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By Jane Mansell

Posted on August 29th, 2005


If you want a change from theme parks you may wish to visit Winter Park. It has much to offer, including museums and art galleries, exclusive shops, boat, bicycle and walking tours and fine restaurants. These are all situated around the Park Avenue area.


If you like Tiffany glass you will want to visit The Morse Museum of American Art. As well as glass there are pottery, furniture and other decorative arts. The museum is closed on Mondays, open on Tuesday through Saturday from 9.30am – 4pm and Sunday from 1pm – 4pm. There is a small entrance fee for adults and it is free to children under 12.

The Cornell Fine Arts Museum is housed in Rollins College and displays paintings, sculpture and decorative arts. This museum is free to enter and is also closed on Monday but open on Tuesday through Friday from 10am – 5pm and Saturday and Sunday from 1pm – 5pm.

The work of the artist Albin Polasek is displayed in the Albin Polasek Museum and Sculpture Gardens. The museum is closed on Monday and Tuesday but open on Wednesday through Sunday from 10am – 4pm. Admission is free to this museum also.


Why not sit back and take a relaxing Scenic Boat Tour? Weather permitting, you will experience a 12 mile narrated tour around the lakes, which are connected by canals. This is a really relaxing way to spend an hour, drool over some of the multi-million dollar homes and gardens around the lakes and learn who lives there. Tours only cost $8 per adult and $4 per child from 2-11 years. We can highly recommend it on a lovely sunny day.

If you prefer a more energetic tour then a guided Home Town Bicycle Tour may suit you better. The cost is $5 per person per hour plus $20 bike hire. You can call them on 407 332 8703.

You can also take the Park Avenue Walking Tour. Free maps can be obtained from the Chamber of Commerce situated on New York Avenue.


No day out is complete without some shopping and there are some very different shops to browse around along Park Avenue. You will find a range of shops selling art, jewellery, teddy bears, gourmet food and chocolate to name but a few. You may want to find out in advance if there are any pavement craft fairs or art festivals scheduled. If all this shopping makes you hungry you will find a range of different cuisines. If you like the flavour of New Orleans then Zaks on Park Avenue is for you. If you like to dress to impress there are regular ‘Dress Up Thursdays’ when the best-dressed diner from each of six restaurants gets a prize of items from some of the Park Avenue shops.


Alongside Park Avenue is Central Park where you can take in the beautiful flowers and fountains. The Kraft Azalea Gardens cover 11 acres and can be found at the north end of Park Avenue. Turn into Palmer Avenue and then into Alabama Drive. You can find native birds and plants from different countries as well as trails through a sub-tropical forest in Mead Gardens. They are situated on Garden Drive (just off Highway 17/92).


Go east on the I4, leave it at exit 87, Fairbanks Avenue. Turn right on to Fairbanks and head east for 2 miles until it intersects with Park Avenue and turn left. You may find it difficult to park, especially at the weekend, so follow the signs for the boat trip because there are lots of parking spaces down by the boarding area.

Amber Villa is just a few minutes away from the I4 and makes a perfect base from which to visit Winter Park, theme parks, shopping malls and all the other attractions the area has to offer. It is also a perfect place to relax, inside the spacious villa or outside by the pool.

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