Day Trippin’: Park Avenue in Winter Park

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Photos by Natalie Monzon

Winter Park was originally developed as a winter resort for northerners seeking refuge from harsh winters. They would come to enjoy the beautiful lakes, sunny skies, and natural scenery. That is still something people can enjoy today along with the addition of unique shops and restaurants.

Park Avenue lies in the heart of it all. Charming is the word that comes to mind when I think of this quaint place. Its attractiveness comes from its most prominent features like the tree canopies and brick streets.

Central Park, located along the center of Park Avenue, is worthy of a stroll. This 11-acre park holds beautiful fountains, oak trees, and a rose garden. During the holidays, it’s decked out with lights and ornaments. It also hosts numerous events including the popular Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival.

Art lovers, rejoice! The festival will take place from March 16 to 18 this year. It made its debut in 1960 as a community project to bring local artists and lovers of art together. It now brings over 350,000 people each year. The festival includes a wide variety of art: clay, digital, glass, jewelry, photography, watercolor, wood, and much more. If you love gawking over one-of-a-kind sculptures and artsy photographs, this is the perfect event for you.

If you’re into supporting the locals, you can also support your local famers by attending the Winter Park Farmers’ Market. It takes place every Saturday from 7:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Stroll through dozens of tents and let your taste buds guide you. You can try some freshly squeezed juice, baked goods, or mouth-watering bagel sandwiches. Your tummy will thank you.

Photos by Natalie Monzon

Whenever I visit Park Avenue, my sweet tooth takes me to Rocket Fizz. This soda pop and candy shop will make you nostalgic for your childhood. It’s filled with vintage candy, gag gifts, and hundreds of unique flavored sodas. Where else can I get candy cigarettes and bacon-flavored soda? It’s a magical place where adults can be kids.

Park Avenue is also home to Florida’s oldest recognized college, Rollins College. Its beautiful campus takes advantage of Florida’s natural beauty. Its Spanish-Mediterranean architecture, lakeside beach, and fine art museums make it worthy of a visit, even if you don’t plan on attending the school.

With all the beauty and authenticity Park Avenue has to offer, you won’t want to miss making a trip to this artistic and cultural gem.

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