Charmed Living in Winter Haven, Florida

Posted: July 30, 2020 | Categories: Communities | Communities>VillaMar
By Highland Homes

Updated December 12, 2023

Sunset on the Chain of Lakes

If you enjoy having access to big-city attractions, amenities, and employment opportunities but don’t love big-city living, then Winter Haven, Florida is the place for you!

From this mid-sized Central Florida city, you can be in either Orlando or Tampa within an hour and Lakeland is less than 20 minutes away. Not only that, Winter Haven itself boasts an abundance of attractions and activities from watersports on the renowned Chain of Lakes, to its historic downtown filled with shopping, dining, and breweries, and days of play at LEGOLAND Florida.

Add in an affordable cost of living compared to larger cities, quiet neighborhoods set amongst lakes and natural surroundings, and an array of parks, trails, and outdoor activities, and it's easy to see how living in Winter Haven provides a charming lifestyle with an ideal combination of a smaller hometown and access to everything from nearby cities and attractions to local shops and daily conveniences.

Read on to learn more about this city and everything near VillaMar, one of the best neighborhoods of new homes in Winter Haven.

Welcome Home to VillaMar

Aerial view of Winter Haven new homes at VillaMar

Located in southeast Winter Haven on the shores of Crystal Lake, homes at VillaMar offer an idyllic lakefront setting along with resort-style amenities, along with open space, ponds, and wetlands throughout the neighborhood providing peaceful nature views and backyard privacy to select homes.

Commuting Convenience

New homes at VillaMar are positioned just three miles from Cypress Gardens Blvd., 4.5 miles from US-27, and 6.4 miles from US-17, for easy travel to nearby cities:

  • Lakeland (Polk Parkway and US-98) - 17 miles
  • Orlando (Downtown) - 53 miles
  • Tampa (Downtown) - 54 miles

This ideal location also places you within minutes of your daily conveniences - Live easy knowing that a gallon of milk is just minutes away with your local Publix Super Market at Winter Haven Square just four miles from home, or the Walmart Supercenter about six miles away.


Access to medical facilities is important to many people when considering a move to a new neighborhood or city, so you’ll be glad to know Bond Clinic’s East Campus is four miles away, while the Main Campus, founded in 1948, is about 9 miles away in the heart of Downtown Winter Haven. BayCare Health, Tampa Bay’s major healthcare system, has several locations throughout Winter Haven including a walk-in clinic off Cypress Gardens Blvd., less than ten minutes away. And, Winter Haven Hospital and surrounding healthcare facilities are about nine miles from home.


Children living at VillaMar are zoned to attend schools within the Polk County School District:

  • Pinewood Elementary (PreK-5)
  • Denison Middle (6-8)
  • Lake Region High School (9-12)

There are several nearby charter school options, including Compass Middle, Cypress Junction Montessori, and the Jewett School of the Arts (PreK-8). When higher education comes calling, Polk State College has a campus in Winter Haven, and Florida Polytechnic University and Southeastern University are each about 35 minutes away.

Things to Do in Winter Haven

Winter Haven is known for its outdoor recreation and in particular water activities - it's the water ski capital of the world and home to 55 lakes including the famed Chain of Lakes!


VillaMar is situated on the shores of Crystal Lake, a freshwater lake approximately 35 acres in size, providing peaceful lake views and stunning sunrises over the lake waters. While there isn't public access onto this lake, Winter Haven's famed Chain of Lakes hosts 12 public boat ramps from which you can travel between 24 canal-connected lakes, and go all the way from one side of Winter Haven to the other without leaving your boat!

Imagine spending your days water skiing, kayaking, paddle boarding, boating, and fishing - oh yeah, and don't forget waterside dining!

Dining and Date Nights

Waterside dining in Winter Haven
Photo courtesy of the Winter Haven Chamber of Commerce


When you've worked up an appetite, check out some of Winter Haven's waterfront restaurants such as Harborside, Tanner's Lakeside, The Twisted Prop, and Harry's Old Place - at some, you can even dock your boat and step right from a day on the water to a lakeside table!

Or, have a date night downtown at the Union Taproom, Grove Roots Brewing Co., or a romantic restaurant such as Arabellas. While the city retains its small-town flair, its cultural and entertainment offerings continue to grow and Downtown Winter Haven is home to many unique boutiques, restaurants, and events. Whether you want to pick up produce at the weekly farmer's market or take in a show put on by Theatre Winter Haven, there is always something going on Downtown.

Theme Parks and Attractions


Of course, one of the biggest draws to living in Central Florida is the world-class theme parks and attractions! Tourists travel here from all over the world, and when you live in Winter Haven, you get to enjoy world-class attractions right in your own backyard!

The nearest attraction to your new home is LEGOLAND Florida and their new Peppa Pig Theme Park- In fact, this Central Florida destination for kid-centric rides, shows, and attractions is a mere 4.5 miles from home! But don’t worry - Your new neighborhood is nicely tucked away from all the theme park excitement!

Bok Tower Gardens
Bok Tower Gardens


If you’re interested in awe-inspiring natural beauty, Bok Tower Gardens in nearby Lake Wales is the place to go! Located about 12 miles away, these serene gardens offer tranquil strolls through 50 acres of meandering gardens along with a famed neo-Gothic Singing Tower, daily carillon concerts, and plenty of scenic spots for a picnic.

How far is Winter Haven from Orlando attractions? Far enough to be away from the hustle and bustle, but close enough to enjoy a theme park afternoon:

  • Walt Disney World Resort - 35 miles
  • SeaWorld Orlando - 41 miles
  • ICON Park - 44 miles
  • Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure - 45 miles

Or, head west to enjoy activities in Tampa, the third-largest city in Florida and home to beautiful Gulf Coast beaches!

  • Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino - 48 miles
  • Ybor City (clubs, restaurants, and entertainment) - 52 miles
  • Channel District (Amalie Arena, Florida Aquarium, and cruise ports) - 55 miles
  • Clearwater Beach - 79 miles
  • St. Pete Beach - 82 miles


While Winter Haven is famous for its watersports, the city offers plenty of recreation for land lovers, too.

Central Florida is also known for its world-class golf and according to GolfLink, there are 9 golf courses in Winter Haven with another 40 located within 20 miles. Lake Ashton Golf Club is one of the top-rated courses in Winter Haven - and, it's just 2.4 miles away from your new home at VillaMar.

Chain of Lakes Trail Bridge - provided by Winter Haven Chamber of Commerce
Chain of Lakes Trail Bridge - Courtesy of Winter Haven Chamber of Commerce


The city has lots of parks and recreation, from neighborhood parks to community centers and trail systems. A few of our faves include:

  • Chain of Lakes Trail, a 4.7 miles multi-use path that goes from Winter Haven to Lake Alfred, much of it along a former railroad route.
  • South Lake Howard Nature Park, where trails meander through greenery, boardwalks jut out onto the lake, and there are enclosed picnic areas to sit and relax.
  • Lake Shipp Park, a shaded waterside park where you can picnic, boat, fish, or play on the greenspace or playground.

Make the Move to Winter Haven

From recreation and theme parks to convenience to in-town necessities and nearby cities, living in Winter Haven sure has a lot to offer! Here's one more reason to call the city home - New homes in Winter Haven are about 10% cheaper than nearby Lakeland and 20-30% cheaper than living in Orlando or Tampa!

If you're ready to make the move, VillaMar is one of the most popular neighborhoods in the city thanks to its great location, peaceful nature-inspired design, and resort-style amenities including a pool, cabana, and playground located on the shores of Crystal Lake. 

Inside, the homes are equally as impressive as their surroundings. In Phase 4 of VillaMar, one and two-story homes offer you 1,301 to 2,029 square feet of living space with features designed for your life such as an open living area, a private owner’s suite, and flexible-use rooms that can grow and change as your needs do. Options are available for a quick move-in with features hand-selected by our professional designers, or to build your personalized dream home from the ground up, with prices starting from the $270's.

To schedule your VIP tour and discover everything there is to love about living at VillaMar, call or email our Winter Haven New Home Specialists today!

Tags: Polk County Winter Haven VillaMar Single-Family Homes US-27 US-17 Highway 60 Amenities Swimming Pool Playground Lakes LEGOLAND Orlando attractions theme parks