With so much to do in the Orlando area, it’s quite a feat to work out what to commit to and what to put on the ‘maybe’ list. Celebration was initially one of those ‘if we have time’ places, but actually, it turned out to be one of the first thing we did. We were still tired from the flight, even on day 2, and considering how close Celebration is to Kissimmee, a relaxing morning walking around this gorgeous little town was just the ticket.
For those of you who don’t know, Celebration is a town designed, built and most associated with the Walt Disney Resorts, but it couldn’t be further from the feel and atmosphere of those parks – in fact, it’s the total opposite. With its art deco architecture, spotless, movie-set style streets and small town feel, we completely fell in in love with the place the second we arrived.
The locals walked around the lakes with their dogs and fitness gear on, and you could tell just how small the community was. According to Wikipedia, the total population of Celebration is just over 7000 people, but tourists can fit right in by renting bicycles or by taking a walking tour around the lakeside using the footpaths. Everyone is friendly and says hello or good morning.
As we arrived here in the morning, my biggest suggestion is that you do the same. That way, you can enjoy it at its most quiet, and of course when the climate is at its most calm. By 11am, it was too hot to continue on our walk, and we were in desperate need of air conditioning. Thankfully, there was a Starbucks nearby.
In terms of shopping and dining – you can get your fix here! From cute boutiques and bakeries dedicated to yummy pet treats, to Thai, Mexican and New York pizza joints – allow your indecisive side to emerge from within. But if you just fancy a quick coffee, you’re catered as well.
The most fascinating aspect of Celebration is its ambiguity, in terms of its status as a town, or if it’s just an add-on to the Disney Resorts. But the reality is, people do live, work and play here. The hilariously crazy regulations – such as maintaining a precise garden lawn measurement as a resident of the town just helps it maintain its beauty and its charm. Overall – spending a quiet morning here is an absolute must, no matter how you spend the rest of your holiday. By taking a few hours away from the crowds and noise of Kissimmee, you can start to appreciate the Floridian landscapes for what they are, and truly make the the most of your trip.
By forgetting that Florida is not just about the theme park resorts, you will start to fall in love with the state. By the end of our trip, I’d put the place on our list of possible places to live when I graduate.
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