Considering living in Oviedo? Nestled between University of Central Florida’s busy and beautiful campus and the natural splendor of Lake Jesup, alongside undeveloped swaths of Seminole County, it’s a family-friendly paradise. But don’t just take our word for it. Niche ranked this city third on its 2016 roster of Best Suburbs to Raise a Family in the Orlando Metro. Named for a sister city in Spain as an homage to the state’s historic roots, Oviedo’s early industry included celery and citrus farming. These days, however, rapid home and retail development and A-rated public schools make living in Oviedo solidly appealing to buyers.
Although there are many older and even historic homes in Oviedo, new construction is exploding. Signs touting town homes and single-family home subdivisions priced from the $200,000s and up are cropping up everywhere. The median home value here in 2015 was $245,872, according to City Data. Retail is also on the rise, from the downtown development of Oviedo on the Park and well beyond its borders. Businesses and restaurants are eager to serve Oviedo’s growing community.
You can find Oviedo’s famous feral chickens wandering the small historic downtown area scratching and crowing and bestowing the area with a bit of small-town charm. They’re so ubiquitous that the Oviedo-based Citizens Bank of Florida even saw fit to tell customers about their history on its website.
Residents mostly enjoy the country-living aura, but it’s offset neatly by a growing roster of locally lauded eateries including Sushi Pop, De Azucar Bakery and the tiny-but-terrific Taiwanese outpost of Taipei 101. Oviedo is more international than most would imagine. Proximity to University of Central Florida brings a host of students and faculty from all over the world, and with them comes a wide range of foodie culture.
Photo: Gary Leavens/Flickr
Residents need not stray far for retail therapy — shopping abounds both in town and nearby. Oviedo’s mall is anchored by stores, including Sears and Dillard’s, and boasts a 22-screen Regal Theater. Nearby Waterford Lakes Town Center is a massive complex of big-box retailers, recognizable restaurants and smaller, indie offerings.
Oviedo’s community ties are strong. The city has a monthly farmers market and annual events including a Marshmallow Drop at Easter, an Independence Day Celebration, family-friendly outdoor movies at Center Lake Park. In addition, a town favorite is Santa’s visit, wherein Santa (with a little help and hoopla from the Oviedo Fire Department) visits many of the city’s subdivisions by fire truck, tossing peppermints and seasonal greetings as he goes.
For folks living in Oviedo, getting outside is similarly simple, whether fishing on the wide stretch of Lake Jesup or enjoying a sunset pontoon cruise out of Black Hammock Adventures. You can even just pop in for a lakeside drink at its Lazy Gator Bar. A host of nearby trails with water access makes Oviedo an ideal choice for the active resident. The paved, 23-mile Cross Seminole Trail wends its way through Oviedo to the delight of cyclists, runners and walkers, while protected woodland regions such as the Econ River Wilderness Area await exploration.
Besides the Lynx bus service, there isn’t much in terms of public transportation around these parts, and the average commute time is under 30 minutes. Oviedo residents who work downtown enjoy a ride that’s often free of I-4 traffic.
With a subtropical climate, Oviedo is a two-season city for the most part. Winter, a loose term for Central Floridians, runs from roughly November to March and offers cooler, drier conditions. June brings with it the rainy season — also known as hurricane season, though its inland location makes these storms less of a threat. Temperatures are high, as is humidity, and rain falls almost daily.
If you’re thinking about making the transition to this small town, check out Owners.com for the resources you need for the moving journey.
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