Lake Mary is a suburban area located approximately 18 miles north of Orlando, just off of Interstate 4. This community is best known for its well-planned apartments and residential communities, excellent schools, and prominent businesses.
THINGS TO DO IN LAKE MARY, FL
Lake Mary has a strong sense of community and has been frequently rated by Money magazine as one of the top small towns in Florida in which to live. Lake Mary is perfect for young professionals and families alike who want to live in an area that offers a great mix of outdoor activities, shopping, dining and nightlife while also being part of a tight-knit community.
(Clockwise from top left) Heathrow Country Club, Wine Art Wednesday in Central Park at City Hall, Trailhead Park at the Cross Seminole Trail, St. Patrick's Day Block Party at Colonial Town Park, Seminole Soccer Complex and Dexter's Lake Mary
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GREEN SPACES ABOUND
If you enjoy basking in the Central Florida sunshine by way of park, lake or golf course, then Lake Mary is the perfect location for you! Running and biking enthusiasts enjoy the paved Cross Seminole Trail that runs through the city. Numerous parks also dot the landscape, lending the perfect location for a natural retreat. Liberty Park is a quiet getaway with a large open field, while Central Park at City Hall is where people flock for outdoor concerts and events, such as the weekly farmer's market or Wine Art Wednesdays. Many locals also enjoy activities at nearby Wekiwa Springs State Park, such as hiking, bicycling, canoeing and horseback riding.
Outdoor sports fans will have no shortage of activities or facilities to take advantage of in Lake Mary. This area has the largest collection of top-rated golf courses in Seminole County, including Heathrow, Mayfair, Timacuan and Magnolia Plantation Country Clubs. The Lake Mary Sports Complex offers batting cages, a water park, inline skating, tennis, basketball and much more. Lake Mary also houses the Seminole Soccer Complex, which hosts youth tournaments and serves as a practice facility for the Major League Soccer franchise, Orlando City.
A SENSE OF COMMUNITY
With the abundance of local events and cultural opportunities, it's no wonder why many people prefer to call Lake Mary home. This area's thriving history can be relived at the Lake Mary Museum, housing exhibits and glimpses into the city's past. Locals enjoy annual events such as Lake Mary Celebrates and Lake Mary Heathrow Festival of the Arts. The Lake Mary Events Center, a beautiful venue overlooking West Crystal Lake, is a very popular spot for social events and weddings.
Just a short drive away, the neighboring city of Sanford has a large variety of cultural events which many Lake Mary residents enjoy. Alive After 5 is perhaps one of the biggest highlights of the downtown Sanford area, which takes place monthly throughout the year. This is known as Central Florida's largest recurring street party, complete with live music, local artists, food and craft beers.
DINING AND NIGHTLIFE IN LAKE MARY
One of the main draws of Lake Mary is its mix of upscale dining and hometown fare. Residents in this area have a very wide variety of dining options, from family atmospheres to the classiest of date nights.
COLONIAL TOWNPARK HAS IT ALL!
If variety is what you're after, your best bet is to head to Colonial TownPark, which has an excellent collection of restaurants, bars, cafes, shops and more. This location is also known for their block parties for various holidays, including New Years and St. Patrick's Day. Dexter's is the highlight of this area and is a popular spot for Sunday brunch and nightly entertainment. Across the way is Liam Fitzpatrick's, a lively Irish pub with authentic cuisine and live music. Amura is known for their delectable sushi and Asian fusion dishes. If you're just looking to grab a burger and catch the game, pop in to either Graffiti Junktion or Duffy's Sports Bar, both known for their amazing drink specials. Feel free to wrap up your evening with a craft libation from World of Beer or a glass of fine wine from the Vineyard. Did we mention that Colonial TownPark has a movie theatre too? This truly is a one-stop location for the perfect evening out!
Downtown Lake Mary also has its share of local restaurants and bars. 4th Street Bar & Grill is a popular place for local families and sports fans. Krazy Greek Kitchen serves up an array of authentic Greek entrees and overlooks Central Park. A short drive away is another local joint, Jax's Fifth Ave. Deli and Ale House, offering a casual atmosphere with tons of outdoor seating.
If you're on the hunt for good, ole' fashioned country comfort food, look no further than Appleton's Hometown Café, a favorite among the locals. This popular weekend breakfast spot goes all out for the holidays, so be sure to stop by during Halloween and Christmas and check out their decorations!
IN THE MOOD TO DRESS UP?
For the more discerning tastes, both Ruth's Chris and Shula's 347 Grill are high-end steakhouses offering indoor and outdoor seating, all in luxuriously modern settings. A little more casual, Giovanni's Italian Restaurant & Pizzeria offers the perfect blend of Italian entrees and pizza to make your date night a great success!
SCHOOLS SERVING LAKE MARY
There are a number of award-winning schools serving the apartments in Lake Mary.
Children in grades K-5 are zoned for Crystal Lake Elementary, Heathrow Elementary and Lake Mary Elementary.
Middle schools serving the area include Greenwood Lakes Middle, Markham Woods Middle and Millennium Middle.
High schools students are zoned for Lake Mary High.
Some of the private schools in this area include Lake Mary Montessori Academy, Lake Mary Preparatory, Lifequest Academy, Royal Academy Corp, St. Peter's Episcopal Preschool & Kindergarten and Starchild Academy.
POST SECONDARY SCHOOLS
Colleges and post-secondary schools in the area include Seminole State College and ITT Technical Institute Lake Mary.
Please note that public school zoning is subject to change from time to time. Please visit the Seminole County School District website to confirm school zones before making a housing decision.
SHOPPING IN LAKE MARY
There are handful places in Lake Mary for you to get some small-scale shopping done. Tiny shops and large chain stores alike can be found throughout the city. The downtown area features local boutique stores, such as Sophie & Trey, Tria and 4th & Ocean. Colonial TownPark also has a few specialty stores, such as Walk on Water, which features unique gifts and jewelry.
Located on the border of Lake Mary and Sanford is the Seminole Towne Center Mall, featuring all of the large departments stores that are sure to accommodate all of your shopping needs.
BUSINESS COMMUNITY IN LAKE MARY
Although its business community is nowhere as large as that of Downtown Orlando, Lake Mary is home to several major companies. The Scholastic Corporation, which organizes Scholastic Book Fairs across the country, is headquartered in Lake Mary, as is the American Automobile Association (AAA) and several other nationally known companies. Orlando television stations WTGL and WOFL are also situated within the area.
TRAFFIC AND DRIVING IN LAKE MARY
Lake Mary has a number of major roads and highways' running through it that makes commuting to other areas of Orlando simple. Lake Mary Boulevard is the stretch of road that travels through the heart of the city. There are multiple I-4 exits in Lake Mary, which runs like an artery through the middle of Downtown Orlando, all the way to Tampa. State Road 417, also known as the Central Florida GreeneWay (or Seminole Expressway, depending on who you talk to!) is a toll road beginning in Lake Mary and runs down the east side of Orlando, all the way until it interchanges with I-4 near Celebration. Local traffic in Lake Mary can be very busy during rush hour and when schools are in session. If you commute to another area of Orlando for work, be wary of I-4 during peak hours; many residents opt to use the 417 as an alternative and just pay the tolls. Lake Mary also has a SunRail station off of Lake Mary Boulevard, so that is a viable option for anyone trying to avoid workweek traffic.
(Photo credits, clockwise from top left) Heathrow Country Club, Wine Art Wednesday, City of Lake Mary, Liam Fitzpatrick's, Orlando City via Orlando Weekly and Dexter's Lake Mary.These are the opinions of writers and not the opinions of 407apartments.com or any of our advertising partners.