Located 5 miles north of downtown Orlando, Winter Park, Florida has been a popular retreat since its founding in the late 19th century, thanks to its beautiful lakeside setting. Although it continues to attract many tourists, this city of approximately 30,000 residents has established itself as one of the best places to live in Central Florida. It is a great place for people who want to feel rural in a small town while still having easy access to the modern conveniences found in a big city. There is a reason why it tops our list of the best areas in Orlando.
The epicenter of Winter Park is Park Avenue, a charming tree-lined, brick-paved street with European-style buildings, Gothic arches and intricate ironwork. You will also find a wide range of shopping, dining and entertainment options, including chain stores, boutiques, jewelry stores, cafes, restaurants, art galleries and museums. In addition, the city has a robust park system and a magnificent chain of lakes that offer virtually endless outdoor activities (plus a secret boat trip).
When it comes to transportation, there are many options in Winter Park, Florida. If you are traveling to another city, you can take a train from Winter Park station. This station has SunRail commuter trains that travel throughout the Greater Orlando area and Amtrak trains on the Silver Meteor and Silver Star routes.
If you’re looking for an affordable way to get around, hop on one of the LYNX buses that run on many routes around Winter Park. These buses serve many nearby towns and villages, including Altamonte Springs, Fern Park, Rosemont, Orlando, Kissimmee and St. Cloud.
Winter Park also has a well-connected road network. It takes about five minutes to get from the city to Winter Park Village, about 15 minutes to get to downtown Orlando and between 20 and 30 minutes to reach the best theme parks in Orlando. In addition, you will have easy access to American Route 17, which goes from Punta Gorda to Jacksonville.
Winter Park is home to some of the best restaurants in the Orlando area, so it attracts many food lovers from near and far. Here are some of the most popular restaurants in Winter Park:
- The Parkview: The Parkview offers an eclectic menu emphasizing American and continental dishes. This is one of Winter Park’s best restaurants for Sunday brunch, offering a variety of delicious and nutritious dishes.
- Prato: Prato serves crisp wood-fired pizzas, homemade pasta, paninis and other classic Italian dishes with a modern twist. With a cosmopolitan setting and a large patio, Prato is upscale enough to celebrate a special occasion but relaxed enough for a family meal.
- Tako Cheena: Tako Cheena offers delicious tacos, burritos, empanadas and hot dogs with influences from around the world. Open until 4 a.m. on Friday and Saturday, it’s the perfect place to grab a bite after an evening with friends.
- Mediterranean charcuterie: Mediterranean Deli is one of Winter Park’s most sought-after takeout restaurants due to its tasty cuisine and fast service. So when you’re in a hurry or don’t feel like cooking, stop for some amazing gyros and falafel sandwiches.
- Foxtail coffee: With its warm and relaxing environment, Foxtail Coffee is an ideal place to spend time with friends or work from a distance while enjoying a delicious cup of artisanal coffee. It also serves a wide range of snacks and pastries.
In addition to excellent restaurants, Winter Park also has many bars, pubs and lounges where you can relax with your friends or enjoy a romantic date. Check out some of the best places to have a drink around Winter Park, Florida.
- The Hideaway Bar: The Hideaway Bar is an ideal place to mix with the locals and make new friends, thanks to its warm and friendly atmosphere. This dive bar also offers burgers, subs, sandwiches, and mouthwatering chicken wings, as well as a long list of beers.
- M Lounge: When the weather permits, many locals spend their evenings relaxing in the M Lounge, an upscale rooftop lounge with an intimate setting. Enjoy exclusive drinks, artisan cocktails and bottled drinks while listening to acoustic music and taking in panoramic views of Winter Park.
- Eden Bar: Nestled among lush foliage and century-old oaks, this open-air garden bar offers a wide range of classic American dishes and a varied drink menu. With its magnificent setting, its relaxing atmosphere and its film screenings, the Eden Bar is the ideal place to enjoy cocktails with an appointment.
Activities in Winter Park, Florida
Whether you’re an avid buyer or an outdoor enthusiast, there is no shortage of things to do in Winter Park. Here are some of the places you will soon recognize as local favorites.
- Tuni’s: A contemporary boutique offering trendy clothes, shoes and accessories for women by accomplished and emerging designers.
- The Lovely Boutique Market: A vintage clothing store selling unique and eclectic handmade clothing, furniture and gifts.
- Max and Marley: This high-end resale store offers high quality clothing, shoes and accessories for children.
- Winter Park Playhouse: An intimate theater with musical productions such as comedies, magazines and cabarets.
- Enzian Theater: This independent theater hosts screenings of art films, film festivals and special events. Have drinks at the Eden Bar before or after a show.
- Aloma Cinema Grill: A unique theater where you can watch movies while the waiters bring food and drinks to your table.
- Winter Park Farmers Market: Located outside a former railway depot, this lively farmer’s market offers a wide range of products, baked goods and plants.
- Audubon Park community market: A weekly market offering products, crafts, food stalls and shows.
- Ward Park: A 66 acre sports-oriented park with a wetland trail and facilities for jogging, football, baseball, and soccer.
- Phelps Park: A local park with a playground, picnic facilities, pavilions and basketball and tennis courts.
- Kraft Azalea Park: This picturesque lakeside public park features massive cypresses and the Exedra monument, which is the perfect place for weddings.
Settle in a new place can be difficult when you don’t know what to expect, but if you’re considering Winter Park, Florida, you’re on the right track. Search thousands of Winter Park apartments for rent on Zumper and find your new home in this lovely neighborhood.