Historic downtown Winter Garden dazzles
Nestled on the southern shore of beautiful Lake Apopka and about 20 minutes west of Orlando in Central Florida, Winter Garden is the proud home to almost 40,000 residents and a wealth of west Orange County heritage and history. The vibrant Downtown District is listed on the National Registry of Historic Places and a favorite destination for those traveling on the West Orange Trail. Visitors enjoy outdoor dining along the Trail at several award-winning restaurants, such as Chef’s Table at the Edgewater Hotel and Tasting Room as well as visiting the Farmers Market, touring museums, playing in the Splash Park and browsing in the unique shops. For a late afternoon to late evening relaxation, the Attic Door features the swankiest little wine bar and live music venue around!
Early settlers and tourists were drawn to Winter Garden for the citrus farming, but the town was later known as the ‘large-mouth bass capital’ because of the plentiful fish that could be caught in Lake Apopka. As with most communities founded in the early 1900s of rural Florida, Winter Garden’s economy relied heavily on agriculture.
The West Orange Trial, a popular biking and walking trail runs right through the heart of Downtown, is intertwined throughout the western sector of Orange County. The Trail boasts over 50 miles of biking, walking, hiking and equestrian trails, adding another dimension to this unique community.
Between the trail riders and visitors, approximately 1.3 million people visit downtown every year, and more people are calling Winter Garden home. With amenities such as the Garden Theatre, museums, a new Art Center and the wildly popular Winter Garden Farmers Market at the Pavilion, Downtown Winter Garden has become the commercial and cultural capital of West Orange County.
The restored 1930s era Garden Theatre, located downtown, is a performing arts center which hosts 200 events per year of live theatre, ballet, orchestra and musicals, all now easily accessible to residents of West Orange County and right in their backyard.
The City partnered with the Winter Garden Arts Association to convert the old Boyd Street Fire Station into a hub for visual art. The historic fire station now houses an art gallery for local artists to sell their creations and an Art Facility to teach classes, host workshops, exhibitions, summer youth camps, and events. In addition, a planned Art & Design District will allow artists to live and work in the district with joint living and gallery/studio space.
December transforms downtown into a Winter Wonderland with events such as the Merry Winter Garden Light Show and Holiday Music by Dickens classic Carolers, horse-drawn carriages rides, a sing-along concert, a golf cart parade and, of course, Santa comes to visit.
The town’s architecture is just as distinct and varied as its residents. From bungalows to art-deco, antebellum to modern, architectural styles abound in Winter Garden. Environmentally conscious homebuyers may even select a home in Oakland Park, the first certified green community in Central Florida.
Winter Garden has become a local gathering place for residents of Central Florida. It is a town that exudes warmth and energy, with genuine character and a relaxed charm that makes everyone feel comfortable. It is a place for growing families and businesses. It is a place to relax and unwind. It is a forward-thinking community that embraces new ideas and new people.
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