Winter Garden

It’s funny in the sunshine state how many little towns have “winter” in their name. Today we ventured to Winter Garden. It’s about 20 km north of us and there are several routes you can take to get there. We chose the scenic route and were not disappointed. It’s a quick moving two lanes that travels north off 192. It winds through countryside some wild some tame and passes by dozens of new housing developments. It’s amazing the building going on here. I still clearly remember coming one year and the malls were dead; it was like a deserted island. Not anymore. Things are booming!

Winter Garden is a quaint town with a historic town centre. The cobble streets are packed with refurbished old buildings that house bustling shops and restaurants. We ventured here once last winter when we joined our pickleball friends for a bike ride. The heart of activity is in the Plant Street Market. https://crookedcan.com/plant-st-market/ this totally hip spot is anchored by the Crooked Can Brewery and has shops and eateries with indoor and outdoor seating and bike racks. Dogs are welcome too. (We left Molly at home in the AC as it was 29C yesterday)

We strolled through the market looking for a quick bite and settled in the butcher who’s special was brisket sandwiches. Rudy fetched us a couple of beers to go with. It’s civilized like that: enjoy a beer with your lunch; no issues. The sandwich was huge and delicious. After our snack we walked over to the farmers market. We were there just before closing at 2 pm. A lot of produce vendors were sold out or cleaning up. There’s a huge variety of wares from fruits (including fresh coconut water right out of the husk) to baked goods (gluten free, keto, vegan …), to jewellery (they had pickleball bling?!?), boiled peanuts and orchids. There’s live entertainment where you can grab a coffee and chill to live music in a shady area. Very cool.

The old buildings in town are neat. There’s an old post office, train station (and even a train); it’s very picturesque and reminds me of Niagara-on-the-Lake. The Main Street (Plant) has a tree lined boulevard. The street is cobbled. There are no trucks allowed (it’s narrow) but golf carts are welcome. Aside: I wondered why a rental home I looked at in the area had a golf cart included!). There’s shops and boutiques and cafes and bakeries … a wonderful place to putter and meander. The Christmas decor was still intact and although it was daytime I could envision the night light display.

We decided that it was the perfect place to bring our friends when they visit next month.

I can’t wait to go back.

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