Kissimmee-St. Cloud, FL
More than 100,000 acres of recreational waters are just the beginning of fun in the sun in Kissimmee and St. Cloud.
Both spectator and participation sporting events are part of the daily program in these outdoor havens. The Kissimmee Chain of Lakes attracts boating and fishing enthusiasts year-round. White-tailed deer, bobcats, wading birds, and songbirds are just some of the abundant wildlife found here.
Recognized by 50 Fabulous Places to Retire as a prime retirement community, this area offer exceptional amenities for retirees, families, couples, and singles. People move here from all over the country for many reasons, including a reasonable cost of living, proximity to many attractions, easy access to coastal beaches, and the ability to enjoy fabulous outdoor activities year-round in the light of abundant sunshine.
These two communities offer a cost of living that is just slightly above the national average. A diverse economic base embracing manufacturing, agriculture, and tourism continues to generate numerous job prospects each year. Several higher learning institutions are found nearby and throughout the region, such as the University of Central Florida. Residents have plenty of access to quality schools and higher education. Whether newcomers are looking for a great place to retire, an exceptional community in which to raise a family, or a place to enjoy outdoor pursuits year-round, Kissimmee and St. Cloud are perfect choices for great living.
Kissimmee-St. Cloud, FL At-A-Glance
Avg. July high: 92
Avg. January low: 50
Avg. Annual Precipitation: 50
Closest Big City: 11 miles to Orlando
Health Care: 3 hospitals with 319 beds
Cost of Living: 3.9% less than the national average.
Housing Costs: 190,890
Seasonal rains peak during the summer, with the rainiest month typically being July. But nurturing rains fall throughout the year, making this a great place for backyard gardening. While many people in other parts of the country are shoveling a foot of snow off their driveways in spring, residents in this area will be tending to the flowers in their gardens. Spring temperatures remain within the very comfortable 70s. In autumn, temperatures in the 70s and 80s are the norm.
Even though the climate here is mild and temperate, locals still experience some seasonal changes. Winters offer temperatures in the 60s, and occasional cold spells are known to pass through the area. But they never stay for long, and residents can enjoy outdoor activities and shorts 12 months each year.
Art & Culture
Kissimmee and St. Cloud stand in the midst of extraordinary natural beauty. Good schools, a strong economy, a low cost of living, and rich, citrus-growing lands complete the picture.
The unusually named Tupperware Convention Center Theatre brings in an eclectic array of performances. The Osceola Center for the Arts presents comedy, drama, and musicals in its state-ofthe- art auditorium, as well as art exhibits and classes for all ages The area overflows with engaging special events year-round. Listed among Kissimmee and St. Cloud's regularly scheduled festivals are Jazzfest Kissimmee Osceola Art Festival, and Holiday Extravaganza. The Osceola Cultural and Heritage Exhibit and Kissimmee's Chili Cook Off round out a very full calendar of entertaining events.
The Downtown Kissimmee Farmers Market is the best spot in town for fresh produce and homemade treats. Old Town is a replica of a turn-of-the-century Florida village with brick-lined streets, specialty shops, fine restaurants, and a general store. The village's highlights are its antique, hand-carved wooden carousel and Ferris wheel- very popular with the kids.
From world-class golf to rodeo, this part of the country has all kinds of fun.
The city's recreational system boasts a variety of offerings, including swimming, baseball, fishing, golf, scuba, soccer, softball, and tennis. The Family Aquatic Center and St. Cloud Municipal Pool provide room for splashing, while Big Toho Marina offers some of the best fishing in the area. People who enjoy the more fastpaced water sports will find many options for jetskis, parasailing, and snorkeling.
Sports of all kinds play a major role in the lives of Kissimmee's residents, from scuba diving to softball in the Osceola County Softball Complex. There are a number of fishing guides and competitive tournaments year-round. Options for action sports include ice skating, rodeos, skydiving, hang gliding, BMX tracks, and a skateboard park.
There's plenty of opportunity to join a big group of people at a ball game and cheer for the Kissimmee Cobras Minor League Baseball team, view the Houston Astros in training, or watch the Orlando Magic basketball team in action.
Florida is the golf capital of the world, and Kissimmee and St. Cloud offer some of the best greens in the region.
Buenaventura Lakes lays claim to three courses, while the half-dozen incredible courses available at nearby Walt Disney World Resort provide state-of-the art golf experiences. The area boasts more than a dozen additional public, private, or resortbased courses.
Even though Kissimmee is popular mainly for its proximity to Central Florida's attractions, the city is proud of its own exciting activities. People interested in checking out exotic animals should visit JungleLand, a seven-acre wildlife park complete with alligators, hiking trail, and petting zoo. The Green Meadows Petting Farm is famous for its tours of more than 300 farm animals. Kids or kids-at-heart who love slimy creatures can get their fill at the Reptile World Serpentarium. It offers huge indoor displays of snakes, lizards, and more. When residents are ready for a fun place to cool off, they can go to Water Mania, a 36-acre water park and beach that has something for everyone
From scuba diving to softball, world-class golf to Walt Disney World, St. Cloud and Kissimmee promise plenty of recreation to keep all ages happy.
Other post-secondary schools serving the county include University of Phoenix, Stetson University, Rollins College, and Florida Metropolitan University.
People make quality education a top priority in these twin communities. The public school system's philosophy is: " Education which inspires all to their highest potential is made possible by hard work, community involvement, and personal accountability." There are more than four dozen public schools serving the area. Osceola School District is also home to several alternative schools, charter schools, multi-level schools, and other programs, including the Environmental Center, Challenger Learning Center, Even Start, and COPE Center.
The Osceola Foundation for Education is an ambitious county-wide program, which provides a college scholarship for every graduating senior. Adult and postsecondary education is also a high priority in the Kissimmee/St. Cloud area, and several schools meet this need. They include Technical Education Center for Osceola County, Technical and Adult Vocational Education, and Community High School.
Housing & Cost of Living
The overall cost of living is below the national average, and the local economy is strong.
Located in one of the fastest growing counties in Florida, the Kissimmee and St. Cloud area is still largely undeveloped, making the local standard of living quite exceptional.
Both communities boast cost of living figures that are even with the national average. Although some items are expensive, housing and childcare are not.
Parents will pay anywhere from $5,000 (state average) to $7,800 for care at an accredited center, depending on the age of the child.
Plus, the government-subsidized Voluntary Prekindergarten Program offers four-year-olds born before September 1 free education for the year prior to kindergarten.
Since Kissimmee and St. Cloud are targeted as major growth areas, family homes have shown above-average appreciation. Still, the average price for three-bedroom homes are low- $230,000 in Kissimmee and $250,000 in St.
Cloud. For the one-third of residents who rent in Kissimmee, monthly payments run about $709 per month.
Crime & Safety
However, the vast majority of crimes are committed against property, not people.
Citizens of Kissimmee and St. Cloud strive to make their city a safe haven through grassroots efforts. Active neighborhood involvement is paramount, and the many Neighborhood Watch programs found here effectively thwart crime. The police department sponsors many awareness programs that make their way into area schools and communities. These efforts have been successful, as the area continues to be one of the fastest growing, the crime rate has dropped considerably in the last three years.
Earning a Living
Well-known for natural beauty, this spot was home to Earl Tupper, the inventor of Tupperware...
Add international travel and tourism, manufacturing, and service-related industries to the already strong economic base, and it's obvious this is a thriving financial region. The services and retail industries account for more than 50% of employment in the county, and major employers include McLane/Sunset, Inc., Florida Hospital, Osceola Regional Medical Center, and Hyatt Orlando-Kissimmee The city's close proximity to Disney World has had an immeasurable impact on the growth here. Kissimmee and St. Cloud have worked diligently with advertisers and others in the tourism industry to bring in visitors of the Disney complex, and they have met with fabulous success.
Economic indicators project a significant growth in tourism well into the coming years.
Whether newcomers are looking to relocate their already established business or are searching for new career horizons, Kissimmee and St. Cloud offer a wide array of opportunities from.which to choose.
Senior citizens have access to more than a dozen accredited living centers, which offer everything from independent living services to respite and Alzheimer's care and continuing care.