Why Lakewood Ranch Is So Amazing: An Ultimate Guide To Florida’s Premier Master Planned Community: The Best Restaurants, Schools, Daycares, Real Estate Opportunities, And More In The Area
Welcome to Lakewood Ranch, a vibrant and thriving master planned community located in the picturesque Sarasota-Manatee County region of Florida.
Our intent in writing this Guide is to showcase our experience, and provide some first-hand personal insight to all the things that we think make this area an incredible place to call home.
We live here and we love it here! Trust us when we say that Lakewood Ranch, Florida is a place that truly has it all!
From diverse neighborhoods and world-class amenities to a strong sense of community and a focus on sustainability, there's something for everyone in this paradise we call home.
In this ultimate guide to Lakewood Ranch we showcase the best restaurants, top-rated schools, quality daycare centers, and so much more, all found within the beautiful and welcoming confines of Lakewood Ranch.
We can't wait to share all the things that we love about our remarkable community...
So... let's get started...
The Community of Lakewood Ranch Florida:
A Magical Blend of Experiences and Amenities
We begin by highlighting the distinctive features that make Lakewood Ranch an exceptional place to live, work, and play
Master Planned Community Concept
Lakewood Ranch is a shining example of a master planned community done right.
Spanning over 31,000 acres (twice the size of Manhattan and bigger than Disney World!) this carefully designed development has considered every detail to ensure a harmonious blend of residential, commercial, and recreational spaces.
From the moment you arrive, you'll notice the meticulous planning that went into creating a comfortable and convenient environment for residents to live, work, and play.
Environmental Sustainability and Green Initiatives
The developers know how important it is to protect our environment and preserve the natural beauty that surrounds us.
That's why Lakewood Ranch strongly emphasizes environmental sustainability and green initiatives.
The community is dedicated to preserving its wetlands, habitats, and wildlife by implementing eco-friendly practices such as water conservation, energy-efficient building standards, and sustainable landscaping.
In fact, Lakewood Ranch is proud to be one of the largest green-certified communities in the United States, setting the bar for sustainable living.
Different Villages and Neighborhoods
One of the most appealing aspects of Lakewood Ranch is the variety of villages and neighborhoods, each offering its unique character and charm.
There's something for everyone, whether you're a first-time homebuyer, a growing family, or an active retiree.
From the serene surroundings of Esplanade Golf & Country Club to the family-friendly atmosphere of Summerfield, you're sure to find the perfect neighborhood (we call them 'villages') to call home.
Lakewood Ranch started building in 1995, so there are plenty of established villages to discover.
And there are newly developed areas like the Waterside district, Lakewood Ranch Northeast (Taylor Ranch and East River Ranch), and Lakewood Ranch Southeast that offer new construction opportunities, stunning waterfront properties, and an exciting new town center.
Sense of Community and Social Events
Living in Lakewood Ranch means more than just enjoying beautiful homes and top-notch amenities; it's about being part of a close-knit community where neighbors become friends, and memories are made.
This is where social events and activities abound, from farmers' markets and outdoor concerts to sports leagues and art festivals.
You'll find a wealth of clubs, organizations, and volunteer opportunities that cater to a wide range of interests and passions.
We can speak from firsthand experience that there's never a dull moment in Lakewood Ranch.
The sense of belonging and camaraderie is truly something special.
Best Restaurants in Lakewood Ranch:
A Culinary Adventure Awaits
Lakewood Ranch is not only a haven for nature lovers and families, but it's also a foodie's paradise.
With an impressive array of dining options and culinary experiences, you'll never run out of places to satisfy your taste buds.
Upscale dining options
For those special occasions or when you simply want to indulge in a memorable dining experience, Lakewood Ranch has a selection of fine dining establishments sure to impress.
Enjoy an elegant evening at Cassariano Italian Eatery in San Marco Plaza, where you can savor exquisite cuisine and an extensive wine list.
Or, head to Paris Bistrot for a sophisticated authentic French meal in a refined setting complete with sidewalk dining.
Looking for a steak and American fare locale? Try the B&B Chophouse and Market for an authentic American steakhouse experience.
Also nearby are amazing national chain restaurants like The Capital Grille, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, and Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar.
If you're in the mood for something more laid-back, there's no shortage of casual eateries in Lakewood Ranch.
Grab a mouthwatering burger at GROVE, a popular gastropub that offers a diverse menu and a lively atmosphere.
Head to Libby’s Neighborhood Brasserie for American fare and craft cocktails.
For a relaxed dining experience focusing on fresh ingredients, visit Station 400, where you'll find an array of delicious breakfast and lunch options.
Other local cuisine options include The Granary, Pinchers, Another Broken Egg Cafe, and Speaks Clam Bar... all fantastic in their own right!
Looking to embark on a culinary journey around the world? Lakewood Ranch has you covered with a variety of international dining options.
Savor authentic Mexican dishes at Casa Maya. Indulge in flavorful Thai cuisine at Thai Spice and Sushi,
Try the unique flair and flavors of Inkawasi Peruvian Restaurant, grab your chopsticks for a bite at Hana Sushi Lounge, or experience the rich flavors of Mediterranean fare at Sofia’s.
Don't Just Take our Word For It!
With so many excellent restaurants, it's hard for us to pick favorites.
So here are some local hotspots that consistently receive rave reviews online from residents and visitors alike.
Check out Good Liquid Brewing Company at Waterside Place for waterfront dining with a great menu and stunning lake views.
Don't miss Nancy's Bar-B-Q, where you can feast on a mouthwatering, slow-cooked barbecue in a casual setting.
And for an authentic taste of Florida, head to Lucky Pelican Bistro, where you'll find an impressive selection of fresh seafood dishes.
Unique and "Out of the Ordinary" Restaurants
Lakewood Ranch and the surrounding areas also offer a variety of unique dining experiences that cater to different preferences and occasions.
Kore, located in Lakewood Ranch’s Waterside Place, is a Korean Steakhouse which features a unique tabletop grilling experience.
If you're a fan of farm-to-table dining, you'll love the fresh, locally-sourced ingredients at Indigenous in Sarasota, which focuses on sustainable and seasonal fare.
For a truly unforgettable experience, venture to nearby Sarasota for waterfront dining at Ophelia's on the Bay, a classic waterfront restaurant where you can enjoy exquisite cuisine while taking in the stunning views of Sarasota Bay.
Some parts of Florida have a reputation for 'not-so-good' food...
Lakewood Ranch and Sarasota put an end to that reputation!
We can confidently say that you’ll never have a hard time finding GREAT food, and a variety of experiences to enrich your culinary life here in Lakewood Ranch!
Top Schools in Lakewood Ranch:
Cultivating Excellence in Education
When providing the best education for your children, Lakewood Ranch exceeds expectations with its diverse range of top-rated schools.
Here, we'll explore the educational landscape and highlight some of the standout schools in the area, as well as the specialized programs and extracurricular activities that make them truly exceptional.
Overview of the Education System in Lakewood Ranch
Public schools: Lakewood Ranch's public schools are part of the Manatee and Sarasota County School Districts, which are known for their commitment to academic excellence and innovation.
Students in the area benefit from well-maintained facilities, dedicated teachers, and a comprehensive curriculum that prepares them for success.
Private schools: Besides public schools, Lakewood Ranch is home to several reputable private schools offering a more individualized approach to education. These schools often provide smaller class sizes, specialized programs, and a strong focus on character development.
Charter schools: For families seeking an alternative to traditional public and private schools, Lakewood Ranch has several charter schools offering innovative curriculums and educational philosophies. These tuition-free schools are publicly funded but operate independently, providing unique learning opportunities for students.
Standout Schools in the Area
Elementary schools: At the elementary level, Lakewood Ranch schools stand out for their academic achievements and nurturing environments.
One such school is B.D. Gullett Elementary, known for its rigorous academic program and a strong emphasis on technology integration.
Other top choices are Robert E. Willis Elementary and Gilbert W. McNeal Elementary, which boast a supportive learning community and a focus on developing well-rounded students.
Middle schools: For middle school students, Nolan Middle School is a popular choice, offering a challenging curriculum and a wide array of extracurricular activities, including sports, arts, and clubs.
Mona Jain Middle School is another standout, with its innovative approach to learning and commitment to fostering a love of lifelong learning.
High schools: Lakewood Ranch High School is a shining example of educational excellence at the high school level.
With its advanced academic programs, including Advanced Placement (AP) and dual enrollment courses, students are well-prepared for college and future careers. The school also offers a wealth of extracurricular activities, including athletics, performing arts, and clubs to suit various interests.
Specialized Programs and Extracurricular Activities
Lakewood Ranch schools recognize the importance of providing their students with diverse learning opportunities and experiences.
As such, many schools offer specialized programs such as gifted and talented programs, International Baccalaureate (IB) programs, and career academies in fields such as engineering, health sciences, and culinary arts.
In addition to academic offerings, schools in the area provide a wide range of extracurricular activities to foster personal growth and develop well-rounded individuals.
Students can participate in sports teams, join clubs focused on their interests, or explore their creativity in the arts. These enriching experiences enhance students' educational journeys and help build lifelong skills and friendships.
With its commitment to providing top-notch educational opportunities and nurturing environments, Lakewood Ranch ensures its students and community a bright future.
Daycare and Early Childhood Education:
A Strong Foundation for Lifelong Learning
Laying a solid foundation for your child's education begins with high-quality daycare and early childhood education programs.
In Lakewood Ranch, you'll find an array of exceptional daycare centers and preschools dedicated to nurturing young minds and setting them up for success.
In this section, we'll explore the importance of quality early education, spotlight some of the top facilities in the area, discuss the key features to look for when choosing a daycare or preschool and share testimonials from satisfied parents.
Importance of Quality Early Education
Quality early education is crucial for a child's cognitive, emotional, and social development. Research has shown that children who receive high-quality early education are more likely to succeed academically, have better social skills, and exhibit fewer behavioral problems later in life.
By providing a nurturing environment that encourages exploration, creativity, and learning, daycare centers and preschools in Lakewood Ranch set the stage for a lifetime of achievement.
Top Daycare Centers and Preschools in the Area
Lakewood Ranch is home to various esteemed daycare centers and preschools, each offering unique programs and educational philosophies. Some of the top facilities in the area include:
The Goddard School: Known for its play-based learning approach, The Goddard School provides a safe and nurturing environment where children can thrive. With a strong emphasis on STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) education, this preschool prepares young minds for a bright future.
Primrose School at Lakewood Ranch Town Center: Focusing on holistic child development, Primrose School offers a research-based curriculum that balances academics, character development, and extracurricular activities. The nurturing environment and dedicated staff ensure children receive individualized attention and support.
Kiddie Academy of Lakewood Ranch: Kiddie Academy offers a comprehensive curriculum emphasizing cognitive, emotional, and social development. With various age-appropriate programs and activities, children at Kiddie Academy grow and learn at their own pace.
Features to Look for in a Daycare or Preschool
When selecting a daycare or preschool for your child, consider the following features to ensure the best possible experience:
By choosing a top-notch daycare or preschool in Lakewood Ranch, you can rest assured that your child is receiving the best possible start in life, setting them up for a bright future full of learning and discovery.
Recreational Facilities and Amenities:
Promoting an Active Lifestyle in Lakewood Ranch
Lakewood Ranch offers a wealth of recreational facilities and amenities catering to diverse interests and fitness levels.
From picturesque parks and nature trails to world-class golf courses and state-of-the-art sports facilities, residents of this vibrant community can enjoy an active and fulfilling lifestyle.
In this section, we'll explore the various recreational opportunities available at Lakewood Ranch, highlighting the top parks, golf courses, fitness centers, and community spaces contributing to the area's unparalleled quality of life.
Parks and Nature Trails
Lakewood Ranch is home to numerous parks and nature trails that allow residents to connect with the great outdoors. Some of the most popular parks and trails in the area include:
Golf Courses and Country Clubs
Golf enthusiasts will find plenty to love in Lakewood Ranch, thanks to its array of challenging public golf courses and luxurious country clubs. Some of the top golf destinations in the area include:
Fitness and Sports Facilities
Lakewood Ranch boasts a variety of fitness centers and sports facilities that cater to a diverse range of interests and abilities. Whether you prefer group classes, individual workouts, or organized sports, you'll find plenty of options to help you stay active and healthy:
Community Centers and Event Spaces
Lakewood Ranch offers numerous community centers and event spaces as hubs for social and cultural activities.
These venues host a variety of events, from art exhibitions and live performances to community gatherings and private celebrations:
Shopping and Entertainment Options: Discovering the Vibrant Lifestyle and Culture of Lakewood Ranch
Lakewood Ranch offers diverse shopping and entertainment options that cater to a wide range of tastes and preferences.
From local shopping centers and retail outlets to movie theaters and performing arts venues, there's always something to see, do, and experience in this thriving community.
This section will delve into the many shopping and entertainment opportunities available in Lakewood Ranch, highlighting top local destinations, art galleries, cultural institutions, and annual events that contribute to the area's dynamic and engaging lifestyle.
Local Shopping Centers and Retail Outlets
Lakewood Ranch boasts an impressive selection of shopping centers and retail outlets, making it a shopper's paradise. Some of the most popular shopping destinations in the area include:
Movie Theaters and Perfoming Arts Venues
For those who enjoy the arts, Lakewood Ranch offers several movie theaters and performing arts venues that showcase a variety of films, live performances, and cultural events:
Art Galleries and Cultural Institutions
Lakewood Ranch is home to several art galleries and cultural institutions that celebrate the area's rich artistic and cultural heritage:
Annual Events and Festivals
Throughout the year, Lakewood Ranch hosts a variety of annual events and festivals that bring the community together and celebrate the area's vibrant culture:
Suncoast Food & Wine Festival: This popular annual event features food and wine tastings from local restaurants and wineries, live music, and cooking demonstrations.
Lakewood Ranch Fine Art Festival: This annual art festival showcases the work of local and regional artists, offering a variety of art forms, including painting, sculpture, jewelry, photography, and more.
Music on Main: As mentioned earlier, this monthly event takes place on Lakewood Ranch's Main Street, and features live music, food vendors, and family-friendly activities, providing a lively atmosphere that showcases the community's spirit.
Healthcare in Lakewood Ranch:
Exceptional Care and Wellness for the Community
In Lakewood Ranch, residents have access to top-quality healthcare services, ensuring their well-being is well cared for.
With the state-of-the-art Lakewood Ranch Medical Center at its core, the community also boasts a range of specialized healthcare facilities and services.
Additionally, numerous wellness initiatives and community programs contribute to the community's overall health.
In this section, we'll provide a detailed overview of the healthcare options available in Lakewood Ranch, emphasizing the exceptional care and wellness resources residents can enjoy.
Overview of the Lakewood Ranch Medical Center
Lakewood Ranch Medical Center is a comprehensive healthcare facility that serves as the cornerstone of healthcare services in the community. The 120-bed acute care hospital provides a wide range of medical services, including:
Emergency care: The medical center features a 24/7 emergency department, providing prompt and efficient care for urgent medical situations.
Surgical services: With a state-of-the-art surgical center, the hospital offers a variety of surgical procedures, including general surgery, orthopedic surgery, and minimally invasive procedures.
Diagnostic and imaging services: The hospital is equipped with advanced diagnostic and imaging technologies, such as MRI, CT scan, and ultrasound, ensuring accurate and timely patient diagnosis.
Women's health services: The medical center provides comprehensive care for women, including maternity services, gynecological care, and breast health services.
Cardiology services: The hospital offers a full range of cardiovascular services, including diagnostic testing, treatment, and rehabilitation.
Specialized Healthcare Facilities and Services
Outpatient rehabilitation services: The medical center also offers outpatient rehabilitation services, including physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy, to help patients regain their independence and quality of life after an injury or illness.
Cancer care: Residents have access to specialized cancer care facilities, such as the Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute, which offers advanced treatments and clinical trials for various types of cancer.
Urgent care centers: For non-life-threatening medical needs, urgent care centers like Sarasota Memorial Urgent Care at Lakewood Ranch provide convenient and accessible care without needing an appointment.
Wellness Initiatives and Community Programs
Lakewood Ranch is committed to promoting health and wellness within the community. Various initiatives and programs are in place to encourage residents to stay active and healthy:
Fitness and wellness classes: Many community centers, fitness centers, and parks in Lakewood Ranch offer a variety of fitness and wellness classes, such as yoga, Pilates, and group exercise classes.
Health and wellness events: The community regularly hosts health and wellness events, including health fairs, workshops, and seminars, to educate residents on various health topics and encourage healthy living.
Community support groups: Lakewood Ranch offers various support groups for residents dealing with specific health issues or life challenges, providing a safe and supportive environment to share experiences and learn from others.
Healthcare in Lakewood Ranch is comprehensive, accessible, and focused on promoting the well-being of its residents. With exceptional healthcare facilities, specialized services, and a strong emphasis on wellness initiatives and community programs, residents can enjoy a healthy and active lifestyle in this vibrant community.
Real Estate and Housing Options in Lakewood Ranch: Discover Your Dream Home
Lakewood Ranch is renowned for its diverse real estate offerings and carefully designed neighborhoods, catering to various preferences and budgets.
The community provides various residential property options that suit different lifestyles, from single-family homes to condos and townhomes.
In this section, we'll delve into the types of properties available, discuss affordability and housing market trends, and share some valuable tips for prospective homebuyers looking to make their dream of living in Lakewood Ranch a reality.
Types of Residential Properties Available
Single-family homes: Lakewood Ranch offers an extensive selection of single-family homes in various neighborhoods, each with distinct character and charm.
Whether you prefer a traditional, Mediterranean, or contemporary-style home, you'll find many designs and floor plans.
There are a mixture of gated and non-gated communities, as well as a variety of amenity options within each.
Additionally, many homes boast scenic views of the community's natural surroundings, golf courses, or lakes.
Condos and townhomes: For those seeking a low-maintenance lifestyle, condos, and townhomes are popular in Lakewood Ranch. These properties offer the convenience of shared amenities, such as swimming pools, fitness centers, and clubhouses, while still providing ample living space and privacy. Many condo and townhome communities also feature gated entrances and professional management services for added peace of mind.
Rental Apartments and Homes: There are a variety of rental options available here in Lakewood Ranch. From apartments, to condos, single family rentals, full-time or seasonal spaces, you'll be able to find the right fit for your needs
The rental market here in Lakewood Ranch is very different and somewhat separate from the traditional purchase and resale market that we specialize in.
We don't directly work in the rental space, but we can provide recommendations of professionals that do. If you need a great rental agent, we can connect you with someone to help! Contact Us
Affordability and Housing Market Trends
Lakewood Ranch's real estate market is known for its stability and long-term growth potential. While property prices may vary based on location, size, and amenities, the community offers options to suit various budgets.
As the demand for quality housing in Lakewood Ranch continues to grow, the area has experienced a steady appreciation in property values.
The in-demand aspect of Lakewood Ranch can certainly be seen as a positive for prospective homebuyers and investors. Lakewood Ranch's real estate market continues to project long term growth and sustainability.
Tips for Prospective Homebuyers
Evaluate your priorities: Before beginning your home search, list your priorities, such as the number of bedrooms, outdoor space, school proximity, and community amenities. What do you imagine your daily life will look like in Lakewood Ranch? This will help you focus on finding a property that meets your needs and preferences.
Research neighborhoods: Each neighborhood in Lakewood Ranch has unique characteristics and amenities. Before committing to a property, it's crucial to research the different neighborhoods to find one that aligns with your lifestyle preferences, budget, and desired amenities.
The "Lakewood Ranch Villages" page on our website breaks down each neighborhood within Lakewood Ranch, showcasing current homes for sale and detailing all the amenities that are included. It's a great resource to get started familiarizing yourself with the various options.
Work with a local real estate agent: (PS... That's us.) We're proud to be one of the top rated real estate agents in Lakewood Ranch thanks to our years of experience assisting clients in this amazing community, and being a part of it, ourselves. We truly live, work, and play here in Lakewood Ranch.
It's crucial to have someone represent you that that specializes in Lakewood Ranch and can provide valuable insight into the community, housing market trends, and available properties.
You'll benefit from professional guidance throughout the homebuying process, ensuring a smooth and enjoyable experience.
Reach out using your preferred contact method. We are here to help. Contact Us
One final tip...
Be prepared for a competitive market: With the growing popularity of Lakewood Ranch, the real estate market here can be competitive. It's essential to be prepared to act quickly when you find a property that meets your criteria.
Take the necessary steps to get your finances in order. If paying cash, be sure to have proof of funds available to accompany an offer to purchase. If you intend to finance the purchase, we can connect you with local mortgage professionals to obtain a pre-approval in advance, so you're ready to make a firm offer when you find the right home.
By following the tips outlined above and working with an experienced local real estate agent (that’ us :-) , you'll be well on your way to discovering the perfect property here in Lakewood Ranch!
Lakewood Ranch offers a unique blend of natural beauty, modern amenities, and a strong sense of community that sets it apart from other residential areas.
We hope this ultimate guide has inspired you to discover all that Lakewood Ranch offers and consider making it your own personal paradise.
Our goal is to welcome, assist, and guide future Lakewood Ranch residents, helping them find the right home and neighborhood that aligns with their priorities and values.
Whether you're looking to relocate, invest in real estate, or simply enjoy a visit, there is truly something for everyone here in Lakewood Ranch.
So, give us a call at 941-348-2653 or send us an email Contact@Chenkus.com
We'd love to chat about Lakewood Ranch and are here to help!