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Old 11-15-2017, 04:43 PM
 
17 posts, read 26,001 times
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My husband just got a job offer in Orlando, close to Winter Park. We have lived in Dallas always, so we would like a totally new experience rather than in the big city. Are there any beachside towns within reasonable commuting distance?
Our priorities are:
#1-good schools (we will have a 5th grader and 10th grader)
#2-proximity to the beach (the closer the better)
#3-abt an hr or less commute (for 3-5 weekdays/week). Is this possible?

I was looking at Cocoa Beach before finding out the exact location, but this looks like it would be quite the commute. No?

We have never been to the area, so any and all input is helpful! We will be visiting soon to scope it all out, but I just need a starting point.

Thank you!

Last edited by Sherllie; 11-15-2017 at 04:47 PM.. Reason: typo
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Old 11-15-2017, 04:50 PM
 
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I guess New Smyrna Beach is considered the beach for that area. I don’t know the time or distance but I think there’s an expressway between the two areas.

I think it’s the 528 Beachway.

Commutes are a pain, but if I had to do it over again I would commute if it meant living in a place I really love.

I moved to a place close to work and almost don’t care if I make it home lol. I’m exaggerating.

I’ll be out soon, but my neighborhood never recovered from the downturn. I spend time driving to and hanging out in the areas I’d rather be in anyway! Might as well have moved there to begin with.It’s a mixed bag.

Anyway, iirc, there’s a site for calculating the time, distance, and tolls for various Orlando area exits and the Beachway.

Last edited by ByeByeLW; 11-15-2017 at 04:58 PM..
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Old 11-15-2017, 05:00 PM
 
Location: US
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sherllie View Post
My husband just got a job offer in Orlando, close to Winter Park. We have lived in Dallas always, so we would like a totally new experience rather than in the big city. Are there any beachside towns within reasonable commuting distance?
Our priorities are:
#1-good schools (we will have a 5th grader and 10th grader)
#2-proximity to the beach (the closer the better)
#3-abt an hr or less commute (for 3-5 weekdays/week). Is this possible?

I was looking at Cocoa Beach before finding out the exact location, but this looks like it would be quite the commute. No?

We have never been to the area, so any and all input is helpful! We will be visiting soon to scope it all out, but I just need a starting point.

Thank you!
I wouldn't recommend any of the nearby beach cities for a family. Visit in person and you'll see what I mean. Orlando has a lot of lakes and it's easy to drive to the beach. It's also not a big city like Dallas, I'd look around Winter Park, Baldwin Park.
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Old 11-15-2017, 05:10 PM
 
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you can try east orange county, the more rural areas east of UCF, Biltho, Wedgefield. That kind of splits the middle puts you closer to the beach and avoids an insane commute to Winter Park from New Symrna or Cocoa. Those areas give you a reasonable half hour commute to Winter Park and an easy 45 minute commute to Cocoa Beach for weekend trips.
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Old 11-16-2017, 06:10 AM
 
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Some of the lakes around Orlando are so big it’s almost like the beach.

Of course there’s other stuff going on in those lakes (wildlife) but you can get the feeling of calm you get at the beach.

I’ve come to love the lakes and rivers after spending my life in areas where I can walk to the beach.
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Old 11-16-2017, 06:15 AM
 
Location: West Florida
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ByeByeLW View Post
Some of the lakes around Orlando are so big it’s almost like the beach.

Of course there’s other stuff going on in those lakes (wildlife) but you can get the feeling of calm you get at the beach.

I’ve come to love the lakes and rivers after spending my life in areas where I can walk to the beach.
Precisely. The beach has practically gone to the back burner for me in recent years. Although I do enjoy the occasional trip there every now and then (I prefer the Gulf coast though) the lakes in the area are more than big enough to give you that sense of calm. Only thing is I’d highly suggest you not swim in them, or have kids too close to the shore. Get a boat or jet skis and you will be set.
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Old 11-16-2017, 06:59 AM
 
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Exactly! Plus the beaches get so crowded at times it can be hard to get a feeling of solitude there.

We canoed out on Lake George and the vastness of it was almost scarey!
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Old 11-16-2017, 09:58 AM
 
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By and large the people who wind up living in Florida's interior as far from a beach as possible are going to be lukewarm on living near the coast, hence many of the responses you'll see here. If you're after a beach lifestyle you won't find anything like it in/around Orlando, even with a lake backdrop. The Orlando vibe tends toward the average "suburban" lifestyle you can find most anywhere. It seems there's some willingness on your part (or your spouse's) to drive an hour or so one way to work and if the case, would suggest Merritt Island. Check out the north end off of 528/A1A which is zoned for Merritt Island High School. It's minutes from the beaches in Cape Canaveral/Cocoa Beach and a well established area that's family-friendly plus a fairly straightforward commute, albeit it a toll road (the 528/Beachline and the 417/Greenway) most of the way, though quicker than the option you would face in/out on I-4 to New Smyrna Beach or other options in that area.
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Old 11-16-2017, 10:01 AM
 
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What lakes do you recommend looking at to live near, or even by? We would be renting (house or apartment) first before buying, so we can better get to know the areas. Rental budget tbd, but I'd guess <$2500.

Question to Arcenal352, why not swim in them or be near the shore?

We've always lived in the city, just 10-15 from downtown now, but in a neighborhood. We are beach people though, spending vacations traveling to beaches and also traveling for sand vball tourneys. Haven't been to Florida beaches though. That's why we were to set to make the change of scenery when the Orlando job offer happened. I need to be open to other things, but still love the idea of changing up our living environment.

We want to avoid a cookie-cutter-all-the-houses-look-the same neighborhood. It seems the schools tend to be rated better in these areas, at least in Dallas, but I don't think we would be happiest in this setting.

Thanks for the continued input!
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Old 11-16-2017, 10:25 AM
 
Location: US
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Most lakes have gators in them, most are fine for boating, but if you are going to be swimming, it's better to stick to all the natural springs that surround Orlando. You can easily drive to the beach, but unless you go to South Florida, I wouldn't want to live in the beach towns near Orlando. Daytona, Cocoa etc are really small and run down in my opinion and the general population seem to resemble the same besides the retirees, but even the retirees seem to be the type who would think eating sushi is a once in a lifetime cultural experience.

I'd focus your search around Winter Park since you dont like the cookie cutter look.

I forgot to clerify the actual beaches are still nice, but the towns are pretty bad.
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