Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Downtown Winter Park

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.

 When we purchased our boat tickets, the gentleman who sold us our tickets recommended a
French bakery in town, so we decided to check it out.  I mean, who can resist French goodies?

 We had such a hard time deciding what to get.  We all just had breakfast, so no one was hungry, but we wanted to try something that we could all share.  We decided upon this very long pastry.  Look at the length of it!  I mean, it's almost as tall as me!  My husband bit into it like a hot dog at first and hated it.  He said "Ugh, it's hard and crunchy, I thought it would be soft."  I then pulled a piece off, and it separated beautifully into soft layers, with just a thin outer crunchy layer.  I told him he was just eating it wrong, and when he tried it again he loved it.  I don't care for overly sweet, gooey pastries, so this was perfect for me.  It was very delicate, and the powdered sugar added just the perfect amount of sweetness for my taste.

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.

 This path led to this pretty courtyard that had a lovely eating area with a patio in the center.  And it was here that I found a fellow fashion blogger.  We first noticed this beautiful little girl and fell in love with her.  We couldn't take our eyes off of her, she was so adorable and we loved the outfit she was wearing.  Then we saw that her mother was dressed in a similar outfit and had a photographer with her.  I told my husband, I bet you she is a fashion blogger.  Sure enough, we saw her getting her photo taken and by the way she was posing, we were pretty sure she was a fashion blogger.  So my husband asked her if she was and she replied "Yes, sort of" and told us the name of her website.

 Her name is Devyni and you can find her website HERE.  In the picture below she is on the left wearing the hat and that's her photographer on the right.  I just loved the outfit she was wearing that day.  That fur vest and hat is so cute!

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!

 I fell in love with this blue tile staircase and elevator.  And of course since I was wearing a cobalt blue sweater and flats that coordinated with the colors of the tiles and rails, we had to stop and take a fashion photo!

And finally, another pretty fountain we discovered in yet another small courtyard.  I love fountains, don't you?

And that was our adventure in downtown Winter Park.

Have a great day!  Amy

Linking Up with these Fabulous Blogs HERE and Travel Tuesday!


  1. This looks too fun! Also, on my blog you asked about the weather in Vegas and I am always worried that my responses go to people's spam inbox so I wanted to reply here as well :). Vegas is super warm during the summer (100+) but not in the winter! It was in the mid 50s every day we were there. If I was in a chunky sweater I was comfortable walking around, or if I had on something lighter I would need a light jacket or else I would be cold! You will have so much fun on your trip there! I'm recapping our Vegas trip on Monday so definitely check it out if you are looking for ideas for your trip!

  2. Such a pretty downtown area! That french pastry looks delicious, not sure I would want to share it with anyone, although it's so long. Love the look of the Pottery Barn store. I have never been to one before.

  3. What a great place to visit! Nice photos and amusing commentary, perfect for the armchair traveller here...
    Thank you for participating in the Travel Tuesday meme!


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