Just a handful of minutes north of downtown Orlando awaits Winter Park, a charming picturesque suburb steeped in history. Following my excursion on the Scenic Boat Tour, my neighborhood specialist Wanda Salerno took me on a small stroll by way of town previous wonderful historic neighbourhoods.
With is origins as a citrus increasing area, Winter Park became a main location for wealthy northerners throughout the early 1900s, who came into town by train to attain their sophisticated winter retreats, in search of shelter from the cold winters of the north. Sophisticated mansions and and stately old oak trees draped with Spanish moss bear witness to this historic era.
Wanda then took me by way of some of Winter Park's hidden courtyards, which are filled with specialty retail shops and galleries. Winter Park functions a huge assortment of galleries and I had a opportunity to sample 3 of them, all of which carried vastly diverse artwork:
– Scott Laurent Collections
– Native Visions Gallery
Our stroll took us out on to Winter Park's key street, Park Avenue, which homes 10 blocks of specialty retailers, galleries and eclectic restaurants. Park Avenue is flanked on its west side by Central Park which delivers a welcome sanctuary of relaxation with its graceful fountain, walking paths and shaded benches.
We then went on to discover Casa Feliz (“Delighted Property” in Spanish), the signature residential perform of renowned architect James Gamble Rogers II.
In 1932 Robert Bruce Barbour, a chemical engineer from Massachusetts, commissioned Rogers to style a household on Lake Osceola, which turned out to be the Andalusian-style masonry farmhouse that we see currently. This household was not only cherished by Barbour, but by the neighborhood as properly. All through its history, it has hosted garden club tours, symphony orchestra concerts, poetry social meetings and a dinner for author Sinclair Lewis.
In 2001, in order to stop the residence from demolition, Casa Feliz was moved across Interlachen Avenue to its present place on Park Avenue. This move was a single of the most dramatic events in Winter Park's history. Casa Feliz was transported on 20 pneumatically levelled dollies, and an elaborate pulley technique moved the residence about 75 feet per hour. Following the residence was in position at its new place, skilled craftsmen worked on restoring it to its original 1933 situation. A unique landscape style was commissioned to reflect the style of the era.
Nowadays, Casa Feliz is offered to rent for weddings, parties, organization meetings and events. Its one of a kind functions deliver the ideal backdrop for a really memorable occasion.
As a centre of neighborhood culture, Winter Park also functions 3 properly-recognized museums:
– the Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American art, which holds the world's most extensive collection of performs by Louis Comfort Tiffany, which includes Tiffany's 1893 Chapel. The museum also functions paintings, furnishings and other performs mostly from the late 19th and 20th centuries.
– the Albin Polasek Museum and Sculpture Garden: three acres of gardens, featuring sculptures and painters by Albin Polasek. The museum is listed on the National Register of Historic Areas.
– the Cornell Fine Arts Museum, which focuses on western globe art of the 20th century and incorporates paintings, drawings, sculptures and other art from America and Europe. This museum is situated at Rollins College, a single of the leading rated liberal arts colleges in the nation.
The Winter Park Historical Museum examines different historic time periods, interchanging exhibits and rotating displays highlight some of the adjustments that have occurred in central Florida.
Although I explored the town my husband in fact played a round of golf at the 9-hole Winter Park Nation Club, which is nestled beautifully inside Winter Park's historic neighbourhood. The WPCC is the second oldest golf club in the Central Florida location and tends to make its way by way of the downtown Winter Park location and offers a challenge to even the most seasoned golfer. He enjoyed his outing, and a price of $12, it was an exceptionally cost-effective outing on a properly-maintained golf course.
We capped off our excursion with an enjoyable dinner at a restaurant named 310 Park Avenue, proper on Winter Park's key strip. Although a excellent portion of the Orlando location is quite new, Winter Park is a welcome oasis of history and ambience that is ideal for a day of exploring.