With it’s rich history, and large sense of community, Deland, Florida, is filled with beautiful scenery, and plenty of activities to experience. Nestled in between Orlando and Daytona, DeLand is quickly becoming a top destination for families looking to to move to the Central Florida area. Here are 4 things to know about this charming community!
1. Steeped in History
Officially, DeLand was established all the way back in 1876 which adds to the community’s charming and historic vibe. The area was once called Persimmon Hollow as wild persimmons used to grow there in abundance. After the end of the Civil War, each year brought increasing numbers of pioneers seeking to build a future for themselves. Stetson University was established in 1883 and is Florida’s oldest private college. Elizabeth Hall, DeLand Hall and Lee Chapel are just a few of the buildings constructed in the late 1800’s that give the campus it’s historic charm.
Taking a stroll through historic downtown DeLand, you’ll notice plenty of historic buildings. Like out of a classic movie, Athens Theatre sits as a centerpiece, providing residents with a classical American theatre experience in its original, historic building. The theatre had provided entertainment to locals for dozens of years, with a renovation occurring in the 1950’s, before it was shut down in 1990. In 1994 the building was re-purchased, and now the theatre puts on dozens of shows every year.
2. Outdoor Experiences
For a quiet, outdoor escape from the hustle and bustle of the Orlando area, Hontoon Island State Park is the perfect place to visit for nature lovers. Located on the St. Johns River in Volusia County on the west side of Deland, visitors can enjoy a variety of activities, like boating, canoeing, kayaking, fishing, hiking, camping, cycling and picnicking. The park is open from 8:00 am till one hour before sunset year-round and a must visit to see the nature Florida is known for.
If an eco tour is more your speed, be sure to check out Blue Heron River Tours and enjoy a front row ticket on a quiet river cruise down the shallow backwater areas of the St. John’s river. Expect to see plenty of Florida wildlife including alligators, turtles, wading birds, and even manatees.
3. Small Town Charm
Even though the area is rapidly growing, DeLand continues to keep it’s quaint, small town feel. The downtown area features vintage shops, ice cream parlors, and family owned restaurants surrounded by historical architecture (and plenty of free parking). Enjoy a locally brewed beverage at Deland’s first brewery, Persimmon Hollow. Started by two home brewers, the brewery occupies a renovated warehouse and is a popular hangout spot among locals. With touches such as woodwork, mismatch tables and chairs, board and video games – the brewery is the perfect place to have a beer and kick back for a few hours. Plus, with easy access to Florida beaches and the entertainment mecca of Disney World, DeLand is a great place for families to call home.
4. A Place to Celebrate
Known as being Florida’s first luxury estate, Stetson Mansion is a breathtaking building central to the DeLand experience. Built in 1886 for John B. Stetson, the elegant home was known for lavish parties and gatherings, with attendees including President Cleveland and the King and Queen of England. The building was resurrected and is currently a private residence, although private tours are available frequently. The extremely popular “Christmas Spectacular” takes place November to December, where the home becomes decked out with lights and holiday decorations. Even weddings and private parties can be hosted at this exquisite property.
DeLand has plenty to explore for locals and tourists alike. If you’re considering making the area your new home, we can help make your move easier with storage options, moving trucks and packing supplies available at any of our three area locations.
Known for year round sunny weather and miles of beautiful beaches, the Clearwater-St. Petersburg area, located on the gulf coast just west of Tampa, is a vibrant and growing community that offers so many things to see and do. This is why it has become such a popular choice for those looking to relocate to Florida from out of state. But before you start packing up your bags, check out our list of 5 things you should know about the Clearwater-St. Pete area.
Top Rated Beaches
With over 35 miles of white sand along the coast, it’s understandable why the Clearwater-St. Pete area is best known for their beaches. Clearwater Beach has been voted #1 beach on Trip Advisor for multiple years, and is a favorite among both locals and tourists. Residents get to enjoy the clear blue waters, aquatic wildlife, and local restaurants all year long. St. Pete Beach is another picture-worthy spot, with award winning hotels and restaurants lining the beachside. Indian Rocks Beach, Treasure Island and Caladesi Island State Park, while lesser known, offer some of the same stunning vistas while sporting fewer crowds.
Enjoy The Arts
The art scene in Clearwater-St. Pete is fantastic and a must see for both visitors and locals. The most popular spot is the world class Dali Museum located in St. Pete, exhibiting a rotation of Salvador Dali’s vibrant and unique art pieces. Dale Chihuly also has a permanent glass exhibition in downtown St. Pete, providing a unique visual experience of his work. If you’re interested in catching a play or show be sure to check out the Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater, plus you’ll also find over 70 painted building murals in downtown St. Petersburg that should not be missed.
Fantastic Food (and Drinks)
If you’re a self proclaimed foodie, you’re going to love this area. With hundreds of restaurants offering every type of food you can imagine, there’s something for everyone. If local seafood interests you, grab a grouper sandwich and the ‘famous’ smoked fish dip at one of the Frenchy’s locations. Enjoy the spanish charm of tapas bar Ceviche in St. Petersburg, or try the popular Cuban sandwich at Bodega. Maritana Grille, located at the famous Don CeSar Hotel, Birch & Vine, Salt Rock Grille and Cafe Ponte are a couple local favorite spots to also check out to grab something delicious to eat.
Offering sporting events all year round, you can find football, soccer, baseball, racing, golf and more when you’re here. The MLB’s Tampa Bay Ray’s stadium is actually in St. Petersburg at Tropicana Field, and while there are ongoing discussions of building a new stadium in Tampa, you’ll have a few more years to check out some games here. In the spring, the Philadelphia Phillies, New York Yankees and Toronto Blue Jays do their Spring Training in the area. If you like racing, the annual Firestone Grand Prix takes over the streets of St. Pete in the fall, and you’ll be sure to have fun attending a Tampa Bay Rowdies professional soccer game in downtown St. Pete. Just across the bay, you can catch an NFL game at Raymond James Stadium, home of the 2020 Super Bowl Champions, Tampa Bay Buccaneers!
A World of Attractions
Want to board a pirate ship, parasail over the ocean or pet ocean life? You can do all these, and more in the area. Captain Memo’s Pirate Cruise takes you out for an adventure at Clearwater Beach, and provides awesome views and a fun experience for people of all ages. There are dozens of rental companies offering parasailing, snorkeling, jet skiing, banana boating and other beach activities. There’s also various sunset cruises and dolphin boat tours that go out daily. Clearwater Marine Aquarium, best known for Winter, the rescued dolphin whose story inspired the movie Dolphin Tale, is a must visit. While sadly Winter passed away in 2021, you will have the opportunity to interact with other dolphins, sharks, sea turtles and rays, plus experience educational exhibits and activities.
It’s easy to fall in love with Clearwater-St. Petersburg, and these are just a few reasons why. If you’re planning a move to the area, let us help make your move easier with storage options, moving truck rentals, and packing supplies available in Clearwater and St. Pete.
The end of the year can be a hectic time filled with last minute shopping and holiday parties. One thing that can make the season even busier though, is dealing with a move to Florida at the same time. Having to balance decorating your tree while also packing up kitchen appliances can stress anyone out. Luckily, our team has compiled our list of tips to make moving during the holidays a smoother process.
1. Minimize the Decorations & Gifts
You don’t need to go all out when decorating for the holidays in order to enjoy the spirit of the season. Keep your celebrations low-key by focusing on a few of your favorite traditions and skip the elaborate decorations that take up a lot of time and space (like a full size Christmas tree). If your move is scheduled right before the holidays, pack up your decorations last so you’ll have easy access to them as soon as you get to your new home.
Pro Tip: Keep the gifts small too by choosing to give gift cards, passes, and tickets to experiences like sports events or concerts. Check out our Shop Local Holiday Guide for ideas on tickets and gift cards available in the Central Florida area.
2. Remember Daylight Savings
As the holiday season ramps up, the sun sets earlier and earlier especially in Florida after daylight savings causes us to turn back the clocks an hour. Plan accordingly and try to begin your moving day as early as possible. This will allow you to maximize daylight hours and avoid hauling boxes and furniture in the dark.
3. Announce Your Move With A Holiday Card
If you send out holiday cards every year, take advantage of the opportunity and include a note about your new home. Include a “We’ve Moved” insert that has your new address and add it inside your holiday cards. This way your friends and family will know where to send your housewarming and holiday gifts!
Pro Tip: You can save money by creating your change of address notes at home using a program like Microsoft Word or Pages and printing them with your own printer.
4. Dress Like a Floridian
If you’re moving from out of state, you may not be expecting sunshine and sandal weather in the middle of December. Check the forecast for the week of your move and be sure to pack and wear appropriate clothing. It’s not uncommon for Floridians to spend Thanksgiving or Christmas in shorts and flip flops.
5. Buy Some Time With a Storage Unit
If you still want to go all out for the holidays this year, another option is to rent a storage unit and delay your move by keeping large items like furniture packed away for a few months. This will allow you to take out your full lineup of decorations and enjoy the full holiday experience without dealing with the majority of your move until the new year.
With a little planning, and some help from a facility like Personal Mini Storage, you can make a successful move even during the busy holiday season. Most importantly thought, remember to take some time to celebrate with your family and friends even if you’re surrounded by moving boxes.