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Get to know Longwood

Longwood is a northern suburb of Orlando just to the south of Lake Mary, and those driving through it on the main roads may never know they’ve been there. It’s not that it’s not particularly small; just that off of those main roads it is perfectly pleasant — occasionally idyllic — and isn’t showy in any way. It’s a leafy city, with sturdy homes on sizable lots, with plenty of lakes and marshy areas to keep the landscape green. The main streets are lined with a nice variety of businesses, many of them locally owned and operated, giving it a distinctly small-town feel. The neighborhoods are quiet, and there’s lots of access to parks, trails, and lakes, but most people choose Longwood for its location. It’s out of the bustle of Orlando (and on the other side of the city from the tourist traffic), but it’s easy to hop on the interstate and other main roads to get to work or play. The schools are among the best in the area as well, making this one of the undiscovered gems of Central Florida.

Nearby Neighborhoods:

Longwood History & Culture

Longwood was a town before it was an Orlando suburb, and the architecture and street layouts reflect its midcentury origins. It is a liminal space, halfway between city and country, and the residents revel in the greenness of their city. They kayak and paddleboard, they hike under giant cypress trees, they run and bike over the trails that crisscross the area. In general, locals see Longwood as a place of retreat, a quiet home they can return to after a day of work in Orlando or Lake Mary. It’s a great place to live life at a (slightly) slower pace.

Longwood Dining & Shopping

Part of the small-town charm of Longwood is in the extensive mom-and-pop restaurant scene, often strip-mall locations with amazing menus. A few upscale chains host the happy-hour set close to the interstate, and while there’s great food up and down the main thoroughfares, there’s no place that’s going to look at you sideways if you show for dinner in a sundress. The best Longwood shopping is likewise local, with specialty home design and outdoor shops worth the drive for people from the big city to the south. There are also several well-designed shopping centers that host lovely boutiques, though the nearest shopping mall is a few miles south in Altamonte, which also houses most of the areas big-box stores. Designer fashions, alas, are mostly to the south of Orlando — but please note our previous comment about sundresses.