Take a Break From Florida Theme Park Crowds in This Charming Town Near Orlando

The Calm Side of Florida

If you fancy an idyllic walk on cobblestone streets dotted with locally owned shops and Michelin-recognized restaurants, enjoy boating in clear lakes, and have grassy fields for your kids to play in, Winter Park is the perfect spot for you. Located near Orlando in Florida, this gem of a 10-square-mile town is a welcome respite from Orlando’s crowded theme park scene. A favorite of residents, this town merits a trip on its own with so much to do.

Best Things to Do

The Park Avenue at Winter Park near Orlando is a haven for nature lovers, culture enthusiasts, and shopaholics, and is a hot spot for festivals and events. The ‘Olde Fashioned 4th of July Celebration and the holiday festivities are the most popular events hosted here. The spectacular Morse Museum features art and a large collection of Tiffany works. Many lakes of Winter Park offer kayaking, paddle boarding, and hour-long scenic boat tours. The Saturday farmer’s market is ideal for grabbing seasonal produce and freshly baked goods. Furthermore, Avalon Exchange is a must-visit for all thrifters!

Best Places to Eat

Best Places to Eat

With a range of cuisines, the dining scene of Winter Park near Orlando offers memorable meals. Oozing Southern charm in its décor, Briarpatch at Park Avenue is one of the most iconic eateries in the town. The venue serves delicious brunch items like raspberry lemon cream pancakes, brown butter Belgian waffles, and different housemade cakes that are Instagrammable and yummy. For a divine multi-course fine-dining experience, head to the intimate 10-seater Japanese restaurant Soseki, which recently earned its first Michelin star. James Beard-nominated husband-and-wife chefs run the kitchen of The Ravenous Pig, hitting the spot with a wide range of delectable food. Also, enjoy tasty pizzas and various modern Italian dishes at Prato.

A Driveable Winter Adventure Playground in Adirondacks, NY

Whiteface and Gore Mountain in the Adirondacks and Belleayre in the Catskills are three of the best ski areas on the East Coast. The regions are owned by New York State and operated by the Olympic Regional Development Authority.

Skiing in Whiteface MountainWhiteface Mountain in the Adirondacks

The Whiteface Mountain is definitely at the top of the list for ski areas. The world-class area part of the Adirondacks is the site of the 1932 and 1980 Olympics, where in addition to skiing, guests can visit Olympic venues and ever participate in biathlon, skate at the Olympic Oval, or drive a coaster down the bobsled track.

Both ski enthusiasts and professionals know Whiteface for the greatest vertical – 3340 ft. from the summit at 4867 ft, of any lift-serviced mountain not just in the Adirondacks but every mountain in the Northwest. A total of 13 lifts is serving the five terrain parks but the area also offers 34 acres of glades and 300 skiable acres.

Skiing in Whiteface MountainApart from taking the Olympics ride and experiencing what it was like to be there in the 1980s, visitors can enjoy the new Sky Flyer Zipline, the new SkyRide Experience, an 8-person gondola, a new glass-enclosed elevator ride to the top of the ski jumps, and many other activities.

While there is no lodging in the mountain there are dozens of lovely ins, AirBnBs, hotels, and resorts that are within walking distance to many of the attractions.

The Adirondacks Offer Even More Winter Activities

Lake Placid in the Adirondacks, lodging in distance, dogs pulling a sled upfront.It’s clear – the Adirondacks is one of the best choices for skiing and snowboarding. However, there are many other ways to experience the mountain that include hiking (visitors can hike the five fire tower trails even in the winter), cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, dog sledding, pond hockey, ice skating, and ice fishing.

Ausable Chasm offers winter tours of frozen waterfalls and spectacular sights that are just an hour away from Lake Placid. There are also plenty of boutique shops and restaurants that would take you in from the cold. All of this can be experienced with the new virtual service tour – The Adirondack Wayfinder.