06 October 2014

Celebration | Westward Bound


My last destination on the East Coast was Tampa, Florida. One of my best friend's lives here with her family so it seemed only fitting as my final (and longest) destination spot.
As a City Planner I have spent time researching cities across this great country, big + small, urban + rural, particular + typical; so when I realized that Celebration, Florida was right outside of Tampa I decided that I just had to go!
Celebration is a Disney Designed Community, created to replicate different types of American houses as well as create a walkable community with sidewalks, water features, and small clustered shopping areas. Upon arriving in Celebration I could not overcome my excitement when I saw the little downtown strip. The 'downtown' has brick streets, a lake at the end, little shops to buy trinkets, banks, a movie theater, restaurants, and a surprising number of real estate agencies. We walked around for a little while before stopping at the corner diner for a quick lunch. The food was nothing special, but large portions for the price, and the kiddos got balloon lightsabers (how cool is that?!). After lunch we departed, but not before driving around and checking out a few more homes.

My two-cents:
From the outside Celebration seems like a typical suburb, nothing that would particularly stand out to the laymen. However, the fact that these shopping centers and walkability were worked into the community is particularly unique. While they are not my 'preferred' restaurant quality, stores, or style I do appreciate that Disney took the time to try something new + different, not to mention that the development is basically sold out which shows me that people want to live in communities with easily accessible shopping + activities. So cudos to them!

** I refrained from writing about Tampa, FL as I wrote an in depth blog about it last year.

Previous Posts:
Nelli is Moving
Tybee Island