Riding Along the Sunrail in Orlando Enjoying Local Treats, Craft Beer and Local Eats

It's nice having SunRail in Orlando. Having lived in other cities that offer trains as a form of local transportation it is great to see Orlando finally doing the same. SunRail is offering free service until May 16th. This would be a great opportunity to see what I could explore along the SunRail Stops.

I thought it would be fun to take the train up to Sanford and do some exploring. They have such a charming downtown filled with restaurants, shops, bars, parks and more. Unfortunately looking at the schedule and the distance to town from the station, this was not going to work.

I looked at the other stations along the route and realized I could go south and do a pub crawl along the way. We would start and end in Winter Park.
Sunrail Station in Winter Park

Bryan and I got to Park Avenue a little early so we could enjoy some treats from Peterbrooke Chocolatier. They have great gelato and it was a tasty way to begin our journey.
Café Mocha Gelato from Peterbrooke Chocolatier in Winter Park
 Café Mocha Gelato
My friend Liz met us at the Winter Park Station. We were planning on taking the 4:06 train to the Orlando Health Station. I was surprised to see so many folks waiting for the train. It turned out that we got to the station a half hour early and all the people there were waiting for the 3:36 train that was running late. Since the train was there we got on. It was standing room only.
It didn't take long to get to our stop. You can see Orlando Brewing from the station. It was a quick walk around the tracks to get to the brewery.
Orlando Brewing Company
We got to Orlando Brewing during happy hour. Since we took an earlier train than expected we had about an hour and a half before the next train we wanted to catch. We enjoyed hanging out and drinking some local beers.
Happy Hour at Orlando Brewing
We made our way back to the station about ten minutes early only to find out that the train was running ten minutes late. The temperature was hot out and we had little shade, so once the train arrived it was nice to feel the AC on high.

There was only a handful of us waiting to get on to go south to the Sand Lake Road Station. The train wasn't as full as our first ride, but we still had to stand. It was not a big deal standing since it doesn't take long to get to the next destination.

I will say I was surprised to see a bathroom on the train. A nice feature to have, especially if you are doing a pub-crawl!
Orlando Health Amtrak Sunrail Station

Sunrail Train

Bathroom on Sunrail Train
The Sand Lake Road Station is nice. There were a lot of parking spots, benches, and bike racks. We made our way over to Orange Avenue to get to The Gnarly Barley. While there is a sidewalk, there was no light to cross Orange Avenue, so we had to be very careful with all the rush hour traffic.
Sand Lake Road Sunrail Station
We had lost ten minutes with the train running late, so we only had about and hour to enjoy ourselves. We wanted to make sure we got on the 7:15 train because the next train wasn't coming till after 9:00. We enjoyed a couple of happy hour beers and some bites before we made our way back to the station.
Craft Beers at The Gnarly Barley

We got to the station a little early and ended up catching the train scheduled before ours. That train was running 35 minutes late. It worked out for us, otherwise, we would've been waiting. Our friend Carlos joined us on this stop.

When we got to the Church Street Station we were greeted by lots of folks waiting to board the train. It made it a bit difficult getting off the train and making our way up to Church Street with so many on the platform.

The weather was starting to cool down and it was a gorgeous evening to enjoy downtown Orlando. We had a couple of hours before we had to catch the last train back to Winter Park. We made our way up Gertrude's Walk to Tap & Grind.
Church Street Station in Downtown Orlando

Church Street in Downtown Orlando

Getrude's Walk in Downtown Orlando

Tap & Grind is one of my favorite local bars. We opted to enjoy our beers inside. They have a great cool vibe going on inside and we wanted to enjoy the AC.

After finishing our beers Liz and I decided to wander a bit downtown while the guys enjoyed their beers and discussion at Tap & Grind. 
Craft Beer at Tap & Grind

We met Bryan back at the Church Street SunRail Station to catch the 9:25 train back to Winter Park. There were quite a few people waiting as well. We soon found out that train was running 45 minutes behind schedule. By now we just wanted to get home. We decided to make our way over to Lake Eola Park and have our daughter come pick us up.

Lake Eola Park is one of my favorite places in Orlando. While it would've been nice to take the train back to Winter Park we did get to enjoy an evening stroll and see some baby swans.
Fountain at Lake Eola

Swans at Lake Eola
Overall we had a great time doing a SunRail pub-crawl. It was disappointing that the last train was so late. I know that this is the first couple of weeks and I hope they are figuring out they need more trains running. It would be especially nice to see some scheduled on the weekend. While the crawl was fun, I'm thinking next time it will be better to take the train to one stop and enjoy hanging out there for a while.