Winter Garden Downtown

If you want a change of scenery in Orlando but you don’t want to travel too far, on the West side of Orlando there is a city known as Winter Garden. Originally start in the early 1900’s, it was mostly an agricultural community and after a few freezes and the entrance of Walt Disney World in the area, it became more of an industrial and residential community. Winter Garden also happens to have the most adorable downtown setting which basically looks like small town America, before the concept of strip malls arrived here. It will help remind you of the way things used to be in Orlando 50 years ago before all the traffic. Its basically a historical district kind of like Park Avenue in Winter Park but not as showy and dramatic. When you turn left onto Plant Street from Dillard, you’ll feel like you’ve entered another state. You’ll find a park right down the center of the street, known as Centennial Plaza, with a large fountain in the middle along with small boutique shops, a variety of restaurants, and a small movie theater. Its perfect for a night or afternoon of entertainment. Well known restaurants in the area include Winter Garden Pizza, The Chef’s Table at Edgewater, Downtown Browns, and the Plant Street Grill. Your kids can also enjoy the splash pad fountains within the sidewalk at a nearby park across the street from the Post Office. In the middle of the hot summers, you might want to join them and run through the splashing water as well.

For additional activities you can see performances at the Garden Theater, Winter Garden’s own 300-seat restored theater, originally built as a warehouse in the thirties. There are also two small museums you can enjoy, and the best part is that both offer FREE Admission! Take that Universal Studios! The Heritage Museum and the Railroad Museum are great for kids and local history enthusiasts.

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