Cultural gems for museum-goers

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Adventures & tours

Start your morning with a light breakfast on Park Avenue in historic Winter Park. Try the delightful Croissant Gourmet, which features freshly baked French pastries and strong coffee, or the equally nice Palmano's - a coffee shop where locals head for their morning caffeine fix.

Then begin your museum stroll by heading to the north end of the avenue past beautiful Central Park. Stop and smell the roses in the bounteous garden, then head to the Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art.

The Morse features two must-sees: the stunning chapel interior created for the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago, and the recently restored Daffodil Terrace. It's also home to 250 art and architectural objects from Laurelton Hall, the Long Island estate of Louis Comfort Tiffany. Allow at least an hour to tour the museum.

As you stroll back heading south on Park Avenue, make a stop just past Central Park at the Winter Park Historical Museum on West New England Avenue (a block off Park Avenue). Or keep walking to the end of Park Avenue for about 15 minutes, to Rollins College. There, you'll find the Cornell Fine Arts Museum showcasing one of the oldest and most distinguished collections of American and European paintings in Florida. This pretty museum sits right on Lake Virginia, a picturesque spot for relaxing.

Walk another 15 minutes to the nearby Albin Polasek Museum and Sculpture Gardens, another lakeside beauty featuring Polasek's paintings, sculptures and a lovely garden. Located in the artist's one-time home, this museum is a tribute to the artist recognized as one of America's foremost sculptors of the 20th century.

End your Winter Park getaway on the relaxing and fun Scenic Boat Tour, an hour-long cruise on a pontoon boat through the city's chain of lakes. Take in the views of opulent mansions and try spotting birds, alligators and turtles. The tour has been running since 1938 and the senior guides have many great tales to share. Be sure to bring a hat and sunscreen since there's no shade on these boats.

If you've got time, drive to Orlando's Loch Haven Park, where the Mennello Museum of American Art has a fantastic collection of American folk art and the Orlando Museum of Art features contemporary American art. It's an easy stroll between the two.