Trans4mind Home Page

A Walk through Winter Park - A Hint of New England in Florida

By Susanne Pacher

Just a few minutes north of downtown Orlando awaits Winter Park, a charming picturesque suburb steeped in history. After my excursion on the Scenic Boat Tour, my local expert Wanda Salerno took me on a little walk through town past beautiful historic neighbourhoods.

With is origins as a citrus growing region, Winter Park became a major destination for wealthy northerners during the early 1900s, who came into town by train to reach their elegant winter retreats, seeking shelter from the cold winters of the north. Elegant mansions and and stately old oak trees draped with Spanish moss bear witness to this historic era.

Wanda then took me through some of Winter Park's hidden courtyards, which are filled with specialty retail stores and galleries. Winter Park features a large variety of galleries and I had a chance to sample three of them, all of which carried vastly different artwork:

- Scott Laurent Collections

- Native Visions Gallery

- Timothy's

Our walk took us out on to Winter Park's main street, Park Avenue, which houses 10 blocks of specialty retailers, galleries and ecclectic restaurants. Park Avenue is flanked on its west side by Central Park which offers a welcome sanctuary of relaxation with its graceful fountain, walking paths and shaded benches.

We then went on to explore Casa Feliz ("Happy House" in Spanish), the signature residential work of renowned architect James Gamble Rogers II.

In 1932 Robert Bruce Barbour, a chemical engineer from Massachusetts, commissioned Rogers to design a home on Lake Osceola, which turned out to be the Andalusian-style masonry farmhouse that we see today. This home was not only cherished by Barbour, but by the community as well. Throughout its history, it has hosted garden club tours, symphony orchestra concerts, poetry social meetings and a dinner for author Sinclair Lewis.

In 2001, in order to prevent the house from demolition, Casa Feliz was moved across Interlachen Avenue to its present location on Park Avenue. This move was one of the most dramatic events in Winter Park's history. Casa Feliz was transported on 20 pneumatically levelled dollies, and an elaborate pulley system moved the house about 75 feet per hour. After the house was in position at its new location, skilled craftsmen worked on restoring it to its original 1933 condition. A special landscape design was commissioned to reflect the style of the era.

Today, Casa Feliz is available to rent for weddings, parties, business meetings and events. Its unique features provide the perfect backdrop for a truly memorable event.

As a centre of local culture, Winter Park also features three well-known museums:

- the Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American art, which holds the world's most comprehensive collection of works by Louis Comfort Tiffany, including Tiffany's 1893 Chapel. The museum also features paintings, furniture and other works primarily from the late 19th and 20th centuries.

- the Albin Polasek Museum and Sculpture Garden: 3 acres of gardens, featuring sculptures and painters by Albin Polasek. The museum is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

- the Cornell Fine Arts Museum, which focuses on western world art of the 20th century and includes paintings, drawings, sculptures and other art from America and Europe. This museum is located at Rollins College, one of the top rated liberal arts colleges in the country.

The Winter Park Historical Museum examines various historic time periods, interchanging exhibits and rotating displays highlight some of the changes that have occurred in central Florida.

While I explored the town my husband actually played a round of golf at the 9-hole Winter Park Country Club, which is nestled beautifully inside Winter Park's historic neighbourhood. The WPCC is the second oldest golf club in the Central Florida area and makes its way through the downtown Winter Park area and provides a challenge to even the most experienced golfer. He enjoyed his outing, and a cost of $12, it was an extremely affordable outing on a well-maintained golf course.

We capped off our excursion with an enjoyable dinner at a restaurant called 310 Park Avenue, right on Winter Park's main strip. While a good portion of the Orlando area is very new, Winter Park is a welcome oasis of history and ambience that is perfect for a day of exploring.

For more information on Winter Park contact the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce,

About The Author
Susanne Pacher is the publisher of a website called Travel and Transitions ( Travel and Transitions deals with unconventional travel and is chock full of advice, tips, real life travel experiences, interviews with travellers and travel experts, insights and reflections, cross-cultural issues, contests and many other features. You will also find stories about life and the transitions that we face as we go through our own personal life-long journeys.

Submit your own travel stories in our first travel story contest ( and have a chance to win an amazing adventure cruise on the Amazon River.

"Life is a Journey Explore New Horizons".

The story with photos is published at Stories and Photos (

Susanne Pacher

From our extensive site, you'll find good info on many topics using this search:

Support your personal development with these popular and effective hypnosis downloads...

  • Public Speaking Fear ~ Banish speaking anxiety and nerves with hypnosis.
  • Motivate Yourself to Exercise ~ Build a powerful exercise habit that you can't break.
  • Get Rid of Fear & Anxiety ~ Stop worry and apprehension wrecking your life.
  • Self Esteem ~ Break the negative trance of low self esteem and give yourself a chance in life.
  • Create Your Own Reality ~ Use the power of your unconscious mind to transform your life.
  • Deeper Self Respect ~ Use hypnosis to connect with your true inner worth.
  • Detach From Fear ~ Tune out nervousness and anxiety with hypnosis.
  • Improving Concentration and Focus ~ Learn how to discipline, direct and command your mind to improve your performance.
  • Exercise Motivation ~ Give you powerful keys to getting back on track with your exercise - and staying there.
  • Overcoming Shyness ~ Provides an invisible security blanket allowing you to develop social ease and overcome shyness.
  • Quick Confidence Booster ~ An audio hypnosis session that's specifically designed to get you (quickly!) back on track.
  • Stop Negative Thoughts ~ Learn powerful hypnotic techniques to stop negative thoughts before they start.
  • Overcoming Procrastination ~ Let hypnosis help you get on with what you need to do, when you need to do it. Let nothing hold you back.
  • Think Thin ~ Use hypnosis to re-train your brain and lose weight naturally... that's how to get and stay slim.
  • Fall Asleep Fast ~ Relearn how to fall asleep fast and enjoy a good night's sleep.
  • The Next Level ~ Designed to radically boost your performance in any field. It's based on a technique used by top athletes and other successful people to help them make a big stride forward.
This is our selection of favorites, but there's a session for every need! Choose from over 800 Hypnosis Downloads...
Search now on an issue that interests or concerns you...

Welcome to the New Wave in Meditation Technology

Click here to learn more about the iAwake Profound Meditation Program
The iAwake Profound Meditation Program
is a way of enhancing your meditation practice, making meditation not only easier and more enjoyable, but also more efficient and effective.
Profound Meditation provides the smoothest, deepest, richest, most profound meditation experience available anywhere...
Here is a link to a free 20-minute track from iAwake Technologies - a sample of the type of tools that will deepen your meditation immediately and help you quickly become a successful meditator. It's the opening track of iAwake's flagship product, the Profound Meditation Program, called the iAwake Experience...
Learn More and Download the iAwake Experience
We think you'll find this technology a tremendous aid on your transformative journey of becoming your best and most creative self - and you can get started today!
Copyright © 1997-2016 Trans4mind Ltd