South Central Region


South Central Florida RegionPopulation:    
253,275
Labor Force:  113,033
Households:    92,239

Airports:
• Sebring Regional

Dominant Cities:
• Sebring
• Arcadia
• Labelle
• Okeechobee

College Highlights:
• South Florida Community College

Cultural Features:
• Highlands Museum of the Arts     (Sebring)
• Lakeside Playhouse  (Sebring)
• Children’s Museum of           the Highlands   (Sebring)
• Museum of Florida Art & Culture    (Avon Park)

 

Situated in the middle of the southern tip of the peninsula is the Southeast Region.  Landscapes of farms and cattle ranches dominate the region reflecting its overwhelming rural and small town demeanor. This orientation result in the Southeast’s standing as the least populated region.

The region’s farming heritage and agricultural economic dominance accounts for its significant contribution to Florida’s overall status as the nation’s second largest producer of vegetables, world leader in growing oranges and producer of nearly half of US sugar supply. Vegetable farms, citrus groves and sugarcane fields together with expanses of subtropical foliage characterize the region’s lush countryside.

At the southern reaches of the region in Hendry County you’ll find much of the landmass occupied by the Everglades.  Nestled along the east boundary is Lake Okeechobee, the 7th largest freshwater lake in the US and the largest in Florida, bordered by the towns of Moore Haven and Okeechobee.  These waterways play a role in nurturing the area’s productive agriculture and provide a rich recreational opportunity for avid fisherman and boaters.

Among the region’s benefits is its strategic central location supported by interstate highways, US highways and the Florida Turnpike, which pass through or near the region. This unique logistical advantage provides convenience access to metro areas on both coasts including Miami, West Palm Beach, Tampa, Orlando, Fort Myers and Naples.

Sebring, county seat for Highlands County, stands as the region’s largest town.  This quaint “Old Florida” town is nicknamed “The City on the Circle” for the circular roads, which encompasses the quaint historic district.  It’s placement directly on Lake Jackson, the largest of the area’s numerous lakes, adds to the town’s charm and scenic setting.

Nearby Sebring area attractions include Highlands Hammock State Park and Sebring International Raceway, host of the annual 12 Hours of Sebring Le Mans style race.

The “home grown” nature of the region results in a classic small town lifestyle complete with community fairs and festivals. Among the region’s pageantry of annual events is the All-Florida Championship Rodeo in Arcadia, the Sugar Festival in Clewiston and the Swamp Cabbage Festival in Labelle.

Outdoor recreation is of major interest in the area with excellent fishing, boating and hunting prevalent throughout the region.

Often referred to as the “heartland” of Florida the Southeast Region will continue to be devoted to its backbone of farming and experience relatively limited growth through the next decade.

If a lifestyle in the midst of a farming community or small town is your vision this is a region worthy of consideration.

Sources: US Census Bureau; Florida Agency for Workforce Innovation; Enterprise Florida Inc.