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Get to know Lake Mary

Lake Mary is the Orlando suburb that is perfectly positioned between the beauty of the natural world and the hubbub of one of the world’s biggest tourist destinations. It’s a dozen-ish miles north of Orlando proper on the interstate, so you’d expect it to be a bedroom community. Instead, it’s the headquarters of several multinational corporations, the locus of local television and radio companies, and has a vibrant downtown that makes venturing out a largely voluntary decision. Lake Mary is lovely, with well-planned communities of stately homes built around lakes, some upscale golf communities, and condos and townhomes along curving, tree-lined streets. Commutes, if you’re not in the infamous Orlando rush hours, are effortless, and you can even travel further afield from the close-by Sanford Airport without the hassle of Orlando’s giant MCO — though that airport is surprisingly easy to access, as well.

Nearby Neighborhoods:

Lake Mary History & Culture

Lake Mary began as a citrus-farming community but wasn’t organized into a city proper until it was developed by Frank Evans, who was both a brilliant chemist and an accomplished tightrope walker, a combination that served him as well as any in Florida real estate. The town came into its own as Orlando grew through the 1960s and ‘70s, and has been well-established since. Its lakes, marshes, and original meandering streets have helped it avoid overdevelopment, making it a very hot address. Lake Mary, like most of Florida, has a bit of country-club golf culture, but there are plenty of other ways to soak up the copious sun. It’s less than an hour from the Atlantic beaches, including Daytona and New Smyrna, and it’s practically surrounded by conservation areas, giant lakes, and state parks. There are biking and walking trails — both neighborhood and wilderness — throughout the area.

Lake Mary Dining & Shopping

There’s no doubt that Lake Mary was, at one time, a bedroom community. As Orlando grew, the northern suburbs began to grow together, and Lake Mary became a real business center among them. That kept people close and allowed local businesses to flourish. Lake Mary takes advantage of its fortuitous thoroughfares and lines them with retail and restaurant establishments from big chain stores down to mom-and-pop retailers. Lately, the city’s downtown development district has supported a thriving retail community of fine dining and fast service restaurants, clothing boutiques, and coffee shops in an area designed for walkability. Two perfectly respectable shopping malls are nearby, and all of the glories of touristlandia to the south are an easy drive, should you need a big-label fix.