Winter Park, Florida, located just northeast of Orlando, combines small town appeal with close proximity to big city amenities in Orlando. Home to around 27,850 residents, Winter Park is a popular winter resort destination, boasting brick-paved streets, historic Victorian-style homes and plenty of attractions, shops and restaurants.
Shopping and Dining
Winter Park offers a diverse collection of independently-owned shops. Popular Park Avenue, located near Central Park, offers more than 100 shops in a pedestrian-friendly, tree-lined zone. These include Doggie Door for dog apparel and gear, the Island Collection housewares shop, Apenberry's high-end garden shop, the Flower Market and Golf Almighty! Just a few blocks west of Park Avenue lies historic Hannibel Square, another Winter Park shopping mecca.
Owners of Winter Park real estate need never go hungry. The area offers a wide variety of eateries, with everything from Brazilian cuisine to burgers to fresh seafood. Local favorites include Luma on Park for innovative cuisine in a sleek, stylish setting; the Ravenous Pig for ribs and sandwiches; and Pannullo's Italian Restaurant.
In addition to the restaurants in Winter Park, neighboring Orlando offers several hundred eateries, something for every taste.
Parks and Recreation
One of the best things about owning Winter Park real estate is the city's nearness to abundant parks, recreational lakes and green spaces. The City of Winter Park operates 26 parks, with facilities that include playgrounds, tennis courts, a community center, softball fields, a golf course and picnic pavilions. Just outside of Winter Park are several state parks and recreational lakes, including Lake Apopka, Wekiwa Springs State Park, Lake Jesup Conservation Area and Hal Scott Regional Preserve and Park.
Winter Park is also home to the Charles Mosner Morse Museum, which houses the world's largest collection of Tiffany glass; the Kraft Azalea Park and the Cornell Fine Arts Museum.
Winter Park real estate varies widely, from mid-century ranch homes and semi-detached condos for less than $200,000 to multi-million dollar estates. The area also boasts a number of developments with new construction as well as restored Victorian and classic Florida-style homes.
The majority of homes in Winter Park are single family dwellings with a smattering of semi-attached condos and apartments. The median home sales price in Winter Park for the fourth quarter of 2012 was $177,500. That figure is 37 percent higher than the same figure for fourth quarter, 2011. However, home prices are still down considerably from the median high of $236,000 in 2008. This median tends to hide the dramatic variance among home prices in the Winter Park area, which range from around $100,000 to several million dollars.
Schools, Health, Transportation
School age children of Winter Park residents attend Orange County Public Schools. The district, which has an enrollment of more than 185,000 students, operates six schools in Winter Park. The city is also home to several private and parochial schools. These include St. Margaret Mary Catholic School; the Geneva School (a Christian school for grades 1-12) and Trinity Preparatory School (a private college prep school for grades 6-12).
For post-secondary education, Winter Park offers Rollins College, a small liberal arts college; Valencia Community College and Crealde School of Art. Nearby Orlando is home to the University of Central Florida, and Oviedo, about 15 miles away, is home to a branch of the Seminole College of Florida.
Winter Park real estate owners have many health care options. In addition to several urgent care centers and many doctors' and dentists' offices, Winter Park is home to Winter Park Memorial Hospital, a 297-bed acute care facility that also offers a birthing unit, neonatal care center, cancer care center and recovery and rehabilitation at its Florida Hospital Orthopedic Institute.
It's not difficult to get around Winter Park. The city offers many pedestrian and bike paths. In addition, Lynx transportation offers bus service between points in Winter Park and between Winter Park and neighboring communities. For travel out of town, I-4 connects the city to Orlando to the south and Sanford and Deltona to the north. For trips out of the region, Orlando International Airport is less than 30 minutes away. The airport, the second largest in Florida, offers non-stop flights to dozens of destinations around the United States and abroad. In 2012, Orlando International Airport handled more than 35 million passengers.
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