The Full Story
When the founders of Horizon West came together, they had a new idea for what a community could be. They dreamed of interconnected villages, with plentiful areas for walking and how that space could be used to get to nearby conveniences. They wanted to give a feeling of spaciousness, while also cutting down on the need to hop in the car to get a bite or to go shopping. They planned a series of interconnected villages with hubs and they called it “new urbanism inspired”. Today, the residents of Horizon West reap the benefits of their vision.
The Village of Bridgewater is a perfect example of the foresight of the Horizon West founders. Bridgewater is a captivating hamlet just outside of the Hamlin town center that encompasses the neighborhoods of Independence, Summerport, and several others. The residents living there benefit from the proximity to such wonders as Downtown Orlando, Walt Disney World with it’s nightly fireworks show, and the Downtown Winter Garden area.
As you drive down Ficquette Road, your eyes may wander to the impressive entryway to the community of Independence. Two gas light monuments and a 50 foot clock tower serve to welcome you into this magnificent area. Lucky birdwatchers in the community of Independence often look above in wonder and awe to see bald eagles gracing their skies. Independence is home to, among numerous other facilities, a bald eagle refuge.
Exercise enthusiasts also rejoice to have a number of health amenities in this community, as Independence is home to nature trails, bike trails, four community pools, a fitness center, and a basketball court.The community also offers a luxurious clubhouse and play areas The landscape in Independence itself is especially striking, as one end of the area abuts the enchanting Lake Hancock, where many residents benefit from access to a community boat ramp.
As one moves further down Ficquette Road, you may encounter the community of Summerport Village. At the heart of the Bridgewater Village, the area offers families a short trip to the newly built Windermere High School. This high school presents an innovative curriculum based on pre-major courses, STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics), as well as a partnership with Valencia College to allow high schoolers to earn an Associate of Arts upon graduation to get a headstart on their future. Keene’s Crossing Elementary School also offers excellent education for local children, with a similar curriculum in STEM.
The convenience and proximity of these schools to Summerport’s residential areas cannot be overstated. Driving around the Summerport area, you often see groups of kids walking to and from school, and always with a smile on their face. The closeness to such a large number of amazing schools makes for the perfect community for families. The Summerport neighborhood also offers entertainment for families through their clubhouse, pool, and playground. Amenities also include a fitness center, as well as tennis, basketball and volleyball courts. This community was established in 2003 and is equal parts beautiful and well located.
Next to Summerport’s communities is a lovely little plaza that contains numerous local restaurants. Summer Palace is the perfect spot to pick up some Chinese food after a long day of work, as their service and food are both phenomenal.
If you’re looking for Italian food, Summerport offers two unique choices. Bella Tuscany is a sit down restaurant that is perfect for a romantic date night and Stromboli’s offers amazingly authentic New York style pizza. All three restaurants are offering contact free delivery and takeout. The Summerport plaza also offers Publix in a convenient location for local residents.
Adjacent to this plaza is Humbl, a plant based restaurant in the heart of Bridgewater. One of the first vegetarian restaurants in the area, the menu boasts both plant based and meat friendly options. While you’re picking up dinner for yourself, don’t forget your furry friends! Woof Gang Bakery creates yummy treats, as well as leashes, t-shirts, and toys to spoil your canine compadre!
Orchard Hills is perhaps one of the neighborhoods in the Horizon West Area that offers the most variety in home choices, as it boasts both lot sizes starting at 3,000 feet and stretches all the way to 25,000. Orchard Hills is approximately 15 miles from Downtown Orlando and 15 miles from Walt Disney World, making it the perfect spot for both families and those looking for the excitement of a big city. Orchard Hills features a community clubhouse and events space so lovely, it’ll make you wish you had a reason to throw a party! Dog lovers will rejoice to find not only a quaint dog park within the neighborhood, but also wide sidewalks to take your canine companion on walks to enjoy the lovely Florida weather.
If that Florida weather gets a little too hot, Orchard Hills also includes a resort style pool with a unique design. For those who just want to relax, the pool has a zero-entry entrance on one side and a lap pool on the other. To complete your day of outdoor fun, there is a playground for the little ones to frolic in as the sun sets.
Finding the perfect schools for your children is always such a preoccupying thought for so many parents. With Bridgewater, you are within a short bike ride or walk from some of the area’s best schools. In fact, an educator from Keene’s Crossing Elementary School, a school within walking distance to Orchard Hills, was honored at a ceremony at the Governor’s Mansion. Ms. Cavaliere was awarded as an Excellence in Public Service recipient. Horizon West itself is home to seven out of the nineteen schools in Orange County. These options will ensure you have excellent choices, taking your little one from diapers to Senior Year.
The Bridgewater area offers a great variety of neigborhoods for all types of families. While a neighborhood like Orchard Hills is perfect for families with growing children, there are also neighborhoods perfect for retirees or those looking for a relaxing space away from any hustle or bustle. Neighborhoods like Eden Isle, Merrick Landing or The Vineyards are perfect for second or third time homewoners that are looking for a more relaxing area. Each offers enough proximity to shopping, restaurants and parks to be convenient while still maintaining a peaceful environment. Merrick Landing and the Vineyards both offer both a community pool and a clubhouse, while Eden Isle offers a park as well as lake ramp access.
These three communities in particular are closer to the town of Windermere which offers a variety of restaurants while also remaining close enough to the village of Hamlin which is the perfect “date night” area. Windermere also means closer proximity to Dr. Phillips, with restaurants like bartaco Lemonshark Poke as well a the area’s closest Trader Joe’s store.
To add to the convenience and ease of living in the Bridgewater area, there is a new plaza within walking distance of both Keene’s Crossing Elementary School and Summerport Park as well. This plaza, named Central Parc is zoned for restaurants, convenience stores, hair salons, dry cleaners, flower shops, jewelry stores, as well as gift and apparel shops.
The location of Bridgewater and the encompassed villages offer proximity in a way that reflects the vision of the founders of Horizon West; series of interlocked villages that reduce the need for cars and encourage residents to walk to nearby conveniences and fun. It’s not uncommon while you’re in the Bridgewater area to see high school aged students laughing and joking as they walk to or from their school. The area of Bridgewater and Horizon West in general has a charm that makes it the ideal place to live.
When trying to find a place to live within Horizon West, there are an incredible amount of choices that fit almost every lifestyle and family. No matter where you choose, there is something for every member of the family. Horizon West is also situated roughly thirty minutes from Downtown Orlando, Downtown Winter Garden and Disney World, making it truly a hub for food, shopping and entertainment.