Story originally appeared on Marriott Vacation Club.
Just a short drive north of downtown Orlando, the city of Winter Park, Florida, is at once historic, chic and accessible.
With plenty to explore and enjoy, from some of the areas premier dining and shopping to art, culture, and scenic tours, Winter Park has all the makings of a great Orlando day trip. It’s the perfect destination for a relaxing escape from the theme parks.
Winter Park is home to some of the area’s hottest and best-regarded dining. From upscale restaurants to new takes on traditional dishes, your culinary options abound.
For a memorable meal, its hard to go wrong at The Ravenous Pig, a stalwart of the Orlando restaurant scene and one of Central Florida’s most celebrated restaurants. Offering a creative and ever-changing menu highlighting fresh Florida seafood and seasonal offerings, “Ravenous,” as locals often call it, is a foodies dream. You’ll also find inspired cocktails and a delicious selection of craft beers brewed right on premises.
If you’re seeking a more casual experience, stop by local favorite 4 Rivers Smokehouse for sweet and savory BBQ. Or enjoy an elegant evening at Prato, serving Italian classics made with modern techniques and fresh seasonal ingredients. Nearby, The Wine Rooms selection of hand-crafted wines and artisan cheeses, plus a new tapas-style menu, are sure to please any oenophile.
Take a break from the crowded outlet scene and opt for an easy stroll down Park Avenue. Home to some of the area’s best boutique and specialty store shopping — and people watching — this chic street is thought of as Winter Parks Rodeo Drive.
From unique gifts at Alex and Ani and hard-to-find editions at Brandywine Books to fashions from Lilly Pulitzer, Lucky Brand and more plus numerous cafés and restaurants nestled among the unique shops Park Avenue is the place to see and be seen.
The Morse Museum of American Art is nestled in a Mediterranean-style building that blends beautifully with its scenic neighborhood. But what’s most beautiful is whats inside: the world’s largest collection of works by Louis Comfort Tiffany. Guests can admire his stunning masterpieces of beautiful art glass, leaded glass Tiffany lamps and breathtaking stained-glass windows. The museum’s collections also include American art pottery, paintings and decorative art. It’s a hidden Winter Park gem and a must-go for any art lover.
Want to explore Winter Park in a unique way? Climb aboard a Scenic Boat Tour. The guided tour cruises the chain of lakes and manmade canals that peacefully flow through Winter Park. And there’s plenty to see. Look up to witness large cranes swooping down to snag a fish for dinner. Or maybe spy a lazy alligator relaxing on a nearby bank. From navigating quiet paths through lush scenery and past exquisite private homes to sunny, open-air lake cruising, this is an invigorating way to get a behind-the-scenes view of Winter Park.