Located along the southern banks of East Lake Tohopekaliga near Kissimmee and just south of Orlando, St. Cloud is a quiet city that was originally known as a retirement destination for Civil War veterans.
In addition to having a rich history, the area also offers a type of small-town living that is getting harder and harder to find here in Florida. Combining that small town atmosphere with access to all of the amazing amenities located just to the north in Orlando makes St. Cloud a perfect mixture of old and new Florida living.
St. Cloud History
The land that would eventually become St. Cloud was awarded to Hamilton Disston from Philadelphia in exchange for digging canals to drain the swamp in the area.
Most historians believe that Disston named the area after St. Cloud, Minnesota, but there are also people who argue that it was named after St. Cloud, France.
In the early 1900s, the St. Cloud area was purchased by the Seminole Land and Investment Company to create a retirement community for Civil War veterans.
More recently, St. Cloud has made a name for itself by embracing its small-town culture and resisting the urge to make everything bigger and better like they do up in Orlando.
Getting to St. Cloud
St. Cloud is located about 27 miles S/SE of downtown Orlando, and about 20 miles due south from Orlando International Airport, which by the way will be your best bet if you are flying to check out St. Cloud.
St. Cloud is also right off Florida's Turnpike, making it easy to get to from just about anywhere.
St. Cloud Healthcare
Finding good healthcare in and around St. Cloud should not be a problem!
St. Cloud is located near Lake Nona's Medical City featuring Nemours Children's Hospital and Research Campus, Orlando VA Medical Center, and UCF Lake Nona Hospital. Other medical centers in the area, include Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children and Women, AdventHealth Lake Nona ER, and Orlando Regional Medical Center.
St. Cloud Weather
I couldn't find average temperatures for St. Cloud specifically, so here’s a look at the average low and high temperatures in nearby Orlando throughout the year:
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St. Cloud Cost of Living
With a cost of living index of 104.1, St. Cloud comes in just a tad bit higher than the rest of Florida as an average for cost of living. You can see how various parts of Florida score on cost of living in this article.
St. Cloud Lifestyle
Everything about the lifestyle in St. Cloud revolves around the community's small-town atmosphere. Whether you are looking to get out and enjoy the nearby lakes or keep to yourself on your private lanai, everything is calm in this town.
One of the biggest attraction you will find here is Reptile World Serpentarium, but there are lots of hidden gems like Dan Tarell Memorial Point, Deseret Ranch, Lake Runnymede Conservation Area, and Peghorn Nature Park.
St. Cloud Culture
Because everything in St. Cloud is focused on small-town living, you aren't going to find a massive cultural community here. However, you can easily make up for that by heading right up the road to Kissimmee or Orlando.
Whatever St. Cloud might lack in terms of culture, its neighbors make up for multiple times over. All it takes is a short drive to one of the many cultural experiences at Walt Disney World's Epcot Center to satisfy even the most passionate theater lover.
St. Cloud Shopping
The place to go for shopping in St. Cloud is the downtown business district. Here you will find a fun assortment of storefronts selling everything from antiques and furniture to handmade arts and crafts.
And like we talked about with cultural attractions, residents also have access to an incredible amount of shopping options like The Mall at Millenia, The Florida Mall, Disney Springs, and Orlando Vineland Premium Outlets right up the road in Orlando.
St. Cloud Dining
The restaurant scene in St. Cloud also has a small town vibe to it, and The Silver Lining Cafe is one of the most popular options in town. In addition to having a vintage cafe experience there, residents also enjoy hitting up Jimmy Bear's BBQ for smoked meats, Rancho Chico for tacos, Mutt's on 13th for hot dogs, and The Catfish Place which is where locals go for outstanding fried seafood, and Stone Creek Tavern is always serving up something delicious.
Where to Retire in St. Cloud
You can search all St. Cloud homes for sale by price range here.
There is a rumor that Disney might be planning a 55+ community in St. Cloud soon, but until that becomes reality, there are also a handful of 55+ communities being developed right now in St. Cloud that you should know about.
The Lakes at Harmony, an active adult community, is the newest addition to Harmony from Jones Homes USA. These two and three bedroom homes are built for the way you live today, with space where you need it most. Among the spacious outdoor living space, many of which include water or conservation views, residents also enjoy a private recreation center and pool.
From the miles of walking and biking trails, to the community garden, parks and fitness center, Harmony has something for everyone. Gather at the Town Square which includes a spa, market, physician office, restaurants and more or play a round of golf on the only Johnny Miller Signature course in Central Florida without ever leaving your community.
Also in St. Cloud, Twin Lakes is centered around a 20,000 square foot Clubhouse on the tranquil shores of Live Oak Lake, it’s perfect for a relaxing afternoon poolside or a large evening celebration in the party friendly patio area. Here, residents enjoy lakeside living with boating, fishing, kayaking and many other amenities usually reserved for fine resorts. With a newly opened fitness center and a full time activities director, there is something for everyone in this fantastic community.
Last but not least, Del Webb Sunbridge is a new 55+ gated community in St. Cloud. The 27,000 sf. Clubhouse features luxurious indoor and outdoor amenities like a zero-entry pool, resistance pool, pickleball and tennis courts, a fitness center, movement studio, and more.
From the lifestyle and culture to the shopping and dining, everything about St. Cloud feels like small-town living here in Florida. If that is the type of atmosphere you have been looking for, then St. Cloud is the perfect retirement destination for you.