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Winter Park, Florida

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Park Avenue, or "Park Ave" as the locals call it, is the Main Street and focal point of downtown Winter Park, Florida. In fact, just a few miles north of downtown Orlando (which itself lacks a large-scale, walkable retail district) Park Avenue serves as a Main Street for the entire metro area. This is just one reason why Winter Park is such a hub of energy and activity. And if anyone doubted the city's cosmopolitan focal point for the Orlando metro area, Winter Park boasts several major museums and even its own Amtrak station, just a block away from Winter Park's downtown. Also, Rollins College, Florida's oldest recognized college, is located at the southern end of Park Avenue, which gives Winter Park a dynamic, college town feel.

A wide variety of shops, restaurants, and lounges line Park Avenue.
A wide variety of shops, restaurants, and lounges line Park Avenue.

Winter Park was originally founded as a winter resort for wealthy northerners—hence the name. And wealth is still a key ingredient in Winter Park's mix. The city is one of the wealthiest in the area. Therefore, the shops in downtown Winter Park tend to be more upscale to meet the tastes of the area's well-to-do residents. Also, most of the restaurants in Winter Park are fine dining.

This has created some conflict in the town. Some worry that the area's exclusivity is also its undoing. With the current recession there are several vacancies in town, especially towards the northern end of Park Avenue. Winter Park's tony image is underscored by a zoning regulation that only allows dining establishments where patron's are served by waiters. There are hardly any counter-service restaurants in town. This tends to lock out a large number of potential customers, especially the college students at nearby Rollins.

Despite Winter Park's challenges, the town has a lot going for it. Numerous parks and lakes, including large oak and camphor trees make the city an idyllic location. In fact, Park Avenue is named after the large Central Park located across the street from many of the shops and sidewalk cafes in town. Also, there are several small scenic squares off the main drag where shops and cafes are nestled side by side around quaint fountains.

Winter Park is a bustling commercial center north of Orlando.
Winter Park is a bustling commercial center north of Orlando.

Although, Park Avenue is the central artery through town, other businesses can be found on side streets including East Morse Avenue, and East Lyman Avenue. More businesses are located in the Hannibal Square district, on West New England Avenue between Virginia and Pennsylvania Avenues within walking distance of Park Avenue. Although Fairbanks Avenue is not as pedestrian friendly as the rest of Winter Park, many unique shops and restaurants can be found along this stretch as well. Don't get Park Avenue confused with the nearby Winter Park Village, which is a lifestyle center built to replace an aging strip mall on U.S. 17/92.

Retail Hours

Most stores are open seven days a week. Some even stay open late but most close by 5 or 6 p.m. The merchants are considering leaving their stores open later to help improve business.

Parking

There is plenty of parking available in Winter Park. On-street parking is free but limited to three hours during business hours. Also the area can be very congested so it may be difficult to find a spot. There are several parking garages toward the southern end of Park Avenue but they charge during some hours (and free during others). If you have to take a ticket, hold onto it and try to get it validated.

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Visitor Center

Winter Park Welcome Center & Chamber of Commerce (151 West Lyman Avenue, 407-644-8281)

Restrooms

Public restrooms can be found at the Winter Park Welcome Center & Chamber of Commerce. Some of the chain stores at the southern end of Park Avenue also provide restrooms for their customers.

Attractions

The Pottery Barn currently occupies the historic Colony Theater.
The Pottery Barn currently occupies the historic Colony Theater.

And when you're not shopping or dining, there are several museums to explore.

The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum Of American Art (445 North Park Avenue, 407-645-5311) contains the largest collection of Louis Comfort Tiffany stain glass in the world.

The Albin Polasek Museum and Sculpture Gardens (633 Osceola Avenue, 407-647-0283) was formerly the retirement home of Albin Polasek and contains many of his works along with the works of many other artists.

There's also the Cornell Fine Arts Museum (1000 Holt Avenue, 407-646-2526) located on the Rollins University campus.

Events

The Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival is held each year in the spring.

Location

Winter Park is just north of Orlando, Florida. It is about 50 miles from Daytona Beach, Florida and 90 miles from Tampa, Florida.

From Daytona Beach, take I-4 west. Take exit 87 for Fairbanks Avenue. Turn left on Fairbanks Avenue. Drive for about two miles. Turn left at Park Avenue, which is Winter Park's Main Street.

From Tampa and downtown Orlando, take I-4 east. Take exit 87 for Fairbanks Avenue. Turn right on Fairbanks Avenue. Drive for about two miles. Turn left at Park Avenue, which is Winter Park's Main Street.

External Links

www.parkave-winterpark.com
www.hannibalsquare.com

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Directory

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Accessories

Douglas Cosmetics (200 North Park Avenue, 407-629-9333)
Downeast An Orvis Dealer (130 North Park Avenue, 407-645-5100)
Lucky Brand Jeans (323 South Park Avenue, 407-628-1222)
Synergy (202-B South Park Avenue, 407-647-7241)

Apparel

Cerise Boutique (216 North Park Avenue, Suite G, 321-263-0000)
Chico's (214 South Park Avenue, 407-645-0010)
Downeast An Orvis Dealer (130 North Park Avenue, 407-645-5100)
Eileen Fisher (112 North Park Avenue, 407-628-9260)
Gap (400 South Park Avenue, Suite 110, 407-645-3443)
John Craig Clothier (132 South Park Avenue, 407-629-7944)
Kathmandu (352 North Park Avenue, 407-647-7071)
Lilly Pulitzer (118 North Park Avenue, 407-539-2324)
The Lingerie Collection (163 East Morse Boulevard, 407-622-0443)
Lucky Brand Jeans (323 South Park Avenue, 407-628-1222)
Moda Park Avenue Boutique (202 South Park Avenue, 407-645-4297)
Siegel's Clothing Company (330 South Park Avenue, 407-645-3100)
Sultre Boutique (290 North Park Avenue, 407-699-9696)
Synergy (202-B South Park Avenue, 407-647-7241)
Talbots (180 North Park Avenue, #1, 407-629-6444)
Thread (356 South Park Avenue, 407-622-7600)
Timothy's Gallery (236 North Park Avenue, 407-629-0707)
Tuni's (301 South Park Avenue, 407-628-1609)
Winter Park Benefit Shop (140 West Lyman Avenue, 407-691-7888)

Books

Brandywine Books (114 South Park Avenue, Suite E, 407-644-1711)
Christian Science Reading Room (322 North Park Avenue, 407-647-1559)

Children's

Bebe's (311 South Park Avenue, 407-628-1680)
Tugboat & The Bird (433-C West New England Avenue, 407-647-5437)

Coffee and Dessert

Barnie's CoffeeKitchen (118 South Park Avenue, 407-629-0042)
Briarpatch Restaurant & Ice Cream Parlor (252 North Park Avenue, 407-628-8651)
Croissant Gourmet (120 East Morse Boulevard, 407-622-7753)
Gurtzberry (124 East Morse Boulevard, 407-951-8039)
Palmano's Roastery & Espresso Bar (333 South Park Avenue, 407-647-7520)
Peterbrooke Chocolatier (300 South Park Avenue, 407-644-3200)
Starbucks Coffee (400 South Park Avenue, Suite 130, 407-599-4125)
Sweet Traditions Bakery & Cafe (212 North Park Avenue, Unit D, 407-622-2232)

Dining

The Bistro on Park Avenue (348 North Park Avenue, 407-539-6520)
Bosphorous Restaurant (108 South Park Avenue, 407-644-8609)
Briarpatch Restaurant & Ice Cream Parlor (252 North Park Avenue, 407-628-8651)
Cafe 118 Degrees (153 East Morse Boulevard, 407-389-2233)
Chez Vincent (533 West New England Avenue, 407-599-2929)
Croissant Gourmet (120 East Morse Boulevard, 407-622-7753)
Circa (358 North Park Avenue, 407-637-5903)
Dexter's (558 West New England Avenue, 407-629-1150)
Hot Olives (601 South New York Avenue, 407-629-1030)
Latin Bistro Cuban Cafe (133 East Morse Boulevard, 407-629-2822)
Palmano's Roastery & Espresso Bar (333 South Park Avenue, 407-647-7520)
Panera Bread (329 North Park Avenue, 407-645-3939)
Pannullo's Italian Restaurant (216 South Park Avenue, 407-629-7270)
Park Avenue Pizzeria & Italian Restaurant (119 East Lyman Avenue, 407-599-9199)
Park Plaza Gardens (319 South Park Avenue, 407-645-2475)
Power House Cafe (111 East Lyman Avenue, 407-645-3616)
Spice Modern Steakhouse (326 South Park Avenue, 407-772-8176)
310 Park South (310 South Park Avenue, 407-647-7277)
Tropical Smoothie Cafe (400 South Park Avenue, 407-628-5521)

Eyewear

See Eyewear (342 South Park Avenue, 407-599-5455)
Solstice Sunglass Boutique (102 South Park Avenue, 407-647-4511)

Footwear

Eileen Fisher (112 North Park Avenue, 407-628-9260)
Hendrick's Shoe Repair (141 Lincoln Avenue, 407-644-7565)
Lucky Brand Jeans (323 South Park Avenue, 407-628-1222)
Shoooz on Park Avenue (303 North Park Avenue, 407-647-0110)

Framing

Florida Frame House (425 West New England Avenue, Suite 200, 407-644-1323)

Galleries

Florida Frame House (425 West New England Avenue, Suite 200, 407-644-1323)
Scott Laurent Collection (348 North Park Avenue, 407-629-0278)
Timothy's Gallery (236 North Park Avenue, 407-629-0707)
Trade Winds (318 North Park Avenue, 407-622-0211)

Gift Shops

Earth Inspired Living (300 North Park Avenue, 407-644-2344)
Kathmandu (352 North Park Avenue, 407-647-7071)
The Partridge Tree (316 South Park Avenue, 407-645-4788)
Red Marq (308 South Park Avenue, 407-435-5082)
Ten Thousand Villages (346 North Park Avenue, 407-644-8464)
Timothy's Gallery (236 North Park Avenue, 407-629-0707)
Traditions on Park (324-A North Park Avenue, 407-628-1007)

Gourmet

The Ancient Olive (324 North Park Avenue, 321-972-1899)
Penzeys Spices (102 North Park Avenue, 407-788-7777)
The Spice & Tea Exchange (309 North Park Avenue, 407-647-7423)

Health and Beauty

Caswell-Massey Apothecary (234 North Park Avenue, 866-647-2455)
Origins (112 South Park Avenue, 407-622-4900)

Home Furnishings

Earth Inspired Living (300 North Park Avenue, 407-644-2344)
Florida Frame House (425 West New England Avenue, Suite 200, 407-644-1323)
Interiors (115 East Morse Boulevard, 407-629-8818)
Oriental Rug Source (141 West Lyman Avenue, 407-644-3225)
Pottery Barn (329 South Park Avenue, 407-629-7446)
Restoration Hardware (400 South Park Avenue, Suite 105, 407-622-1050)
Scott Laurent Collection (348 North Park Avenue, 407-629-0278)
Timothy's Gallery (236 North Park Avenue, 407-629-0707)
Trade Winds (318 North Park Avenue, 407-622-0211)
Villa Fiorenza (316 North Park Avenue, 407-644-0211)
Williams-Sonoma (142 South Park Avenue, 407-628-5900)

Jewelry

Be (307 South Park Avenue, 407-644-1106)
Cerise Boutique (216 North Park Avenue, Suite G, 321-263-0000)
Kathmandu (352 North Park Avenue, 407-647-7071)
P.J. Abramson, Inc. Jeweler (312 North Park Avenue, 407-644-3383)
Reynolds Jewelers (232 North Park Avenue, 407-645-2278)
Scott Laurent Collection (348 North Park Avenue, 407-629-0278)
Sim Jewelers (337 South Park Avenue, 407-740-6771)
Simmons Jewelers (208 North Park Avenue, 407-644-3829)

Pets

The Doggie Door (329 North Park Avenue, 407-644-2969)

Pharmacies

Taylor's Pharmacy (306 South Park Avenue, 407-644-1025)

Sporting Goods

Downeast An Orvis Dealer (130 North Park Avenue, 407-645-5100)

Stationary

The Paper Shop (545 North Park Avenue, 407-644-8700)

Taverns and Clubs

Circa Lounge & Pub (358 North Park Avenue, 407-637-5903)

Wine

Eola Wine Company (136 South Park Avenue, 407-647-9103)
Vino (400 South Park Avenue, 407-691-0304)
The Wine Room (270 South Park Avenue, 407-696-9463)

Comments

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COMMENTS (2)

Currently, all times are displayed in Eastern Standard Time.
Please go to the Contact Us page to report abuse. Thank you.

Thanks for the feedback, Ant. It's hard work running a store, let along running it for long hours. But that being said, I've seen a lot of people walking around Park Avenue in the evenings and there's almost no place to shop. All of the restaurants are open though. Hopefully, more shops will stay open later and give Winter Park a little night life!
Administrator (August 13th, 2012 6:35 PM)

It would be nice if the shops stay open late on the weekends. everything closes at 5 or six. not much to do other than walk and window shop. it would great to do some shopping till 9-10p-- after a nice dinner on park ave. make it happen!!
Ant (August 11th, 2012 7:18 PM)

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