Located in Volusia County near the Atlantic coast, Orange City, FL is home to about 7,000 people. Orange City residents enjoy all of the big-city conveniences within their charming, small-town environs. Orange City offers a variety of housing options, from affordable, yet quality condominiums and single-family homes to many new luxury gated communities. Within Orange City, there are many homes that are graced with medium and estate-sized lots. These lots have many large trees, which helped Orange City to become designated as “Tree City USA.” Regardless of the type of housing you are in the market for, Orange City neighborhoods are among the safest in Volusia County.
With new development booming across the board, Orange City has become a regional marketplace for shopping, dining and area attractions. Several new schools have also been built to meet the needs of the many families relocating to Orange City and the rest of the Volusia County area. Strategically located between Daytona Beach and Orlando on Interstate 95, Orange City is not only near many famous Central Florida attractions and the Atlantic coast, but near many job opportunities in this major metropolitan area. Affordable housing, excellent city and county services, low taxes, well-maintained parks, and access to national chain shopping make Orange City a perfect environment to live, work and play.
The Timucua Indians were the first people to live along the Atlantic coast near what is now Orange City. By 1820, these native people died out due to the disease and war brought by generations of Spanish, English, and eventually American colonists. The first permanent residents to build their home at Blue Spring, near the site of modern-day Orange City, were Louis and Mary Ann Thursby in the 1850’s. In 1874, Dr. Seth French and six friends purchased 5,000 acres of land near the St. John’s River. French had traveled up the St. Johns only a few years before by steamboat. The town that French and his friends established on their land purchase became the foundation for modern-day Orange City. Orange City was named for the thousands of acres of orange groves planted in and around the city, and was incorporated as a city in 1882.
One of the most historic buildings in Orange City is Town Hall. Built in 1928 at a cost of $20,000, Town Hall features a prominent bell tower, with a bell weighing over 500 pounds! Town Hall was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2002.
Orange City offers its residents and visitors the opportunity to enjoy several park facilities within the city’s boundaries. These parks include Valentine Park, Veterans Memorial Park, Dickinson Park, Coleman Park and Mill Lake Park. Amenities offered at Orange City parks include nature trails, picnic pavilions, sports fields, basketball courts, playgrounds and more!
Orange City hosts a variety of events designed to foster a greater sense of community spirit. These are popular gatherings where neighbors can meet neighbors, and everyone can enjoy the unique outdoor surroundings of the St. Johns River area.
Blue Spring Manatee Festival
One of the most anticipated events of the year is the Blue Spring Manatee Festival. This festival serves as a fundraiser for the Friends of Blue Spring State Park. Celebrating the beloved manatee, the festival features food, arts and crafts, live entertainment and environmental education. Special manatee programs educate festival attendees about the plight of these gentle giants. History presentations and Indian dancers also are featured at this festival.
People enjoy living in Orange City largely for the outdoor opportunities the area presents. Situated near the St. John’s River and freshwater lakes, the area is perfect for fishermen. Sportsmen enjoy the scrub and swamp nearby. Being close to the Atlantic coast, Orange City is also a convenient launching point for beachcombers and surfers. Protected park areas are also a favorite among residents and visitors
Blue Spring State Park
Truly a Florida treasure, Blue Spring State Park is one of the best places to view one of the most iconic of this state’s creatures, the West Indian Manatee. This largest spring on the St. John’s River is designated as a Manatee Refuge, and is one of the largest winter homes of the creatures in Florida. With cool, refreshing spring water, many also flock here to cool off in the spring. During summer months, the park often reaches full swim capacity by mid morning—so come early! Snorklers and certified SCUBA divers also enjoy the crystal clear waters of Blue Spring. River boat tours are available. The park also hosts tent and RV campers in the Sand Pine Scrub campground. Vacation cabins are also available on a limited basis.
Blue Spring State Park is located west of Orange City. Take U.S. 17/92 to Orange City, go west two miles on French Avenue to the entrance.For more information on Orange City FL, visit the official website by clicking here