All year summer in Winter Park
Orlando is my absolutely preffered city if it comes to a question where to live in Florida, not for 2 or 3 days, but for a longer term. It’s not at the beach, but right between the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Coast. It’s not so busy and noisy as Miami, but still offers a lot entertainment and nightlife. It’s just laid back, relaxed and offers a lot of activities around.
One of my favorite neighborhoods in Orlando is Winter Park. It’s officially even an independent town, but in fact, it’s just a part of Orlando metropolian area, so you need max 20 minutes to drive there from the Downtown Orlando.
Winter Park is basically a small area, only a few streets designed in South European manner: walking areas, trees and palms along the road, little independent shops, buriques and many authentic cafes and restaurants. If you have 2-3 hours time, come and explore the most relaxed city in whole Central Florida!
Locals come here to have a walk through the town or to have a lunch sitting outside and enjoying all-year-magnificent Florida’s weather. There’s never winter in Florida, so no winter also in Winter Park.
Just come to Park Avenue, park your car and walk along exploring hiddent patios and inner yards with beautiful Italian style fountains and tiny local coffee shops, and enjoy walking through little streets with expensive villas, like if you would be inside of a typical American movie. If you want to relax at your 100% – take a nap on the evergreen grass in Central park. But don’t forget: the Amtrak line (American railroad) is just nearby so get prepared to some noise by the constantly hooping passing trains.
Another thing worth doing here is a Scenic boat tour ($12 per person) which takes place on Lake Osceola. This is one of the most interesting tours in the Orlando area which will show you not only the beauty of the lake’s flora and fauna, but also the villas of Florida‘s celebrities and billionaires.
Winter Park offers you probably the richest choice of different restaurants in the whole Orlando area from French bakeries to Turkish tavernas. Our favorite choice is Ceviche, something between high-end gastro pub and modern Italian restaurant. This menu is changing every few weeks, but you’ll do nothing wrong if you stick to its fish and fresh side (the seafood salad was incredibly delicious), or just take a sandwich with a salad as appetiser.
Drink of the day:
Take a cocktail at Ceviche, it’s a cherry on a cake during your few hours in Winter Park. We tried Italian Citrus ($10) with Finlandia Grapefruit Vodka, Aperol and fresh lemonade, and it was unbelievable, exactly the freshness kick you need during an all-year summer in Winter Park.