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.
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, 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, and Mutt's on 13th for hot dogs.
Other casual restaurants in St. Cloud include The Catfish Place and Stone Creek Tavern. The Catfish Place is where locals go for outstanding fried seafood, and Stone Creek Tavern is always serving up something delicious.
Where to Retire in St. Cloud
Two communities perfectly geared towards retirement living in St. Cloud deserve your attention.
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 selling homes from the low $200’s. Centered around a truly expansive 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.
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.