DeLand, Florida, has seen significant population growth in recent years as individuals move there from elsewhere in Florida to escape the congestion and faster pace of larger cities like Orlando and Gainesville. DeLand’s downtown has become well-known across Florida, and the city as a whole, thanks to the city’s recent economic, employment, and demographic booms.
DeLand has many of the conveniences of a major city, including a variety of fun outdoor pursuits, interesting local attractions, and tasty dining options.
Check out ten things to know before moving to Deland, FL!
1. The cost of living is 6% lower than the national average
DeLand’s cost of living is below the state average and even below the U.S. average in some categories, at an index of 94.2. Particularly, housing is around 25% cheaper than the statewide average in Florida. The city has a median home price of around $329,000, lower than the national average of $428,000. The average monthly cost of an apartment is around $1,350.
DeLand also has less than average grocery, healthcare, and transportation expenditures compared to the rest of Florida. Living in this city won’t put so much of a strain on your finances.
2. The city has seen an influx of new businesses
DeLand’s job market is predicted to rise by more than 47% over the next decade, far greater than the national average of 33%, thanks to the influx of new businesses to the region. The city’s unemployment rate, at roughly 3.1%, is lower than the U.S. average.
Volusia County Schools, Stetson University, Sykes Communication, Medtronic, Frontier Communications, and the City of DeLand are some of the city’s top employers.
3. It rains a lot during summer
Late May through late September is DeLand’s hottest time of year. Temperatures in August can reach the mid-90s, although on average, they hover around 87 degrees during those months.
DeLand experiences rain from late May through early September. During the summer, rain falls virtually daily, with an average of over seven inches each month. December through February is the cool season in DeLand, with average highs of 73 degrees and lows of 48 degrees.
4. It is the home of Stetson University
DeLand was the site of Florida’s first public university, which earned its nickname as “the Athens of Florida.” Located in the heart of Downtown DeLand, Stetson University has a classic New England college town feel with its red brick buildings and Roman columns.
Having a university nearby increases the variety of activities available to the local community. The large number of college students in DeLand gives the city a lively, youthful atmosphere. Many community-wide celebrations are organized in response to the presence of college students throughout the academic year.
5. The city is close to many stunning beaches
Does a spontaneous trip to the beach sound like fun to you? A day at the beach is a breeze when you live in DeLand. A trip to Daytona Beach takes just half an hour, while trips to Cocoa Beach and Cape Canaveral take around an hour and a half. DeLand is close enough to the Florida coast to make day trips to the beach convenient, yet it is still far enough inland to avoid being overrun by beachgoers.
Even though people from all over the world go to Florida’s beaches, residents of DeLand can be lounging under the sun with a cold one in their hands in under an hour.
6. DeLand’s Main Street has a ton of attractions
Despite its proximity to larger cities like Orlando and popular beach destinations, little DeLand has managed to keep its small-town, southern character. The thriving economy of DeLand’s Main Street is a major draw for residents. There are plenty of places to eat, shop, and relax in the immediate area. Main Street has so many great shops and restaurants that you could easily spend an entire weekend there.
The businesses located along Main Street in downtown DeLand are all independently owned and operated. You can spend the day shopping and supporting local companies and the economy at the many unique apparel boutiques, record stores, jewelry stores, and more.
7. Visit Hontoon Island State Park or Blue Heron River
Hontoon Island State Park is the ideal destination for anyone looking for a peaceful outdoor getaway from the bustle of the Orlando area. Activities such as boating, canoeing, kayaking, fishing, hiking, camping, cycling, and picnics can all be enjoyed by visitors to this section of the St. Johns River on the west side of Deland in Volusia County. You can visit the park any time of the year, as it is open from 8:00 am until an hour before sunset.
If you’re more into ecotourism than historical sightseeing, Blue Heron River Tours offers a relaxing cruise down the St. John’s River’s tranquil backwaters. Florida is home to a wide variety of animals, and you can count on seeing everything from alligators and turtles to wading birds and manatees.
8. Enjoy proximity to Orlando
DeLand’s proximity to larger cities is a major plus because it provides easy access to an array of entertainment alternatives without the hassle of traveling too far.
Only 34 miles separate you from Orlando’s downtown, and 23 miles separate you from Daytona’s business district. DeLand’s proximity to other Florida cities is a major selling point for the town.
9. Eat at Santorini Greek Cuisine or Urban Brick
Dining out in DeLand is an experience like no other. If you decide to make this city your home, you will find yourself spoiled for choice when it comes to food establishments. This city has everything from fast food joints perfect for a quick lunch to fine dining establishments, for those who prefer to linger over their meals.
Various restaurants with varying menus (from Greek to Italian) are at your disposal. Some bars and breweries in DeLand target the local college student population but welcome patrons of all ages.
A few of DeLand’s finest eateries include Santorini Greek Cuisine, Urban Brick, De la Vega Restaurante y Galería, Bakeshop, and Angelina’s Pizzeria.
10. Have a fun night out at Persimmon Hollow or The Elusive Grape
DeLand might not be as big as Orlando, but you’re sure to find a couple of fun nightlife options here too. With a selection of over a dozen handcrafted beers and delicious pub fare, Persimmon Hollow is DeLand’s go-to brewery. Live music and refreshments can be found in Cafe Da Vinci, which is conveniently located directly next to the brewery. Indulge in fine dining and over 40 wines by the glass at The Elusive Grape, an ideal venue for a romantic evening out.
DeLand is a special place thanks to the resilience of its citizens and the wealth of history it displays. With the low cost of living, thriving economy, and prime location, anyone seeking a new home should seriously consider DeLand, Florida.