Explore America's Campgrounds
It is probably no surprise that the same city that is home to Disney World also boasts many family-friendly suburbs that serve as excellent places to raise children. Proximity to Disney World aside, these suburbs provide highly rated school systems, ample park space, a variety of recreational opportunities and kid-friendly events.
Windermere is a small town just 14 miles west of Orlando. According to the website Neighborhood Scout, this wealthy community is an excellent place to raise a family. The adults in Windermere support education -- perhaps because many are educated themselves -- resulting in a strong school system. The crime rate is low, especially when compared to Florida's averages, and the homes available, though expensive, are mostly single family properties.
The charming city of Winter Garden is 16 miles outside of Orlando. The Historic Downtown District is a fun destination for kids. The city is also home to art studios, museums and live theater, making it a vibrant place to raise a family. The city is comprised of many parks, outdoor pools and a trail system that provides opportunities for walking, biking, hiking and equestrian activities. Winter Garden also hosts a weekly, family-friendly farmers market with fresh produce, crafts and live music.
The town of Celebration, 21 miles southwest of Orlando, is home to a variety of family-friendly festivals, parades and events including family camp outs and egg hunts. The town also boasts many parks, playgrounds and pools. One of the cornerstones which guides every aspect of the development of the community is its focus on education. Celebration's Learning Academy was recognized in 2000-2001 with a Five Star School Award.
The upscale residential community of Lake Mary is just 19 miles north of Orlando. The city's website describes Lake Mary as a desirable place for young families to live due to its well-planned neighborhoods, excellent schools and recreational opportunities. When focusing on the criteria of economic opportunity, good schools, safe streets, things to do and a sense of community, CNN Money listed Lake Mary as the fourth best place to live, pointing out the events and water recreation available to residents.
Carly Seifert has been a piano instructor since 2001. She has also covered adoption and introducing children to the arts for "Montana Parent Magazine." Seifert graduated from University of California, Irvine with a Bachelor of Arts in drama.