In 1917, toward the end of WWI, the greens of Winter Park Country Club’s golf course echoed with baaing and bleating. In response to the wartime meat shortage, golfer cleats had given way to hooves: the course’s links, designed by John Dunn of Scotland just 17 years earlier, became grazing pastures for sheep and goats.
This was just one of many course reinventions during its more than 100 years of history, which has seen Winter Park’s fairways expand from 9 to 27 and shrink back to 9 again. Perhaps the course's greatest claim to fame has been the legendary figures who have graced its narrow, tree-hampered fairways, including players with surnames such as Hogan, Snead, and Sarazen.
Players of all stripes, from greenhorns to green-jacket holders, must deal with difficult design and terrain, as showcased on the course’s signature fourth hole, whose dogleg left and tight out-of-bounds areas lead a troubling path to a green situated behind two large bunkers and a massive oak tree. The biggest challenge, however, may reside on the par 3 seventh hole, whose deceptively simple 165-yard length leads into a hard-to-read green with a shape-shifting flagstick.
Course at a Glance:
Nine-hole, par 35 course
Length of 2,470 yards
Course rating of 31.8
Slope rating of 102 on bermuda grass
See hole details
With its exposed bricks, arched doorways, and dim lighting, The Wine Room on Park Avenue evokes a medieval monastery. That may be why the sleek, Italian-made Enomatic wine dispenser, which controls bottle temperature and prevents oxidation, looks so much like a Star Trek–era gadget within the pleasantly rustic walls. With the push of a button, the metallic nozzles pour out precise 1-ounce sample-size, half-glass, or full-glass portions. To ensure spouts remain untainted from customer to customer, it cleans itself after every pour.
The Enomatic is one reason The Wine Room earned the title of Orlando's best wine bar from Orlando Magazine. The recently remodeled space now boasts additional seating, a new menu, and a new lineup of machines. Though the technology is impressive, the shop backs up their gadgetry with a staff of actual human wine connoisseurs. These friendly staffers help customers navigate the selection of 156 wines, and offer wine classes throughout the year. They can also recommend bottles to pair with The Wine Room's selection of cheeses, flatbreads, and yachts in need of christening.
The staff members of Winter Park Health & Fitness have devoted themselves to a simple mission: creating a welcoming space for members to set and achieve fitness goals. In addition to keeping cardio machines and Nautilus strength-training equipment spick-and-span, they're always available to answer questions and help members work out more effectively. Weekday childcare enables parents to stop in for classes that include indoor cycling, three types of yoga, and Pilates. Trainers can also show members how to use the gym's TRX suspension bands to leverage their body weight for workouts during personal-training sessions, which incorporate strength training and metabolic testing that reveals how many calories clients must burn or consume to successfully body-double for Dolph Lundgren.
Artistry, technique, and creativity dominate the curriculum at The Center for Contemporary Dance. The nonprofit organization is supported by the United Arts of Central Florida and its instructors—many of whom have credentials spanning decades of professional dance—adhere to the National Standards for Dance Education. Mindful of these standards, they stage classical, contemporary and world dance classes for adults, teens, and kids. Their facility features two air-conditioned studios, each outfitted with a sound system, sprung wooden flooring, and mirrored walls so that people can flirt with themselves using their new dance moves. In addition to fostering the future of dance, The Center for Contemporary Dance celebrates movement’s current state by producing a new season of dance performances each year.
Energizing beats fuel each furious workout at F.I.R.M. Fitness Camp as groups move together to shave off pounds and shape stronger bodies. Certified personal trainers start fresh each day with a new workout that employs dumbbells, jump ropes, and the Lebert Equalizer to keep heart rates pumping while building muscle mass. Unlike other boot camps, the trainers motivate through positive reinforcement rather than by yelling at clients or leaving passive-aggressive post-it notes on their fridges. Additionally, each energy-boosting session is held indoors, so students need not worry about sessions being canceled due to rain.
Amid the melodies of nightly karaoke, Devaney's marries hearty pub fare with daily drink specials. Signature cocktails and beer—from breweries including Bell's, Lagunitas, Victory, and Stone—wash back burgers, sandwiches, and wings. A surfeit of sports décor represents various teams battling on the flat-screen TVs, which beam down on tabletops and bar seating filled with patrons cheering as their favorite mascot executes a perfect high-five. The bar further engages crowds with Wednesday-night bingo, Thursday-night trivia, and weekly live bands, who are only sometimes possessed by ventriloquist dummies.