Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Tourist Tuesday: Exploring Historic Downtown Winter Garden

 For this week's #TouristTuesday, the kids and I explored the brick lined streets and beautiful architecture of Historic Downtown Winter Garden. This area offers locals and visitors the chance to explore the charm of "old Florida". 

Beautiful brick-lined streets.
The historical district is located a few miles north of Walt Disney World, off the Florida Turnpike.
Listen for the clock bells!
Winter Garden was established in1903 and has been a popular tourist spot since the 1930s.


We visit this area frequently but on this day, we "dug deeper" into what is available to tourists.
We have found that there are two museums in the downtown area:
 the Winter Garden Heritage Museum and the Central Florida Railroad Museum.
Admission to both are free.  
Heritage Museum:  1pm to 5pm, 7 days a week 
Railroad Museum:  1pm to 5pm, 7 days a week
 Heritage Museum/Visitor Center. 
Kids can pick up a Treasure Hunt map which kept my son entertained during our visit!

Pictured is the Railroad Museum.
Enjoy a stroll down the street paying attention to the architectural details.
Many of  the Winter Garden buildings date back to the time period of 1915 to 1940!

The Edgewater Hotel was established in 1927. Walk into the lobby of the Edgewater Hotel (which is now a bed and breakfast) and marvel at the fully operational 1926 Otis elevator!

Currently, the Edgewater has three dining choices on the first floor which are open to guests and visitors: Thai Blossom, The Chef's Table, and The Tasting Room.
Enjoying a Sparkling Sangria at The Tasting Room--So refreshing! 

Brunch is served on Saturdays and Sundays.


Need to cool off? Winter Garden offers a nice (free) splash park for all to enjoy!


If you happen to visit downtown Winter Garden on a Saturday, you are in for a treat -- the Winter Garden Farmers Market, held from 9:00am to 2pm.  
Locally grown honey is one of our favorite finds at the Farmers Market.


Time for a snack? Stop by Ms. Bee's Popcorn. The locally owned store offers many flavors of popcorn, candy and saltwater taffy. (Historical Fact: Ms. Bee's is located in a building that was originally constructed in 1908 as The Bank of Winter Garden.)

Another great spot to enjoy a snack in Winter Garden is Axum Coffee

Make sure to check out the post cards at the register at Axum Coffee.

And one more favorite places on this trip was to the Plant Street Market, home to the Crooked Can Brewery.  Families hang out here to enjoy lunch and dinner.  Check the calendar for yoga, brewery tours (every Sunday) and other community events!
Mr. Tractor (Lager) 
BBQ Loaded Cheese Fries from This Little Piggy with a brew from Crooked Can Brewery

If you have more time, I encourage you to check out the schedule for the Garden Theater. The Garden Theatre hosts live plays, concerts, movies, and more to the residents of and visitors to the city of Winter Garden. (Originally built in 1935 as a single-screen cinema; and underwent several renovations until closing in 1963; and he restored Garden Theatre reopened in February 2008.)


The last stop for us on this visit was into Adjectives, which offers a variety of gifts, home decor, antiques... and Winter Garden themed merchandise designed by ABNewton.com (as shown below)!

A TERVIS!!!! Ya'll know I was excited!

As you can see there is SO MUCH to do and see here...

So next time you are in the Central Florida area, I suggest you take some time to unwind in Historical Downtown Winter Garden.  There are plenty of free activities for all ages, as well as some great dining spots and local shops!