About Orange Park
Orange Park is a small town in Florida's Clay Park County, located on the St. Johns River, just a short distance south of Jacksonville. It's considered a small suburb of Jacksonville, which is easily accessible with just a short drive. The title of Orange Park is often used to refer to a small group of surrounding communities in addition to the suburban town, including Fleming Island and Lakeside.
Even though it's a fairly small town, Orange Park has been the home of several notable residents, including NFL players, musicians (like the keyboardist for rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd) and the current CEO of Cinnabon.
The History of Orange Park
Throughout the late 18th century, Orange Park was known as Laurel Grove. It was settled by Sarah and William Pengree, who received the land through a Spanish land grant. Eventually the land changed hands, and a large plantation was successfully operated there for over a decade. During the Patriot Rebellion, the plantation owner's wife burned it down to prevent it from being seized by patriot forces.
After the Civil War, development started again in the area when the Florida Winter Home and Improvement Co. purchased a large parcel of land. The plan was to use the several thousand acres to create a Southern-style farming community. The town of Orange Park was officially incorporated in 1879. Its name was a tribute to the locals' hopes for a flourishing citrus industry, which were unfortunately dashed with the Great Freeze of 1895.
Living in Orange Park
Orange Park is known as a cozy community that offers the best of both worlds: a quiet, small-town lifestyle that's just minutes away from major attractions in Jacksonville, including professional ice hockey, world-class dining and cultural events. Plus, you'll enjoy easy access to some of the country's best beaches.
The town is also considered a fairly safe place to live and raise a family. There are several outdoor parks and recreational areas, plus a fairly well-rated school system. The town has two major roadways, Route 224 and Route 17, both offering strip malls with shopping, services, dining and more. Surrounding these two major routes are palm-shaded neighborhoods lined with residential homes.
There are a host of different neighborhoods in Orange Park, each one offering a different lifestyle. Neighborhoods near the town center are more convenient and closer to route 17, so they are a good fit if you're planning to commute, but keep in mind that these neighborhoods are more expensive. Camp Echockotee is one of these neighborhoods, just a few blocks from the town center.
Orange Park Schools
Orange Park schools are part of the Clay County Schools District, which oversees schools in Jacksonville and some surrounding cities. You can also consider a handful of private schools located within city limits.
If you're planning to pursue a college degree in Orange Park, you can attend the local campus of the St. Johns River State College or Fortis College, a small two-year college.
Resources for Moving to Orange Park
Here are a few resources that can help you get settled in Orange Park:
Utilities: The town of Orange Park operates the public water system, including metering and billing. Clay Power is the city's local electricity provider.
Garbage and Recycling: Trash is collected curbside two times a week, while recycling is picked up once a week.
Transportation: Clay Transit facilitates public transportation through several different routes throughout the county, including in Orange Park.
Orange Park Housing
Orange Park is fairly inexpensive when compared to its neighboring cities, due in part to the town's relatively small size. However, prices are rising quickly and steadily, now approaching the state and national averages. If you're shopping for a single-family home, you'll find both affordable and luxury options to choose from.