What used to be acres and acres of orange groves is now a thriving, small-town community where families are moving to experience the best that Central Florida has to offer. Tucked far enough away from the craziness of the theme parks for comfort, but close enough to take advantage of Orlando’s attractions on a whim, Winter Garden combines stunning real estate, a rich history and a community of locals who live life on purpose. It’s no secret that Winter Garden is the new spot for busy professionals and growing families. Here are 8 reasons why you should buy real estate in Winter Garden.
The West Orange Trail is the lifeline of Winter Garden; a 22-mile paved pathway for walkers, runners, and bikers. Starting at Killarney Station in Winter Garden and ending at Rock Springs Road in Apopka, this trail winds through Downtown Winter Garden, through some of the area’s beautiful forested neighborhoods, right by new developments, past the adorable bungalows that have been here forever, around the water, and right by playgrounds and public parks. Many Winter Garden residents cite being close to the trail as a requirement for buying a home in Winter Garden. And while the trail is a favorite way to get going, it’s also an ideal spot to sit still. Bird watchers, photographers, and other nature lovers find the trail to be a calming and quiet place just to be still.
Foodies love Winter Garden. Of course, it has every chain restaurant you’ve ever heard of in Fowler’s Grove, (Bonefish Grill, Chilis, FirstWatch, Firehouse, KFC, Five Guys, Starbucks, Jersey Mikes, Taco Bell, Planet Smoothie, Chick-fil-a, Panera, Chipotle anyone?). But what locals love about Winter Garden is all the little restaurants that are owned by locals, that started as an idea and have flourished, thanks to the support of the community, into community staples. Take a stroll up and down Plant Street in Downtown Winter Garden, and you’ll see why local patio cafes and eateries are such an integral part of Winter Garden’s makeup. Grab a coffee at Axum Coffee, bring the whole team to enjoy pizza at Winter Garden Pizza, have a girl’s night at Moon Cricket Grille or spice things up at Thai Blossom Restaurant. Harry and Larry’s BBQ is a cozy (and by cozy we mean itty bitty) place that is big on BBQ. And Plant Street is just the beginning. Winter Garden is home to hundreds of different restaurants; many run by generation after generation of Winter Garden residents.
Winter Garden is an extremely family-focused community. People move here because it’s a safe place to raise kids, make friends and live life. One of the main reasons families love Winter Garden is not only because the schools are excellent, but because there are so many options when it comes to school. Families send their little kids to Whispering Oak Elementary or Lake Whitney Elementary, and students usually move on to SunRidge for middle and West Orange High for high school. But for those who want other options for their kids, Winter Garden offers alternatives to the public school setting. Innovation Montessori is a quickly expanding public charter school in Winter Garden, and families also love Hope Charter and Legacy High School. For families looking for faith-based private schools, The Foundation Academy is made up of hundreds of Winter Garden families. Some Winter Garden families homeschool, some do virtual school. At the end of the day, Winter Garden gives parents the freedom to choose the best educational setting for their child to set them up for success.
The Winter Garden Farmer’s Market has been named one of the best Farmer’s Market’s in the area, and locals are proud of it. Each Saturday, Downtown Winter Garden transforms into a collection of artists, food vendors, local farmers, and musicians meant to entertain and inspire the members of the community.
The Farmer’s Market is held every Saturday, rain or shine, from 9am to 2pm. It’s a dog friendly event, and many Winter Garden families bring their four legged friends to enjoy the market as well.
Of course, there is the locally grown produce for sale, but the rows and rows of community members selling their artisan jewelry, handcrafted signs and gifts, plants and even pickles on a stick (this one always has a line practically around the block!) make it a unique community experience. Kids splash in the Winter Garden splash pad, locals nibble on bites from the food trucks and support the community by buying local. Shoppers can enjoy live music as they browse, and families end up sprawled out on the big grassy lawn chatting with neighbors and enjoying a gorgeous Winter Garden Saturday morning.
More and more families are moving to Winter Garden, which means more and more new developments are popping up throughout the community. Renowned builders like Ryan Homes and CalAtlantic Homes are putting their mark in new neighborhoods by building high-end homes close to Downtown and close to the trail. Neighborhoods like McAllister Landing in Winter Garden will give residents upscale options when it comes to real estate, offering spacious residences with all of the upgrades, resort-style amenities, and the security of a gated community. Families who score one of these brand new homes will be able to enjoy the quiet of the suburbs with the convenience and excitement of being close to downtown. Homes for sale in neighborhoods like Hickory Hammock and Cypress Reserve range anywhere from $300K-$700K and put residents smack in the middle of everything Winter Garden has to offer.
While the sprawling residences with high-end amenities and all of the possible upgrades in a gated community are appealing to some, it’s the homes with a story that appeals to others. Winter Garden is a city with a past, and many homes for sale in the area are part of that story. Charming homes that sit along the West Orange Trail still boast many of the architectural and design elements popular with the time period in which they were built. Many of these “vintage” homes aren’t part of a development, but sit on large lots tucked away from the main roads. Some of them have been upgraded to meet the needs of the modern family, while some have held onto their original details and personality. Historic homes for sale are part of what makes this old Florida town feel so authentic and welcoming.
If you’re the kind of person who likes to stay in your house all year and not meet new people, Winter Garden may not be the place for you. This is a place where neighbors become friends, where kids grow up together, where you can count on your neighbor to rescue you when you have a flat tire or bring dinner over when you’re sick. Winter Garden builds these relationships by encouraging residents to get out an get to know each other in a variety of community events. From the Farmer’s Market every Saturday to seasonal 5k races, holiday events, and the popular golf cart parade, Winter Garden is a place for people who want to love where they live. It’s a place where members value community, inclusion, and involvement, and look for opportunities to connect with others whenever they can. Car shows, live music events, and weekly food truck roundups give residents plenty of opportunities to get out and be involved in their community.
Part of the draw to Winter Garden is the small town feel. Orlando is known for its theme parks and attracts millions of visitors each year, and everyone wants to come to Central Florida for the excitement, the warm weather, and Mickey Mouse of course. But Winter Garden doesn’t feel the same as Orlando. It’s far enough from the traffic and crowds of the theme parks to feel like an entirely different place. It feels like a little secret that locals don’t always want the tourists to know about. The gorgeous real estate, the locally owned businesses, the beautiful parks and the community events make you feel like you’ve been transported back in time. Back to a time when it was ice cream and splash pads instead of iPhone and Instagram. And if all of those reasons aren’t enough to buy real estate in Winter Garden, consider this:
We think that’s reason enough to move here. Who wouldn’t want to be called a Winter Gardian?
If you’re thinking about buying Winter Garden real estate, you need a realtor who knows the area. Erica Diaz and her team don’t just work in the area; they live here too. They know the ins and outs of this classic Florida town and can help you find the home of your dreams. Contact the Erica Diaz team today to start your own list of reasons to own real estate in Winter Garden.