I had a work seminar in Tampa earlier this week and opted to fly down early to Central Florida to spend the weekend with a friend of mine in the Cocoa Beach area. On my way to Tampa on Monday, I stopped by Celebration, the master planned community created by Disney. You won't see a lot of people out & about in these photos due to the timing of my brief visit (between 10-11 am) and the unseasonably chilly temperatures (mid 40s/7C). While a master planned community may feel too fake for many on this forum, I have to say Disney did a relatively good job. The community has a central area with shops & restaurants, surrounded by 'denser' apartment buildings, condos, & townhomes, and relatively dense single family homes a little further out. The architecture of the homes was decently varied as well, helping to avoid the horrendous cookie-cutter effect. I particularly appreciated the mature trees (oh how I love Live Oaks) & lush landscaping that created more of an established community feeling. While I couldn't live in a place like this (it's no East Lakeview), I came away feeling Disney did a reasonably admirable job as far as suburban developments go. I'd be particularly pleased to see a rail line created between here, the Disney parks, the Orlando Convention Center area, and downtown Orlando.
Into the residential areas:
Rather than creating constant curb cuts for driveways, alleys are used for accessing garages. You can see even the alleys are perfectly manicured!
So many beautiful live oaks lining the street/sidewalk! Did I mention I LOVE live oaks?
Here you can see a wooded area with wooden trailways for residents to enjoy.
Extending from the downtown shopping area to the golf course is this small waterway. Seemed like a pleasant enough place to walk along.
Getting closer to downtown the residential transitions from single family homes back to buildings like this.
After my brief one hour visit to Celebration, I continued on to Tampa. I managed to snap a photo of the Tampa and St. Petersburg skylines while driving, though they're not particularly good.
I stopped in downtown St. Petersburg for a late lunch and walked around for about an hour. I only snapped a couple photos though.
After making a drive up the coast from St. Petersburg Beach to Clearwater Beach, I headed back to Tampa to check out Ybor City. I'm glad I squeezed in the time to visit this neighborhood as it ended up being my favorite experience during my Florida visit. I loved the old brick buildings & brick streets, as well as the streetcar line. Again, due to the weather being 20+ degrees below normal, streetlife was presumably a bit subdued.