COMMUNITY PROFILES / SEMINOLE COUNTY

County Offices
1101 East First Street
Sanford 407-665-0311
www.seminolecountyfl.gov

Chamber of Commerce
1055 AAA Drive, Suite153
Heathrow 407-333-4748
www.seminolebusiness.org

Often recognized for its status as a desirable bedroom community for Orlando, Seminole County has been experiencing rapid growth of residential and business developments. The county is home to a collection of cities, townships, bedroom communities, and unincorporated residential villages that offer a diversity of housing, lifestyles, and environments. The county seat of Sanford is the oldest of the cities, founded in 1870 on the Intracoastal Waterway on the southern border of Lake Monroe. At the same time, the county is home to some of the finest enclaves of luxury homes in Central Florida. Examples are Markham Woods, Sweetwater Club, Sweetwater Oaks, Sabal Point, Wekiva, Timachuan, and Wembley.

Cities and towns are surrounded by pristine landscapes where alligators sun themselves on the shore of lazy riverbanks, or snowy egrets punctuate the cypress swamps. Deep in the cooling hammock of Big Tree Park lies a 138-feet tall bald cypress more than 3,500 years old that is respectfully called “Senator.” Waterways are abundant, with more than 2,000 rivers or spring-fed lakes meandering through the region. In fact, the county borders are defined on three sides by the rolling Wekiva River, St. John’s River, Lake Monroe, and Lake Harney.

Services
Often referred to as Orlando’s bedroom community, Seminole County is experiencing rapid growth of residential and business developments. The county’s traditional agricultural activity still plays an important role in the local economy, although retail, construction activity combines with a growing number of company headquarters and hi-tech companies. The Seminole County school system has been rated among the top 100 throughout the nation, and students consistently perform above the national averages on SAT tests. Vocational and technical training combines with the Seminole Community College to ensure abundant opportunities for affordable higher education close to home. The college serves more than 30,000 full and part-time students on two campuses and an instructional center, but it also offers courses in area businesses, high schools, and numerous outreach centers throughout the county. In addition to a campus for Webster University in Altamonte Springs, students can choose from many respected colleges and universities throughout the metro area.

An entire network of state-of-the-art healthcare resources is underlined by three leading institutions: Central Florida Regional Hospital, Orlando Regional South Seminole Hospital, and Florida Hospital-Altamonte. Located on the shores of scenic Lake Monroe in Sanford, Central Florida Regional Hospital is 226-bed, acute-care facility that has been providing quality care to the local and surrounding community since 1982. Serving a vast region that includes sections of Orange, Lake, and Volusia counties, Florida Hospital Altamonte is the largest and most comprehensive hospital in Seminole County. Orlando Regional South Seminole Hospital offers a complete array of services and specialties associated with the Orlando Regional Healthcare System. All of these major institutions offer a wide range of specialties, from laser and laparoscopic surgery to pain management.

Lifestyle
At the very heart of Central Florida’s development, Seminole County has been frequently recognized and praised for having one of the highest quality of life ratings in the region. Few locales can rival the Seminole County for its blend of majestic natural wonders and sprawling agricultural fields surrounding attractive bedroom communities that boast outstanding schools, services, and amenities. Near Sanford is the Central Florida Zoological Park, a lush habitat for exotic animals covering nearly 110 acres with a forest of palms, tall pines, and stately oaks. Outdoor adventures and panoramic places for relaxation are available at every turn. Boaters, anglers, and water-sport enthusiasts can explore the major rivers and 185 lakes that add natural beauty and recreational opportunities to the region. In many locations along the riverbanks and lakefronts, the environment remains undisturbed and unspoiled. Popular sports include sailing, riding airboats, canoeing, kayaking, water-skiing, or navigating personal watercraft.

Aficionados of the arts will find world-class venues and internationally acclaimed entertainers in nearby Orlando, but they can also enjoy first-rate cultural attractions in local art centers. The Helen Stairs Theatre for the Performing Arts in downtown Sanford delights audiences with a variety of live stage performances. Seminole Community College enriches the entire region with its fine arts theatre, concert hall, and art gallery. These venues create excellent studio space for showcasing student talent as well as artists from Florida and across the nation. In addition to America’s largest flea market under one roof and two historic areas lined with quaint antique rows, Seminole County contrasts the deep discounts of factory outlet stores with the exclusive merchandise in upscale boutiques. Three major malls ensure every possible retail choice. The Mall at Oviedo Crossings offers 1.2 million square feet of retail shops, eateries, and restaurants. Other expansive shopping destinations include Seminole Towne Center and Altamonte Mall.

Lovely residential choices are part of the allure to Seminole County, where newcomers will discover well-crafted homes that often include large, wooded lots and turquoise swimming pools. Many residential villages provide access to prestigious golf courses, country clubs, and other exceptional recreational amenities. Retail activity has quickened to keep pace with the growing population, so most neighborhoods are conveniently close to shopping plazas or malls. The communities throughout the county offer a close-knit atmosphere for family enjoyment, tranquil settings that appeal to retirees, and lively enclaves that attract young professionals. Those who want to sit back with a fishing pole against a backdrop of natural beauty can find a myriad of secret retreats. For the sophistication of urban living, the metropolitan amenities of Orlando are just a short drive from home. Regardless of your lifestyle, Seminole County guarantees an unparalleled quality of life that grows richer with each passing year.

Alaqua Lakes
County Offices
407-665-2500
www.seminolecountyfl.gov

Chamber of Commerce
407-333-4748
www.seminolebusiness.org

Located just across Interstate 4 from the town of Longwood, the prestigious communities of Alaqua and Alaqua Lakes are just two in a cluster of several exclusive developments that make up some of Seminole County’s most prized property. The homes around Markham Woods Road are considered by many to be the shining jewels in the crown of Central Florida real estate. The north/south route between Longwood and Lake Mary also offers first-rate communities like Hawkscrest, Heathrow Woods, and Markham Meadows. The golf communities of Alaqua and Alaqua Lakes feature magnificent homes that sometimes top the million-dollar mark in value. The Legacy Golf Club at Alaqua Lakes is considered by golf-course architect Tom Fazio to be among his most outstanding achievements. Manicured greens, lush fairways, thick stands of hardwood forest, and sweeping meadows are all part of the natural beauty of this exceptional area.

Altamonte Springs
City Hall
407-571-8000
www.altamonte.org

Chamber of Commerce
407-333-4748
www.seminolebusiness.org

Now the largest city in the county, Altamonte Springs experienced its first population boom after the construction of the Altamonte Mall in the early ’70s. The attractive, two-story complex was an immediate success, driving growth of residential neighborhoods and supporting industries. The fact that Highway 436 winds through Altamonte Springs has transformed the town into a magnet for national retailers, restaurants, and a diversity of businesses. Along the heavily traveled corridor of Highway 436 are major landmarks like Altamonte Mall and Florida Hospital Altamonte, a full-service, state-of-the-art healthcare resource for the surrounding area. The city library and cultural center are both located on Maitland Avenue. The home selections available in this area vary from modest bungalows shaded by large old trees and mature greenery to luxurious estates on generous acreage. The tremendous growth in Altamonte Springs over recent decades has resulted in a diversity of newer construction that covers a wide spectrum of price ranges, settings, and architectural styles.

Casselberry, Fern Park
City Hall
407-262-7700
www.casselberry.org

Chamber of Commerce
407-333-4748
www.seminolebusiness.org

Once the home of the world’s largest fernery, Casselberry is a civic-minded town where friendly residents share an appreciation for community life and outdoor activity. Lush golf courses and Lake Howell highlight the recreational amenities close to home. Like most areas in Seminole County, the town has experienced substantial growth in recent decades. The small community of Fern Park is a close neighbor of Casselberry, adding a selection of attractive homes along tree-shaded streets and a few local businesses. Just 2.1 square miles in area, Fern Park benefits from the amenities in nearby cities like Casselberry, Maitland, and even Altamonte Springs. Residents of both communities enjoy the convenience of Highway 436 and Highway 17-92. The housing selection in Casselberry ranges from well-kept older homes in the heart of the city to beautiful newer construction in a variety of price ranges and architectural styles. Many homes are designed to take advantage of Central Florida’s abundance of sunshine and temperate weather, with large front porches, skylights, generous use of glass, and patio areas. An active parks and recreation department sponsors well-attended festivities from and Halloween fun to the traditional Easter egg hunt. The department also offers sports programs for residents of all ages.

Chuluota
County Offices
407-665-0311
www.seminolecountyfl.gov

Chamber of Commerce
407-365-6500
www.oviedowintersprings.org

Nestled in eastern Seminole County, the unincorporated community of Chuluota enjoys a location near larger cities like Oviedo and Winter Springs to offer a small-town environment close to first-rate amenities. Treasured for its combination of natural beauty and quality of life, the area is close to lush public parks, acres of nature preserves, bustling shopping centers, and several institutions of higher education. The University of Central Florida, Seminole Community College, Rollins College, and a number of regional employers are all convenient to Chuluota residents. The Greeneway or Route 417 ensures a quick trip to key destinations in Central Florida. Port Canaveral, fine beaches, and famous attractions are less than an hour’s drive. Closer to home, Lake Jesup Park, Lake Mills Park, and Mullet Lake Park provide opportunities for picnicking, fishing, boating, volleyball, swimming, jogging, and camping.

Forest City
County Offices
407-665-0311
www.seminolecountyfl.gov

Chamber of Commerce
407-333-4748
www.seminolebusiness.org

Originally settled by Swedish settlers, the community known as Forest City is an unincorporated development in Seminole County. Newcomers to this area can choose from a growing number of residential developments and subdivisions that offer homes in a wide range of architectural styles and price ranges. Close to home, residents enjoy more than 20 public parks and more than 4,000 acres of nature preserves. Many of these pristine recreational environments are situated along the shoreline of lakes and scenic rivers. The Wekiva River and St. Johns River offer retreats filled with natural sounds, breathtaking views, and native wildlife. Nearby attractions include the Central Florida Zoo, creating a habitat for an array of animals shaded by towering cypress trees, mighty oaks, and swaying palms. Lake Monroe is famous for its annual regattas as well as recreational activities. Regional cultural highlights include the St. Lucia Festival, Lake Mary-Heathrow Festival of the arts, Altamonte Springs Amphitheater, and the Geneva Museum.

Geneva
County Offices
407-665-2500
www.seminolecountyfl.gov

Chamber of Commerce
407-333-4748
www.seminolebusiness.org

Originally known as Harney Cove for its proximity to Lake Harney, the unincorporated community of Geneva has experienced a parade of changes over the years. Milling activity, citrus production, turpentine manufacturing, raising cattle, and commercial fishing have all been viable activities. Before roads were constructed in this area, boat trips down the St. Johns River provided a major transportation route. Newcomers to the Geneva area will appreciate the country atmosphere and panoramic natural beauty of a still-developing area. Attractive homes and a strong community spirit combine with outstanding recreational amenities for a high quality of life. Surrounding Geneva are more than 20 lush parks and 4,000 acres of nature preserves. Sparkling lakes, rolling rivers, abundant wildlife, and the Central Florida Zoo combine with close proximity to cultural attractions and other urban advantages. Other regional highlights include good schools, a county library system, major sporting events, the U.S. Soccer Federation’s National Training Center, and the nation’s largest inland sailing regatta are highlights of life in Geneva.

Goldenrod
Seminole County Offices
407-665-2500
www.seminolecountyfl.gov

Chamber of Commerce
407-677-5980

The unincorporated community of Goldenrod offers a small but growing small town that straddles Orange and Seminole Counties. Placing approximately half of its population in each county, the strategically located Goldenrod is welcoming an extension of the popular Cady Way Trail into the community. Cady Way Trail forms a 3.7-mile greenway that joins the cities of Winter Park and Orlando to encourage biking, rollerblading, jogging, and walking. Anticipating the increased traffic that the trail expansion will bring into the area, the chamber of commerce and local business leaders are preparing to play host to a growing number of visitors. Residents of Golden already enjoy gathering at the Civic Club complex, which will combine with a new community center and museum as a key attraction. The busting city of Winter Park and the bright lights of Orlando are easily accessible to Geneva, expanding the opportunities for expanded shopping, convenient services, and cultural attractions. The Winter Park chain of lakes adds to the excellent array of recreational opportunities.

Heathrow
County Offices
407-665-2500
www.seminolecountyfl.gov

Chamber of Commerce
407-333-4748
www.seminolebusiness.org

Considered one of the more desirable addresses in Seminole County, Heathrow is so closely tied to the City of Lake Mary that the area is often called Lake Mary-Heathrow. Beyond Heathrow’s welcoming gates, newcomers will discover distinctive neighborhoods set against a backdrop of mature oak trees and natural lakes that serve as a habitat for water birds. The home selection covers a wide range of styles and prices, including some magnificent estates that top the million-dollar mark. Many residents enjoy the area’s premier country club facilities with its championship golfing, tennis, and fine dining. An excellent location has enhanced the appeal of this lovely residential haven. Newcomers will find that Heathrow offers easy access to major roadways, some of the area’s finest shopping, and respected schools. First established in 1983 when the American Automobile Association relocated to the area and became a major employer, the community has grown from an intimate enclave into a developing community that is maturing along with the international business center that surrounds it.

Lake Mary
City Hall
407-585-1450
www.lakemaryfl.com

Chamber of Commerce
407-333-4748
www.seminolebusiness.org

The rapid growth in neighboring Heathrow has also driven growth within the Lake Mary area. New businesses as well as new residents have discovered the advantages of this desirable community, including the United States Postal Service. Lake Mary was chosen as the site for a major mail-sorting center. Located just 10 miles north or Orlando, Lake Mary is one of the Seminole County’s most recently incorporated cities. Once known for its citrus groves, the area grew into a bedroom community for Orlando when the Disney empire pushed northward. Today, Lake Mary is characterized as an upscale residential city that boasts its own vibrant employment center, encompassing hundreds of thousands of square feet of office, retail, and industrial space. Residential enclaves are equally abundant, including some lovely country club and golf villages like Timacuan and Wembley Park. With so many lakes dotting the area, water sports are popular with many residents. However, the possibilities for outdoor activity and recreation are virtually endless. Fishing, biking, hiking, camping, tennis, golf, and league sports are just a few of the choices for leisure hours.

Longwood
City Hall
407-260-3440
www.longwoodfl.org

Chamber of Commerce
407-333-4748
www.seminolebusiness.org

One of the county’s oldest communities, Longwood has been influenced by its close proximity to one of the newer cities, Winter Park. Both areas offer new construction that often features spacious, tree-shaded lots and sparkling swimming pools. Like Altamonte Springs, Longwood had its genesis as a winter resort. Some of the city’s legacy has been preserved and restored in the historical district, where treasures like the Bradlee McIntyre House and the Inside-Outside House join a vintage church and hotel along with other structures. Blending the best of the past with a progressive attitude, Longwood has accommodated impressive growth over the past three decades that includes a major hospital campus affiliated with Orlando Regional Healthcare. A number of welcoming country club and golf communities provide a wide range of housing options along quiet, tree-shaded streets. Beautiful homes graced by meticulous landscaping are common sights in handsome developments near the Wekiva Springs State Park like Sweetwater Club, Sweetwater Oaks, and Sabal Point. The state park also ensures a wealth of opportunities for outdoor activity and recreation close to home.

Oviedo
City Hall
407-971-5555
http://cityofoviedo.net

Chamber of Commerce
407-365-6500
www.oviedowintersprings.org

The agricultural roots of the town of Oviedo and the Lake Charm area go back to the time when orange groves covered the land. As late as the 1950s, nearly a million crates of celery and a third of a million crates of citrus were being shipped from Oviedo each year. The selection in the mid 1960s of a site just south of Oviedo for a major institution of higher education — today’s University of Central Florida (UCF) — marked a turning point in growth for the area. The growth and maturation of UCF have enriched the community of Oviedo in terms of economy, education, recreation, and culture. Modern Oviedo offers a pleasing mix of well-kept older homes and vibrant new developments like Seminole Woods. Residents still enjoy the close-knit atmosphere of a small town, utilizing local tennis courts or strolling along the walking trails at Round Lake Park. Well-managed local parks provide sports fields, playgrounds, game areas, picnic pavilions, swimming pools, and tennis or racquetball courts. The close proximity of lakes and rivers ensure abundant opportunities for water-related recreation.

Sanford
City Hall
407-688-5000
www.sanfordfl.gov

Chamber of Commerce
407-322-2212
www.seminolebusiness.org

Serving as the county seat, Sanford boasts an imposing courthouse and city hall near the lakefront, nestled in the heart of the downtown business district. Ideally located on the shores of scenic Lake Monroe, Sanford is a growing waterfront community with a distinctive, hometown atmosphere. Housing choices in Sanford range from modest bungalows shaded by mature trees to handsome new construction in well-planned developments like Lake Forest. Lush parks dot the community and complement the landscaped greenery around the marina. For several decades, the Sanford Naval Air Station contributed to the area’s growth and expansion. However, when a large expanse of the government facility transformed into the Orlando Sanford Airport, the real population explosion began. Sanford became one of the select gateways to the international entertainment mecca of Greater Orlando. Because of its manageable size, the airport can accommodate international visitors with speed and efficiency, drawing steadily increasing traffic from Europe. A growing number of companies now surround the airport’s industrial park, adding to the tax base of the community and driving even more residential growth.

Sweetwater
County Offices
305-485-4528
www.cityofsweetwater.fl.gov

Chamber of Commerce
407-333-4748
www.seminolebusiness.org

The Sweetwater area offers premier residential villages that enjoy an upscale setting in the country-club atmosphere of Great Longwood. Sweetwater Oaks and Sweetwater Club as well as Alacqua and Alacqua Lakes enjoy a serene location near Wekiva Spings State Park. Some of the most prestigious addresses in Central Florida are nestled in this area. Many of these residential communities maintain one-acre zoning requirements to protect the ambiance of spacious luxury. The City of Longwood features more than 40 acres of lush parks that include Candyland. Recent expansions to the park enable residents to access facilities for softball, tennis, and volleyball or enjoy a multi-purpose trail. The Sheridan Aquatic Center offers programs for all ages, while the city sponsors sports leagues for youngsters and adults. Advanced and routine healthcare needs can be met close to home, enhanced by Orlando Regional South Seminole Hospital in Longwood.

Wekiva
County Offices
407-774-6111
http://www.wekiva.net/

Chamber of Commerce
407-333-4748
www.seminolebusiness.org

The residential enclave of Wekiva offers a beautiful, mature neighborhood centered around the velvet fairways of an outstanding golf course. The community enjoys an ideal location near respected public schools including Lake Brantley High School as well as 25 miles of walking trails. Accessing scenic trails from their sweeping back yards, residents are able to walk or bike to the recreational resources in Wekiva Springs State Park. For expanded shopping trips, the Altamonte Mall is just minutes away. Major hospitals and libraries are close to home, and Interstate 4 is convenient for commutes to regional destinations. The pristine springs for which the state park was named is one of the region’s most familiar and popular geologic features. Diverse plant communities protect an abundant population of wildlife to create a panoramic natural environment for swimming, canoeing, camping, fishing, and hiking.

Winter Springs, Tuscawilla
City Hall
407-327-1800
www.winterspringsfl.org

Chamber of Commerce
407-333-4748
www.seminolebusiness.org

Distinguished as one of the county’s newer communities, Winter Springs is also the largest in terms of land area. The community once called the Village of North Orlando has seen phenomenal growth over recent decades, experiencing an 800 percent increase in population from 1970 to 2000. The influx of new businesses, commercial activity, and industrial development is heralding another milestone in the evolution of Winter Springs. The area is quickly transforming from a bedroom community into a highly integrated and well-balanced city. Winter Springs serves as the host municipality for the country club community of Tuscawilla, recognized as one of the most expansive residential villages northeast of Orlando. With approximately 12,000 residents, Tuscawilla represents nearly one-third of the total population of Winter Springs. The community had its genesis in the early 1970s, steadily adding one subdivision after another. More than 20 of these subdivisions now provide an attractive selection of housing in every price range and architectural style, each one managed by its own homeowners’ association.

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