Museums of Maitland, Florida

We are blessed with a strong history in the arts and culture. There are several historical museums, as well as a wonderful historic arts colony.

Dommerich EstatesThe Maitland Art Center was founded as an art colony in 1937 by visionary American artist and architect André Smith (1880-1959). This tradition continues at MAC today, with gallery exhibitions, art programming, and a strong curriculum of art instruction in an intimate atmosphere. Visit this historic, aesthetic gem set in the middle of busy Central Florida. Now a National Historic Landmark!

The Art Center is one of the few surviving examples of “Mayan Revival” or fantasy architecture in the Southeast. The Center is recognized by the State of Florida as an historic site and is entered on the National Register of Historic Places. It features motifs drawn from the ancient cultures of Mesoamerica, and includes 23 separate structures linked by beautiful gardens and courtyards. NEWS – The Maitland Art Center is honored to have just been designated a National Historic Landmark!

Maitland Train Depot“Destination Maitland” takes visitors on a journey that traces the history of the South Florida Railroad and its arrival in Maitland. Learn about the Maitland Train Depot, the different uses for the railroad, and the different types of people who used it to arrive and leave from Maitland. Interactive acitivities for kids make this a great stop for school groups and families.

Maitland History Book The Maitland Historical Museum: In the late 1800s Lake Maitland was a small town, which included a few families, citrus crops, and a handful of businesses. “Maitland has come a long way since then but what makes it special is it “continues to carry with it the dreams and visions of hardworking vibrant citizenry while maintaining its picturesque setting amid cypress and lakes.” Leslie Kemp Poole, Images of America: Maitland. 

Antique Telephone SwitchboardThe Telephone Museum (at the Historical Museum): The Telephone Museum’s permanent exhibit takes visitors on a tour of communications technology. Try your hand at the working switching station and then take a look at how phones have changed through history.This exciting collection features the story of the Winter Park Telephone Company founded in Maitland by Carl Galloway in 1910.

Waterhouse Residence Master BedroomThe Waterhouse Residence Museum: This historic house museum reflects the life of a middle class Victorian family during the early days of the city of Maitland. The home was originally built by Maitland resident and carpenter William Waterhouse in 1884. Visit the Waterhouse Residence Museum during the holidays for a special treat as you experience a Victorian Christmas. Just look out for the Waterhouse mouse!

Holidays at the Waterhouse” is open annually from November-January. Visitors to the Waterhouse Residence Museum will find a Victorian Christmas. Trees, decorations, and traditions fill the home representing a combination of both Victorian and typical Floridian Christmas decor. Guests will find an extra treat on their tour as they get to search for the annual visitor, the Waterhouse Mouse!

Carpentry Shop Museum: Built in 1883 as the working shop of carpenter and home builder William H. Waterhouse, the Carpentry Shop Museum now houses a permanent exhibit of nineteenth century and early twentieth century tools. This museum offers some hands-on opportunities as well!


Leu Gardens in Orlando, Florida

FlowersBeautiful Leu Gardens in Orlando is only 15 minutes from Thurston House in Central Florida. It has 50 acres of beautiful land that feature many different types of garden areas – America’s largest camellia collection outside of California, 3 acres of idea gardens, the largest formal rose garden in Florida, a 2 acre tropical stream garden, vegetable andherb gardens, a butterfly garden, succulent garden and palm, bamboo and cycad garden.

The garden hosts weddings almost every day, and has several wonderful locations for these special events. All through the year there are events planned, including night jazz strolls, movie date nights, classes, and plant sales.

The gardens are open every day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., but be sure to check their website for early closings as well as their FREE admissions dates!

Buttermilk Spice Muffins

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2-1/2 cup flour
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk

Topping – 1/2 cup sugar, 1 cupchopped nuts, 1/2 tsp both cinnamon and nutmeg

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Blend sugar and butter; add eggs and mix well.

Mix dry ingredients together and add this and the buttermilk to the egg mixture.

Mix on low until smooth.

Mix topping items.

Fill non-stick muffin pan cups 3/4 full, and sprinkle topping evenly over tops.

Bake 20-25 minutes.

NOTE – My exercise trainer says these taste just like Snickerdoodles!

Recipe: Applesauce Muffins

  • 1/2 C butter
  • 1 C sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 C applesauce
  • 1-1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 1/2 tsp cloves
  • 2 C flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 C chopped nuts (optional)

Preheat over to 350 degrees.

Cream butter and sugar; add egg and mix well.

Stir in applesauce and spices.

In small bowl mix dry ingredients.

Add to wet mixture just until mixed. Stir in nuts.

Bake in a non’stick muffin pan for 8-10 minutes.

Recipe: Beautiful Blueberry Coffee Cake

Blueberry Coffeecake


  • blueberry cake mix
  • 2 tbs cinnamon
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 tbs brown sugar
  • 1 cup chopped nuts
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 1/4 cup sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees; spray bundt or tube pan with Pam.

Filling mix: Combine 2 tablespoons of the cake mix with the brown sugar, cinnamon and nuts; set aside.

Place remaining items into a large bowl and mix for approx 3 minutes.

Pour 1/2 the batter into the pan.

Sprinkle the filling mix evenly over batter.

Pour the rest of the batter over the top.

Bake for 50-55 minutes, or until done.

Let cool 10 minutes then remove from pan.

Sprinkle confectionary sugar lightly over slices to serve.

NOTE – You can use any flavor cake mix you want, obviously changing the name to what that flavor is…enjoy!