Rotonda is Florida's unusual city in the round. A name is rarely a good descriptor of a city's geography. Cities may be long, short, or inconveniently wedged in between other census areas. But the city of Rotonda in Southwest Florida defies that point. With perfectly circular boundaries and canals that are reminiscent of a modern rendition of the Venetian capital, the original town was an architect's dream.
Today, it's also a boater's dream, with canals that hem in each subdivision and offer scenic views from each residence. Originally called Rotonda West, Rotonda sits off the coast of the Gulf of Mexico, nestled amongst some of West Florida's most prestigious real estate.
Moving to Rotonda
The original portion of Rotonda is shaped like a giant wagon wheel, with seven spokes comprising the main neighborhoods within the wheel and a wildlife reserve at its southwest base. What started out as a cool design of pie-shaped neighborhoods that had their own integral personality has, over the years, spread outside of the town's carefully shaped boundaries north, west and southeast of the circle. That's actually good for homebuyers and those seeking rental condos and apartments, since there are now more variety offered than there were in the 1980's when the community was conceived.
Study the locals
You'll probably notice people don't rush here. They take their time and enjoy every moment. Even the alligators may look like they are taking their time as they saunter through the wildlife reserve. You should, too. Florida tropical heat is made for kicking back, taking in the vista and enjoying the warmth.
Heed the call
That said, remember this is the Florida coast, and tempests have been known to occur. Rotonda is well protected by a shoal and has had relatively few encounters with tropical storms. Still, do take hurricane season warnings seriously. They are there for the public's protection.
The 'Hoods of Rotonda
Altogether, there are about 11 Rotonda neighborhoods, many of which feature rental homes, such as Oakland Hills, Pebble Beach, Pinehurst, Long Meadow, Broadmoor, Pine Valley, and White Marsh. Here are a few of the most popular 'hoods.
Oakland Hills: The oldest, once home to celebrity Ed McMahon, is Oakland Hills. This area has carefully maintained older homes closest to the Gulf.
Pine Valley: Pine Valley features some of the newest, high-end homes.
Long Meadow: This area's spacious acreage and contemporary designs reflect design changes over the years.
Rotonda Heights and Rotonda Lakes: Newer neighborhoods, including the outlying communities of Rotonda Heights and Rotonda Lakes, have emerged in recent years, proving that while perfect symmetry of a wheel is hard to maintain, a great idea is also hard to contain.
Rental apartments can also be found at the Rotonda Lakes Apartments on the west edge of the Rotonda. Condo rentals are located in various areas of the community and offer the same attractive settings within cul de sacs that are bordered by canals. Although apartment complexes are hard to find within the older neighborhoods, don't exclude the newer communities from your search for that desirable one bedroom apartment in Rotonda.
Living in Rotonda
It's hard to get bored in a community that's geared for getting up and going -- and a neighborhood in which you have just about everything at your fingertips, including ample outdoor recreation: There are six golf courses; four inside the wheel. Residents can literally step out their doors and golf; freshwater canals designed for boating; tennis at the center of the Rotonda and in Oakland Hills; plenty of walking and jogging areas; numerous state parks and wildlife viewing areas both inside the community and adjacent; and fresh and gulf water swimming. If you do get bored of all the activities, just have a meal at Pig N Whistle or Amigos Restaurant & Cantina to relax and enjoy the day.