When most people think of Central Florida, they immediately envision the perfect vacation spot. Numerous beaches are just a short drive away, and so is the excitement of Orlando’s famous theme parks. Fewer people realize that this also can be an incredible place to live.
Oviedo Florida, in particular, is garnering all sorts of well-deserved praise from nationally recognized publications and the people who call it home. There are many reasons for this, including the friendly neighbors, economic opportunities, natural beauty and the chance to raise kids in a place where children and teens tend to thrive.
It isn’t easy to define all of the reasons why Oviedo is the best place to live in Central Florida, but here are five that are high on the list. Any one of them might be a sufficient encouragement to call Oviedo home. When all of them are combined, it becomes difficult to think of a reason to not consider relocating to this charming spot in Central Florida.
Oviedo Florida is a great place to raise kids, and the secret is out. One of the main reasons why children and teens thrive in the region is the outstanding schools. They are in the well-respected Seminole County school district.
In 2018, Niche.com declared Seminole County the third best school district in the state. Only St. Johns and Sarasota County School District ranked higher in the listing of all 67 statewide districts. The Niche.com findings gave Seminole an A+ in diversity, an A in academics, an A in college readiness and an A- in administration. The district also was awarded a B+ for health and safety, a B for teachers and a B- for resources and facilities.
Newsweek also has heaped praise on the city’s schools. In 2013, the publication found that 90 percent of the district’s graduates were college ready. Back in 2003, Newsweek also stated that the district boasted five high schools that were among the top four percent in the country.
Elementary and middle school students further have the benefit of being able to choose to attend charter or magnet schools instead of the public school which they are zoned to attend. Similarly, high school students have the option of applying to specialized programs and magnet schools.
The image to the right shows the grades for each public school in Seminole County. The schools with a red outline are the ones in Oviedo, FL.
Some people claim that living in Florida is like being able to enjoy summertime all year long. The climate, combined with the region’s stunning natural beauty, makes the region the ideal spot to enjoy outdoor recreation.
Oviedo and Seminole County make this even easier by maintaining a wealth of parks and trails. The city manages a variety of public facilities that are aimed at keeping residents active and making it possible to enjoy outdoor spaces. At the gym and aquatic facility, families take advantage of a fully equipped fitness room, basketball courts, an Olympic-sized swimming pool and an indoor rock climbing wall. The splash zone and playground promise hours of fun for youngsters.
Other city facilities include a sports complex with several fields and a playground. The various city parks further feature playgrounds, sports fields and courts and lakes stocked with fish.
Residents also make the most of the region’s many trails. Bear Creek Nature Trail may be in the midst of suburban development, but it nonetheless provides an easy escape to the wilderness. Big Tree Park is the place to go if you want to stand in awe of towering cypress trees. The Econlockhatchee Sandhills Conservation Area features a beautiful, three-mile hike while Flagler Trail South has a pathway that explores an historic railroad route.
Little Big Econ State Forest is a local treasure, including trails for hikers, cyclists and horseback riders. People who want to paddle the waters or fish in the streams are always welcome, and there are many attractive campsites.
The Black Hammock Wilderness Area is another well-loved natural preserve. It offers a wonderful trail through dense native vegetation that is a joy for the whole family. The Lake Jesup East Tract is another popular trail choice. At just two miles in length, the whole family can easily appreciate this wilderness trek.
Another favorite outdoor recreation spot in the area is managed by Seminole County. The Econ River Wilderness Area features a three-mile trail that rambles through a variety of landscapes. Visitors can expect to see all sorts of wildlife. Cycling, horseback riding and fishing also are popular here.
3. The Community
Oviedo Florida boasts an incredibly involved community of friends and neighbors. This up-and-coming city is perfect for growing families that are interested in living in a place where diversity is valued and the economy is strong.
The city currently has an approximate population of 37,545. With the median age of residents being 35, this is a relatively young community. Median household income is $82,402 across the city, and the rate of home ownership is 77.8 percent, which is quite an improvement over the national average of 63.6 percent. Oviedo also is favored by having a fabulous location. Commuters can reach downtown Orlando by car with about a 30-minute drive.
Events in and around Oviedo
One of the things that makes Oviedo such an attractive place to live is the events that enliven the local calendar. The festivals begin in January with the Scottish Highland Games and continue in March with the street festival known as Taste of Oviedo in which the public gets to sample the best of the local restaurants. Other favorite events include Central Florida’s BBQ Blowout, the Winter Springs Festival of the Arts, a craft fair known as Great Day in the Country and a Jazz and Wine Festival. Local families also enjoy Movies in the Park and a selection of holiday events.
- January: Scottish Highland Games
- March: The Taste of Oviedo Festival
- October: Winter Springs Festival of the Arts
- November: Great Day in the Country
- and many more events in and around Oviedo
While many of Oviedo’s residents commute to Orlando for work, there are others who stay closer to home. They have good reason for doing so because the city is known as one that is on the rise economically. Relocate America named the city a Top 100 City to Live In while Family Circle called it one of the best towns for families. Business leaders like that Oviedo is located along Seminole Way, the state’s newest high-tech corridor. As such, industries such as digital media, simulation and medical sciences are thriving here. Oviedo’s leaders are committed to responsible, sustainable growth, which means that many entrepreneurs may settle here with a view to providing much-needed goods and services.
People and publications are increasingly recognizing Oviedo Florida as an excellent place to live thanks to the strength of its community. A WalletHub survey concluded that Oviedo was one of the best places to live in Central Florida based on quality of life, economics and education. The HowMoneyWalks website named Oviedo one of the best places in the nation to raise kids thanks to the quality of its schools, the favorable tax structure, the high incomes, the affordable homes and the attractive climate. Relocate America also called Oviedo one of the best places to live in America.
4. Property Value
One of the things that really makes Oviedo stand out from other similarly sized cities is its healthy housing market. Neighborhoods like Lake Charm, Alafaya Trail/Carrigan Avenue, Emerald Green Circle/E. Mitchell Hammock Road and Old Lockwood Road/Fawn Run have seen steadily rising property values since 2000.
Homes in Oviedo are overwhelmingly single-family dwellings. Nearly 86 percent of homes in the city fit this description with a further 6.6 percent of homes being apartment complexes. Most homes in the region are fairly new. Almost 70 percent of dwellings were constructed between 1970 and 1999. A further 27 percent have been built since the year 2000. Within the city, the majority of the homes have at least three bedrooms with four bedrooms being second.
In the past year, property values in Oviedo have increased about 8.5 percent. Predictions indicate a further rise of 4.3 percent in the coming year. Home ownership in the city is a sound investment over the long term.
Another fantastic reason to live in Oviedo Florida is its unique spot on the map. The city is centrally located and well connected by Florida’s highway system. This makes it easy to get almost anywhere in the state without much difficulty.
Commuters love how easy it is to get to work in Orlando. The 417 can quickly be reached from just about anywhere in Oviedo. Taking this highway makes getting to Orlando a cinch. Oviedo’s spot on the map also is ideal for those who are employed in college education or who are seeking a degree. The University of Central Florida is just a 20-minute drive away.
If you need to get almost anywhere within the state of Florida, then you’ll appreciate the city’s proximity to I-95. From nearly any location in Oviedo, it is a less than 30-minute ride to one of I-95’s on ramps.
Oviedo also occupies an ideal location on the map because of its proximity to amazing recreation. A variety of beaches can be reached within about 30 minutes, and the excitement of Orlando’s theme parks can be discovered in less than a one-hour drive.
Living in Oviedo is like a dream come true for many families. A low crime rate, excellent city facilities and an involved community are just a few reasons why people love to call this Central Florida city home.