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Living In Lakewood Ranch, FL

Lakewood Ranch is an award-winning master planned community located in southeastern Manatee County, FL, just south of Tampa Bay and a short drive to the Gulf of Mexico beaches. Built on 8,500 acres of what was once the 28,300-acre Schroeder-Manatee Ranch (SMR), Lakewood Ranch currently contains more than 15,000 single-family homes, condos, villas, and townhouses. The community is comprised of 18 “Village” neighborhoods, with more to come, and builders are very busy with new construction of the planned 30,000 homes.

Since opening in 1995 with the village of Summerfield, Lakewood Ranch has continued its commitment to protect the land on which the community is built. Every home, business, and village implements eco-friendly policies that emphasize the use of green products and building techniques to create more energy-efficient and environmentally healthy structures.

Convenient to Sarasota, Tampa, and St. Petersburg

Living in Lakewood Ranch means being conveniently located near three major Florida cities: Sarasota, Tampa, and St. Petersburg. Each city offers air travel options for residents that need to book flights for business or pleasure.

Residents reach Sarasota by taking Interstate 75 south and then heading west on Fruitville Road. The drive takes about 15 minutes. St. Petersburg sits off Interstate 275 about 20 miles north of Lakewood Ranch. Tampa is another 20 miles northeast of St. Petersburg; Lakewood Ranch residents remain on Interstate 75 heading north to reach Tampa.

Tampa International Airport (TPA) is just a 50-minute drive from Lakewood Ranch. The airport serves as the primary central Florida hub for international flights.

Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport (SRQ), just 15 minutes away, is another option for Lakewood Ranch residents, especially residents seeking to book regional flights within Florida and the southeastern portion of the United States.

Beaches & Coastal Attractions

Fine, powder-like sand and crystal-clear blue waters attract visitors to the meticulously kept beaches located near Lakewood Ranch. With four primary beaches, residents of Lakewood Ranch should have no problem finding a tropical spot to get away from it all.

Lido Key sits directly west of Sarasota. The main attraction is the sailing and deep-sea fishing options that are available to water sports enthusiasts.

Beautiful sunsets and shallow water for swimming define the allure of Siesta Key, which stretches eight miles across pure white sand.

Anna Maria Island resembles the style of old Florida architecture. This popular beach destination bustles with independently owned family restaurants that feature locally grown ingredients and seafood harvested a few feet away in the Gulf of Mexico.

Twelve miles of wide beaches make Longboat Key the ideal destination for swimming, snorkeling, cycling, or just relaxing beside the gentle waves.

Nature at Its Finest

With 150 miles of multiple surface trails, residents of Lakewood Ranch can enjoy a wide variety of recreational activities that include hiking, cycling, and mountain biking. Lakewood Ranch has created more than 10,000 acres of parks, lakes, and nature preserves to offer residents access to a pristine wilderness environment.

As one of its priorities, Lakewood Ranch devotes considerable resources to ensure residents thrive in an environmentally responsible community. A wide variety of wildlife visit the bucolic scene at Lakewood Ranch, including deer, river otters, and gopher tortoises.

Heron’s Nest Nature Park spans about 100 acres that includes angler paradises Heron Lake and Summerfield Lake. Lakewood Ranch District Park acts as the recreational hub for the community, with 150 acres surrounding Lakewood Ranch High School that include tennis, basketball, and racquetball courts. Braden River Nature Trail connects to several secondary trails that lead to Trophy and Otter Lakes.

Lakewood Ranch Golf

Currently offering seven beautiful courses, Lakewood Ranch is located in the heart of what many professionals consider to be the golfing capital of the world. Central Florida offers numerous world-class courses that include stops on the PGA Tour.

With plenty of shape and character to the 18-hole layout, Lakewood Ranch Golf & Country Club welcomes new members from the Lakewood Ranch community. Legacy Golf Club at Lakewood Ranch is a public course that offers several private course benefits, such as meticulously maintained greens and fairways. Dedicated to the memory of legendary golfer Bobby Jones, the Bobby Jones Golf Complex in Sarasota is perennially ranked as one of the best public golf courses in Florida.

The number of first-class courses in the area has created a bustling business for golf attire and equipment stores that cater to both avid and casual golfers.

Premier Sports Complex

Premier Sports Complex includes 22 full-sized, multipurpose fields that feature the highest-quality celebration grass and advanced underground irrigation system. Six host tenants participate in a wide variety of sports, including rugby, soccer, lacrosse, and football. The complex has hosted regional, national, and international sporting events, such as the Ultimate Frisbee Championship and the Nike International Friendlies Soccer Tournament. Covering more than 140 acres, Premier Sports Complex offers Lakewood Ranch residents plenty of recreation options that include soccer, archery, disc golf, and flag football. Future development phases will create venues for hosting Special Olympic events and collegiate baseball tournaments. 

Core at Lakewood Ranch

Over the course of the next two decades, the master developer of Lakewood Ranch will spend millions of dollars on one of the most ambitious commercial projects ever completed in Central Florida. Called CORE at Lakewood Ranch, the project is expected to attract health care and natural life sciences companies for research and development as well as educational purposes.

The 305-acre biotech industrial district will include 4.2 million square feet of commercial space. The developer of CORE wants to build the amenities, such as restaurants and retail shops, to attract companies and institutions to the area. CORE, which is the acronym for Collaboration Opportunities for Research and Exploration, sits between State Road 70 and Rangeland Parkway at Lakewood Boulevard.

The expansion of Villages at Lakewood Ranch coincides with the expected influx of professionals who will work within CORE at Lakewood Ranch.


The founders of Lakewood Ranch set aside land for schools before breaking ground on the ambitious construction project. The foresight of the founders meant education would be one of the primary values for the community, and it remains a priority today. Highly ranked primary schools and institutions of higher learning have made Lakewood Ranch one of the most coveted communities in the entire state of Florida. Each school consistently receives A ratings, and students typically achieve high scores on achievement tests.


The management team at Lakewood Ranch operates on the principle that all health care services should be available for residents within a short drive of any village or apartment complex.

Lakewood Ranch Medical Center operates full inpatient and outpatient services. Residents have access to world-class orthopedic, emergency, and cardiovascular medical services for adults and children. Lakewood Ranch also provides assisted living services that rate at the highest end of quality health care standards. Many Lakewood Ranch residents initially move into self-sufficient housing, and, after a few years, decide to receive assisted living services to enhance their quality of life.

In addition, the VA Outpatient Clinic Sarasota is just a quick ride south on I-75.


Lakewood Ranch conveniently sits near multiple commercial centers to give residents quick access to virtually everything they need. Located at Lorraine Road and State Road 70, Lorraine Corners specializes in food-oriented shopping, such as supermarkets, chain stores, restaurants, medical practices, and gyms. A major regional supermarket anchors Market Square, with a wide variety of fashion retailers operating in the same area. For residents that love shopping at specialty stores, Gateway North is the shopping district that meets your needs.

Close by, The Mall at University Town Center represents the ultimate one-stop shopping experience for residents of Lakewood Ranch. The mall is home to high-end fashion retailers such as Saks Fifth Avenue and several upscale restaurants including Capital Grille. Shoppers in search of accessories shop at Michael Kors or Brighton Collectibles. The mall hosts several special events throughout the year that attract Lakewood Ranch residents with an emphasis placed on conducting fitness classes and unveiling the latest fashion trends.

Just a quick drive north on I-75 gets you to Ellenton Premium Outlets, a massive complex with more than 130 name-brand and designer outlets.

Arts & Culture

Lakewood Ranch hosts art and culture events throughout the year. The events present some of the most accomplished artists and musicians in the world. Nearby Sarasota offers cultural venues that support ballets, theaters, and symphonies, which rank with the cultural venues found in any other city in the southeastern United States. Classes and workshops keep the artistically talented residents of Lakewood Ranch busy throughout the year. Manatee Performing Arts Center is a community theater that offers a dinner and show packages for couples and small groups.

The Players Center for Performing Arts is moving from its location in downtown Sarasota with the building of a $30 million performance and education center in Lakewood Ranch. The facility will be located in Waterside Place, a new waterfront town center located at Waterside Lakewood Ranch, the community’s first development to be located in Sarasota County.

A Great Place to Live

With 18 villages, a wide variety of golf courses and other entertainment, and myriad housing options, Lakewood Ranch offers a lifestyle that appeals to everyone. With renowned education options and world-class shopping, Lakewood Ranch offers residents a community that thrives in central Florida.

We are passionate about Lakewood Ranch and want to help you find your own place in the Florida sun. The variety of housing options and new construction can quickly become overwhelming, and we can help you navigate the process and make your transition more enjoyable.

Please contact us at any time with any questions about this amazing community.