Saturday mornings in historic downtown Winter Garden offer visitors the opportunity to exercise, explore and relax. The West Orange Trail runs right through the middle of downtown on the center median of Plant Street. The West Orange Trail is 19 miles long starting in Oakland at the County Line station going up to Apopka. The Winter Garden station is at mile 5. On Saturday mornings bikers and runners go zipping by safely in the center median.
If you don’t have a bike but would like to explore the West Orange Trail downtown Winter Garden has two bike shops and a running shop. Winter Garden Wheel Works offers bike rental at reasonable rates (starting at $6 per hour with a two hour minimum). You can rent a bike for each member of your family and if needed a trailer to pull your younger child. They even offer rentals of tagalong bikes, a half-size kid’s bike that attaches to an adult bike. Tri & Run of West Orange offers triathlon and marathon training programs and running shoes and clothing. Both are located right on Plant Street in the heart of downtown Winter Garden.
Winter Garden also hosts a Farmer’s Market on Saturday mornings. It is located at the corner of Plant Street and Lakeview Avenue. You can find fresh produce and plants and an array of other food and unique items. I shop there each weekend and often save almost 50% on my produce purchase over buying in a grocery store. I have always found the items to be fresh, colorful and tasty. Bring your own shopping bags and green bags for things like small potatoes or tomatoes. These are priced by weight and it helps to have green bags for each item.
Once you have gotten your exercise and produce shopping out of the way, it is time to relax. There are many stores to explore and restaurants offering good food and outdoor dining. Sweet Traditions is a French bakery and cafe offering a long display case of pastries and yummy breakfast and lunch items. You will often see groups clad in biking gear dining outside the cafe.
Heading off Plant Street down Main Street be sure to check out Daisy’s Children’s Boutique. Daisy offers many toys crafted from environmentally friendly and organic materials. Along the way you will also discover Winter Garden Fencing Academy, Garden Music School and Winter Garden Feed & Seed. Winter Garden Feed & Seed offers items to feed and care for horses and livestock. They also have great deals on items for smaller family friends like dogs. If you have not been in a feed store, definitely stop in and check it out. They often have small animals like goats and chicks for sale and they have their huge pet pig in the back.
Following Main Street will also take you to Boyd Street and the Central Florida Railroad Museum. The Railroad Museum is free and offers a fine collection of Florida railroadiana. It is operated by the Winter Garden Heritage Foundation and they also operate the Heritage Museum, History Center and The Garden Theater. All of these wonderful resources are located right in downtown Winter Garden. Be sure to click through the Hertiage Foundation link for information on locations and hours.
Kristy has one son and since his birth she’s been researching to find healthier ways to do things and live a life of less impact. In a city that is less than “crunchy” it has been an adventure and she hopes to share some of what she’s learned both here and at her store Wee Willie Winks where she offers cloth diapers and other earth/child friendly parenting solutions. She also hosts Cloth Diaper News.