Umatilla Florida

FEATURED LISTING: Florida ::: Umatilla


Good value homes on the sandy banks of Lakes Holly and Umatilla are this town’s best attractions. Umatilla is less than 3 square miles in area, and has the distinguished Ocala National Forest and the gorgeous Alexander Springs for neighbors. This makes Umatilla a perfect place for a vacation home, with unlimited outdoor recreation options. The lakes have ramps that everyone can use for boating and fishing. The trails along the water bodies are great for horseback riding, and there some of the best camping sites that one can find anywhere as well. The banks of the lakes are incredibly rich in vegetation and birding opportunities. Swimming in Alexander Springs sets off a sojourn in the Ocala Forest area just right. You might imagine that such natural beauty and can only be found in the most isolated of places, yet the truth is that Umatilla is less than 50 miles from Orlando, and has a municipal airport to boot!

The most striking feature of Umatilla is that the number of children it has enrolled in its schools equals the number for its adult population! This engaging town may have no more than two thousand residents, but is known far and wide for the best schools that run all the way from kindergarten to the top high school grade. The first school was built even before the place had been incorporated, and local citizens have a tradition for scholastic excellence. More than 90% of the total population has completed primary education. The median income may be well below the national average, but the local chamber of commerce is an enthusiastic body, with a pretty busy agenda of sporting and cultural events. Umatilla gets a new boost every autumn with the Black Bear Festival. The Christmas Season is unusually extended with parades, fun events and festivals kicking off just a week after Thanksgiving. This kind of activity is never at the cost of business. Umatilla is a key center for Florida’s citrus industry and there are some notable banks located here as well. Adverse weather almost destroyed orchards towards the end of the 19th century, but local farmers have shown unusual resilience and re-established the crop during the course of the last 100 years. The agricultural heritage of Umatilla is reinforced by a cooperative that produces some of the best honey to be had anywhere.

Umatilla was discovered by a Nathan Trowell in the 1850s while exploring the length of the St. John’s River. Oregon has a town named Umatilla as well. The name is related to water in the native Aleutian tongue, which is entirely appropriate for a place so surrounded by abundant lakes and waterfalls. Umatilla was incorporated in 1904, and is a beloved member of Lake County. It has a number of restaurants, a fair amount of shopping and Churches that cover major denominations. Overall, it is a fine place to raise a family, especially if you care for the quality of schooling for your children. Daytona Beach joins Orlando as a major urban and recreation center of international stature that is just an hour’s drive from the center of town.

Florida Cities and Towns