Romantic Orlando – Park Avenue, Winter Park

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It holds a place in my heart like no other location in Orlando.

Park Avenue in downtown Winter Park

My earliest memory of this street was when I was six years old.  My Mom took me there to go through the antique stores (sadly, these are mostly gone now), have lunch at the Yum Yum Shop (now the Briarpatch) and shop in the Toy Store – long since gone, as well.

Fast forward to 1978 when Tom and I were dating.  We walked the Avenue and talked about “US” for the first time.  He asked how many children I hoped to have and similar questions hinting his intentions for marriage.  It was only weeks later when he proposed to me down the street in Kraft Azalea Gardens.  I’m so glad I said YES.

I’m actually surprised we haven’t shared this Romantic Orlando location with you up until now.  We don’t know where to begin…

Park Avenue can be pricey, but if you know where to go it can be very reasonable.  We have been going there for years in all kinds of situations and budget restraints.  If you are planning to visit Orlando – this is simply a MUST DO! We are listing in bullet form below for your quick reference.

Places to Eat:

  • Luma on Park – offers a Margarita Pizza for only $12.  This is affordable and something you can share.
  • Bospherous – a Turkish restaurant that specializes in the best hummus and lavas (hollow bread) in town.  You could order both for under $15 or spring for the Mixed Appetizer plate and spend $25.  This is a delicious meal.
  • Starbucks or Panera Bread are on opposite ends of the Avenue.  A great place to share a dessert and cup of coffee or tea.
  • Pannullo’s Italian Restaurant offers great food and a nice al fresco dining patio.  They feature lots of specials throughout the week.  If you join their e-mail club you’ll be privy to all of them, like buy one get one free, etc.  Monday is Pasta Night where all of the pasta dishes are $12.95, and they are large enough to share.  They also offer Prime Rib night on Tuesdays for the same price.
  • Brandywines – a great New York deli open only until 6p. and they are closed on Sunday.  It’s been in business as long as we can remember.  We enjoyed lunch there when we were dating.
  • Peterbrooke Chocolatier – Words are not able to adequately describe it.  I’ve tried!
  • Pack a picnic and enjoy a night under the stars.  The park across the street from all the restaurants is beautiful and pet free.  Not to mention the train which rolls through town every evening.  It is a special place for a picnic.
  • There are many more restaurants, pastry shops and ice cream parlors dotted along the Avenue.  The best thing to do is take a stroll and discover your own favorites.

Places for Art:

  • Morse Museum of American Art houses a large collection of Tiffany Glass.  It is well worth the $5 admission price.  They offer several Friday evening open houses during the months of November through April from 4p – 8p.  Admission is free with live music.
  • Museums – Winter Park has many more to enjoy.

Events Worth Watching For:

Fun Things To Do:

  • Winter Park Scenic Boat Tour – a fun way to see some beautiful Florida homes and natural wildlife habitats.
  • Go for a walk or bicycle ride together – Winter Park offers a map of trails to make your day enjoyable.  These Trails are located throughout Central Florida.
  • Theatres – Winter Park offers a variety of options from which to choose.
  • Golf – Winter Park Country Club features a 9 hole walking course.  It’s on the North end of Park Avenue and is simply beautiful!

As you can see there is so much to do.  But I think our favorite thing is simply walking the Avenue together arm in arm, talking, window shopping and people watching.  There are park benches located all around the park, along with beautiful water fountains and my very favorite – the rose garden.  If you’re like me, you may just want to stay here for a few days.

Places to Stay:

  • Park Plaza Hotel – there is a restaurant adjacent to the hotel called Park Plaza Gardens.  This is where I had my bridesmaids’ luncheon in 1979.

Yes, this place is full of history – mine included.  What are your special memories of Park Avenue?  We’d love to hear.

About Debi Walter

Face it, marriage is hard work. But when cultivated daily the fruit produced will satisfy for a lifetime. We're here to help with ideas and encouragement along the way. Having been married 40 years and counting, we share what we've learned with practical tips, Biblical Truths, Date night ideas to help you plow your own vineyard for God's glory.
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