Getaway: Corbett's Glen Nature Park
Getaway: Kennebunkport, Maine
Getaway: Rockport, MA
Getaway: The Glenn Curtiss Museum
The other day in the Orlando International Airport as I was wrapping up my Getaway to Florida, l couldn't help but notice a lot of moms and dads in a zombie-like state of exhaustion, shuffling to their gate, holding onto their kids and their overpriced stuffed Mickey Mouse toys. They just spent a week at Disney World! I know! I've been there and it happens. It's a lot! I found a good diversion! Winter Park!
About 40 miles away from Disney, there's the Orange County city of Winter Park, north of Orlando. This was once considered a very popular winter resort, way before Walt set up shop. Today, the arts and culture-filled city of Winter Park includes Rollins College and the Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of Natural Art. Winter Park is also a nature lover's destination with more than 70 parks! If you plan in advance you could take in family-fun events, festivals and celebrations throughout the year.
My favorite part of the area is Park Avenue, lined with a lot of upscale stores, shops and restaurants. I noticed one kind of place you don't see much here in upstate New York...cigar bars! People enjoying big cigars with a nice glass of wine out on the sidewalk patio. There's something for everyone in a very classy sort of way. Think of it as the Rodeo Drive of Central Florida! Don't worry if you want to stay clear of an expensive lunch. I was craving a good burger and I found it at BurgerFi, 538 S. Park Ave. The burgers are juicy and made from Angus beef. The fries are soooo good!
May I also suggest and highly recommend...for a great dinner, tapas style, Santiago's Bodega in Altimonte Springs, not far from Winter Park. (1185 Spring Centre S Blvd #1080, Altamonte Springs, FL 32714) I discovered this foodie's paradise in Key West a few years ago. Well, they opened up in Central Florida and boy, was I glad! Go for the Beef Short Ribs!!! Reservations are a must! (407) 960-2605
So, if you're heading down to Florida for that family right-of-passage, take a break from Disney and save a day for something nice in Winter Park. I think you'll like it! Happy Travels!
Look back at 23 years worth of Getaway's from Mike O'Brian in this hilarious recap.
As promised... a favorite hotel stay in Palm Springs. Actually less of a hotel and more of a hideaway! I first discovered The Willows on a Getaway Guy shoot about 6 years ago. Originally a millionaire’s private luxury getaway, The Willows is a property of peace and serenity brought to life by skilled craftsmen ,who nearly a century ago, magically transformed a rugged and barren hillside into a oasis of rare beauty! There are only 8 guest rooms and a wonderful pool.
The 3-course gourmet breakfast each morning is a part of your nightly rate. So is their early evening wine gathering which I have had the pleasure to meet so many wonderful people from all over the world!
Some of today's big Hollywood names have spent the night here but more importantly, historical people from yesterday give this Getaway Guy Top Pick its real character. My favorite guest room is The Einstein Room, complete with private stone patio, as both he and his wife were frequent guests. I always feel more intelligent in the morning! The months of March and April command high-season rates. By time mid-May and June come around, rates go down but the heat in Palm Springs can be intense! A quiet stay in a very classy place! I love it! Travel Tip: The Willows makes for a perfect honeymoon stay! www.TheWillowsPalmSprings.com
A Getaway to Palm Springs, California is something I look forward to this time of year! The weather is wonderful! 80 degrees during the day, cool nights. Hiking in Palm Canyon just outside of town is one of my favorite things to do but you have to watch for rattlesnakes. Just keep your eyes open and careful where you walk. They like to soak up the morning sun too! I have yet to see any snakes so far. There are many designated areas to hike in the mountains, some more rugged than others but all outstanding ways to spend a few early-morning hours. I recommend setting out at 8am to beat the hot sun and big crowds. March and April are great times for this Getaway but you will pay premium rates for air and hotel. Escaping upstate, New York for a week during winter is worth it for me. Coming up...Some of my favorite hot spots to spend the night and my go to Mexican restaurant, when in Palm Springs! Happy Travels!