Destination Main Streets

College Park (Orlando), Florida

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College Park is a community in Orlando, Florida not far from the city's central business district. Due to it's large stock of mid-century single family homes, the area is also known as Orlando's first suburb. Most of the area was developed between the 1920s and the 1950s, and many of the streets are named for famous universities, hence the name, College Park. Famous people who lived in the area included astronaut John Young and writer Jack Kerouac. As the area continued to grow, a commercial district sprung up along Edgewater Drive. This stretch almost could have looked like a highway today, but community activists worked with the city to bring traffic calming measures to the area to make it more pedestrian-friendly. Today, Edgewater Drive has a large number of shops, restaurants, and other businesses. College Park is sometimes compared to its neighbor Winter Park but with a less upscale more relaxed vibe.

College Park's downtown is generally along Edgewater Drive from about Shady Lane on the south side to Eagle Way on the north side. Where Edgewater Drive intersects with Princeton Street and Smith Street, is the heart of College Park. Both Princeton Street and Smith Street are one-way streets and part of Route 438, and through downtown College Park, Smith Street is west bound and Princeton Street is east bound. As you head further north or south on Edgewater Drive away from the heart of College Park, the density will go down a bit and look a little more like a suburban highway. College Park is about 3 miles northwest of downtown Orlando. The area can be reached by taking the Princeton Street exit off of Interstate 4 and heading west. Other nearby Main Street areas are Winter Park and Ivanhoe Village.

Photo Gallery Tour

We start our visit to College Park on the south end of the area's business district. For this tour, we will head north along Edgewater Drive, which is College Park's Main Street.
We start our visit to College Park on the south end of the area's business district. For this tour, we will head north along Edgewater Drive, which is College Park's Main Street.
This is Infusion Tea, where I stopped in for a break during the photo shoot. It's a small cafe that specializes in loose leaf tea and vegetarian fare.
This is Infusion Tea, where I stopped in for a break during the photo shoot. It's a small cafe that specializes in loose leaf tea and vegetarian fare.
Here is an interior shot of Infusion Tea. As you can see, they have a gift shop as well.
Here is an interior shot of Infusion Tea. As you can see, they have a gift shop as well.
We continue heading north along Edgewater Drive. College Park is considered a hip yet affordable community, catering to young professionals and seniors alike.
We continue heading north along Edgewater Drive. College Park is considered a hip yet affordable community, catering to young professionals and seniors alike.
You can see the painted utility box on the right side of the picture. The neighborhood association has been sprucing up the area and keeping it attractive to new businesses for many years now.
You can see the painted utility box on the right side of the picture. The neighborhood association has been sprucing up the area and keeping it attractive to new businesses for many years now.
Some more businesses along Edgewater Drive. Collge Park is located within the City of Orlando. It's also referred to as Orlando's first suburb. Much of the development in the area started around the 1920s with most of the open space being completely built out by the 1950s.
Some more businesses along Edgewater Drive. Collge Park is located within the City of Orlando. It's also referred to as Orlando's first suburb. Much of the development in the area started around the 1920s with most of the open space being completely built out by the 1950s.
We continue heading north and come across the Church on the Drive. Notice the "on the Drive" part as they point out and celebrate their location on Edgewater Drive.
We continue heading north and come across the Church on the Drive. Notice the "on the Drive" part as they point out and celebrate their location on Edgewater Drive.
Next we come to a typical street scene with folks hanging out around a coffee shop. We're at the intersection of Edgewater Drive and Yale Street.
Next we come to a typical street scene with folks hanging out around a coffee shop. We're at the intersection of Edgewater Drive and Yale Street.
Check out this Publix grocery store. It was built around 1950, and as you can see, it's look hasn't changed much since that time.
Check out this Publix grocery store. It was built around 1950, and as you can see, it's look hasn't changed much since that time.
Typical strip shopping center fare, but at least it's pedestrian-friendly. Years ago, Edgewater Drive was reconfigured from two lanes in each direction to one lane in each direction with a turning lane in the center. On-street parking and bike lanes were also added. This was done in an effort to slow down traffic and make the area safer for pedestrians.
Typical strip shopping center fare, but at least it's pedestrian-friendly. Years ago, Edgewater Drive was reconfigured from two lanes in each direction to one lane in each direction with a turning lane in the center. On-street parking and bike lanes were also added. This was done in an effort to slow down traffic and make the area safer for pedestrians.
The banner on the right is one of many lining Edgewater Drive. It says College Park Main Street, referring to one of the many communities in the area considered an Orlando Main Street.
The banner on the right is one of many lining Edgewater Drive. It says College Park Main Street, referring to one of the many communities in the area considered an Orlando Main Street.
Much of the commercial development in the area occurred in the middle of the twentieth century after the large residential building boom that occurred in the 1940s in Collge Park.
Much of the commercial development in the area occurred in the middle of the twentieth century after the large residential building boom that occurred in the 1940s in Collge Park.
This is the College Park United Methodist Church. Notice they have multiple sanctuaries with different architectural styles. One was built in 1947 and the other in 1966.
This is the College Park United Methodist Church. Notice they have multiple sanctuaries with different architectural styles. One was built in 1947 and the other in 1966.
We come to the intersection of College Park and Princeton Street. Here we see a redeveloped shopping center and midrise apartments in the background. College Park gets its name from the various roads in the area that are named after famous universities.
We come to the intersection of College Park and Princeton Street. Here we see a redeveloped shopping center and midrise apartments in the background. College Park gets its name from the various roads in the area that are named after famous universities.
This is the Princeton at College Park. Increased density in the area can add more foot traffic to support local businesses. There has been some contrevorsy with the added density though, with some saying it takes away from the area's character and also putting more traffic on the streets.
This is the Princeton at College Park. Increased density in the area can add more foot traffic to support local businesses. There has been some contrevorsy with the added density though, with some saying it takes away from the area's character and also putting more traffic on the streets.
Across the street, also on the corner of Edgewater and Princeton is this Italian restaurant with outdoor seating. Here we have another example of the colorfully painted utility boxes.
Across the street, also on the corner of Edgewater and Princeton is this Italian restaurant with outdoor seating. Here we have another example of the colorfully painted utility boxes.
Heading down Princeton Street off the beaten path a little bit, we see Orange Cycle. They have another store front along Edgewater Drive as well. Orange Cycle was established in 1977, another example of the many local businesses with deep roots in the community. On the left, it looks like someone is taking a test drive.
Heading down Princeton Street off the beaten path a little bit, we see Orange Cycle. They have another store front along Edgewater Drive as well. Orange Cycle was established in 1977, another example of the many local businesses with deep roots in the community. On the left, it looks like someone is taking a test drive.
Back on Edgewater Drive, we see some more businesses and even Union offices. Stewart Jewelry was established in 1946. So that's another College Park business with a long history in the area.
Back on Edgewater Drive, we see some more businesses and even Union offices. Stewart Jewelry was established in 1946. So that's another College Park business with a long history in the area.
Up ahead, we see The Wellesley, a seven-story mixed-use development built in the mid 2000s. The building features businesses on the bottom floor with condos above. We'll get a closer look at the street level soon.
Up ahead, we see The Wellesley, a seven-story mixed-use development built in the mid 2000s. The building features businesses on the bottom floor with condos above. We'll get a closer look at the street level soon.
We head west down Smith Street to check out some of the businesses along this stretch, including Credo, an independent coffee house.
We head west down Smith Street to check out some of the businesses along this stretch, including Credo, an independent coffee house.
Here is a view of more businesses along Smith Street. We're looking east back towards Edgewater Drive with The Wellesley rising in the distance.
Here is a view of more businesses along Smith Street. We're looking east back towards Edgewater Drive with The Wellesley rising in the distance.
If you continue further down Smith Street, you'll see some of the houses in the area. On the left is a typical historic house from College Park's early days. In recent years, many of these houses have been torn down to make way for larger, more modern houses like the one on the right.
If you continue further down Smith Street, you'll see some of the houses in the area. On the left is a typical historic house from College Park's early days. In recent years, many of these houses have been torn down to make way for larger, more modern houses like the one on the right.
We head back to Edgewater Drive. At the corner of Smith and Edgewater, we find this shop selling mid-century and Danish modern furniture.
We head back to Edgewater Drive. At the corner of Smith and Edgewater, we find this shop selling mid-century and Danish modern furniture.
Just outside on Edgewater Drive, we get a view of the intersection along with this barber shop.
Just outside on Edgewater Drive, we get a view of the intersection along with this barber shop.
We continue heading north along Edgewater Drive in College Park. Here we see gift shops and clothing stores.
We continue heading north along Edgewater Drive in College Park. Here we see gift shops and clothing stores.
Across the street is The Wellesley, the seven-story building we saw earlier, which takes up a full block. Businesses occupy the ground floor, including restaurants with outdoor seating.
Across the street is The Wellesley, the seven-story building we saw earlier, which takes up a full block. Businesses occupy the ground floor, including restaurants with outdoor seating.
Back to the other side of the street, we get to the corner of Edgewater Drive and Vassar Street.
Back to the other side of the street, we get to the corner of Edgewater Drive and Vassar Street.
Heading north, we look back and see some more eateries across the street. Also, The Wellesley dominates the skyline.
Heading north, we look back and see some more eateries across the street. Also, The Wellesley dominates the skyline.
A row of shops and restaurants along with a nice awning to keep the sun or the rain away when eating outside.
A row of shops and restaurants along with a nice awning to keep the sun or the rain away when eating outside.
As we make it to the corner of Edgewater Drive and Rugby Street, we pull back to see the row of shops and restaurants.
As we make it to the corner of Edgewater Drive and Rugby Street, we pull back to see the row of shops and restaurants.
Here's a small pocket park called Albert Park, famous for its gazebo. The park is the site of many events and political gatherings.
Here's a small pocket park called Albert Park, famous for its gazebo. The park is the site of many events and political gatherings.
This local boutique was established in 1990, so they've been in College Park for awhile.
This local boutique was established in 1990, so they've been in College Park for awhile.
Continuing north, we see a suburban style bank. Remember that Edgewater Drive at one time had more of a highway feel to it before the lanes were reconfigured to make the road more pedestrian-friendly. In many places, on-street parking and bike lanes were added.
Continuing north, we see a suburban style bank. Remember that Edgewater Drive at one time had more of a highway feel to it before the lanes were reconfigured to make the road more pedestrian-friendly. In many places, on-street parking and bike lanes were added.
Here's some funky architecture with bright colors. The sign at the top of the green section says it was established in 1946.
Here's some funky architecture with bright colors. The sign at the top of the green section says it was established in 1946.
Some more boutiques and salons. The mural on the right is part of a street beautification effort and shows scenes from around Orlando.
Some more boutiques and salons. The mural on the right is part of a street beautification effort and shows scenes from around Orlando.
At the corner of Edgewater Drive and Bryn Mawr Street, we see this really cool looking soda fountain. Also notice the street names still maintain that college theme.
At the corner of Edgewater Drive and Bryn Mawr Street, we see this really cool looking soda fountain. Also notice the street names still maintain that college theme.
On the other side of the building with the Soda Fountain is a record store and another mural.
On the other side of the building with the Soda Fountain is a record store and another mural.
Some more restaurants along Edgewater Drive. Also, there's the on-street parking and bike lanes we talked about earlier. It's a little tough to see, but there's a sign for the bike lane.
Some more restaurants along Edgewater Drive. Also, there's the on-street parking and bike lanes we talked about earlier. It's a little tough to see, but there's a sign for the bike lane.
We get to the corner of Edgewater Drive and Winter Park Street. Winter Park is a nearby neighborhood that's more upscale than the down-to-earth College Park.
We get to the corner of Edgewater Drive and Winter Park Street. Winter Park is a nearby neighborhood that's more upscale than the down-to-earth College Park.
Some more businesses along Edgewater Drive in College Park.
Some more businesses along Edgewater Drive in College Park.
As we continue heading north along Edgewater Drive, we come across something interesting, a Cosplay Emporium!
As we continue heading north along Edgewater Drive, we come across something interesting, a Cosplay Emporium!
More businesses along Edgewater Drive. As we continue heading north, not all the businesses are going to lend themselves to window shopping.
More businesses along Edgewater Drive. As we continue heading north, not all the businesses are going to lend themselves to window shopping.
We walk a little ways as the density of the businesses becomes a bit lighter. But it's worth it, as we find a boutique and gift shop.
We walk a little ways as the density of the businesses becomes a bit lighter. But it's worth it, as we find a boutique and gift shop.
Across the street, we find a familiar chain as the area takes on a little bit of a suburban strip feel.
Across the street, we find a familiar chain as the area takes on a little bit of a suburban strip feel.
There's a lower density along this stretch but there are still some local businesses worth checking out.
There's a lower density along this stretch but there are still some local businesses worth checking out.
We get to the intersection of Edgewater Drive and Hazel Street where we find some familiar chains in a pedestrian-friendly shopping center.
We get to the intersection of Edgewater Drive and Hazel Street where we find some familiar chains in a pedestrian-friendly shopping center.
Here is another closeup of those painted utility boxes. Behind it is Gabriel's Sub Shop, which was established in 1958.
Here is another closeup of those painted utility boxes. Behind it is Gabriel's Sub Shop, which was established in 1958.
We come to the northern end of the business district and the end of our tour. This is an Orange County Administration building, but just past it is Edgewater High School. Their mascot is known as the "Fighting Eagles." Hence the name of the road, Eagle Way. Also notice the eagle on the utility box to the left.
We come to the northern end of the business district and the end of our tour. This is an Orange County Administration building, but just past it is Edgewater High School. Their mascot is known as the "Fighting Eagles." Hence the name of the road, Eagle Way. Also notice the eagle on the utility box to the left.

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