JOIN US! Day trip to historic winter garden, florida

  • Wednesday, February 15, 2017
  • 8:30am  5:00pm

Join us on our annual motorcoach excursion, as we explore West Orange County and the historic community of Winter Garden. We'll take a walking tour of the downtown historic district with stops at the Edgewater Hotel, Garden Theater, Heritage Museum, and Visitor Center. After a catered lunch, we'll tour at least two historic homes.

•Motor coach departs Casa Feliz at 8:30 am and returns by 5 pm
•Cost is $75 per person, includes snacks and lunch in Winter Garden
All are welcome! You do not have to be a member to attend. 


Winter Garden Field Trip: The Friends of Casa Feliz are proud to host the 2017 Annual Field Trip to historic Winter Garden. Join us as we tour the buildings and meet the people who preserve some of West Orange County’s finest cultural gems. Our morning begins with an 8:30 AM departure from Winter Park and we return at 5:00 PM. While in Winter Garden, we will visit six buildings, tour historic homes, and indulge in a catered Southern-style lunch buffet. Don’t miss out on this good time with fellow history friends! Cost is $75 each, all inclusive. More details will be emailed to you after you rsvp. RSVP by Feb. 10 at or call 407-628-8200. 

Buildings and sites on the tour include the following, plus a few surprises!

WINTER GARDEN HERITAGE MUSEUM. The Winter Garden Heritage Foundation operates as a non-profit organization dedicated to the protection of historic structures and artifacts, and provides educational services to the people of the Central Florida Region. The Heritage Museum occupies a 1918 Atlantic Coast Line train depot in downtown Winter Garden, which highlights include area citrus industry objects and reproductions, Native American artifacts, historical Florida settler memorabilia, and vintage and antique motor vehicles. 

The historic Edgewater Hotel first opened in 1927 and hailed as one of the most technologically advanced hotels of its day. Later, the United States Army utilized the hotel during World War II to house soldiers on their way overseas. At the end of the war, the hotel hosted schoolteachers busy with the demand for better education. On November 8th 2003, 35 years after the hotel had closed its doors; the Edgewater cut the ribbon on a grand reopening of the facility. The restoration of this building to provides guests with as much of the historic atmosphere as possible while also allowing for subtle modern comforts. Historic features include antique sinks and fixtures, the original 1926 Otis elevator, along with many more you can see for yourself. 

Originally built in 1935 as a single-screen cinema, the Garden Theatre was the first cinema built for “talkies,” in Central Florida. The building was constructed in the Mediterranean Revival style, and the interior was modeled after a Spanish courtyard including balconies, a Spanish-tile roof, and a ceiling painted dark blue with golden stars, referred to as an “atmospheric theater.” The theatre closed in 1963. The interior features were removed and the sloped floor was leveled for use as a farm supply store. The theater reopened in 2008 after an enormous preservation effort by the Winter Garden Heritage Foundation. This restored historical landmark brings the charm back to downtown, hosting family programming, live plays, concerts, movies, and more to the residents of and visitors to the city of Winter Garden. 

The Central Florida Railroad Museum, located in the historic Tavares and Gulf Railroad depot, was built in 1913. In 1979 it was purchased by the Central Florida Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society and refurbished for use as a museum. In 2003, the Winter Garden Heritage Foundation partnered with the Central Florida Chapter of the National Railway Society and the City of Winter Garden to make their extensive collections accessible to the public. The museum houses a large collection of dining car china and silverware, a 1938 Fairmont motor car, a velocipede hand car, and the former Clinchfield Railroad caboose, #1073. 

The Winter Garden Heritage Foundation was pleased to open its new Historical Research and Education center in January 2015. The state-of-the-art facility serves as the Visitor Center for historic Downtown Winter Garden. The organization’s new home also provides a research library and houses a large historical collection containing local family, business, school, and church files, photographs, documents, oral interviews, objects, film, and other memorabilia important to the history of eight communities in West Orange County.

The Britt Mansion was built in 1929 by Georgia’s Morgan Britt, a farming and real-estate magnate. He was known as one of the largest lettuce producers in Florida and established several Winter Garden subdivisions. This home is a grand example of Classical Revival architecture. During the 1930’s vegetable fields, managed by the Britt family, lined Plant Street, giving the home the aura of a sophisticated farmhouse. The mansion stayed in the Britt family until 1967. Today, the historic building is now home to the Ort Law Firm.