Almost directly between the major cities of Orlando and Tampa is Winter Haven. As the name suggests, Winter Haven was once a winter getaway for visitors from the rest of the United States, but now most of its residents enjoy the warm weather and live year-round in the area.
Close to plenty of big city attractions, but offering affordable real estate and a charming atmosphere, it is easy to see why people fall in love with life in Winter Haven.
Get the Facts About Winter Haven, Florida
Winter Haven is a city located in Polk County, Florida. It is just minutes from the city of Lakeland, and it is under an hour from even bigger cities like Tampa to west and Orlando to the east.
The total population of Winter Haven, as of the 2012 census, was 33,000. Prior to settlement of the Spanish in the Sunshine State in the 16th century, the region was primarily inhabited by the Timucua and Calusa.
The very first Publix supermarket was founded in Winter Haven in 1930, and the popular chain remains a strong presence and major employer in the region.
Winter Haven's Local School System
All of the public schools located in Winter Haven are operated by the Polk County Public School System. Residents have access to a dozen elementary schools, three middle schools and two high schools.
Polk County Public Schools require elementary and middle school students to wear a basic uniform, which has been successful in improving the focus and modesty of students. Residents will also have access to several private schools, preparatory academies and even Polk State College, where some high school students take advanced classes for college credit.
Why Residents Love Winter Haven
One of the biggest reasons to fall in love with Winter Haven is because the city boasts over 50 lakes. Notably, the Chain of Lakes links up several lakes, creating a larger area for boating and waterskiing. Lakes are also major bird watching areas, drawing in visitors from around the world. Many individuals opt to move to Winter Haven because it allows for commuting to a number of major urban areas. Whether you work in Lakeland, Tampa or Orlando, you can easily make the drive each day.
While the jobs, amenities and attractions of these big urban areas are nearby, Winter Haven still has a small town feel. In addition, Winter Haven property prices are incredibly affordable, making it the ideal place for those on a budget or simply those who want to get as much house as possible for their money.
Whatever the season, Winter Haven is a wonderful place to reside. Whether you're raising a family, you love water sports or you just want a warm, scenic spot to call home, Winter Haven is the answer.