Founded in 1876 by Henry DeLand, the City of DeLand is a thriving place located about 34 miles from Orlando and only 25 minutes from Daytona Beach. DeLand offers the excitement of being close to Orlando while also offering the hospitality a small Southern town. Surrounded by lakes, the St. Johns River, and home to many state and local parks, DeLand has grown into an affordable destination in the heart of Central Florida and one of the better towns to live outside of Orlando city.
DeLand is the county seat of Volusia County. As per the 2012 census, DeLand’s population was 27,447; estimated per capita income in 2011 was $18,804; and estimated median house or condo value in 2011 was $125,462.
DeLand’s most popular campus, Stetson University — Florida’s oldest private college — is classified as a National Historic District. Downtown DeLand is lined with notable gift shops and restaurants, and has been recognized as a national MainStreet DeLand community.
DeLand’s economy is founded on a diverse base that includes tourism, agriculture, education, finance, health care, government, manufacturing, and the DeLand airport. DeLand has been called the “skydiving capital of the world”, with many famous skydiving institutes, including the world-renowned Skydive DeLand calling it home. The skydiving industry employs over 500 workers from the DeLand area. This in combination with the tourist end of the industry makes skydiving one of the DeLand’s largest supporters and invaluable to the local economy.
DeLand has been featured in more than a few Hollywood movies and TV shows. Various scenes from Adam Sandler’s Waterboy and the Tom Cruise classic Days of Thunder were filmed in DeLand.
For recreation, DeLand offers its residents many parks offering camping, picnicking, swimming, scuba diving and canoeing. Not too far away are the Manatees in Blue Springs. Hontoon Island State Park on the St. Johns River is another popular attraction. DeLeon Springs State Park is where you can griddle your own pancakes at The Old Spanish Sugar Mill, then paddle a canoe through the Florida waterway and explore the history of DeLand’s early settlers. Every year, the city hosts the artist-and collector-coveted DeLand Fall Festival of the Arts. As one of the largest events in Central Florida, including the annual Volusia County Fair that welcomes 250,000 every November, the DeLand Fall Festival of the Arts attracts visitors from all across the country.
DeLand has several public schools, from elementary to high school, and the city’s administration offers businesses various incentive programs to setup shop in DeLand. Florida Hospital DeLand is the main hospital serving the city. Halifax Health Medical Center in Daytona beach and Bert Fish Medical Center also offer specialty medical services to DeLand’s residents.