Friday, October 5, 2012

YOU deserve to stay here….you really do.

   I don’t know about you….well, actually…I think I DO know a bit. Love that.

But me?  I LOVE old    I love ancient    I love vintage….I love cobblestone streets   I love sandy lanes.

I love meandering.


I love beautiful landscape. I love being connected through history in my houses and my towns….even

maybe especially…in my people. 

I live in Florida.

cue:: screeeech :: coming to a halt::


Ok…I love Disney as well as the next. No, wait, NO I don’t.

Indeed…there ARE gorgeous corners that aren’t Disney~fied in this state.

I LOVE finding them…and  love when they find me.

And when I do….I sigh a little sigh….and breathe a little deeper.  I just do. Sorry Goofy. I do.

When I can….I love finding a local hotel…Not the chain which  CAN be  wonderful and consistent.

But I love different, unique…some history…often boutique.

Boutique is maybe a misnomer…doesn’t have to be fancy, posh…I don’t need wine coming out of the walls

 but HAVE stayed in one such place… here. Oh My. Go if you can.

  Gaudy, wacky and Small works well for me.

And I search for it. Spooky is even ok…Like this place…My kids SWEAR it was haunted.


Enter: Winter Park, Florida. At the fringes of all that is Disney, in Orlando.

But oh so much more.

This past weekend we had the lovely experience of spending time in this cobblestone clad town.

We chose to stay at the vintage Park Plaza Hotel….



smack in the middle of the town…surrounded by, and above many  great unique stores and restaurants…

Speaking of stores…I Loved this place…you get to taste a bounty of different oils and vinegars….

Me? I brought home Red apple white balsamic vinegar to pair with sage mushroom olive oil.

Fall. sigh.



The streets are old cobblestone. There are also regular stores…cloaked in vintage architecture…




IMG_3783 Restaurants galore….and small parks


and train stations…





And art. lots and lots of art…and relaxation.


The hotel was everything I love….ancient  for Florida standards



creaky wood floors…brass key fobs…valet parking




and breakfast in the morning on your balcony overlooking the main street

IMG_3739 IMG_3743

The room was a touch mysterious…small doors leading…   where?  But perfect for us.



Other rooms  there are only 28  have original brick walls.

and…maybe we invited a FEW too many friends to join us

…as we enjoyed our breakfast





The more the merrier.



If you are near….Find Winter Park. Stay at Park Plaza.



Christina Perraki said...

Looks like a beautiful small town!!!

An Urban Cottage said...

Very nice! I've never seen any FL that looks like that.

VirginiaC said...

I thoroughly enjoyed this post, wandering around with you on this visit.
That's surely a different side of Orlando that I never knew.
That hotel reminded me of the 60's era, and I loved it.
Smashing photos..thanks.

Lady of the Woods said...

sounds like you had a wonderful time. Thanks for the pictures, inspires me a bit....I love all those things you mentioned, maybe its time I go for a little road trip...cobblestones, little boutiques, specialty foods, old wood, old trees, good foods..and oh, yes Key West is totally haunted to this day. :D

Linda@ Lime in the Coconut said...

There are some towns in the middle of the Lakes area like this one....But I just loved this one! Rollins College is in this town...and some BEEYOUTIfUL homes! Take a peek, y'all!

Ivy Lane said...


anita said...

Winter park is right down the road from me, and very similar to the town where I live in mount Dora. its my old stomping grounds as a teenager, I've boarded a train from that depot, met my first husband in winterpark, and know lots of nooks and crannies you would love. never stayed at hotel, but eaten at sidewalk cafe many times! the college keeps it hip and youthful, and the homes are gorgeous old money under canopies of Spanish moss. there is a lake tour that is fun, and a little known road "genius drive" where peacocks roam in abundance. did you see the polesek museum?

Linda@ Lime in the Coconut said...

No Anita...WISH I could have picked your brain...we were going to do the boat cruise and the museum...but we meandered too much :)

Linda@ Lime in the Coconut said...

Anita...I LOVE Mount Dora as much! Didn't know you lived there!!

africanaussie said...

oh wow - this in Florida? awesome.

rjerdee said...

Winter Park. We love that town, too. And we stopped there one year for an overnight and a stop at a wine shop where we tasted wine and ate small, interesting things while sitting in a private corner in leather chairs. Next day, we packed up and went to....achhhh, do I dare say it?...Disney. My son runs the marathon there every January, an annual pilgrimage for us. :) Last year, we did the Fiesta Family Fun Run, all five of denying it, we had fun!

Life Tastes Good said...

Beautiful! So glad you had a good time and the hotel looks like a keeper!

anita said...

yes, you would think i would have had MANY posts about the "village"..I have worked for years in the downtown area shops, know just about everyone. the hubs has created the downstairs pub in the old rennaissance building. you know it? for some reason my focus is always other than my hometown life..been here for YEAAAAAARRRRS!

Linda@ Lime in the Coconut said...

You need to show us your secret jewel, Anita! C'mon....purty please!!!

missgiven said...

I love tufted sofas.

anita said...

linda, you'd do a much better job!
(always do:)
sometimes its seeing a place thru new eyes that makes it so good!

Kathi said...

Now you've done it. Tears. Mine. I am SO homesick! I miss Winter Park. I miss Sanford. I miss downtown Orlando. I miss Lake Eola. I miss the Winter Park farmer's market. I miss the Winter Park Art Festival!

I want to go HOME!

Melissa said...

Sigh. Gorgeous. The husband's family is trying to plan a huge trip to Disney in FL next August. I'd rather rip out my toe nails. I think I will send them to Disney and then I will go here instead.

Jeffery @ Off campus student housing in Manhattan said...

An amazing vacation destination with lovely neighborhoods, amazing parks and best shopping outlets...

Anonymous said...

OMG, you just brought back so many memories! I live in Colorado now, but I grew up in Orlando and attended Rollins College in Winter Park. Park Avenue was my old stomping grounds! It's nice to see it looking so beautiful. Thanks for the memories!

Kelly said...

ahh.. I used to live in Orlando and loved Winter Park. Prior to reading the text you wrote, I was like that looks like Winter Park & when I saw the "lynman" street sign and Pottery barn I knew I was right. It's best to visit on a Saturday when they have their farmers market...miss those days, thank you for the memories

Lisa Porter said...

MR. was just there on business. Loved the cobblestone streets and town charm. Unfortunately he did NOT stay at your hotel. Next time for sure and maybe I'll come along!


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