Winter Park is an artsy city, with arts, history and also nature concentrated in one small town. In this town, you can find museums everywhere, showcasing different kinds of art collections. If you are an art lover, Winter Park can stimulate your interest about arts, extend your knowledge about history and add taste to your inner life. As a matter of fact, nature itself can also be an art to be admired. The flourishing, or perhaps the artsy nature will let you feel more carefree and free of burdens. Last but not least, the fresh seafood here is definitely worth a try. Here are 10 things you can do to witness the beauty of arts and nature growing in Winter Park, FL.
1. Be inspired by Albin Polasek and his collection at Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens
The Polasek conserves the American representational sculptures created by the late Czech sculptor, Albin Polasek and also exhibits works of regional and international artists. You can also buy exhibit pieces by local artists in the gallery. The sculptures are both amazing and brilliant according to reviewers. The museum is actually a Mediterranean-style retirement home and studio of Polasek, which he opened to the public in 1961. The admission fee is reasonable and you will be guided by a knowledgeable tour guide without having to pay extra. Overlooking Lake Osceola, the view is splendid, where you can admire the statues at the same time. After visiting the museum, you can wonder around the butterfly garden and water garden outside with Polasek’s works everywhere.
The Polasek is free of admission for a week in April each year, which is during the annual Winter Park Paint Out hosted by the museum, where 25 artists create their works publicly on the streets of Winter Park. Once their works are done, they will be showcased in the gallery’s ‘Wet Room’ and available for sale to benefit the museum.
Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens
Address: 633 Osceola Ave, Winter Park, FL 32789-4429
2. Become artsy while walking into Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art
Pay a visit to Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art and you will fall in love with the collection of Louis Comfort Tiffany such as the award-winning leaded-glass windows, paintings, jewelry and more. Besides that, it also displays works by other artists like American art pottery, furniture collections by Emile Gallé and many more. The Tiffany Chapel is famous for its colorful windows, mosaics, Byzantine-Romanesque architectural elements and furnishings. A lot of visitors love the Tiffany stained glass collection. The admission fee is modest and the staffs are professional.
Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art
Address: 445 N Park Ave, Winter Park, FL 32789-3212
3. Hop onto a boat and enjoy the view of Lake Virginia
Lake Virginia has a beautiful view of well-manicured mansions and Rollins College on its coastline. Discover the lake anyway you want. Explore the lake with your own boat, kayak or pontoon boat. You can also take the option of following the Winter Park Scenic Boat Tour. The tour is lead by a funny and friendly guide who will explain to you the interesting facts of Lake Virginia and the multi-million dollar and historical homes around the lake. Other than that, there are also kayaks and stand-up paddleboards available for rent. Tubing and water-skiing are also allowed on the lake. Bring along your binoculars if you want to get a closer look at the properties.
Address: Lake Virginia, Winter Park, FL 32789
4. Get a taste of the freshest seafood from Mitchell's Fish Market
Mitchell’s Fish Market gets the freshest seafood from different coastlines in the world like the Atlantic, Pacific and Gulf of Mexico. Their food ranges from lobster tail, planked salmon, Atlantic cod, grilled shrimp and more. Their food is fresh without any canned products or artificial tastes. If you are not a fan of seafood, there is also beef and chicken available. During happy hour, food from 4 USD to 7 USD and cocktails are served. The staffs are attentive and the food is mouth-watering, definitely worth your money!
Mitchell's Fish Market
Address: 460 N. Orlando Ave, Suite 122, Winter Park, FL
Website: Mitchell’s Fish Market
5. Take a stroll or cycle through Mead Garden
Besides being a great wedding venue, Mead Garden is also best for having a picnic or grill at the pavilions under the large oaks, take a stroll or ride a bike while enjoying nature. Plants from all around the world like orchids, night-blooming cacti that only bloom once a year, cypress trees, caladiums and begonias can be found in the garden, as well as native wetland and upland species like longleaf pines. Be patient and spot raccoons, squirrels, bats, snakes, alligators and different other faunas in the gardens. Catch the blooming seasons of certain plants such as cool-colored caladiums, which show their colors during summer, and the tea camillia blooms in November with a sweet fragrance.
Address: 1300 S Denning Dr, Winter Park, FL 32789-5636
Website: Mead Garden
6. Understanding the history of African Americans at Hannibal Square Heritage Center
Winter Park is a small town packed with rich history, and that, you will realize while visiting Hannibal Square Heritage Center. This museum contains photographs, oral histories of West Winter Park and the Hannibal Square Timeline, that educates people about the local and national events in African-American history from past to present. Many visitors are touched by the photographs that tell personal stories of the African Americans.
From the museum, you will learn that Hannibal Square is one of the first communities where African Americans could buy and own properties. There is also a visiting exhibition that showcases the cultural and visual artworks by the African Americans such as photography, quilt-making and paintings. After visiting the museum, you can dine in the great restaurants, shop at LaBella for fashions and lingerie, take a shot at the photography studios and tons more.
Hannibal Square Heritage Center
Address: 642 W New England Ave, Winter Park, FL 32789-4134
Website: Hannibal Square Heritage Center
7. Have a romantic or relaxing walk through Central Park
Discovered Central Park in Winter Park Florida. LOVE this place!Posted by Dennis Burgard on Wednesday, 12 April 2017
Thousands of visitors come to Central Park every year just to appreciate its gracefulness. Walking in the park shaded by oak trees, admiring beautiful fountains and lush landscapes. Central Park offers you a special kind of shopping experience, as it is located in the heart of the downtown shopping district where you can walk and stop. For couples, take a romantic stroll in the rose garden on the south end. If you happen to be here in March, catch the Winter Park Art Festival around the third week of March. And also, bring your food, lie on the grass and have a picnic with your friends or family.
Address: 251 S Park Ave, Winter Park, FL 32789
Website: Central Park
8. Feel the historical ambience and architecture of Casa Feliz Historic Home Museum
MUSIC AT THE CASA PRESENTS: Christine MacPhail, Sunday, June 18, Noon - 3 p.m. Visit our historic home museum, listen...Posted by Casa Feliz Historic Home Museum on Wednesday, 14 June 2017
Originally planned to be torn down, Casa Feliz Historic Home Museum is a restored Spanish farmhouse designed by the acclaimed architect James Gamble Rogers II. The museum is furnished with Spanish roof tiles and century-old bricks. Like a castle, it has a turret, a bell tower and a heavy timber balcony surrounded by a courtyard. Stepping into the museum is like going into the 19th-century of Spain with the ceiling of hand-hewn beams, the European curio, the interior courtyard of Majolica tiles and the circular staircase.
The museum is opened every Tuesday and Thursday morning and Sunday afternoon with a recommended donation of 5 USD to support them. On Sunday afternoons, there is ‘Music at the Casa’ where there are different music performances, ranging from jazz, classical, pop, and dance of Latin origin, bluegrass and folk, in the living room.
Casa Feliz Historic Home Museum
Address: 656 N Park Ave, Winter Park, FL 32789-3217
Website: Casa Feliz Historic Home Museum
9. Submerge yourself into jazz music in Blue Bamboo Center for the Arts
Join Charlie DeChant at Blue Bamboo Center for the Arts for The Night Before The Night Before Christmas http://ow.ly/GEXs307auOwPosted by Blue Bamboo Center For The Arts on Thursday, 15 December 2016
It all started when a jazz musician, Chris Cortez, his wife Melody Cortez, a local artist, and composer and classical musician Mark Piszczek decided to transform a warehouse into a venue for jazz and classical performances, for a recording studio and an art gallery. Their main intention was to stir the local music scene so they decided to come back to Orlando. Their performances includes jazz, classical, world music, dance, theatre and spoken word.
Live performances starts at 8.00 pm every evening but the door opens at 7.00 pm. As the seats are limited, be sure to get your tickets in advance, either online or at the door. For retirees, shut-ins or students who cannot bear the expense of the tickets, free Community Tickets are available.
Blue Bamboo Center for the Arts
Address: 1905 Kentucky Ave, Winter Park, FL 32789
Website: Blue Bamboo Center for the Arts
10. Take a look at the exceptional gallery in Cornell Fine Arts Museum
The exhibition "AfroFantastic: Black Imagination and Agency in the American Experience" has been extended through May...Posted by Cornell Fine Arts Museum on Friday, 7 April 2017
Being the only teaching museum in Orlando, they have over 5,000 exceptional collections that will wow you. It is located on the campus of Rollins College. Their collections vary from antiquity to contemporary including paintings from 14th to 21st centuries, prints, drawings and photographs from 15th to 21st centuries, ethnographic objects and watch keys from 16th to late 19th centuries. They have changing exhibitions in the museum throughout the year.
The museum is free of admission every day except Monday. There are free 30-minute tours on weekends to Cornell Fine Arts Museum on Saturdays and to The Alfond Inn in Winter Park, which is a hotel owned by Rollins College, on Sundays. And also, there are Throwback Thursday Tours on the 3rd Thursday of each month and Happy Hour Tours on the 1st Wednesday of each month. Above all that, you will be inspired by the interest and commitment of the staffs there.
Cornell Fine Arts Museum
Address: 1000 Holt Ave, Rollins College, Winter Park, FL 32789-4499
Website: Cornell Fine Arts Museum
Find beauty in this city of blooming arts
There are many hidden treasures in Winter Park, Florida for you to discover. By the end of your trip, you will find yourself with much appreciation of arts and nature beauty. Take a trip and connect with your inner world through arts and nature in this fascinating city.