8 Reasons to Move to Auburndale, Florida

Posted: July 3, 2024 | Categories: Communities | News | Communities>Enclave at Lake Myrtle
By Highland Homes

Updated on July 3, 2024: This story was originally published on April 20, 2023, and has been updated with new information.

Welcome to Auburndale, Florida, a charming small city in Central Florida! Centrally located in Polk County off the Interstate 4 corridor, Auburndale is popular with home buyers thanks to its location convenient to big city amenities and Florida’s world-class theme park attractions, as well as plenty to do close to home with an abundance of parks, lakes, and trails.

While its location offers easy access to so much, Auburndale is still best known for its laid-back, Old Florida vibe, with the scent of orange blossoms perfuming the air and a slower pace of life than what you’ll experience in a big city. If this sounds like the Florida lifestyle you’ve been looking for, here are 8 reasons you’ll want to make your new home in Auburndale, FL!

1. Small-Town Lifestyle with Convenience to Big Cities

Auburndale is located in Central Florida, between Tampa and OrlandoWhile Auburndale itself exudes small-town vibes, one of the benefits of calling Auburndale home is the convenience of nearby cities for both employment and entertainment. With its location off I-4, along with access to US-92 and the Polk Parkway, living in Auburndale places you within about 10 miles of Lakeland, and approximately 40 miles from both downtown Orlando and Tampa.

This means you’ll enjoy living in a laid-back, Old Florida community with a slower pace of life, while still having access to all that the big cities offer, from recreation and entertainment to major employment centers and cultural destinations. Enjoy life just a short drive from some of the world’s best theme parks (more on that below), as well as excellent dining, professional sports, and even Gulf Coast beaches – you’ll never get bored when you live in Central Florida (unless that's exactly the slow pace kind of weekend you want to enjoy).

And when it’s time to return to work on Monday morning, you’ll be pleased with how easy it is to reach major employment centers and top employers in the region:

  • Healthcare is a major industry in Polk County, with multiple hospitals and medical centers nearby, including Lakeland Regional Health and AdventHealth Heart of Florida Hospital.
  • Publix is based in Lakeland and has multiple manufacturing and warehouse facilities nearby, as does Amazon, and the I-4 corridor is rich with logistics facilities since it runs from coast to coast.
  • The tourism and hospitality industries are big economic drivers in Central Florida. 
  • And, the I-4 corridor is known as Central Florida’s tech corridor, rich with industries from aerospace to medical technologies.

That brings us to #2…

2. Florida’s Center for Tech Education and Innovation

Florida Polytechnic University in Auburndale, FL
Florida Polytechnic University
By Gregory Urbano from St. Petersburg, Florida, USA, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Auburndale is home to the state’s only polytechnic school, Florida Polytechnic University. Florida Poly is ranked as the No. 1 public college in the region and is one of the top 30 public engineering programs without a Ph. D. in the country according to U.S. News & World Report.

Not only does the school provide an excellent education (as well as employment opportunities for educators), Florida Poly and the city of Auburndale have the distinct geographic advantage of being located within 60 miles of 70% of Florida’s technology companies, allowing the school to partner with large space and tech industry employers in Central Florida.

Such partnerships include the creation of the Advanced Mobility Institute and SunTrax research park developed with the Florida Department of Transportation and Florida’s Turnpike Enterprise, which focus on the evolution of connected and autonomous vehicles (aka Tesla’s and other self-driving automobiles). Florida Poly students with researchers on the development and testing of emerging transportation technologies in a safe and controlled environment, securing Florida's future as a leader in automated transportation technology.

3. Live the Ultimate Lake Life

Lake Ariana in Auburndale
Lake Ariana - Courtesy of Facebook

Auburndale’s location in the heart of Florida means it’s full of sparkling lakes. The many lakes range in size, offering opportunities for boating, watersports, fishing, or simply spending the day lakeside!

Auburndale lakes with public access include:

  • Lake Ariana, featuring a lakeside park with green space, pavilions with picnic tables, and a sidewalk for strolling the beautiful grounds;
  • Lake Juliana, which is home to a public boat ramp so you can enjoy the lake’s expansive waters for fishing and fun;
  • Lake Lena, popular public lake for fishing and waterskiing;
  • Lake Mariana;
  • Lake Myrtle, home to the Elite Cable Park (read more on this exciting destination below);
  • Lake Tennessee.

Plus, a multitude of other lakes are located just outside of the city limits, including Winter Haven’s famed Chain of Lakes, a unique water system of canal-connected lakes (16 in the southern Chain and 8 in the northern Chain) that lets you boat from one side of the city to the other, while stopping to dine and drink at shoreside restaurants.

Neighboring Winter Haven is known as the water ski capital of the world, and Auburndale offers something even more unique…

4. World Class Watersports at Elite Cable Park

wakeboarding in Auburndale
Photo courtesy of VisitCentralFlorida.org

Located on Lake Myrtle, this full-sized cable park is designed for wakeboarders of every skill level. Beginners can enjoy one-on-one lessons with a professional coach on the “Little Bro” cable system, while experienced riders can hit the full-sized cable system with UNIT features including jumps, ramps, and rails for learning new tricks or showing off your skills!

In addition to wakeboarding, the park also allows you to try your hand at waterskiing, wakeskating, and kneeboarding. The cable park is also home to a summer camp program for kids aged 9 to 15 who are interested in spending even more time in the water!

And when you’ve worked up an appetite, the wake park has you covered at Tantrums Lakeside Grill, serving up sandwiches, tacos, seafood baskets, and rice bowls, as well as a variety of cold treats – the perfect recipe after a day of action on the water!

New to watersports? No worries! Elite Cable Park has an onsite Pro Shop that will ensure you have everything you need before getting started, including boards, helmets, life vests, and more. They even offer memberships for frequent riders, which you may need after you fall in love with this quintessential Florida watersport.

5. City of Auburndale Parks and Recreation

Downtown City Park in Auburndale FL
Downtown City Park - Photo Courtesy of AuburndaleFL.com

It’s not all water – Florida’s sunshine and balmy temperatures allow for lovely greenspaces that are enjoyable all year round. When you own a new home in Auburndale, you’ll be close to some of our favorite parks in the city:

  • Downtown City Park: Located in the heart of downtown Auburndale, this city park includes a vibrant playground area, a historic bandstand, and the Historic Depot. The park is also home to the Auburndale Rotary Butterfly Garden, which includes a colorful display of Florida-friendly plants that host and attract butterflies to the area!
  • Lake Ariana Park/Mac’s Beach: As we mentioned above, Lake Ariana has its own waterfront park with green space, a playground, and picnic pavilions - and even more unique, it features a sandy public beach! While many know it as Auburndale City Beach or Max Beach, the official name is actually Mac’s Beach (according to the city website). The park and lake are also popular for water activities, and host a fishing pier and boat launch.
  • Lake Myrtle Sports Complex: This premier sporting destination is home to a variety of athletic fields including baseball and soccer fields, and hosts all kinds of events, from youth sporting events to collegiate tournaments. It’s also the home park of the Florida Youth Soccer Association and the Polk County Sports Hall of Fame.
  • Auburndale Dog Park: Auburndale isn’t only for humans - This paw-sitively exciting dog park features two separate play areas for large and small dogs. Each area includes exercise and play equipment for your furry friend, as well as benches and shaded areas for you to relax.

Auburndale Dog Park

6. Access to the Auburndale TECO Trail

Are you an exercise or outdoor enthusiast? Then you will love having access to the Auburndale TECO Trail, a 6.6-mile paved trail ideal for biking, walking, running, skating, and even nature watching! The trail begins at Denton Avenue near Lake Myrtle and heads north into Polk City where it connects with the General James A. Van Fleet Trail. It also passes through Lake Myrtle Sports Park and provides access to the Auburndale Dog Park!

Auburndale TECO Trail

7. Convenience to Theme Parks and Attractions

Cinderella's Castle at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom Theme Park
Live just 25 miles from Disney's Magic Kingdom

One of the top reasons to call Auburndale home? World-class attractions right in your own backyard!

LEGOLAND Florida is the nearest theme park resort, located in neighboring Winter Haven. The resort is home to three unique parks:

  • The LEGOLAND Theme Park brings Legos to life and boasts more than 50 rides, shows, and attractions for children.
  • The LEGOLAND Water Park is the perfect spot to splash the day away, whether floating on the lazy river or getting an adrenaline rush on slides.
  • The Peppa Pig Theme Park offers rides, attractions, and shows centered around the brilliant world of Peppa.

In addition to LEGOLAND, Auburndale is also a short drive from the world’s top theme parks, including:

  • Walt Disney World Resort – 25 miles
  • SeaWorld Orlando – 35 miles
  • Universal Orlando Resort – 40 miles

8. Stunning New Homes in Auburndale, FL

A new home by Highland Homes in Auburndale, Florida

The last item on our list includes THREE reasons to call Auburndale home – Beautiful homes in desirable Auburndale new home communities!

Bentley North

Located off SR 559 less than three miles from I-4, near Gapway Road and Lake Juliana, these new homes in Auburndale, FL are convenient to all the great things we mentioned about Auburndale! Bentley North embraces small-town living, with only 39 homes in this intimate community, including select homes adjacent to open space and ponds for your backyard privacy.

And, it's affordable with homes priced from the low $300’s including 1,479 to 2,029 square feet of living space with 3 or 4 bedrooms, open-concept layouts, and a private owner’s suite, along with a 2-car garage and a front porch and/or covered lanai for outdoor living enjoyment. 

Aerial of the Bentley North community of new homes in Auburndale, FL

Otter Woods Estates

Situated one mile east of Lake Ariana, on the fringes of the city limits, with the sweet scent of orange blossoms fragrancing the air, this boutique community offers just 22 exclusive homes combining a charming, country-like setting within easy reach of recreation, highways, and daily necessities.

Homes at Otter Woods Estates offer spacious 1,819 to 2,536 square foot layouts with 3 to 5 bedrooms, a 2 or 3-car garage, and a covered lanai for your outdoor living enjoyment, with pricing from the mid $300's. Your space extends outdoors with 1/4-acre homesites providing a large backyard and space between neighboring homes, and every home here boasts backyard privacy thanks to a wooded property line or adjacent open space and ponds. 

Aerial view of Otter Woods Estates in Auburndale, FL

Summerlake Estates

Located off Berkley Road across from the Lake Myrtle Sports Park, this gated community in Auburndale is convenient to all the great things we mentioned about Auburndale! I-4 and daily necessities are just minutes away, and the Lake Myrtle Sports Park and Auburndale TECO Trail are just across the road, placing you within walking distance of these recreation amenities. And, Summerlake Estate features private walking trails within the community, creating a park-like setting and adding to your recreation options.

Homes here offer 1,819 to 2,487 square feet of beautifully designed living space with 3 or 4 bedrooms, a 2 or 3-car garage, and pricing from the $370's. Situated on 0.21-acre standard homesites, choose from homesites adjacent to open space, ponds, or even offering views of nearby Lake Arietta!

Homes at Summerlake Estates are near the shores of Lake Arietta in Auburndale

Now that you know some of the reasons Auburndale is an amazing place to live, find your dream home and start living your best life in this laid-back, convenient, and innovative city! Our Auburndale New Home Specialists look forward to helping you find your dream home - Call or email us today!

Tags: Lakeland-Winter Haven Auburndale Bentley North Otter Woods Estates Summerlake Estates Single-family homes Lakes Open space Walking Trails I-4 LEGOLAND Walt Disney World Chain of Lakes US-92 Universal Orlando