It’s been a long, hard road, but alas I am back in my home. The heart longs for home when it’s away. I am grateful to have been able to be taken in by family and friends, though nothing compares to home.
Other than a few interruptions, I have always lived in Seminole County. Every day I hear about people wanting to make the move to the Central Florida area. Often they are drawn to areas near the attractions. However, whenever I get the chance I try to steer them in my direction. Here’s why.
Older, more established neighborhoods
Are you as sick as I am of seeing new developments where the homes look exactly the same and are stacked right next to each other? The vast majority of neighborhoods in Seminole County have homes that were built at different times, each home has character. Many neighborhoods have lots of yard space and beautiful grounds. And if you like shady landscapes you’ll enjoy the beautiful Southern oak trees that stand proudly nearly everywhere you turn.
Smaller county = better schools and law enforcement
Seminole County is one of the smallest counties in Florida. In fact, we have 1/3 the population of Orange County, one of our neighbors. I am perfectly ok with this. Bigger is not always better.
Seminole County schools are consistently ranked in the top 10 of Florida’s 69 school districts. Many of the teachers and staff throughout Seminole County have a history here and family ties to the area. The crime rate is lower compared to other neighboring areas. In many articles and other publications Seminole County is listed as a safe place to raise a family.
Personally I am a big fan of the Sheriff’s department. It’ll be a sad day when Don Eslinger is no longer our sheriff and I hope whomever takes his place is able to hold up his legacy. In fact, Sheriff Eslinger just announced his retirement and I personally urge every single resident of Seminole County to keep a close eye on the candidates. Our county’s safety depends on it.
Closer to Nature
To tourists Seminole County is trying to make itself known as “Orlando North”But to residents it will always be the “natural choice.” My favorite places to get back to nature are the St. Johns River, the Wekiva Springs area, and the Black Hammock area of Oviedo.
I especially love spending time at Wekiva Island. I’ve written about it a few times and now that I am home I am ready to bask in the sun, sip a cold beer, and play around with my dog Dodger at the Island. There’s also lots of walking, running, and biking trails. One of the most popular is the Wekiva Trail.
More small businesses
Sure, you can find small business and mom-and-pop operations throughout Central Florida. Maybe it’s because Seminole County is my home, but I feel as though more small businesses thrive here. Some of my favorite small businesses can be found in Downtown Sanford, a place I encourage everyone to visit.
You can also find some great small businesses in Historic Longwood. This small, but beautiful area is blossoming and being reborn thanks to the Longwood SunRail station. One of my favorite small businesses, Hourglass Brewery is just a few minutes from the station.
Over in Casselberry you can enjoy one of my favorite dining experiences anywhere: Colorado Fondue Company. No other place compares! Right next door is the Bowigens Brewery, a small, friendly brewery that has quickly become a local favorite hangout.
Easy access to other areas
Seminole County is home to four SunRail stations making it incredibly easy to access other Central Florida destinations.I take the SunRail to work most every day, but even when I am not commuting I gladly take it to Winter Park’s glorious Park Avenue or to Downtown Orlando. If you’re thinking of trying SunRail be sure to read this easy guide. Of course if you have a hard time parking your car and letting someone else do the driving access to Interstate 4 and Toll Road 417 are easily accessed throughout Seminole County.
If you’re planning of living here or just visiting, take some time to check out my local area. I started ThisFloridaLife because of my love for Florida. That love affair is 30 some odd years in the making and that flame would not be burning as bright were it not for Seminole County.