Day 20 – Visiting Veranda Park in Metro West
Today business brought me over “to the other side”, of town at least that is…I drove down to Metro West, or to be more concrete, to Veranda Park, the project that has become Metro West’s main “attraction”.
Metro West is an attractive area that has unfortunately gotten some negative press. However, I still think it is absolutely beautiful there and you are in a great location: relatively close to I-4, 408, Florida’s turnpike (to Miami or Ocala), Universal Studios and the Mall at Millenia. The lifestyle in the area is more urban, lots of condos and town homes, but also apartments.
I think when first moving to the area, it’s a great place to start your life in Orlando because you get to enjoy everything Orlando has to offer. But believe me, with exception of some dear friends, most everyone I know has gotten bored of that lifestyle after the first year or so. After you have been to the parks many times and gone out on I-Drive, driven to Miami for the weekends or been shopping to the Millenia Mall every weekend, you may feel kind of overwhelmed with the traffic this area receives. It is and will most likely always be right next to a major tourist area. Now, don’t get me wrong, I think that is wonderful because not too long ago I was a tourist too and I myself LOVE traveling. So if you are ok with that Metro West is still a wonderful area to live in. But if you are looking for a more quiet, private lifestyle that is less busy, I would definitely recommend other areas.
But now, more about Veranda Park: Having been to Italy many times, I have to say, even though the complex seems a bit “fake” at first sight, it really does capture some of the Italian Flair you might expect. I love the paved driveways and the colorful buildings. You can see immediately that a lot of attention has been given to little details that add a lot to the charme of this project: lots of columns, archways, extensive use of tile and so much more. Besides the local businesses and shops, there are also nice restaurants and coffee shops where you can spend some relaxing time.
When I first moved to Orlando, I used to live in Metro West and remember riding my bicycle along Hiawassee Road (Metro West is kind of bike friendly). Whe we now see the huge Veranda Park complex was, as in so many other sport in the Central Florida area, a big field of nothing. Just in that time Veranda Park was started. An ambitious project that was supposed to be completed quite soon. But we all know what happened then, the real estate boom came to an end, investors disappeared and prices were simply to high to buy at Veranda Park. From what I have heard they did run out of money and had to face some issues, but are apparently back on track now, only a lot slower. That means it will be another while until Veranda Park can be seen in its full beauty. Please correct me if I’m wrong though! Just wanted to share some of the pictures I took today, on another beautiful sunny autumn day in Central Florida 🙂