Winter Park represents the best of what suburban Orange County has to offer. Now considered a part of the Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford Metropolitan area, the land that became Winter Park was purchased by northern entrepreneurs Loring Chase and Oliver E. Chapman in the late 19th century. In 1885 the two men sold this land to a group of northern businessmen calling themselves the Winter Park Company. This group, planning to develop the land as a resort community, incorporated it with the Florida Legislature.
Of course, the history of Winter Park begins long before Chase and Loring purchased the land. The area’s first residents were an intermingling of migrant Muscogee, Choctaw, and other indigenous peoples. This group formed a new culture, the “Seminole.” The site was not occupied by Europeans until 1858.
In 1885, Rollins College, Florida’s first four-year college, was founded by the Congregational Assembly of Florida. The following year, a luxury resort called the Seminole Hotel on Lake Osceola was opened. Besides Rollins College, which remains one of Florida’s most well-respected colleges to this day, Winter Park has grown a lot since 1885.
Winter Park is a city with a distinct appreciation for art. For more than 50 years the Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival has attracted artists and art lovers from around the world. One of the nation’s oldest, largest, juried outdoor art festivals, the Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival has been ranked among the nation’s top art shows. It has been recognized by the White House, the National Endowment For the Arts, and the United States Congress for promoting art in Central Florida.
Other artful attractions include the Bach Festival Society, which was founded in 1935 to commemorate the 250th anniversary of Johann Sebastian Bach’s birth by presenting the composer’s orchestral and choral music to the public. It is the nation’s third-oldest continuously operating Bach Festival in the United States and Central Florida’s oldest operating performing arts organization. If art and music just aren’t your thing, there’s always the Winter Park Concours d’Elegance, Central Florida’s premier motoring event.
Of course, there’s far more to Winter Park than the Sidewalk Festival, the Bach Festival, and the Concours d’Elegance. Scenic Olde Winter Park is a quaint assortment of narrow, meandering brick street beneath a canopy of Spanish moss-draped southern live oak and camphor. The Mead Botanical Garden, a 47.6 acre park that includes several ecosystems, features an amphitheater, a recreation center, a discovery barn, and a butterfly garden. Many of the structures on the premises are more than 100 years old.
The median sales price for homes in Winter Park is $214,750. The average home price in Winter Park is $624,850, as the city does boast several affluent areas. The average price per square foot is $160. Winter Park is a great place to raise a family. The economy is strong, with increasing job growth and competitive incomes. Winter Park schools have a low student-teacher ratio, so it’s also a great place to send the kids to school. The thriving Winter Park real estate market is good news for prospective residents as well as investors. If you are interested in learning more about Winter Park, contact the Central Florida real estate experts at Authentic Real Estate.