Winter Park, with its cobblestone streets, mansions and wonderful farmer’s market, is a day out not to be missed. Our friend and property manager Laurie used to buy beautiful caterpillars there for her son when he was little, then raise and release them as butterflies in the yard. Winter Park has yearly Film, Arts and Jazz Festivals. Make sure to take a boat tour through a chain of lakes and get away from the big names with Winter Park’s boutique shopping, bars and restaurants. Check out the 4 Rivers for BBQ. Winter Park is NorthEast of Orlando City, a 40 minute drive from Solterra Resort.
A 45 minute drive south of Solterra, is Bok Tower Gardens. The Tower itself sits atop Iron Mountain, at 298 feet (91 m) one of the highest points in peninsular Florida. Walk the Pine Ridge Trail through longleaf pine forest habitat that once covered millions of acres of the Southeastern United States. Look out for the gopher tortoise, landlord of the forest, who protects 350 different animal species living in its burrow. Near Bok tower is Spook Hill, where you put your car in neutral and it goes uphill. Don’t believe us? Check it out on youtube.
Green Meadows Farm is a really sweet petting farm just 20 minutes from Solterra Resort. Learn all about pigs, cows, goats, sheep, chickens, turkeys, ducks, geese, donkeys, Elmer the Asian water buffalo and more! You can milk a cow and ride a train, tractor or a pony. You can take your own lunch to eat in the picnic areas or buy snacks at the General Store. There are plenty of seasonal events, so check out the farm’s website before you go. If you want a more upscale animal adventure, Safari Wilderness is 30 minutes west of Solterra.
Tarpon Springs Florida, home of the historic Sponge Docks near Tampa is a lovely family day trip, 90 minutesfrom Solterra Resort. This Greek community is famous for its sponges and some of the best Greek restaurants, markets, and bakeries outside Athens, Greece. Stroll around the Greek village, visit the Aquarium, take a sightseeing cruise, fishing trip, or even go out sponge diving. It can be quite touristy, but is not overbearing and we defy you to come away without a sponge or some of the great wines, cheese, handmade soaps or lotions. Clearwater Beach is 30 minutes away.
The first time we went to Solterra, we enjoyed the house so much that we forgot to walk to the clubhouse for three days. What a mistake! With tennis courts and fantastic gym, huge resort pool with slide, cabanas, volleyball and football, there is so much to do and it is a great place to spend the day. There is even a log fire for those cooler winter months. With your own private pool and games room to enjoy, you will be tempted to never leave the house. Don’t make the same mistake we did!