Founded by wealthy Northern industrialists in 1882 as a winter getaway, Winter Park, near Orlando, lies among a cluster of lakes and a large park in the central square. Brick-paved streets wind past stately turn-of-the-last-century homes.  Oaks are festooned with Spanish moss that sways in the breeze. So much to enjoy here!  

Start with the new wing of the Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art displaying many artifacts by Louis Comfort Tiffany.  See lovely jewelry, pottery, paintings, art glass, leaded-glass windows and lamps.  The 1893 chapel interior that Tiffany designed for the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago. 

Many late 19th and early 20th C. paintings, pottery, graphics and decorative art are highlighted.  

Rollins College at the southern end of the tree-lined downtown area, houses the Cornell Fine Arts Museum, with “Madonna and Child Enthroned” by Cosimo Rosselli (1475-80). many American landscapes and portraits and an extensive Bloomsbury collection as well as old maters’ Renaissance work and contemporary photography.

The Alben Polasek Museum and Sculpture Gardens, on the shores of Lake Osceola, is protected by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, one of only 30 such homes and studios.  He created monumental commissions in the US and Europe, and then retired in 1950 and set up this home, studio and sculpture garden within the 3-acre property.   Over 200 of his artifacts are displayed in the gardens, residence and in a small chapel.  He worked in fiberglass, terra cotta, aluminum, bronze, granite and wood.

Enjoy a leisurely stroll through Art Galleries and decorative arts shops, which can be found downtown on Park Avenue.

Take the scenic boat tour, past lakes and canals, with chatty descriptions given of historic estates, museums, and nearby flora and fauna.  Dine downtown at the restaurants with many cuisine choices.  Spend a simply wonderful, uplifting day in this charming "old world" area!

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