Local’s Guide to Living in Haines City, FL

Posted: February 15, 2022 | Categories: Communities | Communities>Gracelyn Grove
By Highland Homes

Updated April 6, 2023

Aerial photo of Lake Eva Park in Haines City, FL
Lake Eva Park


Nicknamed the Heart of Florida thanks to its welcoming, small-town feel and location nearly smack-dab in the middle of the state, Haines City provides convenient access to life’s necessities and Orlando attractions while being removed from the hustle and bustle of big city living. Home to amazing parks and recreation, shopping and dining, and some of Central Florida's biggest events, Haines City is a great place to call home!

Haines City offers an affordable cost of living, too. Buying a new home in Haines City is more affordable than real estate in Orlando itself while still providing easy access to Orlando attractions and employment opportunities, and amazing neighborhoods such as the Gracelyn Grove community make it easy to find the home you’ve been dreaming of.

The Convenience Your Life Demands

Haines City, the Heart of Florida
Haines City, the Heart of Florida


Living in a smaller city doesn't mean you need to sacrifice convenience - In fact, Haines City is considered a suburban city rather than a rural one, and living in a new home in Haines City at Gracelyn Grove makes everyday life easy thanks to the fantastic location just minutes from grocery stores, schools, major thoroughfares, parks, and entertainment.

Need a gallon of milk, stat? Homes at Gracelyn Grove are just 2.5 miles from the nearest Publix Super Market (at Haines City Mall), and within 4 miles of groceries from ALDI, Walmart Supercenter, Save A Lot, Roody’s Grocery, and El Zocalo Mexican Supermarket.

If you have school-aged children, drop-off is a breeze thanks to Gracelyn Grove’s convenience to zoned schools in the Polk County School District:

  • Sandhill Elementary School – 6.4 miles 
  • Lake Marion Creek Middle School – 9.7 miles
  • Haines City Senior High School – Off S 30th Street, approximately 300 feet from the Gracelyn Grove community entrance

And, major roadways including US-17 (1.2 miles), US-27 (2.7 miles), and I-4 (11.2 miles) allow for a simple commute and easy to travel to surrounding Central Florida cities:

  • Winter Haven (Downtown) – 11.5 miles
  • Celebration – 19.5 miles
  • Kissimmee – 22.5 miles
  • Lakeland (Downtown) – 24 miles
  • Orlando (I-Drive area) – 30 miles
  • Orlando (Downtown) – 40 miles

Parks, Recreation, and Attractions

One of the things that makes living in Haines City so great is the convenience to outdoor recreation, community events, and Central Florida’s famed theme parks and attractions. From fishing to organized sports, hiking to swimming, and Disney to Universal Studios, there’s no shortage of things to do when you call Haines City home. 

Lake Eva Park Aquatics Center in Haines City
Lake Eva Park Aquatics Center


One of Haines City’s most well-known destinations is Lake Eva Park, just 1.7 miles away from your Haines City new home at Gracelyn Grove. This 28.8-acre lakeside park truly features activities for everyone, whether a lakeside picnic, energetic workout, or friendly game of B-ball is more your speed. Enjoy an aquatics center with a competition pool, kids activity area, and splash pad, basketball and tennis courts for sports enthusiasts, trails with exercise stations ideal for either a peaceful stroll or working up a sweat, a public boat ramp and fishing pier, and plenty of space for the kids to let out energy on the park’s multiple playgrounds.

Lake Eva Park is also home to some of Central Florida’s biggest events including:

  • Ribs on the Ridge Brews & BBQ, a professional and backyard BBQ competition, which happens in February each year
  • Laughs on the Lake comedy festival, which occurred in 2023 on March 25th
  • Thunder on the Ridge, Polk County’s PREMIERE fireworks display, on July 4th, 2023
  • Glitter, Glisten and Snow on December 2, 2023; a holiday celebration with Santa, a tree lighting, and snow falling from the sky - something you don't typically see in Florida!
  • Ironman 70.3 Florida, hosting over 2,000 athletes, happening on December 10, 2023
Lake Marion Creek trails in Haines City
Lake Marion Creek trails


When you're looking to take a walk surrounded by nature, just 4.4 miles east of your new home in Haines City you’ll find the Lake Marion Creek – Stokes Preserve and Lake Marion Trailhead, which connect with the Lake Marion Creek Wildlife Management Area and Huckleberry Island. This nature-lovers paradise lets you get away from it all and become absorbed in nature with hiking trails through hilly habitats, pine flatwoods, and swamp forests. You can also fish, bicycle, kayak, picnic, and camp in different areas – and don’t forget to take in the sweet scents and sights of wildflowers!

Castle at Walt Disney World theme park in Orlando
Walt Disney World


And of course, one of the BIGGEST reasons to call Haines City home is the convenience to Orlando theme parks. Tourists travel to these world-class destinations from all over the world, and when you call Haines City home, you’ll enjoy the convenience of world-class attractions right in your own backyard:

  • LEGOLAND Florida Resort - 13 miles
  • Walt Disney World Resort - 19.6 miles
  • Old Town Kissimmee - 21.4 miles
  • Universal Orlando Resort - 31 miles
  • ICON Park - 31 miles

Delicious Eats and Sweet Treats

Manny's Chophouse in Haines City FL
Photo courtesy of Manny's Chophouse on Instagram


After a day at work or happily exhausted after a trip to the theme park, cooking may not be on your menu. We got you! Your new home in Haines City, FL is near an array of dining options to satisfy your hunger. Some of the highest-rated restaurants in Haines City include:

  • Manny’s Original Chophouse provides a lively atmosphere and “the best steak in town” guarantee (along with equally-tasty ribs, seafood, and burgers)
  • City Caribbean Café, where you can fill up on authentic Caribbean and soul food
  • Dora’s Pizza, a family-run Italian restaurant specializing in pizza, pasta, and cheesecake
Haines City's Art Alley
Haines City's Art Alley - Courtesy of Instagram

And we can’t talk about dining in Haines City without talking about food trucks! The city is home to the Art Alley Food Truck Marketplace where you'll find an array of options every Thursday through Sunday in an Instagram-worthy setting in downtown Haines City, and the Orange Blossom Flea Market of Haines City hosts food trucks all week long. Some of the top food trucks in Haines City include:

  • Lula Paleta Artisan Popsicles, our favorite place to get a cool treat. Popsicles with toppings?! Yes, please! Plus, they offer frappes, acai bowls, banana splits, and more, each hand-crafted and served with a smile
  • El Valenciano Food Truck, serving Venezuelan food continually referred to as "the best" with friendly staff and prompt service.
  • The Burger Goat with top-ratings for their tasty burgers and fries
  • Tropical Flavor, serving yup authentic Puerto Rican food 

Haines City Healthcare

Healthcare is a top consideration for many relocating to a new city – after all, a healthy home is a happy home, am I right? When you live in a new home in Haines City, you’ll appreciate access to healthcare options close to home.

For common illnesses and injuries, new construction homes at Gracelyn Grove are within 10 minutes of urgent care at Walk-In Care Powered by BayCareAnywhere, Doctor Today TLC, and BayCare Urgent Care. In addition, multiple hospitals are within a comfortable distance whether for your healthcare needs or if you work in the medical field:

  • AdventHealth Heart of Florida Hospital – 8 miles
  • Poinciana Medical Center – 10 miles
  • Winter Haven Hospital – 11 miles
  • VA Outpatient Clinic (Kissimmee) – 20 miles
  • Osceola Regional Medical Center – 24 miles
  • Lake Nona Medical City – 30 miles

New Homes in Haines City, FL

Kitchen in a new home in Haines City FL

Now that we’ve talked about everything to do when you live in Haines City, let’s talk about the best place to live!

Gracelyn Grove is a brand-new community in Haines City, nestled on the outskirts of the city off South 30th Street and E. Grace Avenue, across from Haines City High School. Designed to take advantage of Central Florida’s natural beauty, homes at Gracelyn Grove are nestled in a park-like setting with a landscaped entry boulevard, open space, and desirable amenities in Phase 1, including:

  • A dog park with separate spaces for large and small dogs. Pet parents can rest on benches while the pups play, and dogs can stay hydrated and cool with onsite doggy fountains.
  • A playground shaded from the Florida sun and protected from pop-up rain showers. Walk or take a bike ride to the park, which includes convenient bike racks!
  • Common areas with gazebos, picnic tables, and benches - the perfect outdoor space to entertain friends and family and to get to know your new neighbors!

Aerial of Gracelyn Grove in Haines City

As an added benefit, these amenities are available to you with no CDD fees, so your hard-earned money can go further towards enjoying everything there is to do in Haines City. 

New homes in Haines City at Gracelyn Grove are affordable, too, with single-family homes priced from the $290’s offering 1,301 to 3,141 square feet of beautifully designed living space with three to six bedrooms and a 2-car garage.

Homes at Gracelyn Grove provide the features you've been looking for such as open-concept living space ideal for entertaining family and friends, a private owner’s suite where you can relax after a long day, and flexible-use rooms designed to put your home to use in the way you need, whether it’s a playroom, home office, or workout space – the choices are endless and can grow and change as your family does.

Living are of a Hines City new home by Highland Homes

Don’t fight the housing inventory shortage - New construction homes in Haines City are available now at Gracelyn Grove, with options both for a quick move-in or to build your personalized dream home from the ground up! Preview homes online, then call or email our Haines City New Home Specialists to learn more about owning your dream home at Gracelyn Grove! 

Tags: East Polk County Haines City Gracelyn Grove single-family homes open space US-17 US-27 I-4 Universal Studios Walt Disney World now selling amenities dog park playground