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Seminole County is divided into the following cities and neighborhoods:
- Lake Mary
- Longwood/Wekiva Springs
- Altamonte Springs
- Winter Springs
About Seminole County, FL
In stark contrast to the glitz and pizzazz of Orlando’s trademark theme parks and entertainment, complexes, Seminole County’s attractions are geared more for the outdoor athlete weekend warrior or family outing. The county boasts over two dozen state and local parks (such as Wekiva Springs in Longwood), many of which sever as a perfect backdrop for festivals, sporting events and recreational retreats.
From swimming and softball to soccer, rugby and golf, individuals and organizations have discovered the outstanding facilities the county has to offer. Merrill Park in Altamonte Springs was the last stop in which the U.S Olympic Softball Team trained prior to heading for the 2004 Athens Games. The 15,000 sq. ft. Seminole County Sports Training Center at Sylvan Lake Park is a training site for the U.S. Olympic Soccer Team. In addition, the Seminole County Softball Complex has played host to several national, regional and state tournaments. And annually in November, the Golden Age Games offers a week of competitive sports for seniors over 50. Spectators will enjoy hearing the crack of a wood bat at the new Florida Collegiate Summer League games, featuring future college stars who have eschewed the traditional aluminum bats used in college. Seminole County’s entries into the league are the River Rats, who play their games at Sanford Memorial Stadium. For info visit: www.floridaleague.com
The Dale Aquatic Center, located in Sanford, is a $1.2 million swimming complex which opened in 2000. The Olympic size pool has eight 50 meter lanes and has hosted not only high school championships but the 2001 Sunshine State Games. The renown Seminole Aquatics Swim Team trains here and the American Red Cross offers swim lessons.
Wekiva Springs State Park is a 6,4000-acre preserve that was once inhabited by the Seminole and Timacuan Indian Tribes, but today serves as a popular weekend retreat for biking, hiking, picnicking, canoeing and camping. The park has over 13 miles of hiking trails, much of which lie north of the springs, running parallel to Rock Springs Run. The Wekiva River itself offers 14 miles of pristine canoeing excursions through hanging cypress trees and live oak, giving visitors a glimpse of undisturbed wilderness, where one may see great heron, osprey, bald eagles and river otters. Keep an eye peeled for the occasional gator!
Hikers and bikers will enjoy traversing the Cross-Seminole Multi-use Trail, which run parallel to SR amidst the hammocks in Winter Springs, eventually continuing through the Winter Springs Town Center, over the Greenway through Oviedo and along S.R. 426 down into Orlando. Those in Altamonte Springs can traverse the Seminole Wekiva Trail, which now connects to the recently dedicated 3.6 miles Rinehart Crossing.
Seminole’s parks offer everything from softball, volleyball, tennis, canoeing, biking and basketball. Each of the city recreation departments, as well as the Seminole YMCA, have a wealth of team sports for all ages, many in a picturesque backdrop of cypress, oak and pines, lush hammocks, crystal clear springs and meandering rivers. Boaters can meander along the St. Johns waterway, the state’s longest navigable fresh waterway, totaling 342 miles. From Lake Monroe down to alligator-filled Lake Jessup, eastward to Lake Harney, one can fish for largemouth bass, catfish, bluefill and the challenging shellcraker. Water skiers will love testing their skills on one of 2,000 freshwater lakes, while families picnic under pavilions at the shore, enjoying the variety of water fowl gliding effortlessly overhear.
Two of the county’s largest parks are 315-acre Soldier’s Creek on SR 419, and Sylvan Lake Park, a 126-acre recreational paradise just east of the Wekiva River, where visitors cab watch a game of soccer or softball, play a hearty game of tennis or racquetball or simply work up an appetite for an outdoor picnic or barbecue exploring the boardwalk or jogging trails.
As you can see, life in Seminole County is quite different from what one would expect about life in Orlando. It is much slower and much more connected to nature. If you enjoy the outdoors and want to stay away from crowded roads and traffic (although Altamonte Springs SR 436 does get quite busy at times), this is the county you should keep an eye on during your home search. Keep in mind though that home prices are generally a bit higher in Seminole County, especially because of the top rated schools (as compared to the other counties in the Orlando Greater Area). Seminole High School has been nationally recognized.