If you plan on living in Lakewood Ranch, you’ll find a perfect place to enjoy sunny weather, raise a family, flourish in your career or retire. Near the Gulf Coast in Sarasota, Florida, this community provides breathtaking views and the convenient amenities of a smaller yet sophisticated city. To prepare for an upcoming move, keep reading to learn about the most popular neighborhoods, schools and activities.
Is Lakewood Ranch a Good Place to Live?
When you dream of living the Florida lifestyle, Lakewood Ranch offers one of the best places to move. Ideal-LIVING, a Southern living and real estate magazine, lists the area in its collection of the best amenity communities in America for its master-planned development of over 20 villages with incredible townhomes, condos, single-family homes, villas and estates.
Inhabitants praise the community’s health, fitness and golfing amenities. There’s something for every family and stage of life — with walking and biking trails, gyms, spas, community gardens, boating, watersports, pickleball and tennis. Additionally, residents love the shopping, dining, entertainment and fine arts available.
Located south of Tampa between Sarasota and Bradenton, the development covers about 50 square miles within Manatee and Sarasota counties. Individuals and families who live here may have Sarasota, Bradenton or Lakewood Ranch listed in their address — the four zip codes of this area include 34202, 34211, 34240 and 34212. This area is perfectly situated along the eastern side of I-75, and residents love how they can travel quickly to experience the exciting sights and activities of the nearby cities.
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Demographics and Population
In 1994, Lakewood Ranch fully transformed into a residential area. Since then, it has jumped to one of the top, best-selling communities for those of all ages in Florida rankings by RCL & Co., a reputable firm for real estate consultations. This development closely compares to scores of The Villages, a popular and well-established community near Orlando and Tampa.
In total, the development includes around 30,000 residents. Insight about the Lakewood Ranch population shows the average age of the residents is about 50 years old. The research also indicates the median household income reaches around $110,000.
Cost of Living
Most places to live in Lakewood Ranch include new construction or residences built from the 1990s to the 2010s. The prices range from around $300,000 to over $1 million in the area. Many of the upscale homes, estates and villas feature peaceful sceneries of waterfront views, making you feel like you’re at an oasis or vacation destination.
Finding your dream home along the coast can involve some competitive costs. If you’re looking for a property on the market, you may have the most luck buying a place in June, when prices reach their lowest point. Tracking real estate patterns can help you get the best price possible.
Weather and Climate
Lakewood Ranch is an ideal place to enjoy relaxing outdoors. Residents experience temperatures of 50 degrees or more throughout the year. With an average of 251 sunny days per year, the beautiful area has hot and humid summers with warm, dry winters.
Typically, October through May marks the dry season. From June to September, the community receives rain showers. If you’re looking to move here, more research about the weather can give you an idea of what to expect or buy. Hint — hats, sunglasses and flip-flops are always a good idea.
The Best Neighborhoods in Lakewood Ranch, FL
Whether you prefer moving into a single-family home, two-story house or condominium, each neighborhood within Lakewood Ranch is an excellent place to live. The different villages have their unique characteristics and amenities to enjoy. Explore these popular, top choices if you’re researching to find a property in the area:
- Azario: At a higher price point, this neighborhood features beautiful model homes around a new, gorgeous golf course. Projections of their grand plans include building on-site spas, culinary centers and event lawns.
- Country Club East: With a resort-style and large, gated community, this area contains upscale homes with access to a golf course and waterfront views from each property. Residents can enjoy a fitness center, one of the three pools, a restaurant and a clubhouse.
- Cresswind: This community for those aged 55 and older includes large, contemporary homes. The area contains multiple pools, including a resistance pool, and features regular food trucks and events.
- Del Webb: The activities calendar for this community of those aged 55 and up looks like a cruise itinerary with exciting things to do at the pool, sports court and on-site restaurant, where they have regular specials. The area contains beautiful homes in a relaxed atmosphere.
- Harmony: If you would like to live in a townhome, this is a wonderful community with a lower price than other options. It includes a “tot lot” where kids can play, a pool and a fitness center.
- Lakewood National Golf Club: Residents living here have access to a stunning golf course, sports courts, fitness center, spa, clubhouse area and on-site restaurant with a bar. The pool area includes waterfalls overlooking the golf course.
- Lorraine Lakes: Pretty and freshly built, this neighborhood features larger homes with some two-story options. Many of the houses have fences in the backyard, and families can enjoy the pristine pools and views of lakes.
- Polo Run: New and located by the southern area of development in Sarasota County, this community is named for its proximity to the Polo Club and includes a complete fitness center, giant playgrounds and a private bus stop for school children. The neighborhood is more sustainable with the help of solar power, and the home prices range from around $400,000 to $600,000.
- The Savanna: With a good amount of space between large homes, this neighborhood includes many families with playsets for children in fenced backyards. The area consists of a scenic dog park, pool and fitness center surrounded by natural habitats of wetlands and wooded conservation areas.
- The Lake Club: As a luxurious option, this neighborhood features many lakefront homes. Driving through the entrance reminds you of Italy with the gorgeous architecture and elegant landscaping of trees in their tall, spiral shapes.
Schools and Education
Generally, the schools in the Lakewood Ranch are quite good. Young families living in this area have access to several private and public Bradenton schools and Sarasota schools with good academic ratings, extracurricular programs and events. Nearby community and stage colleges offer a place for students to pursue higher education. Some well-favored options include:
- Freedom Elementary School
- Oasis Middle School
- Lakewood Ranch High School
- State College of Florida
- The University of Tampa
Lakewood Ranch has several job opportunities available within its 31,000 acres. The retail and food sectors in the community offer the most common employment options. Other specialties include teaching, medical and health care services, banking, and entertainment. Some of the biggest employers with corporate offices in the area include Trinet USA, Neal Communities and Gold Coast Eagle Distributing.
Many residents come to live here for the family-friendly amenities of the area and are attracted to roles surrounding Bradenton, Sarasota and Tampa. Those cities offer an endless variety of jobs across all niches and industries.
Safety in the Communities
When you live in Lakewood Ranch, you can have peace of mind — the area offers a comfortable place to live a happy, safe life. Many communities include gates with fenced yards, providing a secure place to raise a family. Like any location, it’s still good to exercise caution by keeping your vehicles locked and valuables out of sight.
Fun Things to Do in Lakewood Ranch
There’s a lot to do, see and eat in Lakewood Ranch. The area contains over 200 shops and eateries, three town centers and eight neighborhood shopping plazas. If you love nature, there are more than 10,000 acres of parks, preserves and lakes for you to explore. Whether you want to relax or make exciting memories, some must-try activities in the area include:
- Play golf: Golf enthusiasts can play a round in their neighborhood or hone their skills at the University Park Country Club. The Fishhole Minature Golf offers 18-hole courses for family-friendly fun and includes a koi pond kids love.
- Enjoy nature: There are many places to enjoy outdoor activities here, including 150 miles of multisurface trails, nine community parks, 32 courts for racquet sports and 22 fields for premier sports. You can bird-watch, see wildlife, walk on trails or go fishing in your backyard or close to home.
- Listen to live music: On the first Friday of each month, Main Street turns into a pedestrian zone for Music on Main with live music and dancing. Food vendors supply many tasty choices, and some nearby restaurants offer drinks and food specials.
- Try the food at Main Street: Locals and visitors enjoy the delicious restaurants and eateries here, such as Nancy’s Bar-B-Q, which offers pulled pork and grilled foods. You can also get homemade ice cream and dog-friendly frozen yogurt at the Big Olaf Creamery.
- Go beer and rum tasting: The Naughty Monk Brewery is a fun place to try Belgian-inspired craft beers while you play billiards or board games. For a laid-back atmosphere, try beer and cider at Craft Growlers To Go & Tasting Room.
- See a movie: The Lakewood Ranch Cinema offers a way to see your favorite actors on the big screen, and a non-profit and member-supported organization called the Sarasota Film Society provides a quiet atmosphere to enjoy films at reasonable prices. Every second Tuesday of the month, you can attend a free outdoor movie at Waterside Park.
- Make an art piece: Anyone can get creative or learn new skills at Let’s Create Art, located on Main Street. It offers open studio hours, specialty classes, space rentals and to-go paint kits so that you can create art wherever you feel inspired.
Social Clubs and Events in the Community
Moving to a new place offers an opportunity to connect with other people. You can find joy in laughing and cultivating friendships when you join one of the 60 clubs available at Lakewood Ranch. The social scene allows you to bond with others over shared interests such as gardening, trivia, history, wine, the arts, bingo and sports.
It’s easy to meet your neighbors here at community-wide events. You can mingle on Wednesdays at Ranch Nites at Waterside Place, where there are food and dessert trucks, live music, cornhole and a night market for shopping local goods. Other opportunities to reach out to those in your area include volunteering at community parks or getting festive at annual holiday celebrations.
You can check out the community calendar posted online to see a schedule of upcoming events you could attend. Many neighborhoods in the area have lifestyle directors. They create various programs for you to attend, such as parties at the pool, with ways for everyone to have fun with games and food.
Volunteering for Passionate Causes
If you love giving back to your community, there are various opportunities to make a positive impact at Lakewood Ranch. The area contains around 50 charitable organizations of residents who come together for public-spirited endeavors.
For example, the Lakewood Ranch Community Fund promotes philanthropy and is a provider of hope to many. They respond to the needs of those living in the area with grant opportunities. You can attend an event, become an advocate or donate to support their cause.
Plan Your Move With David McCarthy Moving Services
Heading to a new place is exciting. If you’re planning on relocating to Lakewood Ranch, hiring a moving company can make your transition more efficient, so you can start enjoying your new home and community sooner. Headquartered in the Tampa Bay, Florida, area, our licensed and trained professionals at David McCarthy Moving can provide the local and long-distance services you need.
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