Umatilla, Florida

Umatilla, Florida

Good value homes on the sandy banks of Holly Lake and Umatilla are this town’s best attractions. Umatilla is less than five square miles in area and has the distinguished Ocala National Forest and the gorgeous Alexander Springs for neighbors. This makes Umatilla a perfect place for a vacation home, with unlimited outdoor recreation options.

Alexander Springs
Only 27 first-magnitude springs exist in Florida, and Alexander Springs is by far one of the easiest to enjoy. File photo: Allison Michael, Shutter Stock, licensed.

About the Community

The lakes have ramps that everyone can use for boating and fishing. The trails along the water bodies are great for horseback riding, and there some of the best camping sites that one can find anywhere as well. The banks of the lakes are incredibly rich in vegetation and birding opportunities.


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cow pasture
A cow pasture on the side of the road in Umatilla, as the sun is coming up. File photo:, licensed.

This engaging town may have just under four thousand residents but is known far and wide for the best schools that run all the way from kindergarten to the top high school grade. The first school was built even before the place had been incorporated, and local citizens have a tradition for scholastic excellence.

Important Links

Umatilla gets a new boost every autumn with the Florida Wildlife Festival. The Christmas Season is unusually extended with parades, fun events, and festivals kicking off just a week after Thanksgiving. This kind of activity is never at the cost of business. Umatilla is a key center for Florida’s citrus industry and there are some notable banks located here as well. Adverse weather almost destroyed orchards towards the end of the 19th century, but local farmers have shown unusual resilience and re-established the crop during the course of the last one hundred years. The agricultural heritage of Umatilla is reinforced by a cooperative that produces some of the best honey to be had anywhere.

Vicinity of Umatilla

Additional Details

Umatilla City Hall on May 8, 2019.
Umatilla City Hall on May 8, 2019. File photo: Pelow Media, Shutter Stock, licensed.

Umatilla was discovered by Nathan Trowell in the 1850s while exploring the length of the St. John’s River. The name is related to water in the native Aleutian tongue, which is entirely appropriate for a place so surrounded by abundant lakes and waterfalls. Umatilla was incorporated in 1904 and is a beloved member of Lake County. It has several restaurants, a fair amount of shopping, and Churches that cover major denominations. Overall, it is a fine place to raise a family, especially if you care for the quality of schooling for your children.

St Johns River
Cattle remain near the water of the St Johns River during Florida’s dry season in Winter and early Spring. File photo: Stephen Wood, Shutter Stock, licensed.

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