When one first thinks of Orlando, Florida naturally thoughts immediately go to the numerous attractions which anchor the tourist industry in the area. Yet, the Orlando area is so much more with planned communities being developed to match the lifestyles of a diverse population. The Orlando-Kissimmee metropolitan area is the third largest in the state and one of the fastest growing locations on the Peninsula. Within a short drive, residents can enjoy the beautiful Atlantic beaches or more peaceful Gulf shores. Those seeking waterfront property have an abundance of choices between the miles of Intracoastal Waterway and nearly 8,000 acres of freshwater lakes. Orlando lies in a semi-tropical zone with just two distinct seasons a year which produces a comfortable average yearly temperature of 77 degrees. The communities surrounding the metropolitan area are accessible by Interstate 4 or using the Florida Turnpike so activities, shopping and businesses are an easy drive from anywhere.
Orlando was first established when farmers from Georgia migrated south in mid-1800s. The community was named Orlando when the US Army established an outpost in 1857. The area grew first to sustain cattle farming to supply beef to Cuba. Cotton was successfully grown until the Civil War and a hurricane in 1871 ended profitability. It was at this time citrus farming was introduced to the area and the industry thrived when the South Florida Railroad was built through Central Florida. Today this very railroad system has been turned into a statewide green belt known as the Rails to Trails Conservancy Project. Since Orlando is situated in the rolling hills, the area has some of the higher elevations for biking, hiking, and horseback trails in the state. This focus on protection of green property is a major consideration when many of the gated communities are developed which is easily detected in the neighbor layouts. The economy of the Orlando area shifted its focus to tourism beginning in 1936 with the development of Cypress Gardens Adventure Park. In 1965 today’s largest employer, Disney, announced the development of Disneyworld and tourism became the number one industry. Today the area boasts over 100 attractions with themes to satisfy anyone’s passion.
For most permanent residents, the initial draw was the unmatched natural elements of the area. The largest growth in population over the last 100 years has been in the migration older citizens looking for their dream retirement home. The Orlando area has not disappointed offering interested investors properties for sale that range from championship golfing communities, to waterfront properties which offer everything from fishing to boating to air boating and those interested in living closer to the cultural centers enjoy the newly revitalized downtown. Within a short drive, outdoors enthusiasts will enjoy Lake Woodruff National Wildlife Refuge, The Great Florida Birding Trail, the Space Coast Wildlife Refuge and Ocala National Forest. All of these sites are home to a wide variety of wildlife including the manatee, panthers, black bears, alligators, bald eagles and much more.
The Orlando metropolitan area is quickly becoming the desired destination for potential real estate buyers wanting to live in an area with a multitude of activities to maintain a diverse lifestyle in the fourth largest state in the country. Local leaders continue to plan for the future by embracing the beauty and nature of the past thus providing residents with eco-friendly communities that focus on the amenities families seek for the ultimate quality of life.