Explore Orlando on the SunRail
This is a guest post by Sydney, an Apartment Expert for 407apartments, a local search for apartments in Orlando. Sydney has been an Orlando resident since she was 7 years old, and loves sharing her local knowledge with Orlando renters.
Residents choose Altamonte Villa for a wide variety of reasons including well thought out one- and two-story floor plans, pet friendly policies, and convenient resident offerings like online rent payments and a 24/7 service request center. But there is something extra special that really makes Altamonte Villa shine, and that is their location! Tucked away on a quiet road just south of the Altamonte Mall, there is plenty to do nearby with many of Orlando’s favorite retail shops, restaurant options, and parks like Crane’s Roost all within a 2 mile radius.
Exploring the surrounding area will surely keep you entertained, but if you’re looking for adventure, we have a suggestion! Altamonte Villa is less than a half mile from the SunRail’s Altamonte Springs Station, and residents can walk to the station in less than 10 minutes. In case you’re new to the area and haven’t heard the “choo, chooo!” from around town, the SunRail is Central Florida’s commuter rail line that runs along 12 stations across the Central Florida area. If you work in Downtown Orlando and choose to live at Altamonte Villa, the SunRail is a prime commute option if you’re looking to skip traffic on I-4 and don’t want to worry about paying for a city parking pass downtown. It is important to note that the SunRail does not yet run on weekends, so if you’re riding for fun you’ll need to plan your adventure for a weekday when you’re out of the office or the kids are out of school.
How to Ride the SunRail
You can take a round trip to any of the SunRail’s destinations for less than it costs for a sandwich from your favorite sub shop, making the SunRail a fun and cost effective way to get around Orlando! There are also discounts for disabled, student (7-17), and senior (65+) riders, and children 6 and under are free with a paying adult. SunRail pricing options are easy, you’ll have the option between a one-day pass or a Suncard which comes with options for a 7-day, 30-day, or annual plan. All SunRail ticket booths accept credit or debit, and all stations have at least one booth with a cash option. You will have the opportunity to select your destination, number of riders, and discounted ticket options at the ticket booth. Once you have your card in-hand, you’ll just tap the card as you board the SunRail and tap again when you reach your destination and disembark the train.
Where should you visit?
There are two stops along the SunRail’s route that offer plenty to do and see within walking distance. For a fun afternoon filled with Orlando culture, you’ll want to check out the stops at Winter Park or Church Street Station in Downtown Orlando. Keep reading for a few ideas and tips for things to do at these popular SunRail destinations.
Stop F: Winter Park
The SunRail’s Winter Park station is located in the heart of the city along the popular Park Avenue. This gorgeous strip of Winter Park is full of local Orlando brands with more than 140 options including clothing boutiques, specialty stores, and unique cafes and restaurants peppered along the strip. Here are 3 great ideas for exploring the area:
1. Explore Park Ave. Shops and grab some lunch! I could fill an entire afternoon weaving in and out of the shops and restaurants on Park Ave. Window shop at one of the many jewelers along the strip, try on a new outfit at a boutique, and stop by the Reading Room to find a new book. This area has some of the best food in Orlando prepared by local Winter Park businesses, so you’ll definitely want to pick a place to stop for lunch! Check out Yelp for suggestions on the best spots for a taste of Winter Park.
2. Get Artsy! The Park Ave. strip has a couple of different options if you have a love for the arts! We suggest you check out the Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art. The museum hosts a collection of works by Louis Comfort Tiffany including everything from jewelry, to paintings, to lead-glass lamp and window work. You can also take a stroll through the Albin Polasek Museum and Sculpture gardens which houses more than 200 works by Albin Polasek and leads tours of the historic Polasek residence and chapel.
3. Take a Scenic Boat Tour! Since 1938, the Winter Park Scenic Boat Tour has been taking Orlando locals out on Lake Osceola to show them what makes Winter Park so beautiful and unique. The 18-passenger pontoon boats operate 10:00 am to 4:00 pm daily to take riders on an hour-long relaxing cruise through lakes and canals in the Winter Park area with views of extravagant private homes and plenty of Florida wildlife to see.
Stop C: Church Street Station in Downtown Orlando
The Church Street District is located in the heart of Downtown Orlando, and is surrounded by downtown’s skyscrapers and businesses. Church Street Station was Orlando’s original station, dedicated in 1890, and is registered as a historic Orlando landmark. The SunRail will drop you off amongst the hustle and bustle of Downtown Orlando, here are a few suggestions for things to do:
1. Take a Stroll around Lake Eola! You’ll want to wear your walking shoes for this one! Lake Eola is about a 11-minute stroll from Church Street Station. The lake is surrounded by a 0.9 mile sidewalk trail with plenty to see along the route including art sculptures, kids laughing and playing at Lake Eola Park, and quite a few swans who call Lake Eola home. On your way back to Church Street Station, stop in at the Orlando Public Library to cool off in the A/C, let your kids explore their children’s section, and peruse their large collection of books.
2. Find all 8 of Art Orlando’s sculptures! There are 8 permanent contemporary art sculptures around Downtown Orlando. We guarantee that if you find all 8 you will have had a great self-guided tour of all there is to see downtown. Visit Downtown Orlando’s website to see the full lineup with descriptions. Can you find all 8?
3.Take the Downtown Historic Tour! Downtown Orlando hosts a tour of Orlando’s historic landmarks on the first Friday of each month, with tours departing at 9:30 am. The walking tour takes visitors to see a number of historic buildings that remain in the downtown area. Since the tours are only offered once a month, the city also offers a self-guided tour for your mobile phone that can be downloaded online.
It is really a great time to live and explore our culture rich city of Orlando, and especially at a community like Altamonte Villa where you can take advantage of the SunRail!