnic lunch.
Save room in your suitcase to treat yourself to an item from one of the many one-of-a-kind shops in Winter Park. You’ll swoon over the stationary and artsy decorative items at Rifle Paper Co’s own store (the brand is based in Winter Park).
Local teens and college students shop at Avalon Exchange , a thrift shop that’s clean, organized, and budget friendly with a mix of retro and popular brands. Stop by Loving Thyself Rocks if for nothing else than to get a selfie sitting on the winged crystal chair at the entrance. Writer’s Block bookstore offers a well-curated selection for kids and adults (plus a fantastic name).
Winter Park Hotels
While visitors only have a handful of lodging options in Winter Park, the surrounding area opens up a multitude of possibilities.
Established more than 130 years ago, The Alfond Inn at Rollins is getting better with age. Sprinkled with incredible paintings from the Rollins Art Museum, the recently renovated lobby is a design masterpiece and fosters family togetherness thanks to a variety of seating arrangements and a corner chess set. An expansion, which will add a new spa and a wing to the inn’s current 112 guest rooms, is expected to wrap up by the end of the year. The location, just a few blocks from Park Avenue, is stellar.
With 28 guest rooms — some with original brick walls — the Park Plaza Hotel is the only place to stay on the city’s famed Park Avenue. There are balcony rooms and suites for people-watching.
About eight miles from Winter Park, Sonder Wellborn is located in the oldest house in the Orlando area. Suites are well priced and spacious, plus the property includes a Victorian garden.
If you’re combining a business trip to the Orlando Convention Center with a visit to Winter Park, the AC Hotel Marriott Downtown Orlando is a great choice. The eight-floor, 180-room property boasts a SkyBar Rooftop Terrace with incredible city views. It’s just eight miles from Winter Park.
Best Time to Visit Winter Park
While you’ll have fun no matter when you go to Winter Park, shifts in weather and special programming favor certain months.
Despite its name, the most comfortable season to visit Winter Park is spring — and the earlier, the better. March feels glorious with average high temperatures reaching about 76 degrees Fahrenheit and the lowest humidity of the year. It’s no coincidence that the organizers of the city’s annual Sidewalk Art Festival, which attracts 350,000 visitors, schedule it for March. It’s a little cooler in February and warmer in April, but still pleasant. You won’t find many April showers in Winter Park — April is the second-least rainy month.
The holidays usher in another magical time to explore Winter Park, especially if you’re bringing children. Two big events take place during the first weekend of December. On Friday, “Winter on the Avenue” transforms Central Park into a holiday wonderland, complete with snow slides, s’mores, and strolling carolers. Everyone gathers around for the lighting of the Christmas tree and menorah. The next day, music fills the streets for the Ye Olde Hometown Christmas Parade. A tradition for more than 70 years, the parade’s headliners include marching bands, fire trucks, and Santa Claus. Winter Park’s weather by far outshines the North Pole, with average December highs in the mid-70s.
Families who have to plan their vacations around school calendars and practice schedules may not be able to avoid a summertime visit. Although it’s typically hot, humid, and rainy, scheduling outdoor activities for the morning or evening will make it less likely that Florida’s temperamental summer weather will interfere with your fun.
Where to Eat and Drink
Orlando locals flock to Winter Park for memorable meals — whether they’re bringing the entire family or looking for a romantic table for two. Winter Park serves up a variety of cuisines and vibes at its top food establishments.
At Briarpatch , the most iconic eatery on Park Avenue, locals line up for mimosas and delicious brunch offerings (think: brown butter Belgian waffles and raspberry lemon cream pancakes.) The housemade cakes — carrot, chocolate layer, and red velvet — are as Instagrammable as they are tasty. You can dine al fresco on the outdoor tables overlooking Central Park or opt for the indoor seating; the dining room oozes Southern charm.
Fresh from earning a Michelin star, Soseki , a 10-seat Japanese restaurant, specializes in a divine multi-course dining experience based on the best ingredients that its farmers, fishermen, and cheese purveyors offer.
With husband-and-wife, James Beard-nominated chefs in the kitchen, The Ravenous Pig hits the spot with a variety of apps, hand-helds, innovative cocktails, and other gastropub fare.
If the kids want pizza, Prato is the place for your family. Request a table on the patio (isn’t there something about eating outside that makes kids less wiggly?) and order them a margarita pie to share while you pick one of the other modern Italian dishes made with locally sourced ingredients.
Winter Park is easily accessible by car and airplane. You probably won’t use your car much once you’re in town.
If you’re coming from one of Orlando’s theme parks, the ride will be relatively short. Winter Park is about 30 miles north of Disney’s Magic Kingdom and 15 miles north of Universal Florida on I-4. Tampa, Jacksonville, and Melbourne, Florida are all within two hours or so.
The closest airport is Orlando International Airport, which is about a 30-minute drive to Winter Park. Later in 2023, the Brightline Train’ s airport station will connect the city with Miami, Boca Raton, West Palm Beach, and Fort Lauderdale. If you can fly into the smaller (and far less crowded) Orlando Sanford International Airport, you’d still only have about a half-hour drive.
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Explore Winter Park
Plan Your Trip to Winter Park: Best of Winter Park Tourism
Essential winter park.
Winter Park Is Great For
Eat & drink.
- The Alfond Inn
- Park Plaza Hotel
- Hilton Garden Inn Winter Park
- SpringHill Suites by Marriott Winter Park
- The Trustworthy Inn
- The Briar Patch
- Hillstone Restaurant
- Winter Park Fish Company
- Bosphorous Turkish Cuisine - Winter Park
- Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art
- Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens
- Kraft Azalea Gardens
- Mead Botanical Garden
- Central Park
- Winter Park Chain of Lakes Day Time Clear Kayak Paddle
- Clear Kayak Glow in the Dark Tour Through Winter Park
- Hello Neighbor! The Mister Rogers Walking Tour + Boat Tour
- Flavors of Winter Park Foodie Walking Tour
- Clear Kayak Sunset Tour through The Winter Park Chain of Lakes
Home » Travel Guides » United States » Florida (FL) » 14 Best Things to Do in Winter Park (FL)
14 Best Things to Do in Winter Park (FL)
A cultural beacon for Greater Orlando, the picture-perfect city of Winter Park originated as a winter resort for the wealthy in the 1880s.
With its canals, lakes, moss-draped live oaks, and Mediterranean Revival architecture, I will never tire of exploring Winter Park.
You can do this on foot, wandering among cypress trees at lakeside parks, or on the water where the Chain of Lakes is linked by winding canals.
There’s a stylish downtown area, next to Central Park, which has an active station on the SunRail line. From here you can get to Orlando’s Central Business District in a matter of minutes.
This green nexus point is the stage for events like one of the best farmers’ markets in Florida, and a nationally acclaimed art festival.
1. Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art
Set downtown, the Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art is home to one of the world’s most complete collections of pieces by Louis Comfort Tiffany (1848-1944).
On show is a startling array of his leaded glass windows, jewelry paintings, pottery, enamels, furniture, and lampshades.
Many of the items on display were salvaged from Tiffany’s home and studio, Laurelton Hall in Long Island, following a fire in 1957.
Maybe my favorite exhibit of all is the complete interior of the chapel for the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago. This space radiates opulence, with its brilliant mosaics and windows, in a Byzantine-Romanesque style.
2. Park Avenue
Lining the east side of Central Park is a truly elevated Main Street. In the shade of beautiful life oaks there’s a long line of upmarket independent businesses.
Along this brick-paved thoroughfare are boutiques and an international array of restaurants. Most of these eateries have sidewalk tables, under awnings and that oak canopy.
On Park Avenue and its side streets you can shop for luxury home decor, jewelry, designer clothing, cosmetics, fashion accessories, fine art, and more.
The mix of cuisines is equally diverse, whether you’re in the mood for smoothie bowls, New American, Turkish, Italian, French, Thai, Mexican, seafood, or steak.
The district is also bookended by two Winter Park cultural highlights. In the north is The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art, with its Tiffany masterpieces.
South, Rollins College, counts Fred Rogers among its alumni, and has been visited by presidents from Coolidge to Obama.
3. Central Park
A natural partner to Park Avenue, this leafy space hosts a variety of events and performances throughout the year. One of the recurring events is the Winter Park Farmers’ Market, which I’ll cover in more detail later.
At other times, Central Park is just a pleasant place for a stroll or to relax with a good book or a good friend. There are fountains, tall old oak trees, and abundant flowers, especially in the rose garden in spring.
Railroad tracks cross the park from north to south. Embedded in the greenery, Winter Park Station is served by Amtrak and SunRail commuter trains.
4. Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens
In 1950 the Czech American sculptor Albin Polasek 1 879-1965 retired to Winter Park. Among his most famous works are The Spirit of Music (1923) in Chicago’s Grant Park, and The Yates Memorial, in Springfield, Illinois (also 1923).
Backing onto Lake Osceola, Polasek’s purpose-built home and studio was opened up as a museum in 1961.
This is the only museum of its kind in Florida, keeping most of its original furnishings. The sculpture gardens are sumptuous, and complemented by the vistas over the water.
There are around 200 works by Polasek on show, as well as pieces from his collection. For an educator’s perspective on his life and work, I’d recommend a guided tour.
5. Rollins Museum of Art
Greater Orlando’s only teaching museum is on the campus of Rollins College. Founded in 1978, the Rollins Museum of Art has more than 5,000 works in its collection.
These holdings are wide-ranging, but have a few focal points, including contemporary art, American painting up to 1950, and European Renaissance art.
When I paid a visit, the museum was in a period of sudden growth. There was a spellbinding display of new acquisitions by the likes of John Singer Sargent, Benjamin West and Thomas Cole.
Some of the museum’s collection is also on show at the college’s Alfond Inn. Proceeds from this refined boutique hotel help fund scholarships.
6. Hannibal Square Heritage Center
Starting in the 1880s, the western half of Winter Park became home to the city’s African-American community. Early residents here worked on the railroads, or filled domestic service jobs in wealthy households.
In 2007, the Crealdé School of Art opened a museum to document this aspect of the Winter Park’s heritage.
The focus here is the Heritage Collection: Photographs and Oral Histories of West Winter Park. This touching display has more than 100 pieces that shine a light on the African-American community.
These are accompanied by a timeline, recording major events from the Emancipation Proclamation up to the election of Barack Obama in 2008.
7. Kraft Azalea Gardens
If you were to ask me how to close out the perfect day in Winter Park, I’d come to this little park at sunset. Just five acres, Kraft Azalea Gardens occupies a nub on the southeast shore of Lake Maitland.
When the sun is low the thick stand of cypresses takes on a magical quality. It’s no shock that this park is a local spot of choice for golden-hour photo shoots.
Come between late February and the start of June, and you should catch a glimpse of the egrets that nest in these giants.
8. Mead Botanical Garden
This magnificent botanical garden opened in 1940 in memory of the noted naturalist, Theodore Luqueer Mead (1852-1936).
For one thing, Mead’s friends needed somewhere to house his extensive collection of orchids. More than 80 years later, the Mead Botanical Garden is a joyous oasis concealed within the city.
Winding trails and boardwalks take you across wetlands and upland pine hammocks with some towering trees. There’s a creek, and a pond humming with life, from wading birds to turtles.
One spot I won’t soon forget is the butterfly garden, with a colorful array of flowering plants attracting pollinators.
9. Casa Feliz Historic Home Museum
One man who helped define Winter Park’s residential cityscape was the architect James Gamble Rogers II (1901-1990).
He is most famous for the Florida State Supreme Court Building (1949) in Tallahassee. Yet, for much of the 20th century he worked in Winter Park, building homes in revivalist styles, ranging from Spanish Colonial to French Provincial.
A fine example of his early career can be seen at the Robert Bruce Barbour House, built for a local industrialist in 1932. Also known as Casa Feliz (Happy House), this has a rustic Andalusian style, fronted by a stately loggia.
Some interesting details I enjoyed on my tour—the Spanish terracotta roof tiles,the majolica-tiled courtyards, and the huge hand-cut beams in the living room’s vaulted ceiling.
A well-presented museum exhibit about James Gamble Rogers II had also just opened when I was here.
10. Winter Park Farmers’ Market
Held at Central Park West Meadow, the booming Winter Park Farmers’ Market is up there with the best in Florida. The market happens on Saturdays from 8 AM until 1 PM, and packs a town’s worth of vendors into a relatively tight space.
In addition to seasonal produce, you might find houseplants, herbs, sauces, wines, apple cider, maple syrup, seafood, pickles, cheeses, coffees, fresh bread, pet treats, and a wealth of artisanal crafts.
My one tip is to skip breakfast before coming, because there are some serious food trucks and static vendors. I’ve seen Indian street food, arepas, chicken pot pies, acai bowls, breakfast burritos, ravioli, Belgian waffles, and BBQ here.
11. Scenic Boat Tours
At the city’s lakefront parks, you’ll realize there’s a whole other side to Winter Park waiting to be discovered.
Edged with ferns, palms, oaks, cypresses, and elegant mansions the Chain of Lakes is connected by canals. These meandering waterways were built to convey lumber to a sawmill on the shores of Lake Virginia at the southern end of the chain.
For me, you need to get out onto the water to really get a feel for Winter Park. This can be done via the scenic boat tour, departing daily on the hour from 10 AM to 4PM.
These tours have taken place since the 1930s, and are a gateway to a secret world, brimming with life. The Chain of Lakes is at once wild, with alligators and scores of wading birds, but also opulent.
As well as the grounds of Rollins College, the grounds of numerous sprawling mansions frame the lakes and canals.
12. Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival
Bringing hundreds of thousands of visitors from all over the country every year, the Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival is my must-see event here.
Held in Central Park in mid-March, the festival has been a fixture since 1960, and ranks among the best art fairs in the country.
The festival features a wide spectrum of arts and crafts, from paintings to jewelry, but also contemporary mixed-media.
Artists compete for awards in more than 60 categories, with prize money totalling more than $80,0000. The big one is the prestigious Best of Show.
Live music and entertainment are woven into these three days, starting with a kick-off Friday night concert. There’s also a children’s workshop, and a complimentary bike corral throughout the festival.
13. Winter Park Golf Course
In typical Winter Park style, the city’s nine-hole public golf course is couched among live oaks, in a village-like environment.
The holes at Winter Park Golf Course are traced by two churches, grand homes, a cemetery and the passenger railroad tracks.
Dating back to 1914, the course was renovated in the 2010s and is lauded as one of the best public short courses in America. I found this par-35 to be a real test, thanks to the small-ish greens, all guarded by sand traps.
There are new fairways, greens and roughs, and a state-of-the-art irrigation system bringing the second-oldest course in Orlando into the 21st century.
14. Kayaking and Paddleboarding
If you want to navigate Winter Park’s Chain of Lakes in a more active way there are several outfitters and tour companies on hand.
Get Up and Go Kayaking, Otter Paddle Orlando, and Peace of Mind Kayak Tours all offer guided trips in this beautiful environment.
On these adventures you’ll have a little bit more freedom to check out wildlife, or linger in an especially picturesque area. This might be an oak-shaded canal, or a grassy bank with river otters playing.
Sunset paddle tours are available, and you can even head out onto these lakes after dark, on a glow-in-the-dark trip.
You may want ever more independence. In which case, Peace of Mind Kayak offers full or half-day rentals in Winter Park, with drop-offs.
14 Best Things to Do in Winter Park (FL):
- Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art
- Park Avenue
- Central Park
- Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens
- Rollins Museum of Art
- Hannibal Square Heritage Center
- Kraft Azalea Gardens
- Mead Botanical Garden
- Casa Feliz Historic Home Museum
- Winter Park Farmers’ Market
- Scenic Boat Tours
- Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival
- Winter Park Golf Course
- Kayaking and Paddleboarding
Things to do in Winter Park to experience its special charm
By: Author Bonnie Gross
Posted on Last updated: September 7, 2023
For 140 years visitors have come to explore the many charms of Winter Park, a tree-filled small city now engulfed by metropolitan Orlando. Originally, they came by train.
I decided Winter Park was the perfect modern-day destination to reach by train, combining a “romantic rail journey” with a walkable town. I was right – except for the “romantic rail journey” part. But more on that later.
While Amtrak left a lot to be desired, Winter Park lived up to expectations. In a three-night stay, we walked everywhere. There were enough things to do in Winter Park that I left wishing I had time to get to one additional museum and one more great park.
Winter Park started as a resort for rich northerners fleeing cold weather in the 1800s. With its chain of six sparkling lakes, it soon became a place where wealthy folks built grand winter homes.
Winter Park has remained decidedly upscale and has benefited from all the resources associated with wealth over the years.
Its rich residents developed a few museums that are real gems, a fabulous nearby botanical garden and Rollins College, a private college with a beautiful campus.
There is even a touristy but fun Scenic Boat Tour, operating since 1938.
It’s all compact and walkable (our grand tour required only one $10 Uber ride). Winter Park still has many red-brick streets and historic homes and buildings. In short, I found lots of things to do in Winter Park to make a great Florida getaway.
We arrived at the very cute retro-looking train depot, also a busy stop for the regional SunRail system. When you reach the town this way, everything that surrounds you is full of Winter Park history and charm.
The center of the city has an attractive Central Park with an arbor of gorgeous purple wisteria blooming profusely in March. There are fountains and benches and open space for families and sweethearts to enjoy.
Paralleling the train tracks is Park Avenue, lined with a wide variety of great restaurants, coffee shops, wine bars, a chocolatier, a fabulous French bakery and trendy shops.
On one end of the shopping district is the Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art, very much worth visiting.
At the other, Park Avenue leads to the lovely campus of Rollins Campus, where you can take a scenic walk along Lake Virginia and visit the free art museum.
Park Avenue has big shady trees and planters bursting with colorful flowers.
Off Park Avenue, you can walk a few blocks on New England Avenue across the tracks to the lively Hannibal Square district , also full of restaurants and cafes along the red-brick road.
On the way, at the side of the train tracks is the small but impressive Winter Park History Museum.
Planning your visit to Winter Park
It’s not every Florida town where you can plan two days of activities on foot, but the heart of Winter Park is compact, developed before cars dominated the city.
We arrived on a Sunday night, which meant our first day in town was a Monday — actually not a great idea. All the museums are closed on Monday, as well as several restaurants. But our first day was packed full of fun including two botanical gardens and the Scenic Boat Tour.
Enjoying Margarita Mondays ($5 and terrific) at Pepe’s Cantina in the Hannibal Square neighborhood made it all worthwhile. Day two, then, was dominated by museums.
Eight great things to do in Winter Park
1. The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art
This is the top attraction in Winter Park. The Morse Museum is known for its collection of works by Louis Comfort Tiffany and, as a result, it has eye candy that will appeal to even people who don’t normally like art museums.
The examples of Tiffany glass here are luminous, colorful and easy to appreciate. You can breeze through in 45 minutes or, if you get captivated by Tiffany and his life, you could easily spend two hours.
We particularly enjoyed the several galleries devoted to Tiffany’s Long Island mansion, Laurelton Hall, which burned down. His home there, where his work went far beyond windows and lamps, was one of his masterpieces.
The founders of the Morse Museum, Hugh McKean and Jeannette Genius McKean, had the items that would be salvaged brought to the museum where they are now displayed. This includes parts of several rooms, such as an entire arbor with magnificent daffodil ornamental columns.
The museum is closed on Mondays.
Admission is inexpensive , so you have no excuse to miss it. It’s $6 adults; $5 seniors; $1 students (with valid ID) and free for children younger than 12. In addition it is free to all Fridays from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.!
Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art 445 N. Park Ave., Winter Park, FL 32789 (407) 645-5311
2. Winter Park Scenic Boat Tour
Visitors to Winter Park have been delighting in this boat tour since 1938. The boats only hold 18 people and they do not have canopies because the narrow canals that connect the Winter Park chain of lakes go under bridges that are only inches above your head.
This is your classic Florida tourist experience, complete with the corny guide telling the same groan-worthy jokes on every cruise. But it has been around for more than 80 years for a reason – spectacular scenery you’ll only see this way.
Who among us does not want to gaze at magnificent mansions with boat houses prettier than our own home?
The highlight, though, is threading through Winter Park’s very narrow canals connecting the lakes, where trees hang overhead and flowers bloom in lushly landscaped yards.
The tour provides interesting history of Winter Park and shows you several notable buildings and the Rollins College campus from the water. We also liked that on this boat tour, the driver hits the gas pedal occasionally, providing a whoosh of speed and a breeze.
The tours are exactly an hour long, which is perfect, and are offered hourly with no reservations (except for large groups). It’s an inexpensive thing to add to your day – tickets are $16 adults; $8 ages 2 to 11.
Winter Park Scenic Boat Tours 312 E. Morse Blvd. Winter Park, FL 32789 407-644-4056.
3. Albin Polasek Museum and Sculpture Garden
I have to admit, I had never heard of Albin Polasek, but the sculptor’s 1949 home and gardens on Lake Osceola is a real hidden gem and worth a stop.
Polasek was a successful and well known 20th Century sculptor who led the Chicago Art Institute’s sculpture program for many years. Born in what is now the Czech Republic, Polasek retired to Winter Park and built a lake home and studio with a magnificent view.
Visitors get a brief tour of the home — it is not huge but the interior is filled with his art and it’s quite interesting to see. The gardens display dozens of sculptures, surrounded by Florida plants, flowers and trees along the shore of Lake Osceola.
Many of the works have a religious character, but many others are nudes. Some have a personal touch, such as the painting where he inserted his face into the Stations of the Cross among the holy people at the foot of the crucifixion.
The museum and grounds can be seen in an hour or two, but you also can linger at the picnic tables in the garden. The museum is closed on Mondays. Admission is $12 for adults.
Albin Polasek Museum and Sculpture Garden 633 Osceola Ave., Winter Park, FL 32789 (407) 647-6294
4. Things to do in Winter Park: Strolling the grounds of Rollins College and visiting its free art museum
In 2015, the campus of Rollins College was named the most beautiful in the nation by the Princeton Review and it makes for a beautiful walk.
You can reach the campus in 10 minutes from downtown. Just go to the southern end of South Park Avenue and cross busy Fairbanks Avenue.
The campus has many handsome historic buildings in the Mediterranean revival style framed by sprawling live oaks and overlooking Lake Virginia.
There is a half mile lakeshore walk through the campus, along which is the free Rollins College Museum of Art. It’s a small museum that gets high marks for its quality, displaying visiting exhibits as well as items from its own collection. (Just like the other two art museums in town, it’s closed on Mondays.)
At the northern end of the campus is a city park called Dinky Dock Park, where you’ll find locals fishing and launching kayaks into Lake Virginia. There is free parking here, but spaces aren’t always easy to get.
Rollins College Museum of Art 1000 Holt Ave., Winter Park, FL 32789 (407) 646-2000
5. Mead Botanical Garden
This free garden is a half hour walk from the heart of downtown. We enjoyed walking along red brick roads through historic neighborhoods to reach it.
Mead Botanical Garden has some beautifully landscaped spaces with colorful planters as well as camellias and azaleas, which were in bloom for our March visit.
The 47-acre garden has plenty of wilder terrain too, and offers hiking trails, picturesque bridges, a pond and a creek. I particularly liked the small creek lined with cypress knees. There are mansions across the water.
Mead Botanical Garden 1300 S Denning Drive, Winter Park, FL 32789 (407) 622-6323
6. Harry P. Leu Botanical Gardens
While technically not in Winter Park, Leu Botanical Garden is so close to Winter Park that we walked there from Mead Botanical Garden. Most people would drive or Uber, I suspect; it’s a long but scenic walk. By the time we’d explored the garden, we were foot-sore and took an Uber back to our hotel for a reasonable $10. It’s a 3-mile walk.
This 50-acre botanical garden could be the most beautiful place in Orlando.
With towering mature trees giving shade and Lake Rowena providing a beautiful backdrop, the gardens unveil beauty at every turn – and there are many turns in the winding walkways.
You’ll find different favorites at different times of year. There is a big rose garden, which was not flowering much on our visit, but we enjoyed the camellias in its extensive collection.
A favorite year ‘round is the tropical stream, lush with fascinating specimens, all of which are carefully labeled.
The garden has an Old Florida feel and contains the Leu House Museum, a restored 19th Century home listed on the National Register of Historic Places that has been owned by only four families.
Birds and wildlife abound. On one visit, we saw otters in Lake Rowena.
Admission is $15 adults; $10 for children 4 to 17.
Harry P. Leu Botanical Gardens 1920 N. Forest Ave., Orlando, FL 32803 (407) 246-2620
7. Take a walk to Kraft Azalea Park
A mile north of the Morse Museum and downtown Winter Park is another special park. It’s a half hour walk through some of the beautiful residential streets of Winter Park.
A few highlights of the walk: Be sure to stop to gaze at Casa Feliz Historic Home at 656 Park Ave. This special-event venue is not currently open for tours, but the 1932 “Andalusian farmhouse” is a beauty to admire from outside.
Plan your route so you cross the Venetian Canal at Alabama Drive and Palmer Avenue. This is one of the picturesque canals the Scenic Boat Tour takes visitors through.
You can stop and grab a bench at Kraft Azalea Park. It’s only five acres, but this free public garden packs in a lot of beauty. The park occupies a peninsula in Lake Maitland and is full of gorgeous shading trees hanging with Spanish moss. It includes one of the largest banyan trees you’ll find this far north.
It is also home to a great egret rookery. ( Details are here .) Every year between February and early June, about 50 nesting pairs take up residence here.
The park has benches, a dock and its Exedra Monument, in the style of ancient Greece, is popular for weddings.
Kraft Azalea Gardens 1365 Alabama Drive, Winter Park, FL 32789 (407) 599-3334
8. Things to do in Winter Park: Dine, drink, sample wine, chocolates, coffee, pastries and more
The downtown Winter Park area is full of culinary treats.
There are adorable coffee shops — CFS Coffee in Hannibal Square smelled divine with cute outdoor seating and folks rave about New General just off Park Avenue.
For wine bars, you’ll pass two highly rated ones on Park Avenue — The Wine Room on Park Avenue and the Parkview.
The chocolates and cookies were so tempting in Peterbrooke Chocolatier on Park Avenue and Croissant Gourmet , just off Park Avenue at 120 E. Morse Blvd., is full of treats, as well as being a good place to buy a sandwich for the train.
And the restaurants? You’ll find every kind of place to dine, many within walking distance. Consult Yelp and TripAdvisor for tips.
Here are three perennial favorites on Park Avenue:
Prato , 124 N Park Ave., Winter Park, 32789. It’s the downtown spot for all things Italian, from pizza to meatballs to the salads and soups. It also gets high marks for its view of Park Avenue and the ambiance.
The Parkview , 136 S Park Ave., Winter Park, 32789. While primarily a wine and beer bar, the dinner menu has a nice selection of sandwiches, salads, flatbreads and a few special entrees.
Boca , 358 N Park Ave, Winter Park. This is a hopping spot that can get loud. It offers an eclectic menu and is popular for lunch.
Hotels in Winter Park FL: Two good choices downtown
We stayed in the historic Park Plaza Hotel , which has a perfect location in the center of downtown, a block from the train station overlooking both Central Park and Park Avenue.
We love historic hotels, and flaws that others note – tiny bathrooms, small rooms – are fine by us. They come with staying in what I consider a charming one-of-a-kind hotel with character. This one turned 100 in 2022!
Two things I particularly loved about the Park Plaza Hotel: its ancient elevator with the metal grate you manually close before the elevator moves and the tasty continental breakfast brought to the room on a wooden tray when you call the front desk.
The fresh croissant and container of coffee were ideal, though the rooms are so small there was barely a place to sit and enjoy it.
Next time I’ll try to book the more expensive balcony rooms, which have plant-filled balconies where such a breakfast could be best enjoyed. As it is, during high season in March 2022, our room was $159 thanks to the “Florida resident” rate – reasonable for its outstanding location.
There is another downtown hotel that is newer, fancier and a bit more expensive – the Alphond Inn , operated by Rollins College. Profits help support the college and it offers some great sounding packages. The Alphond is four blocks from the train station, so it also has an excellent location.
Park Plaza Hotel 307 S. Park Ave., Winter Park, FL 32789 (407) 647-1072
Alphond Inn 300 E. New England Ave., Winter Park, FL 32789 (407) 998-8090
Hotels in Winter Park on Hotels.com
Vacation rentals in Winter Park on VRBO
Taking Amtrak to Winter Park
I had long wanted to take Amtrak on a Florida Rambler trip, and I knew Winter Park was ideal because of its charming downtown built around the railroad station.
So when I heard that Amtrak was having a BOGO sale, which was about to end, I quickly booked a round-trip ticket for my husband and me. What a deal! Only $48 roundtrip from our Fort Lauderdale home for both of us!
The problem is: I didn’t look at the route or the length of the journey. It was only when we were waiting ….and waiting….and waiting for the train to arrive in Fort Lauderdale – only its third stop from its starting location! – that I learned that the train goes to Winter Park via Tampa. And it was more than a seven hour trip, IF it was on time, which it was not, and maybe never is.
The only train available is a daily trip on the Silver Star. A shorter route, skipping the side trip to Tampa, is offered on the Silver Meteor, which is currently out of service, returning perhaps at some point in 2022.
As it turns out, our journey started 90 minutes late and we lost time as we travelled. The Silver Star’s route goes through Lakeland twice, as it veers off to Tampa and back.
The seating is large and feels luxurious compared to airplane travel, and we enjoyed looking out the windows. But the food was abysmal. (A variety of plastic wrapped sandwiches heated in a microwave.)
On our return from Winter Park, the train was not very clean, which is not surprising since it was on its last few hours of a 1,522-mile route between New York City and Miami via Washington, D.C. At least one of the bathrooms was unusable as a result.
I have to admit: I’ll do better research if I ever do it again. I do love train travel, though, and I believe in finding alternatives to cars.
So I think it might work from Tampa or Jacksonville as a way to visit Winter Park. Also: Within the greater Orlando area, you could use the SunRail system to have a weekend getaway by rail in Winter Park.
From the minute I stepped off the train to the moment I boarded for our return, I loved Winter Park. But in this case, getting there was not half the fun.
One of the most popular events in Winter Park
Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival , Winter Park, March 15-17, 2024 This large show annually earns top ranking among art festivals nationwide. In addition to the draw of high-quality art, it offers activities to entertain various ages and interests. Be aware: It draws a huge crowd.
More things to do in Orlando area
- Eight natural places to enjoy in Orlando area
- Moss Park offers great camping near Disney
- Winter Garden: Old Florida town thrives around great bike trail
- West Orange Trail: Impressive bike trail in Central Florida
- Van Fleet Trail: 29 miles of beauty by bike near Orlando
- Wekiva River Basin’s stunning beauty invites paddlers, campers, hikers and bikers
This article is original, produced exclusively for our readers and protected by U.S. Copyright law. Any use or re-publication without written permission is against the law.
The author, Bonnie Gross, travels with her husband David Blasco, discovering off-the-beaten path places to hike, kayak, bike, swim and explore. Florida Rambler was founded in 2010 by Bonnie and fellow journalist Bob Rountree, two long-time Florida residents who have spent decades exploring the Florida outdoors. Their articles have been published in the Sun Sentinel, the Miami Herald, the Orlando Sentinel, The Guardian and Visit Florida.
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Tuesday 15th of March 2022
Bonnie, nice article about my town, but you write, " spectacular scenery you’ll only see this way." in the Scenic Boat Tour section. If I had not been reading Florida Rambler for the last 10 plus years, I would think you had never been in a kayak. Also, there are six lakes in the Winter Park Chain. Lakes Minnehaha and Nina are in Maitland, Lake Maitland is half in Maitland and half in Winter Park. Did your tour boat captain tell you to spit on the Maitland side? Lakes Osceola, Virgina, and Mizel are in Winter Park. Maps do show Lake Berry, but it is not connected.
Thanks Dave. Great town. You made me laugh. I DID think about that phrase "scenery you'll only see this way" in regards to kayaks. I love kayaking, of course. But these are bigger lakes and you'd be paddling long and hard to cover the equivalent scenery of multiple lakes and canals. (Plus, I find lake kayaking a little boring. You paddle and paddle and the scenery changes so slowly.) Also: I AM a little confused about all the lakes. I've seen references to seven lakes in the chain; others say six lakes, and some places say five! I guess it depends what/how you count? I appreciate you reading Rambler all these years, Dave!
Home » Places To Go / Destinations » Top Things to Do in Winter Park, FL in 2023
Top Things to Do in Winter Park, FL in 2023
Last Updated on August 21, 2023
Looking for things to do in Winter Park, Florida? You’ve come to the right place.
Located just minutes north of downtown Orlando and only 20 minutes from a few of the best theme parks in the world, this charming city is worth a detour.
Once a historic winter resort community, it has become an alluring destination with beautiful lakes, enchanting museums, pristine parks, great restaurants, and a walkable downtown.
Whether you’re looking for outdoor adventures, cultural activities, or a relaxing getaway, Winter Park has something to offer every visitor.
Among its many offerings are world-class museums like the Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art and the Albin Polasek Museum and Sculpture Gardens.
The Morse Museum houses an impressive collection of works from Louis Comfort Tiffany, plus other American Art Nouveau and Arts & Crafts pieces.
The Polasek Museum houses a unique collection of paintings, sculptures, drawings, and works on paper from renowned Czech-American artist Albin Polasek. Winter Park also boasts some of Florida’s finest outdoor attractions. Take a leisurely stroll or bicycle ride around scenic Lake Virginia, or explore the lush natural beauty of Mead Botanical Garden.
- History of Winter Park
Winter Park was initially developed for wealthy Northerners seeking a tranquil place to live and escape the harsh winters.
Winter Park was called Lakeview until 1881 when two businessmen, Loring Chase, and Oliver Chapman, decided they wanted the name to be more representative of a park in the winter … thus Winter Park was born.
To this day, the city still attracts many winter visitors because of its fantastic weather, relaxing lifestyle, and a plethora of unique places to visit.
What makes Winter Park unique?
There are so many reasons to fall in love with this quaint city.
Winter Park’s vision statement sums up its essence: It is the city of arts and culture, cherishing its traditional scale and charm while building a healthy and sustainable future for all generations.
Winter Park’s downtown commercial district has interesting historic buildings and small businesses.
The city has several historic residential areas where it’s not uncommon to see peacocks roaming through the neighborhoods.
There is a clear sense that this is very much a place where people live, work, and go to school (Go Wildcats!) – not just a showpiece for tourists.
In 2015, Winter Park was featured in an award-winning Super Bowl commercial. Winter Park was the selected location because it symbolized the quintessential American hometown.
The city has also been featured in numerous articles, movies, and TV shows.
National Geographic Traveler magazine recognized the city as one of the world’s top historic destinations, noting, “This gracious town manages to retain its reputation as an oasis within the helter-skelter growth of Central Florida.”
- Top Things to Do in Winter Park
Table of Contents
Winter park farmer’s market, winter park scenic boat tour, rollins college, the charles hosmer morse museum of american art, albin polasek museum & sculpture gardens, casa feliz historic home, park avenue shopping district, authentic florida trivia question:.
Here are a few of our favorite hot spots in authentic Winter Park:
The Winter Park Farmers’ Market is held every Saturday morning from 8 am to 1 pm and is a great motivator to get out of bed.
Originally housed at an old train depot that is now a restored historical landmark on the corner of Morse Boulevard and S. New York Avenue, it has since moved to the space between the Winter Park train station and the Winter Park post office.
This new farmers’ market location provides more open space. It is a trendy community-gathering place that is a favorite for locals of all ages.
Since it’s in Winter Park, you can expect more upscale choices than at typical farmers’ markets.
The breakfast and lunch choices are stellar. Look for fresh crepes, arepas, pastries, and quiche. There’s also great coffee and smoothies.
There is also always a great selection of fruits, vegetables, and plants. And don’t miss the honey vendor.
The Winter Park Historical Museum is housed within the original train depot building. It’s open from 9 am until 1 pm on Saturday.
Admission is free, and exhibits put a historical focus on some of Winter Park’s traditions and events.
Please note: The Winter Park Farmers’ Market closes each year on the third Saturday in March because of the Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival.
Check out even more of our favorite Florida Farmer’s Markets !
Established in 1938, the fleet of six 18-passenger boats travels through the pristine Winter Park Chain of Lakes on the Winter Park boat tour.
It is a definite MUST SEE for locals and visitors alike. Every tour promises breathtaking views of nature and a historical overview of the luxurious private homes and estates along the shores.
Watch for the occasional water skier, yogi on a paddleboard, or sunbathing alligator.
The dock is less than a 5-minute walk from Park Avenue and is located on the East end of Morse Boulevard on Lake Osceola.
Admission is $16 for adults and $8 for children. Taxes are included (ages 2 through 11); those Under 2 are free.
They only accept cash or checks! Operating hours are 10 am to 4 pm daily (except Christmas). Boats leave on the hour.
Winter Park Boat Tour Address: 312 E Morse Blvd, Winter Park, FL 32789
Founded in 1885, Rollins College is Florida’s oldest recognized college and is consistently ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of “America’s best colleges.”
The College of Arts & Sciences offers full-time undergraduate programs in the liberal arts.
The Crummer Graduate School of Business is consistently ranked by Forbes magazine among the best business schools for return on investment.
Forbes recently ranked the MBA program No.1 overall in Florida.
The Hamilton Holt School serves the Central Florida community by offering exceptional undergraduate and graduate degree programs.
The classes occur during evenings and weekends for students diverse in age, experience, and professional development.
The Rollins 70-acre campus contains a range of amenities, including a theater for performing arts, the Cornell Campus Center, and the Alfond Sports Center.
Rollins also owns and operates a full-service hotel nearby called the Alfond Inn. We recommend this to anyone needing overnight accommodations.
Located on the banks of lovely Lake Virginia, it’s a great campus to walk around informally. Contact the Office of Admission or visit this link to set up a campus tour.
While there, be sure to take the Mister Rogers Walking Tour . Rogers is one of several celebrities that graduated from Rollins.
Rollins College Address: 1000 Holt Ave, Winter Park, FL 32789
Opened in 1995, The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art (“The Morse Museum”) houses the most comprehensive collection of works by American designer Louis Comfort Tiffany (1848–1933).
The chapel interior he designed for the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago and art and architectural elements from his Long Island estate, Laurelton Hall.
Highlights also the recently restored Daffodil Terrace, prize-winning leaded-glass windows, iconic Tiffany lamps, and custom furnishings among the featured installations.
Visitors will also enjoy the exhibits of American art pottery, Arts and Crafts furnishings, and late 19th- and early 20th-century American painting and graphics.
The Morse Museum is open from 9:30 am – 4 pm Tuesday through Saturday and Sunday from 1 pm – 4 pm. Closed Monday and most major holidays.
Admission is $6 for adults, $5 for seniors 60 and older, and $1 for students (with valid ID). The museum is free for children younger than 12.
The Morse Museum Address: 445 North Park Avenue, Winter Park, FL 32789
The Albin Polasek Museum and Sculpture Garden (“The Polasek”) in Winter Park promotes the legacy of internationally known Czech-American sculptor Albin Polasek.
It also enriches lives through the power of inspiration conveyed by his story, setting, and art.
The Polasek features over 200 works by Albin Polasek.
In 2000, Albin Polasek was named a “Great Floridian” by the state of Florida, a distinction that recognizes those who made significant contributions to the history and culture of the state.
In 2004, the Florida Artists Hall of Fame inducted Albin Polasek.
The Polasek is also on the National Register of Historic Places and National Trust of Historic Artists Homes/Studios.
The Polasek hosts events like the “Winter Park Paint Out” and is available for weddings and meeting rentals.
The Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens is a 501(C)(3) public charity, a non-profit organization whose budget is also funded by donations and membership.
All donations and dues support its preservation, maintenance, and operation.
The Polasek is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 am – 4 pm; Sunday from 1 pm – 4 pm. Admission is $12 for adults, $10 for Seniors (60+) and College Students, $7 for Students (K-12). Members and children under 4 are free.
Free Days include Heritage Day and also Veterans Day.
The Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens Address: 633 Osceola Ave, Winter Park, FL 32789
“Happy House”, also known as Casa Feliz, is the beautifully restored Spanish Farmhouse designed by acclaimed architect James Gamble Rogers II.
The exterior of the house and grounds are picture-perfect and an amazing place for weddings and other special events.
The rich textures of original Spanish roof tiles and whitewashed century include old bricks, a turret, a bell tower, a heavy timber balcony detailed in colors of the Mediterranean, lush landscaping.
There also incredible courtyards, sweeping oaks, and native plants – making it a must-see in Winter Park.
Casa Feliz is open to the public free of charge for self-guided tours on Tuesday and Thursday from 10 am – 12 pm.
“Music at the Casa” also happens on Sundays from 12 pm – 3 pm. Private tours are arranged by calling 407.628.8200.
Casa Feliz hosts special events for the public throughout the year and especially around the holidays.
FYI: Santa Claus also always makes a pit stop at Casa Feliz.
Casa Feliz Address: 656 N Park Ave, Winter Park, FL 32789
One of the best ways to describe Park Avenue is new-world sophistication meets old-world charm.
Park Avenue borders the crown jewel of all the city’s parks. This 11-acre park boasts shady oak trees, landscaped planters, sitting areas, open space, and three beautiful fountains.
It’s home to one of the most famous art festivals in the country each Spring, The Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival .
There is even a rose garden at Central Park’s southern corner where you can stop and smell the roses. The lush foliage and relaxing atmosphere make it the perfect spot for a picnic.
In addition to the art festival, Winter Park hosts a variety of outdoor concerts and movie screenings throughout the year.
Park Avenue is home to an array of unique boutiques and gift shops, world-renowned art museums, chic salons/spas, and epicurean delights from sidewalk cafes and trendy wine rooms to fine dining and gastro pubs
Often called “Little Europe,” Park Avenue is a destination that has provided the citizens and visitors of Winter Park with an elegant place to stroll, dine, and shop for many decades.
Central Florida Road Trip: Winter Park
Where was the world-famous “temple” orange discovered? (FYI: The Temple is technically a hybrid known as a “tangor”, a cross between a tangerine and an orange.)
Answer: Winter Park!
More recommendations from our readers and Authentic Florida Facebook Followers:
- Winter Park Library: 1052 W Morse Blvd, Winter Park, FL 32789
- Center for Health and Wellbeing: 2005 Mizell Ave #800, Winter Park, FL 32792
- Hannibal Square: 642 W New England Ave, Winter Park, FL 32789
- Sit at the lake on Hillstone: 215 S Orlando Ave, Winter Park, FL 32789
- Aloma Cinema Grill: 2155 Aloma Ave, Winter Park, FL 32792
- Winter Park Playhouse: 711 N Orange Ave, Winter Park, FL 32789
- Kraft Azalea Gardens: 1365 Alabama Dr, Winter Park, FL 32789
- Mead Gardens: 1300 S Denning Dr, Winter Park, FL 32789
If you enjoyed this article on things to do in Winter Park, check out these other areas not far away:
- The Top 7 Things to Do in Maitland, Florida
- Celebrating the Historic Town of Eatonville, Florida
- 11 Best Things to Do in Altamonte Springs
- 7 Ways to Experience Orlando Like a Local
- Our 6 Favorite Things to Do in Sanford
- 8 Best Things to Do in College Park Orlando
- 10 Best Things to Do in SoDo Orlando
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- Last Updated On
- June 24, 2023
20 Best Things to Do in Winter Park, FL
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Winter Park is a paradise for people looking for adventure, fun, and unforgettable memories.
Packed with stunning historic museums, beautiful theaters, and fun parks, Winter Park will enchant you with its old-world charm.
What’s more, this city is swarming with breathtaking lakes that offer relaxation and exhilarating outdoor activities.
And guess what?
You can enjoy the most memorable escapade by discovering the best things to do in Winter Park, FL, with our list below.
1. Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art
445 N Park Ave Winter Park, FL 32789 (407) 645-5311
The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art is a gallery renowned for its art nouveau collection.
It houses the most extensive collection of Louis Comfort Tiffany’s creations.
Why You Should Go
Walking around the halls of this museum might be the most dazzling of the many unexpected pleasures Central Florida has to offer.
The world’s most extensive collection of works by American artist and designer Louis Comfort Tiffany is housed at this famous museum.
Along with his famous leaded-glass lights and windows, the Tiffany collection at the Morse also features the designer’s jewelry, pottery, paintings, and art glass.
Although you can take pictures without flash, do not bring tripods, monopods, or selfie sticks, as they are not allowed.
2. Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens
633 Osceola Ave Winter Park, FL 32789 (407) 647-6294
The Albin Polasek Museum and Sculpture Gardens, or the Polasek, is a famous historic site on Osceola Avenue.
Want to see something spectacular but not sure what to do in Winter Park?
Visit Albin Polasek Museum and Sculpture Gardens for an enchanting experience.
The guided tour includes a short movie overviewing the property’s history and explaining the sculptures and inspiration behind Polasek’s creations.
Most of the sculptures are religious, and each one focuses on a distinct period of Polasek’s life while telling his tale.
There is always something fresh to view at the Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens because the artwork is rotated seasonally.
Invite your family for a relaxing picnic day because this museum allows a small picnic lunch and food near the lake.
Related: Best Restaurants in Winter Park
3. Central Park
251 S. Park Avenue Winter Park, FL 32789 (407) 599-3397
Located on West Morse Boulevard, Central Park is an 11-acre park with fountains, a rose garden, seasonal activities, and festivals.
When looking for downtown spots to visit, go to the crown jewel of Winter Park: Central Park.
And if you love a relaxing stroll, you can easily add this place to your list of favorite things to do in Winter Park at night and day.
Numerous annual events and activities are held at this 11-acre park.
Our favorites include the Old Fashioned Fourth of July Celebration and the Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival.
Thousands of people visit Central Park annually to admire its beauty, enhanced by its lovely fountains, planted planters, and oak tree canopy.
On the southern edge of the park, there is a magnificent rose garden that you can book for events.
And did we mention that it features some of the can’t-miss free things to do in Winter Park?
Forgot to bring picnic items?
You can visit the mall across the street for quick shopping.
Recommended Hotel Nearby: The Alfond Inn
Also See: Things to Do in DeLand, FL Tallahassee: Things to Do What to Do in Sarasota
4. Rollins College
1000 Holt Ave Winter Park, FL 32789 (407) 646-2000
Founded in 1885, Rollins College is a private college in Winter Park and is Florida’s fourth oldest post-secondary institution.
If you are looking for places to go today, visit one of the most beautiful campuses in America.
Early spring at Rollins College provides a gorgeous landscape that undoubtedly supports that statement.
The grounds are immaculately maintained, the buildings are colonial Spanish in style, and the lakeside views are stunning.
You can also visit the campus museum to learn new things and appreciate the cozy atmosphere.
Visit Burgerfi, a nearby comfort food restaurant, if you’re craving tasty and hearty snacks.
Recommended Hotel Nearby: Park Plaza Hotel Orlando – Winter Park
5. Kraft Azalea Garden
1365 Alabama Dr Winter Park, FL 32789 (407) 599-3334
Kraft Azalea Park and Garden is a famous 5.22-acre scenic public park located on Alabama Drive.
There’s nothing like Kraft Azalea Garden if you’re looking for unique things to see in Winter Park.
Be sure to search for the banyan tree while you are there.
Banyan trees have been planted throughout the tropics in botanical gardens and urban parks.
These trees are native to Sri Lanka and Pakistan and are revered by Buddhists and Hindus.
The banyan tree in Kraft Azalea Park is thought to be the northernmost banyan tree in Florida.
Additionally, it has withstood the frosts and is at least 70 years old.
Kraft Azalea Garden is a stunning park with enormous, centuries-old banyan trees and an abundance of birds.
So be sure to bring your cameras and capture those enticing sights.
Recommended Hotel Nearby: Hilton Garden Inn Winter Park, FL
6. Lake Virginia
Winter Park, FL 32789
Lake Virginia is a 223-acre public lake in Winter Park that offers scenic views and wildlife, including numerous fish and alligators.
Looking for fun things to do in Winter Park with kids?
Why not visit the famous and stunning Lake Virginia?
You can go boating, kayaking, and fishing, enjoy scenic views, and discover its abundant marine life.
Fishing and boating are fun activities on the lake.
However, the lake has alligators, so be careful.
They usually avoid humans but will attack when they feel threatened.
Recommended Hotel Nearby: Courtyard by Marriott Orlando Downtown
7. Casa Feliz Historic Home Museum
656 N Park Ave Winter Park, FL 32789 (407) 628-8200
Casa Feliz Historic Home Museum is a renovated Spanish farmhouse with traditional features, whitewashed brickwork, and well-kept grounds.
Visiting Casa Feliz Historic Home Museum is a must-visit spot in Winter Park.
Casa Feliz, a renovated mansion in the center of Winter Park, Florida, provides a brief respite from the contemporary world with its lovely interiors and picturesque gardens.
The Friends of Casa Feliz are responsible for running the Casa Feliz Historic Home Museum.
This nonprofit group promotes the community’s extensive architectural, historical, and cultural legacy by educating the public about it.
Visit on the weekends for a better experience because this stunning museum offers live music on Sundays.
Recommended Hotel Nearby: SpringHill Suites by Marriott Winter Park
Also See: Fun Things to Do in Palm Beach, FL Activities in Palm Coast
8. Rollins Museum of Art
1000 Holt Ave Box 2765 Winter Park, FL 32789 (407) 646-2526
The Rollins Museum of Art is the only teaching museum in the greater Orlando area and is situated on the Rollins College campus.
If you enjoy art, you must visit Winter Park’s Rollins Museum of Art,\.
The museum offers a continuous program as well as changing exhibits.
Additionally, they have a sizable permanent collection of more than 5,700 items that spans centuries and includes modern pieces and ancient art and antiquities specimens.
The Alfond Inn , a charitable boutique hotel run by the College, houses artwork from the museum’s collection and those on display.
Rollins Museum of Art is the indoor stuff to do when it’s raining or cold because it’s free and stunning.
However, to keep the museum running, donations are accepted.
9. Lake Baldwin Dog Park
2000 S Lakemont Ave Winter Park, FL 32789 (407) 599-3397
Located on South Lakemont Avenue, Lake Baldwin Park is a lovely, shady park on Lake Baldwin that spans 23.16 acres.
Lake Baldwin Park won’t disappoint pet owners looking for the ideal place to take their friends swimming.
This park is a 23.16-acre leisure space with a dog park and a beach that welcomes dogs.
In addition to swimming and tanning on the coast, Lake Baldwin Park offers many other fantastic activities.
If your pet is itching for some companionship, head to the dog park for a game of fetch or a playdate with some of their favorite canine friends.
Although the park offers a beach area, we recommend being careful around the waters as your animals may contact microscopic blue-green algae that are toxic to dogs.
Recommended Hotel Nearby: Home2 Suites by Hilton Orlando Downtown, FL
10. Mead Botanical Garden
1300 S Denning Dr Winter Park, FL 32789 (407) 622-6323
Located on Denning Drive, Mead Botanical Garden has a sizable, serene green area with various flower gardens, wildlife habitats, and pavilions.
Walking around the charming Mead Botanical Garden is one of the most romantic things to do in Winter Park for couples.
The 47.6-acre Mead Botanical Garden is a park with amenities like an amphitheater, a butterfly garden, a boardwalk, and a cycling route.
During spring and fall migration, this city park can be great for songbirds that rest on the bay marsh, stream, pond, and hardwood woodland.
You can see warblers, thrushes, vireos, tanagers, buntings, and flycatchers in April, September, and October.
This place is perfect for a picnic date, so be sure to bring snacks and other things you need.
Recommended Hotel Nearby: Hilton Garden Inn Orlando Downtown
11. Winter Park Historical Museum
200 W New England Ave Winter Park, FL 32789 (407) 647-2330
The Winter Park Historical Museum is a regional history institution located on New England Avenue.
The Association carries out this objective by offering a free guided tour to the people of Winter Park.
The Winter Park History Museum aims to investigate and preserve the rich history of Winter Park and its surrounding area.
This location is perfect for learning about the town’s history through free educational exhibitions, lectures, and outreach initiatives.
We recommend visiting on Mondays because they put on a free music show for children at 10 AM.
Recommended Hotel Nearby: Homewood Suites by Hilton Orlando North Maitland
Also See: The Florida Keys Activities Fun Stuff to Do in Marco Island
12. Hannibal Square Heritage Center
642 W New England Ave Winter Park, FL 32789 (407) 539-2680
Founded in 2007, The Hannibal Square Heritage Center is a community center operated by the Crealdé School of Art.
If you are looking for sights to see this weekend, visit the Hannibal Square Heritage Center.
It celebrates the historic African-American community of Winter Park’s past, present, and future contributions.
The center features community-produced public art projects and a revolving series of visiting exhibitions.
Additionally, they provide educational programs that examine the history of the African-American people, black culture, cultural preservation, and Southern folklore.
If you are feeling hungry, head to The Coop, a nearby restaurant specializing in Southern fried chicken.
Recommended Hotel Nearby: Sheraton Orlando North
13. Crealde School of Art
600 St Andrews Blvd Winter Park, FL 32792 (407) 671-1886
Opened in 1975, The Crealdé School of Art is a lovely non-profit arts organization offering classes and featuring local art.
Are you searching for creative activities in Winter Park?
Please stop by this art school.
The Crealde School of Art offers more than 125 visual arts classes and weekend workshops throughout the academic year.
For students of all ages, they provide classes in ceramics, sculpting, jewelry making, glasswork, printmaking, digital and traditional photography, painting, drawing, and more.
Don’t forget to visit the sculpture garden surrounding the school for a relaxing time and fresh air.
Recommended Hotel Nearby: Courtyard Orlando Altamonte Springs Maitland
14. Blue Bamboo Center For The Arts
1905 Kentucky Ave Winter Park, FL 32789 (407) 636-9951
Located on Kentucky Avenue, Blue Bamboo Center For The Arts is a non-profit center for the performing and visual arts in the city.
If you are looking for cheap activities to do near you, then pay a visit to Blue Bamboo Center.
There’s no better place to listen to live music than this art center in Winter Park.
This venue has a tiny stage, seating 140 people, and a recording studio in a former warehouse.
Their eclectic mix of regional and national performers will hold your attention and introduce you to various performing styles.
Grab some wine, beer, or popcorn offered by the venue while keeping yourself entertained and amazed by the live performances.
Recommended Hotel Nearby: Embassy Suites by Hilton Orlando Downtown
15. Cady Way Trail
Cady Way Trail Winter Park, FL 32792 (407) 254-9025
Cady Way Trail is a concrete pathway, which runs 7.2 miles between Orlando and Winter Park, and joins the Cross Seminole Trail in Seminole County.
The Cady Way Trail offers great connections between homes and commercial and shopping areas for bikers and pedestrians.
This path is one of the most popular over the weekends and early nights since it offers long shady segments that are ideal for riding in the spring and fall.
Bring a water bottle when you go out for a hike or a cycle.
There are plenty of benches and water fountains along the trail for resting and hydrating.
Recommended Hotel Nearby: Grand Bohemian Hotel Orlando, Autograph Collection
16. Breakthrough Theatre
6900 Aloma Ave Winter Park, FL 32792 (407) 920-4034
The Breakthrough is one of the most famous theaters in Winter Park that offers classes, seminars, concerts, and more.
You will love Breakthrough Theater if you are a music and theater arts fan.
The Breakthrough Theatre creates Mainstage plays of the highest caliber and a production and summer camp for kids.
They work with creative individuals and groups to promote understanding, acclaim, and the sharing of ideas.
Additionally, they provide unique seminars, workshops, movies, and concerts in addition to acting, dancing, voice, and improvisation classes.
Although there is little parking available, you can park at KeKe’s Restaurant or across the street on weekends and evenings.
Recommended Hotel Nearby: Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Orlando East/UCF Area
17. Community Playground
255 S Denning Dr Winter Park, FL 32789 (407) 599-3397
The Community Playground, sometimes known as the “castle park,” is a sizable wooden structure where children can engage in imaginative play.
Looking for kid-friendly places?
Visit the Community Playground if you are also looking for nice places to visit in Winter Park with kids.
This playground, designed by nationally acclaimed playground designer Robert Leathers, is unique, including climbing structures, swings, and a slide.
Grab your lunch and snacks because this place offers a pavilion where people can eat or relax.
Recommended Hotel Nearby: Aloft Orlando Downtown
18. Baterbys Art & Framing (Also Known As Baterbys Art Framing & Furniture)
2054 State Road 436 N, suite 108 -112 Winter Park, FL 32792 (888) 682-9995
Located on State Road, Baterbys Art and Framing is a facility featuring breathtaking art collections.
When looking for cool attractions in Winter Park, Baterbys Art and Framing won’t disappoint.
Baterbys is one of the top resources in collecting art, with over 25 years of expertise in the sector.
This facility is home to over 1.7 million works of art, including works by some of the most well-known names in the art world and modern and local artists.
Head to Steak n Shake, a nearby chain offering steaks and milkshakes, after your visit to Baterbys.
Recommended Hotel Nearby: Home2 Suites By Hilton Orlando Near UCF
19. Park Avenue Shopping District
110 North Park Avenue Winter Park, FL 32789 (407) 920-2043
The Park Avenue District is at the center of Winter Park’s downtown and is home to top-notch food, art, experiences, shopping, hotels, and unmatched culture.
Since 1887, Park Avenue District has served as the focal point of a luxurious winter resort, making it the ideal location for a tranquil stroll among its beautiful surroundings.
Experience one of Florida’s most distinctive and thriving towns as a destination for gourmet cuisine, fashion, and art.
The Park is also surrounded by a lush park that hosts events like concerts and art fairs.
This stunning district offers numerous events, so be sure to check out their website for information.
Recommended Hotel Nearby: Hilton Orlando/Altamonte Springs
20. Winter Park Scenic Boat Tour
312 E Morse Blvd Winter Park, FL 32789 (407) 644-4056
Located on Morse Boulevard, The Winter Park Scenic Boat is situated on Lake Osceola and offers hours of scenic guided boat tours around the lake.
If you are looking for the best things to do in Winter Park, FL, visit this scenic boat tour.
The boat tour offers hour-long, guided tours across three of the seven lakes and two thin-constructed canals on the peaceful Winter Park chain.
The abundance of wildlife and a wide range of thriving sub-tropical flowers are available to see or view on any given tour.
Another highlight of the scenic trip is the breathtaking views of wealthy estates and private mansions extending along the shoreline.
If you are a person that enjoys plant life or wildlife, be sure to bring binoculars or a camera that has excellent zoom features.
Remember, some plants and animals can be far away from the boat.
Recommended Hotel Nearby: Hampton Inn & Suites Orlando/Downtown South – Medical Center
Map of Things to Do in Winter Park
20 Best Things to Do in Winter Park, FL for 2023
- Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art
- Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens
- Central Park
- Rollins College
- Kraft Azalea Garden
- Lake Virginia
- Casa Feliz Historic Home Museum
- Rollins Museum of Art
- Lake Baldwin Dog Park
- Mead Botanical Garden
- Winter Park Historical Museum
- Hannibal Square Heritage Center
- Crealde School of Art
- Blue Bamboo Center For The Arts
- Cady Way Trail
- Breakthrough Theatre
- Community Playground
- Baterbys Art & Framing (Also Known As Baterbys Art Framing & Furniture)
- Park Avenue Shopping District
- Winter Park Scenic Boat Tour
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6 Amazing Things To Do In Beautiful Winter Park, Florida
- United States
Located just seven miles north of the City of Orlando in Orange County, Winter Park’s 30,000 residents enjoy abundant outdoor spaces, a decadent Saturday morning farmer’s market, golf courses, and more museums than you would ever expect to see in such a small area. Created by several wealthy industrialists as their winter haven in the late 19th and 20th centuries, boating, museums, shopping on Park Avenue, and great food make it as delightful today as it was then.
I attended a press trip that included Winter Park. All the opinions herein are my own.
1. Scenic Boat Tour
The Scenic Boat Tour is a must-do and the perfect introduction to Winter Park. It is the oldest, continuously running attraction in the state of Florida since 1938! They operate seven days a week, 364 days a year (not Christmas). Peppered with jokes, facts, and wry asides, Skipper Don Brown’s a treasure trove of information along this gorgeous tour.
The Winter Park chain of lakes is connected by navigable canals created by Charles Mizell of timber fame to ship his product between six lakes (Maitland, Minnehaha, Mizell, Nina, Osceola, Virginia) in the mid-1800s.
The pontoon boats can’t have a roof or cover because the water levels on the lakes can be quite high during the wet season and there isn’t enough clearance for the boats to pass under bridges that dot the canals. Don’t worry, the lake view of all the historic homes make it well worth the trip with people kayaking around the pontoons.
Before you move too far along in our journey, though, it’s time for the first section of the historic shoreline to receive a shout-out. On the right side of the lake once stood the Old Seminole Hotel, the grandest hotel in the state of Florida. In 1886, maybe even the United States. It had 250 hotel rooms and a four-story tall observation tower from which you could see both Lake Osceola and Lake Virginia. Most impressive was its front porch, stretching 600 feet (that’s two football fields). Host to Presidents Grover Cleveland and Benjamin Harrison, many said that Rollins College and the Old Seminole Hotel brought “luxury to the edge of the Florida frontier.”
Sadly, the hotel caught fire in 1902 and burned to the ground.
Along the Scenic Boat Tour route, identify the “Resurrection Fern” and the “Dinky Dock,” an ecologically protected cypress with several homes designed and built by the famous architect, James Gamble Rogers.
2. The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum Of American Art
The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum was created by his granddaughter Jeannette Genius McKean and her husband Hugh McKean who had completed an internship with Louis Comfort Tiffany glass earlier in his life. First housed on the Rollins College campus, the collection outgrew that space, especially after the couple rescued as much as possible from Tiffany’s Laurelton Hall, Long Island, New York home that collapsed during a fire. It was the quick work of Jeannette and Hugh that saved so many panels of this precious work .
Along the tour, you’ll learn how many different mediums Tiffany found to work with. There are his lamps, of course, but also jewelry and furniture, the most astounding windows… explore how the light changes based on your position.
3. Albin Polasek Museum And Sculpture Gardens
Albin Polasek Museum and Sculpture Gardens , with over 400 bronze pieces, visible from the Scenic Boat Tour, remains a popular wedding venue and was donated by the artist’s wife following the death of this incredible Czech American talent in 1962.
However, the story of this museum and its foundation goes further still. When the Capen House was sold, the Polasek offered a safe haven for the original home. The new owners of the land the Capen House stood upon paid for the house to be split in two (called Fred and Ginger after the famous American dance team, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers), rolled down the hill, and floated across Lake Osceola to its current location. It took 45 minutes for the first half, according to our skipper, and 15 minutes for the second. Check out the YouTube video from 2010 where a drone covered the event. Movement across the lake starts at 1 minute and 42 seconds.
Also found in Winter Park is the Rollins Museum of Art, the Winter Park History Museum, Casa Feliz Historic Home Museum, and Hannibal Square Heritage Center, with art galleries regularly hosting berry special events. If you’re interested in classes or summer art camp, check out the Crealde School of Art.
4. Kraft Azalea Gardens
While many visitors know to go to Mead Botanical Gardens, one of Winter Park’s best but little-known attractions remains Kraft Azalea Gardens . Popular for weddings, marriage proposals, and birthdays, it’s a magical place.
Located on Lake Maitland’s shores, this 5-acre public garden is free to enter and open year-round from 8 a.m. to sunset, with a boat dock, benches, and eight more acres of park to explore outside the garden. Relax at The Exedra, reminiscent of Golden Gate Park ’s Spreckels Temple of Music, wander the great egret rookery, or visit the northernmost Banyan Tree in the state of Florida.
5. Saturday Morning Farmers Market
Advertised as the “Number one produce and plant market in Central Florida,” Winter Park’s Farmers Market contains the city’s central park and lives up to the hype with a lovely, festive gathering place with vendors and shoppers reveling in the fresh, colorful produce, assortment of plants, baked goods, artisanal crafts, and other offerings. The City of Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival is held in this same location each year. Details can be found here .
The train station stops nearby. They are still serviced by Amtrak.
6. Winter Park Shopping
Rifle paper company.
Winter Park’s Park Avenue provides ten tree-canopied blocks where you can wander around the 140 specialty shops, cafés, boutiques, and coffee shops. If you love stationery, you’ll want to stop at Rifle Paper Company .
Interested in gourmet chocolate? Peterbrooke Chocolatier’s assortment of chocolate delicacies will tantalize your taste buds.
The Impeccable Pig
Need to find a chic outfit or trendy accessories? Check out The Impeccable Pig .
The Wine Room On Park Avenue
If you’re looking for a decadent restaurant experience with a special wine, cheese, and charcuterie (or to take as a gift to those at home), you’ll want to check out The Wine Room .
Winter Park Restaurants
As with most wealthy towns, Winter Park’s restaurants provide an embarrassment of riches. The sheer abundance of food found from The Glass Knife to the surprisingly good “college food” at Rollins College to the James Beard nominated chefs James and Julie Petrakis of The Ravenous Pig with special attention to great locations for vegans and husbands in need of “daycare,” there’s something for everyone in Winter Park.
The Glass Knife Cakes And Café
Executive Chef Kristy Carlucci and General Manager Bianca Hinksman recommend reservations at The Glass Knife if you’d like to eat on the porch on a typically busy day.
Displays of season-specific items atop the glass display cases filled with decadent croissants, pastries, and cakes. Menus for brunch and beverages hang above rows of freshly made doughnuts.
Look closely at the long, butcher block table beneath the rectangular chandelier base and dropped pendant lights that line the entire 12-seat table. Therein lie several eponymous glass knives in multiple colors. The imperfections make them stunning.
Two places to eat on Rollins College’s Campus , the Boat House and the Student Cafeteria, Skillman Dining Hall, bring you to campus but you’ll stay to walk around and see why it highly ranks each year on the “ Most Beautiful College Campus ” list.
The college’s cafeteria is spacious, light, and inviting with some of the best views on campus across an Olympic size pool over Lake Virginia.
Dave’s Boathouse, a Star-K Kosher certified facility offers a dark wood finish large bar area as you enter from the lakeside with cozy dining and large tables to fit your party size.
If you’d like to stay on campus, check out The Alfond Inn .
Ethos Vegan Kitchen
Enter Ethos ’ fun, festive atmosphere to a wide display of artwork, from the playful to the profound, you can choose to be seated or place a takeaway order behind the hostess station. You’ll be impressed with the “common” names in this vegan restaurant from sausage rolls and “chickun” or pork. Even bay cakes, their rendition of crab cakes, move quickly across the restaurant as happy plant-based diners eat their fill.
Fiddler’s Green Irish Pub And Eatery
Wives, take notice. Fiddler’s Green Irish Pub on Fairbanks Avenue declares itself:
“Winter Park’s oldest husband daycare center. If you need time for yourself, leave your husband with us. Packages, 1, 2, 3 pints available.”
It’s listed right under the Jameson sign, so it must be true.
Their bill of fare contains only two pages but is jam-packed with flavor and fun with plenty of Irish dishes and American favorites. Try the Irish egg rolls, boxty potato pancakes, shepherd’s pie, Irish stew, or the favored corned beef and cabbage.
The Ravenous Pig
James Beard nominated chefs James and Julie Petrakis have spent 16 years refining the customer experience at The Ravenous Pig . If you’re ready for a Florida twist, try the s’mores French toast (a thick, dark, brioche served with maple syrup, burnished marshmallow, and a dark chocolate mousse), pimento cheese fries, or fried chicken cordon bleu.
For a real treat, order the longboard of charcuterie that crosses the entire five-seat round-top table. Our server introduced us:
“Here we have soppressata, Saville Road cheddar, tête de cochon, and the lomo, the Toscano, and the camembert accompanied by a spicy IPA mustard as well as date jam, lamash, and salted walnuts.”
It’s impressive — a wine and cheese connoisseur’s dream.
Downtown Winter Park is close enough to downtown Orlando to make it an excellent day trip.
For more information on traveling to Florida , check out these articles:
- 17 Most Popular Florida Vacation Rentals (2022)
- 16 Florida Beach Towns Our Readers Love (2022)
- 8 Amazing Things To Do In Beautiful Tallahassee, Florida
Gail Clifford, MD, a physician for 30 years, has traveled to five continents and has visited all 50 United States. An avid traveler, she happily goes on new adventures, especially for birthdays. Multi-generational travel remains a treasured pastime. She currently divides her time between Ireland and the U.S. You can experience more from Gail on her site ABLE Travel & Photo .
- ©Copyright 2023
28 Best & Fun Things to Do in Winter Park (FL)
Winter Park is a beautiful city nestled in Orange County, Florida, United States. The city has a population of approximately thirty thousand, eight hundred and twenty-five according to the 2019 census.
Winter Park is an excellent destination to take the kids, as it features lots of museums, outdoor opportunities, a performing arts center & entertainment activities to enjoy.
There are numerous exhilarating attractions in the city, such as Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens, Bulla Gastrobar, Casa Feliz Historic Home Museum, Cady Way Trail, the Winter Park Golf Course, Winter Park Farmers’ Market, Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art, and more.
Without any doubt, Winter Park is a city any tourist will love to visit in Florida to explore all it has installed. Here are the top things to do in Winter Park, FL.
Things to Do in Winter Park, FL
1. mead botanical garden.
Mead Botanical Garden is an amazing natural spot with a spread-out green space that gives the environment picturesque views.
The garden is a paradise for those who love to spend the day around nature with a plethora of fauna and flora from different parts of the world.
Mead Botanical Garden features a large range of freshwater ponds, trees, wildlife habitats, and flowering gardens.
Of course, this garden is a great gateway from all the bustle and hustle in the world, a place to simply relax and reflect.
Mead Botanical Garden features many accessible trails that lead to the different natural environments with several animals.
Many spots in the garden are designated for picnics with several pavilions that may also be used for private events and functions.
Address: 1300 S Denning Dr, Winter Park, FL 32789, United States
2. Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art
Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art is a popular destination for art lovers in Winter Park.
As a world recognized museum, it features an exceptional collection of art nouveau with a unique mix of art, history, and culture.
Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art is located in North Park and it houses the largest collection in the world of artworks by an American artist and designer Louis Comfort Tiffany.
The Louis collection includes paintings, pottery, Tiffany’s famed leaded-glass lamps & windows, and art glass with a beautifully restored Byzantine-Romanesque chapel interior.
Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art showcases exhibits of American paintings dating back to the 19th century and early 20th century, American art pottery, and the arts and crafts movement.
Address: 445 N Park Ave, Winter Park, FL 32789, United States
3. Bulla Gastrobar
An important addition to your list of places to visit in Winter Park, FL, is the Bulla Gastrobar, a laid back and vibrant place to hang out with friends.
Bulla Gastrobar is a contemporary bar that offers tasty and original Spanish and Catalan tapas you can’t get elsewhere.
They also offer delicious, delectable meals made with high quality and freshly sourced local ingredients, which tells for its prominent taste and uniqueness.
Bulla Gastrobar offers an extensive food menu which includes Arroz Caldoso, Ham Croquettes, Coconut Flan, Seafood Paella Mixta, Patatas Bravas, Truffle Carbonara, Jamon Serrano, and Queso Manchego, Blueberry & Ricotta Pancakes, lamb chops and lots more.
The full service bar offers a wide variety of drinks such as bullfighter 12, Moscow mule 12, blueberry breeze, sangria, estrella galicia, Brooklyn lager, cigar city maduro, and more.
Bulla Gastrobar is open from Sunday to Wednesday from 11:30am-10pm and Thursday to Saturday from 11:30am-11pm.
Address: 110 S Orlando Ave #7, Winter Park, FL 32789, United States
4. Winter Park Farmers’ Market
If you want to go shopping in an energetic and a typical traditional environment, visit Winter Park Farmers’ Market .
Winter Park Farmers’ Market is open every Saturday from 7am to 1pm; the market is set up in an old refurbished train station, making it a unique place to shop.
The market provides freshly baked foods, plants, and fine produce with its limited space consisting of numerous vendors.
Winter Park Farmers’ Market features vendors like Annie Roo, Bailey Bleus Dressings, Beef Jerky by Jeff, Bren Creations, Captain Jo’s Fish Dip, Che Bella, Chef Edge Knife, Chez Vincent, Inc., Choose KOS, DOGgone Gourmet Treats, Doug’s Nutty Crunch, Florida Fresh Live Herbs and more.
Winter Park Farmers’ Market vendors offer authentic and flawless merchandise for affordable prices.
Address: 200 W New England Ave, Winter Park, FL 32789, United States
5. Lake Virginia
To your list of things to do in Winter Park, add a visit to Lake Virginia, the second largest lake after Lake Maitland, with a size of two hundred and twenty-five acres.
Lake Virginia is a popular destination for many people in the city because of its picturesque views with the views of beautiful mansions and Rollins College along its banks.
The lake is a perfect place for stand-up paddleboarding, water-skiing, and kayaking. Lake Virginia features a sandy beach, dock, and bit ramp; the lake’s northern shore is called Dinky Dock Park.
Lake Virginia is home to one of the most famous historical homes and estates in Winter Park called “Wind Song,” built originally in 1938.
Address: Winter Park, Florida 32789 United States
6. Cady Way Trail
For outdoor enthusiasts, add exploring Cady Way Trail to your list of fun things to do in Winter Park, FL.
Cady Way Trail is a 6.5-mile multipurpose rail trail found along the abandoned roadbed of the East Florida & Atlantic Railroad and goes across Baldwin Park.
This trail traverses a pastoral golf course and the beautiful homes, various parts of the trail consist of architectural elements.
Cady Way Trail is a popular trail for mountain biking, jogging, hiking, and other exciting recreational activities.
Address: Cady Way Trail, Winter Park, FL 32792 United States
7. Central Park
A beautiful 11-acre in Winter Park that offers visitors an amazing experience is Central Park . This park offers screenings of interesting films on every second Thursday night of the month.
Central Park is a reputable venue for many fun events throughout the year, such as the old-fashioned 4th July celebration and the annual Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival.
The park is characterized by stunning landscaped planters, oak tree canopy, and fountains which attracts hundreds of visitors.
Central Park features a Rose Garden available for rental for small wedding ceremonies of less than twenty persons.
The park is large and well maintained, offering breathtaking views and making it a perfect place to spend the day.
Address: 150 W Morse Blvd, Winter Park, FL 32789, United States
8. Winter Park Distilling Company
If you’re looking for a place to hang out with your friends, add a visit to Winter Park Distilling Company to your list of things to do in Winter Park, FL.
Winter Park Distilling Company was established by Paul Twyford and Andrew Asher in 2010; it started as a small home-based business.
This locally owned distillery has flourished into the finest craft distillery in the State, which produces a wide variety of high-quality and handcrafted spirits.
Winter Park Distilling Company offers delicious vodka, bourbon, whiskey, and rum. In addition, they have an online shop that sells spirits and Winter Park Distilling Company items with guide tours available throughout the week.
Address: 1288 N Orange Ave, Winter Park, FL 32789, United States
Considering a Florida road trip, check out our guides on things to do in Punta Gorda , things to do in Gainesville , and things to do in Tallahassee for a memorable trip .
9. Winter Park Playhouse
Winter Park Playhouse is a good addition to your list of things to do in Winter Park. It was established in 2002.
This is a professional musical theatre, and a non-profit organization focused on improving the quality of life for locals and introducing year-round professional musical theatre programming which inspires and entertains.
The theater can accommodate 123 persons and sets high standards in artistic integrity and recruiting competent artists.
Winter Park Playhouse offers a friendly atmosphere and great entertainment with fantastic customer service.
Address: 711 N Orange Ave, Winter Park, FL 32789, United States
10. Hannibal Square Heritage Center
Hannibal Square Heritage Center is operated by the Crealdé School of art as a community center dedicated to arts, crafts, and cultures made by Winter Park’s African-American community.
The center is situated in the historic neighborhood of Hannibal Square and hosts permanent and rotating exhibits of artworks.
Hannibal Square Heritage Center also hosts different educational programs, symposiums, and workshops that showcase local African-American artists’ past, present, and future contributions.
The center was founded by the Crealde school of art in 2007, and it houses a permanent museum quality exhibition of over a hundred frames that give insight into the lives of Winter Park’s African community from the 20th century.
Hannibal Square Heritage Center is a 3, 000 square foot facility available for rentals for any private and special events.
Address: 642 W New England Ave, Winter Park, FL 32789, United States
11. Bach Festival Society
Bach Festival Society was founded to honor the 250th anniversary of Johann Sebastian Bach’s Birth in 1935 at Rollins College.
They did that by presenting the composer’s orchestral and choral music to the public for their enjoyment, education, and pleasure.
Bach Festival Society comprises over one hundred and sixty singers from different backgrounds.
The society offers almost thirty ticketed performances, a high school choral festival, dozens of in-school educational programs, many community concerts, and more.
Bach Festival Society produces recordings and operates two community choirs reaching up to 50, 000 persons every year.
12. Crealde School of Art
The art center offers visual and three-dimensional art classes for adults and children, including other activities.
Crealde School of Art offers workshops and summer art camps, including visiting artists’ workshops series to the town.
These art classes and workshops are based on printmaking, photography, jewelry, painting, ceramics, glasswork, and sculpture
There are two large exhibition galleries featuring the works by local, national, and international artists, including the school’s students.
Address: 600 St Andrews Blvd, Winter Park, FL 32792, United States
13. Ocean Blue Galleries
Ocean Blue Galleries is an excellent addition to your list of fun things to do in Winter Park, FL.
They have been in the business for more than fifty years and have gained all the experience in the World of art. Ocean Blue Galleries has built a trustworthy reputation for networking and representing many of the Top selling & Most Collectible Artists from different parts of the world.
Ocean Blue Galleries is filled with unique artworks made by local, regional, and international artists, perfect for decor in homes and offices.
They are inviting everyone to come in and shop for their most loved art collectibles, instantly, you will become one of their continuous collectors.
Address: 202 S Park Ave, Winter Park, FL 32789, United States
14. Winter Park Public Library
For the book worms, here is something for you, add a visit to Winter Park Public Library to your list of things to do in Winter Park.
Winter Park Public Library is a 33, 000 square-foot facility focused on education and offering various essential services.
The library is home to a large collection of over 280, 000 items which includes the latest fiction & non-fiction, large-print books, audio-visual titles, eBooks, and audiobooks.
Winter Park Public Library also features a children’s library filled with different kinds of materials like videos, audio tapes, and DVDs for children of all ages.
The library offers Internet access, research, wood-processing, and printing, including hosting storylines and special events for kids.
Address: 460 E New England Ave, Winter Park, FL 32789, United States
15. Austin’s Coffee
Austin’s Coffee is dedicated to providing the best quality coffee beans imported and roasted right in the store.
They offer delicious and well-made cappuccino, and espresso in a comfortable and laid-back environment. Austin’s Coffee also offers an outstanding beer selection and sustainable wines.
Austin’s Coffee features independent films, live bands, live comedy, art shows, poetry, and several others to keep you in a festive mood.
They also serve a large food menu, including freshly baked goods, soups, sandwiches, and vegan & gluten-free options.
Austin’s Coffee offers you all you can possibly ask for, from delicious meals and drinks, to exciting live entertainment.
Address: 929 W Fairbanks Ave, Winter Park, FL 32789, United States
Check out the top things to do in Lakeland , things to do in Palm Coast , and things to do in Clermont for a memorable exploration of Florida.
16. Ethos Vegan Kitchen
Whether you’re celebrating or just want to enjoy a delicious meal, visiting Ethos Vegan Kitchen is one of the best things to do in Winter Park.
Ethos Vegan Kitchen is a fantastic vegan restaurant and bar that offers a laid-back atmosphere with a beautiful interior.
The restaurant features a cozy outdoor courtyard, wooden beams, exposed brick walls, and wooden beams. Ethos Vegan Kitchen’s full service bar offers a wide variety of craft brews and an impressive selection of New World wines.
Ethos Vegan Kitchen offers a variety of gourmet sandwiches, Blackened Tempeh, Yo Mama’s Lasagna, meat-free shepherd’s pie, BBQ Pork Sandwiches, banana peppers, pecan-encrusted eggplants, Coconut Curry Wrap, pizza with broccoli, and more.
They offer drinks like North coast, pinot grigio, pinot noir, hot tea, milk, rowdy bush, carson Scott, latte, juice, boylan fountain drinks, cold brew, burnside, and more.
Address: 601-B S New York Ave, Winter Park, FL 32789, United States
17. Adjectives Market
Shopping at Adjectives Market should be added to your list of things to do in Winter Park, especially with your friends and family.
Adjectives Market is a 50, 000 sq ft facility and the number one spot to shop for beautiful items for your homes or offices.
The mall showcases a vast collection of contemporary and restored antique home decor and antique furniture.
Adjectives Market features accessories, gifts, jewelry, fashion, vintage records, handcrafted jewelry, unique gifts, historic memorabilia, vintage designer handbags, and more.
This is a perfect place to visit and increase your curiosity with exceptional ideas brought to life by artists who love stylish accessories, home decor, and furniture.
Address: 130 N Park Ave, Winter Park, FL 32789, United States
18. Rollins College
Rollins College was founded in 1885 as a private liberal arts college that offers different graduate programs.
This college features one of the most beautiful campuses in the country, and it is a four-year, re-educational institution with sixty undergraduate and graduate majors and minors.
Rollins College offers special courses like The science of Sustenance, strategies for Changemakers, and Job Market Boot Camp.
When the President cancels classes due to the weather, the college hosts Fox Day every spring; students are allowed to go to the on-campus swimming pool or one of the many nearby lakes for relaxation.
Address: 1000 Holt Ave, Winter Park, FL 32789, United States
19. Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens
Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens should be on your list of top things to do in Winter Park, FL.
It occupies a three-acre land space on Osceola Avenue and was established in 1961 to showcase the works of Albin Polasek, the famous Czech Sculptor.
Albin Polasek spent almost all his life in Florida, and the museum was formerly his home & studio for over fifty years.
Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens houses a fine art collection of American figurative sculptures consisting of more than two hundred works.
The museum is open for guided tours to everyone, both visitors and locals, as a historic residence and adjacent chapel which gives guests an insight into the sculptor’s life.
Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens also features a beautiful outdoor sculpture garden where several cultural events are held throughout the year, such as the Winter Park Paint Out and a Chamber Concert Series.
Address: 633 Osceola Ave, Winter Park, FL 32789, United States
20. Alfond Inn
For a peaceful and memorable stay during your vacation, add Alfond Inn to your list of things to do in Winter Park.
Alfond Inn is a beautiful boutique hotel well designed and constructed with gorgeous artworks all over the hotel.
This hotel is an extension of the Cornell Museum of Fine Arts, consisting of charming luxury rooms with mind-blowing artworks.
Every room is well furnished with comfortable beds, soft sofas, large flat-screen Tv, microwave, coffee maker, air conditioner, and much more.
Alfond Inn features the renowned Hamilton’s Kitchen, which serves delicious and hearty meals to visitors during their stay.
The facility features several essential amenities such as a luxury rooftop pool, meeting & event space, lively courtyard, self-service bar, free wifi network, and more.
Address: 300 E New England Ave, Winter Park, FL 32789, United States
21. Kraft Azalea Gardens
Kraft Azalea Gardens is a gorgeous public park in Winter Park established in 1938 by George and Maud Kraft.
The park consists of numerous shades of large cypress trees with a lovely grassy space that offers a tranquil and romantic ambiance.
Kraft Azalea Gardens features a scenic Greek exedra monument with a semicircle of white colonnades and cypress canopies.
There is a small nice dock for fishing on the lake; the park also consists of the northern-most banyan tree in the state.
Kraft Azalea Gardens is known for its bright and colorful display of blooming flowers, especially from January to March.
Several picnic spots are perfect for an intimate moment with your loved ones as you enjoy the dramatic environment.
Address: 1365 Alabama Dr, Winter Park, FL 32789, United States
22. Casa Feliz Historic Home Museum
Casa Feliz Historic Home Museum, a unique structure often referred to as the Robert Bruce Barbour House.
It is an incredibly refurbished Spanish farmhouse that overlooks the golf course in the center of Winter Park.
Casa Feliz Historic Home Museum was designed by James Gamble Rogers, a popular architect, and the house is one of the most beautiful architectural structures.
The building was erected using Mediterranean hues, a turret, a wide timber balcony, Spanish roof tiles, a bell tower with interiors made with arched doorways, a majolica-tiled interior courtyard, hand-carved European antiques, a spiral staircase, and more.
Casa Feliz Historic Home Museum is an excellent place for special occasions with the lush gardens surrounding it.
Address: 656 N Park Ave, Winter Park, FL 32789, United States
23. The Winter Park Golf Course
Playing golf at the Winter Park Golf Course is one of the fun things to do in Winter Park and a perfect way to spend the day.
Winter Park Golf Course was officially opened in 1914, making it the second-oldest golf club in Central Florida.
It is a nine-hole public golf course of 2480 yards par 35, surrounded by the city’s neighborhood homes, the city’s streets, two churches, and a cemetery.
Winter Park Golf Course is great for players of different skill levels, offering them a fun and challenging game.
Address: 761 Old England Avenue Winter Park, Florida 32789 United States
24. Hunger Street Tacos
Hunger Street Tacos is a popular spot for foodies; they serve authentic Mexican street fare using special recipes.
The restaurant walls are adorned with artworks and murals by the Lapiztola Collective, founded by designers Rosario Mtz & Roberto Vega and local artists Liseth Amaya & architect Yankle Balderas.
Hunger Street Tacos consists of a lovely shaded patio with seating for outdoor dining in a clean and comfortable environment.
The restaurant offers vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options, ensuring that every meal is made with fresh and healthy ingredients.
They serve meals like quesadillas, enchiladas, tacos, burritos, chorizo, tacos stuffed with seared brisket, scrambled eggs, Campechano, Esquites, Birria Machete, Papas Aplastadas, Chips and Salsa, and more.
Address: 2103 W Fairbanks Ave, Winter Park, FL 32789, United States
25. Cornell Fine Arts Museum
Cornell Fine Arts Museum is located on the campus of Rollins College, which overlooks the tranquil waters of Lake Virginia.
The Museum houses a distinct collection of more than five thousand artworks and is deemed one of the nation’s most innovative college art museums.
Cornell Fine Arts Museum’s extensive collection consists of centuries-old objects, starting with ancient art and artifacts.
The Museum also features an education gallery specifically for the young ones with hands-on activities to motivate creativity and logical skills.
Cornell Fine Arts Museum comprises a museum shop that sells art books and museum-published titles. In addition, the museum hosts different programs and other art related events.
26. Shady Park
Shady Park is in historical Hannibal Square, close to the community center. The 3.28-acre Park has benches and a peaceful sidewalk pathway.
The tranquility of this Park makes it perfect for reading a book or holding a special community event.
Shady Park is also an excellent destination for taking your kids for a simple stroll in the afternoon.
The playground equipment in this park will keep kids occupied. Their spray ground is another exciting feature.
Address: 721 W New England Avenue, Winter Park, FL 32789, United States
27. Aloma Bowl
Aloma Bowl Entertainment Center, in the center of Winter Park, has been in this community for over 40 years.
Aloma Bowl is fun for the entire family, with high-quality services and numerous amenities.
Besides having the best bowling, you can play in their arcade, flex your skills around the billiard tables, or watch the game on their enormous screens.
Aloma Bowl’s full-service grill offers all your best bites. They host thrilling events every week, such as live music, trivia, karaoke, and much more.
Visit them or book their venue to host your party, team building, or corporate event.
Address: 2530 Aloma Ave, Winter Park, FL 32792, United States
28. Peterbrooke Chocolatier of Winter Park
Peterbrooke Chocolatier of Winter Park is the deluxe confectioner in Florida. This chocolate store is locally owned by a couple, Kevin and Jami Wray.
When you visit this chocolate shop, you will feel like a kid in a candy store.
Within the shop, you will discover hand-dipped strawberries, chocolate-covered pretzel rods, chocolate-dipped cookies, and more mouth-watering chocolatey goodness.
Other yummy goodness includes traditional favorites like hand-made caramel, decadent truffles, scratch-made marshmallows, cookies, and potato chips.
Chocolate lovers should include sampling chocolate at Peterbrooke Chocolatier of Winter Park on their list of top things to do in Winter Park, FL.
Address: 300 S Park Ave, Winter Park, FL 32789, United States
Are you considering exploring Florida, here is a guide on things to do in Boynton Beach , things to do in Homestead , and things to do in Ocala for a fun vacation
Plan a Trip to Winter Park
Winter Park will cater to all your adventures, offering you a chance to create new and unforgettable memories.
It is a vibrant city with countless attractions like parks, galleries, eateries, museums, lakes, markets, golf centers, distilleries, and much more.
There are lots of things to do in Winter Park, start planning your trip!
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- 151 W Lyman Avenue Winter Park, FL 32789
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Visit Winter Park
Winter Park is just on the periphery of Orlando, offering its own style of laid-back Florida living. This cultural center has a variety of events throughout the year to satisfy even the most discerning tastes. Visit Winter Park to see what the city has to offer on days when theme parks are not on the agenda.
The Winter Park name began when people known as snowbirds came from more northerly parts of the continent to escape chilly, wintry months. As the process continued, the area expanded its appealing features.
Visit The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art. Its collection by American designer Louis Comfort Tiffany includes a restored Byzantine-Romanesque chapel interior that was part of Chicago’s 1893 world’s fair. Tour Rollins College campus where the free Cornell Fine Arts Museum features exhibits of the European masters as well as contemporary art.
Enjoy walking around a beautiful building and green spaces when you visit the Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens, picturesquely set on a lake. Originally from what is now the Czech Republic, Polasek emigrated to the U.S., bringing his wood-carving skills with him. Today he’s recognized as one of America’s foremost sculptors of the 20th century. His home is on the National Register of Historic Places.
In Winter Park you’re never far from one of the city’s seven lakes. The Winter Park Scenic Boat Tour, one of Florida’s oldest attractions, travels through three of them. The logging industry historically built working canals linking the lakes now their use is recreational. Meander through Mead Botanical Garden on its boardwalks, tranquil trails and paved paths that sprawl through its 48 acres (19 hectares).
The city has appealing charm, regardless of your activity level, whether you prefer relaxing by a lake, boutique shopping, museum hopping or watching the world go by from a sidewalk café.
Use Winter Park as your base while traveling in the area with its convenient location just minutes north of Orlando’s theme parks.
Where to stay in Winter Park
While visiting Baldwin Park, you might make a stop by sights like Universal Studios Florida and Universal Orlando Resort.
You'll enjoy the live music and art galleries in Goldenrod. You might want to make time for a stop at Universal Studios Florida or Universal Orlando Resort.
If you're spending some time in Aloma, Universal Studios Florida and Universal Orlando Resort are top sights worth seeing.
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Popular places to visit, walt disney world® resort.
Walt Disney World® Resort is part of Orlando. It makes up part of bustling metropolis that is home to 240,000 inhabitants. Walt Disney World® Resort is approximately 15 miles (24 kilometers) from Orlando’s city center. If you are flying in, Walt Disney World® Resort is approximately 15 miles (24 kilometers) from Orlando International Airport.
Universal Studios Florida
Thrill rides based on your favorite movies create this internationally acclaimed theme park.
Families have everything they could want in an area where boredom is absent and plenty of shopping and dining experiences are available.
Universal Orlando Resort
Make your Florida vacation one to remember with a stay at this hotel and theme park complex.
Magic Kingdom® Park
One of the most famous theme parks in the world offers a land of fun and fantasy at the foot of a fairytale castle.
Orange County Convention Center
Florida's principal convention center is a large and stunning glass and metal building that hosts national and international trade shows and public events.
Reviews of Winter Park
5/5 - excellent.
Downtown area is very charming and a world unto it's self.
Used to live there. A very nice upscale community that ee love to visit.
Alot of great places to eat!
Winter Park was BEAUTIFUL!!
Winter Park is Phenomenal it’s my favorite place in Orlando
Yes, i couldn't stay any longer because the place i went to visit for business didn't have a staying place of it's own
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Snowcat Ridge, Florida’s first snow park, delays opening of 2023-24 season
Posted: November 8, 2023 | Last updated: November 8, 2023
Snowcat Ridge, which made headlines when it opened as Florida’s first snow park in 2020 , returns this winter season for its fourth year of northern-inspired fun — but not as soon as the attraction anticipated.
Citing supply chain delays that have prevented the completion of the park’s new restroom facilities, Snowcat Ridge pushed back its opening date from Nov. 17 to Dec. 3. Guests who purchased tickets for dates before Dec. 3 will receive a full refund, according to a statement from the attraction.
The Dade City park provides family and friends the opportunity to slide down a 60-foot tall, 400-foot long snow tubing hill or play inside a 10,000-square-foot Arctic Igloo. At the bottom of the slopes is an Alpine Village with food, drinks, shopping and bonfires for warming up.
Since the attraction opened for its first season three years ago, Snowcat Ridge has added an outdoor ice skating ribbon and Eskimo Outpost with private igloo rentals. Santa’s Christmas Lane is new for this year, featuring meet and greets at Santa’s Cozy Cabin, story time with Mrs. Claus, Santa’s Gift Shoppe and the Peppermint Play Zone for visitors ages 7 and younger.
The snowy wonderland, which is about 90 minutes from Orlando and 40 minutes from Tampa, plans to welcome guests on select dates through Feb. 25.
Online advance tickets start at $26.95-$39.95, depending on the date and time of year, getting more expensive close to the holidays. A general admission ticket includes all-day access to attractions and two hours of tubing; upgrade packages are also available. Standard parking costs $14.95 online.
Snowcat Ridge CEO Benjamin Nagengast previously said the slopes, made from real snow and ice, ran on “two parts magic, one part water.” Nagengast also oversees the seasonal Scream-A-Geddon haunted attraction and TreeHoppers Aerial Adventure Park .
Snowcat Ridge is located at 27839 Saint Joe Road in Dade City. For more information, call 813-576-1450 or visit snowcatridge.com .
Find me @PConnPie on Instagram or send me an email: [email protected] .
©2023 Orlando Sentinel. Visit orlandosentinel.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
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Pictures: Former US Rep. John Mica presents…
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Pictures: former us rep. john mica presents congressional papers to winter park library.
Former US Rep. John Mica speaks during an event at the Winter Park Library on Tuesday, November 14, 2023. Mica is presenting his congressional papers, along with those of former Sen. Paula Hawkins, to the library. (Stephen M. Dowell/Orlando Sentinel)
Former US Rep. John Mica, left, speaks as Genean McKinnon, right, listens during an event at the Winter Park Library on Tuesday, November 14, 2023. Mica is presenting his congressional papers, along with those of former Sen. Paula Hawkins, to the library. (Stephen M. Dowell/Orlando Sentinel)
A display is pictured at right as dignitaries gather during an event at the Winter Park Library on Tuesday, November 14, 2023. Former U.S. Rep. John Mica is presenting his congressional papers, along with those of former Sen. Paula Hawkins, to the library. (Stephen M. Dowell/Orlando Sentinel)
Former US Rep. John Mica, right, mingles during an event at the Winter Park Library on Tuesday, November 14, 2023. Mica is presenting his congressional papers, along with those of former Sen. Paula Hawkins, to the library. (Stephen M. Dowell/Orlando Sentinel)
Former US Rep. John Mica and Genean McKinnon (top) speak during an event at the Winter Park Library on Tuesday, November 14, 2023. Mica is presenting his congressional papers, along with those of former Sen. Paula Hawkins, to the library. (Stephen M. Dowell/Orlando Sentinel)
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6 national parks worth the trek in the winter
Don't sleep on the national parks during the off-season
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The national parks are always busy in the summer, when kids are out of school and the weather is optimal for enjoying the great outdoors. The crowds die down come winter. But, from snowshoeing to stargazing, there remains so much to see and do in many of the parks during the colder months. These six national parks are ideal for winter wanderings.
Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah
Bryce Canyon National Park celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2023
A palpable shift happens at Bryce Canyon National Park during the winter. When there is snow, visitors begin cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, and the deep-red hoodoos pop even more against the white backdrop. Every winter, the park, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2023, holds a Christmas Bird Count , with the public signing up to participate. Depending on your comfort level, you can hike out to count birds or simply drive to designated spots. The resulting data from the Bird Count is used by the National Audubon Society to keep track of changes to bird populations. This year's event is at 8 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 16.
Joshua Tree National Park in California
The Mojave and Colorado deserts meet at Joshua Tree National Park
At Joshua Tree National Park , the sweltering summers give way to milder falls and winters, and visitors regularly spend hours hiking and climbing in the cooler temperatures. The park comprises the Mojave and Colorado desert ecosystems and is home to wildlife like coyotes, kangaroo rats, bighorn sheep and desert tortoises, and flora like the famed spiky Joshua trees. There are also giant rock formations, with more than 8,000 climbing routes that work for beginners up to experts, and as an International Dark Sky Park, the park is an ideal place for stargazing. Keep in mind that during the winter the temperatures can drop to freezing at nightfall. Remember: It might be winter, but it's still important to bring a lot of water when you hike.
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Carlsbad Caverns National Park in New Mexico
There are 120 known caves at Carlsbad Caverns National Park
At least one thing in life is certain: When you visit the Carlsbad Cavern, it will be 56 degrees Fahrenheit inside. That's always the temperature in the show cave at Carlsbad Caverns National Park , which makes it easier to plan a less-wintry winter trip here. Visitors can walk in the cave on their own, or take the guided King's Palace tour and have a ranger take you through four chambers and point out formations like helictites, columns, soda straws and draperies. The park also has 120 discovered caves, which are home to at least 17 different bat species.
Everglades National Park in Florida
Everglades National Park is a biodiversity hot spot
It's a wildlife bonanza in the Everglades National Park during the winter, when animals can be found gathering around the remaining central water holes and mosquitos and biting flies are practically non-existent. The park's dry period is usually November through April, and during this time visitors have a better chance of spotting American alligators and crocodiles, manatees, loggerhead turtles, white-tailed deer and otters. While the wildlife is a draw, so is the opportunity to walk through and explore several ecosystems across the 1.5 million-acre park, including mangrove, freshwater sloughs, cypress, coastal lowlands and estuarine.
Saguaro National Park in Arizona
Saguaro National Park surrounds the city of Tucson
The saguaro is one of the quintessential symbols of the Southwest, and this cactus is spread as far as the eye can see at its namesake national park near Tucson. There are two districts in the park — the Rincon Mountain District and Tucson Mountain District — and visitors can go biking, hiking and even horseback riding along designated trails. Park activities ramp up in the winter, and visitors can go on guided walks with park rangers or listen to talks like Living with Giants, featuring a biologist who discusses the life cycle of a saguaro and how it stands up to high temperatures, drought, lightning and frost.
Mount Rainier National Park in Washington
Mount Rainier is an active volcano and the highest mountain in Washington
It's not exactly easy entering Mount Rainier National Park in the winter, but it's worth the maneuvering. During the winter, there are just two ways to get into the park (the Nisqually and Carbon River entrances), and visitors are cautioned to take their time on the icy roads and prepare well for activities like snowshoeing and snowboarding by bringing proper clothing and accessories. Several parts of the park are closed during the winter. But Longmire is open year-round, and visitors can walk on the short Trail of the Shadows to see mineral springs and stop by the National Park Inn for afternoon tea served with great views of Mount Rainier.
Before going to any national park, check the current weather conditions and to see if any areas are out of service or undergoing maintenance.
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Catherine Garcia is night editor for TheWeek.com . Her writing and reporting has appeared in Entertainment Weekly and EW.com , The New York Times , The Book of Jezebel , and other publications. A Southern California native, Catherine is a graduate of the University of Redlands and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.
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