Updated: Jan 29, 2022
I am a real estate broker and have visited so many neighborhoods and communities around the Orlando Metropolitan Area as part of my business. I drove my customers from Clermont to Sanford, from Sanford to Windermere, and from Windermere to Lake Nona to look at homes. When I married, I purchased my home in Baldwin Park, right across the street from Blue Jacket Park. Even though every community and every home have their unique charms, I enjoy living in Baldwin Park. Baldwin Park was designed as a live, work, and shop community, and it is a great place to hang out with friends and family.
Baldwin Park has a unique combination of residential, commercial, and recreational uses that allows residents to work, shop and entertain within the community. Originally Baldwin Park was an old Navy Base; that is where the Blue Jacket Park name came from. Baldwin Park was developed as a mixed-use community containing about 3000 beautiful homes in several different architectural styles. From any home you can walk to the community center, with banks, Publix, CVS and numerous boutique stores, restaurants, and bars. You can also stroll to the commercial center and visit your dentist, family doctor, insurance agent, etc.
The unique location has easy accesses to all major roads and highways which make it easy to get to the theme parks, beaches, and other regional attractions. In 15 minutes, you can drive to the downtown Orlando area. It is only a few minutes from Winter Park shopping and dining, and right next to the coffee shops and food truck festivals in Audubon Park. Right across State Road 436, there is a neighborhood Walmart as well as an Emergency Healthcare and Walgreens. A few minutes down the road is the Home Depot and Ace Hardware. Both the VA Clinic and Winter Park Hospital are only minutes away. Westminster Retirement Communities chose to locate their newest residential community in Baldwin Park so that their residents can have easy access to healthcare, shopping, and recreational parks.
The community has been established as a sought-after neighborhood of shaded streets and boulevards with excellent schools. The beautiful parks are designed with colorful landscapes, athletic fields and walking/bicycle paths and barbeque picnic pavilions. The oak trees stand on both sides of the boulevards to salute every neighbor and guest who visits the community. Colorful seasonal flowers wave their hands to greet residents and visitors when they turn down each avenue. You cannot help smiling back at them and say hello to the beauty of nature. Every corner is a stunning picture within every season. My neighbor’s pink dogwood tree always blossoms from the end of December until March, with all its pink flowers proudly showing people that it is Spring in Florida. The heads of bougainvillea in the neighbor’s yard secretly peak out from the fence and try to compete with the pink dogwood with their purple, orange, crimson red and peach rose colors while the short pink, purple and red azaleas hide under the fence. When you enter the community, you seem to be entering a flower show garden. Here you can experience both the conveniences of urban living and the beauty and tranquility of a rural oasis.
Besides beautifully landscaped homes, streets and parks, there are excellent schools in the community. Three A-rated public schools attract families to live in Baldwin Park. Every morning, you can see different aged children riding their bicycles to schools. Some even walk to school with their classmates. The school buses are lined up to drop off and pick up the students. The newly built Audubon Park Elementary School is in the heart of the neighborhood and serves K-5 students, and it is an A-rated and 5-star school. Across the street, there is the Horizon Bright Center. At this private daycare and pre-kindergarten center, highly skilled teachers provide children an extraordinary environment and learning experiences that empower the children to be confident, successful, and lifelong learners. There are parent and student clubs to focus on improving the schools and making the students highly productive and academically successful. Glenridge Middle School serves grades 6-8 with extensive recreational facilities and sports centers. The International Baccalaureate Programs at the school attract and reward top students. Excellent athletic and recreational facilities provide the students and families who live in the community year-round opportunities. There are soccer, tennis, basketball, and other athletic programs for the students as well as lighted baseball and softball fields. Baldwin Park has direct-access roads that lead to nearby Winter Park High School, an excellent A-rated school with acclaimed International Baccalaureate Programs that is well known for its academic excellence and placing its students at top universities like Harvard, Yale, Stanford, etc. Besides these three A-schools, Baldwin Park is located near Valencia Community College, Rollins College, Seminole Community College and the second largest university in the country, the University of Central Florida, with its excellent engineering, medical, and computer AI programs.
Neighbors fall in love with this garden community while they enjoy their peaceful and beautiful homes. Parents and children love the excellent schools. However, the best thing about living Baldwin Park is the places that friends, couples, and families can hang out. Even your dog has a place to enjoy hunting in the woods, swimming in the lake, and playing with their dog friends at Fleet Peeples Park. For people who like food and wine, there are great restaurants and wine stores where family and friends can hangout. For meat lovers, there are steak restaurants located on New Broad Street with well-designed, attractive menus and dining experience. These restaurants serve traditional steakhouse cuisine and delicious seafood. You can also enjoy live music while you are tasting your favorite wine, beer, or cocktails. If you enjoy eating at your home while you watch your favorite TV shows, you can call for pickup or delivery. There are Italian, Asian, Latin and Sushi restaurants to cater to different styles of food choice. If you are in a hurry, there is the best hamburger place -- Five Guys, and Subway where you can eat in or pick up. You can also pick up delicious soups, meat, and dishes from neighborhood Publix if you do not feel like cooking.
Besides the wonderful restaurants where you can hang out, there are other exciting places and activities to provide you fun and learning experiences. At Farris and Fosters Chocolate Factory you can learn the history of chocolate making or make new history with your own chocolate making adventure. It is a haven for children to hang out with their peers for a birthday party or other special celebration. The Gymnastic Center is also a favorite place for kids to exercise, learn swimming, and discover their new talents. The Village Center Free Library serves as a place where people can gather to share their love of books and knowledge. There is no checkout or return policy; it is a free community intellectual and literary exchange. Three community centers provide swimming pools, exercise facilities, and activity centers which residents can reserve for parties and activities with friends, families, and neighbors. Even though I love reading books, my favorite place to hang out is the parks. Whenever I have time, I will stroll around one of the parks and count the different architectural designs of bridges, pavilions and homes and try to figure out which one is inspired by which architectural style such as Greek, Gothic Revival, Colonial, Coastal, Craftsman or Mountain Farm House. You can listen to the beautiful robin birds sing and watch the squirrels scamper up and down the trees while you walk. Down by the lakes you can see the little ducklings that are waddling on the grass with their parents. A little child is wobbling and stumbling behind them and trying to catch them. An osprey gazes down from the edge of a roof. The sun reflects on the lake, and the waves shimmer like a big mirror. Magpies chase and shout to each other and try to break the quietness of the air.
I used to love running around the lake path and track to get myself fit. Now I am getting older, most of the time I just walk around the park and lake path. In addition to running on the track, some people are participating in boot camp excise groups and others join outdoor yoga groups. There are others playing soccer, volleyball, and basketball. You can see children playing sports all year around with their parents and friends as audience. Adults also form teams to compete against each other and have fun. In addition, there are so many fun recreational and family activities in the park. Families ride bicycles together along with the serious bikers. Others walk with their dogs and strollers. Infants and toddlers play on the playgrounds riding the airplane and dolphin rides. Several neighbors hold music concerts, and everyone is a performer. Even if you just walk with your friends and look around in the park, it is enjoyable to see people of all ages having so much fun. Baldwin Park was specially designed for these family activities with all its recreational areas and parks.
I have lived in Baldwin Park for many years. Baldwin Park is a children’s playground, an enjoyable place for elders, and a favorite hangout place for teens, adults, and families. The variety of dining, athletic and recreational activities are innumerable. This exquisitely designed live, work, and social community combines the best of nature’s beauty and human imagination.