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Kissimmee is one of the most popular Central Florida cities. Blessed with a rich heritage and a year-round desirable climate, Kissimmee has become an attractive community to live, work and play. Conveniently located near the Walt Disney World Resort, Sea World Orlando, and Universal Orlando Resort; Kissimmee is right in the middle of all the fun Central Florida has to offer! Kissimmee is easily accessible from Interstate 4, Highway 417, the Florida Turnpike and Osceola Parkway. US Highways 17/92 and 192 intersect near the downtown area.
The city of Kissimmee was incorporated in 1883. In 1887,Osceola County was formed and in 1888, Kissimmee City was chosen to be the county seat. Kissimmee is part of the Orlando-Kissimmee Metropolitan Statistical Area which is Florida’s third-largest metropolitan area, following Miami and Tampa. This Metropolitan Statistical Area includes four counties;Orange, Osceola, Seminole and Lake.
Of course, Kissimmee is best known for its close proximity to Walt Disney World which draws hundreds of thousands of vacationers to Central Florida every year.
Kissimmee has a great mixture of residential lifestyles with homes to suit each one of them. Very few places in the world can boast such a diverse array of communities to satisfy so many needs. Whether you are looking for new construction or an established neighborhood, Kissimmee has a variety to offer.The majority of single family home designs are “Florida Style”. These homes are designed to be comfortable and livable in our warm Florida climate. Stucco exteriors with clay tile roofs are popular. The interiors of these homes are designed with open living space allowing for air to circulate more freely throughout the home. Many of the homes are designed with one or more porches and verandas, and windows that allow cooling breezes to flow freely throughout. Customarily, homes focus on the backyard area, which usually includes a terrace, lanai, deck or patio that borders a pool.
Vacation homes are plentiful and are generally located in gated communities with a wide array of amenities. Kissimmee also has a large number of condominium vacation homes. Typically, vacation communities include attractive resort facilities with pools, restaurants, tennis courts and activity rooms for fitness and recreation. Some of these communities have their own private golf course and clubhouse. Many of these communities have in-house Property Management Companies that provide maintenance services to your home along with a management program for renting your property on a short-term or vacation rental basis.
As of 2006, the population recorded by the U.S. Census Bureau for Kissimmee was 60,984.
Downtown Kissimmee is located in the heart of Old Florida! This historic district lies adjacent to beautiful Lake Toho; where pedestrians can stroll or have a picnic lunch. The local business community has worked hard to keep the integrity of this vibrant downtown neighborhood. The downtown area features a mix of businesses that cater to residents and visitors alike with restaurants, antique shops, clothiers, drug stores and more. Many of the downtown buildings have been embellished with murals painted by a local artist. From the events at LakefrontPark, to the weekly Farmers Market, downtown Kissimmee has something for everyone.
The most exciting addition to the downtown area is the City Centre development; a retail, office and residential project strategically placed at the center of the business district looking out over beautiful Lake Tohopekaliga. The ParkView, at City Centre, offers its residents luxurious condominiums with the convenience of living in a downtown neighborhood with boating, shopping and dining at their doorstep.
Kissimmee has numerous shopping centers. The most notable retail area is at The Loop. This pedestrian friendly outdoor shopping center houses a 16-screen movie theater and has a mix of anchor stores, specialty retailers, restaurants and cafes. The immediate area surrounding the loop has seen much growth for consumers. It hosts a wide mix of national retailers, including Supermarket Chains, Drug Chains, Discount Store Chains, Warehouse Clubs, Value Retailers, Furniture Chains and Home Improvement retailers.
The opening of Walt Disney World, in 1971, put tourism and the hospitality industry at the head of the economy in Kissimmee. The area is home to many well-known tourist attractions and theme parks, including Universal Orlando Resort and SeaWorld Orlando. Kissimmee is a thriving, tourist-driven city with a variety of popular entertainment venues outside of the famed theme parks. Notable attractions include the Arabian Nights dinner show, Medieval Times dinner and tournament and Old Town with its’ shops and restaurants. Old Town hosts weekly classic and new car shows and is adjacent to Fun Spot USA which boasts the world’s tallest SkyCoaster; nearly 300 feet tall!
Cattle Ranching has remained a part of the local economy, however, most of the ranches operate in the southern part of Osceola County.
The School District of Osceola County serves Kissimmee. There are fifteen Elementary Schools, seven Middle Schools, and six High Schools including Gateway High School that offers an International Baccalaureate Program.
Florida Hospital Kissimmee serves the community with a full service, 50-bed facility. TheOsceola Regional Medical Center has a 235-bed facility located in Kissimmee. The hospital features all private rooms, a Level II Neonatal unit, and an open heart program.
Kissimmee has a full service public parks and recreation division that manages 35 park sites with more than a dozen ball fields, 16 tennis courts, six playgrounds, lakefront property, and the city’s Aquatic Center. The Parks & Recreation Division of the City of Kissimmee boasts a multi-purpose Civic Center located in the downtown historic district. This facility has grown into a major venue for professional and amateur sports, community fitness and wellness clubs, and houses a premier ballroom/conference center for business and residential use. Kissimmee’s Parks and Recreation Department offers numerous activities for children including sports, dance classes, martial arts, after school programs, special needs recreation, teen nights and dances.
The Kissimmee Chain of Lakes is known for some of the state’s largest and finest fishing and recreational attractions and offers some of the best bass fishing to be found anywhere in the world. Lake Tohopekaliga, aka Lake Toho, offers year round trophy bass fishing. Lake Toho is the northern most lake in the Kissimmee chain of lakes which consists of four lakes; Lake Toho,Lake Cypress, Hatchineha and Lake Kissimmee. The Kissimmee Chain of Lakes provide habitat for many species of birds and alligators and are excellent places for all freshwater recreation; from skiing to air boating, nature watching and cruising.
The Kissimmee area has a multitude of public and private golf courses. The combination of temperature, climate and terrain conditions have made Central Florida a natural location for, near perfect, all year around golfing.
The Kissimmee Fire Department provides fire protection, emergency medical care and general emergency response to the residents of the city of Kissimmee. The city has its own Police Department, independent of the Osceola Sheriff’s Department, which is dedicated to providing quality law enforcement services to the community.
LYNX provides local bus service through Kissimmee. There is also a Greyhound Bus Station. Amtrak has a train station which will be incorporated as a stop on the Central Florida Commuter Rail system that is planned for the region.
In 1888, the city’s voters chose Kissimmee City to be the location for the Osceola CountyCourthouse. The courthouse was dedicated in May, 1890 and it remains the oldest courthouse in the state of Florida that is still in use for the purpose it was originally built.
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