As I stated in my last travel post, our first full day of vacation in Florida we wanted to do something laid back, relaxing, and local. So we chose to stay in the town that our children live in and we took a scenic boat ride in the morning (read about that HERE) and then just walked around downtown Winter Park and the Rollins College campus. I have way too many pictures to fit into one post so I will share our visit to Rollins College in next week's travel post and just focus on Downtown Winter Park this week.
Winter Park is a very affluent area and is filled with the most gorgeous homes you can possibly imagine. In fact, just driving around in a car through some of the neighborhoods is entertainment enough for me. A lot of the neighborhoods are gated communities, so you can't drive through them to drool, but the multi-million dollar homes around the lake are not gated so you can see those really well.
Because so many wealthy people live in Winter Park, there is also an up-scale shopping district that is filled with both high end shops and mid-range (like Chico's, which is still a more unaffordable store for me). They also have a gorgeous city park which I have already shown in Sunday's garden post, and lots of indoor/outdoor trendy dining establishments.
Next to the park, is the prettiest train station I have ever seen. Is this cute or what? I love the white ceiling and beams, and the brick path is just adorable.
French bakery in town, so we decided to check it out. I mean, who can resist French goodies?
Because most of the stores were out of our price range, we did a lot of window shopping. I actually love to window shop more than real shopping. I love to look at mannequins and displays to get ideas to incorporate into my outfits. I thought the shoes in this window were gorgeous! So unique too!
The only store we went inside of was this Pottery Barn, and again, just to get ideas. I think Pottery Barn is reasonably priced, but still more than I'm willing to pay for most items. This store use to be an old movie theatre. They remodeled it beautifully. There are two levels inside too! I just love the huge window and the old marquee.
The store was all decked out for Christmas. I already showed you their sea-themed Christmas tree HERE.
I fell in love with their sea shell pillows, and fur throws and pillows. And don't you just love that giant sea shell that is being used to hold glass ornaments? I got so many creative, new ideas to use in my own house.
The dining establishments reminded me very much of all the restaurants in Pensacola Beach which we visited the year before. They all have both indoor and outdoor seating, with walls that open up exposing the interior to the outside.
There were so many people eating outside at the sidewalk tables, enjoying the beautiful day. My son Jordan has a hard time understanding the concept and said "I don't understand what the thrill of eating on the sidewalk is all about. Everyone walks on the sidewalk, right past your table. That would make me feel so uncomfortable when I'm trying to eat." I get that. I love to eat outside, but the walk is so narrow, we were literally brushing up against people as they were seated eating.
Loved this cute red and white barber shop.
Like St. Augustine, there were several cute courtyards in downtown Winter Paths that had winding paths that led to hidden shops.
In addition to outdoor shopping, there was also a small indoor mall that contained a few shops and eateries and other businesses. It was here I found a macaron shop, but just as I started to head to the door, the owner stepped out of the store and locked the door. "Oh, just as well" I thought, "for if my husband saw the prices of those macarons he would have thought it a complete waste of money if I bought one." I can just hear him now "What! You paid $1.75 for that tiny little thing!" And I wouldn't blame him...macarons are ridiculously expensive for the small amount you get.
It is the cutest little place though, isn't it?
Perhaps the most interesting thing we saw inside this indoor mall were the narrow ponds filled with koi. Other than a small railing by the "bridge" part, there was no divider between the pond and the walk way. I wondered how many people might have slipped and fallen into one if they weren't careful about where they were walking. They were pretty, and very interesting though!
And finally, another pretty fountain we discovered in yet another small courtyard. I love fountains, don't you?
Have a great day! Amy
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