Saint Cloud – Known as “The Friendly Soldier City” St. Cloud is less than 30 miles from Downtown Orlando. Between St. Cloud and Orlando, you will pass to of the area’s largest employers around – Universal Studios, and of course, Disney World. With a population of just over 45,000 residents, it's one of the smaller communities for those who want to be close, but not too close, to the hustle and bustle of the Metro Orlando area. It consists of rural and urban areas, both of which I have lived in and enjoyed. Saint Cloud is more of an “older” city, that doesn’t have many new buildings or houses and is a city of tradition. The Lakeshore is beautiful, and a great place to have a picnic, enjoy the sandy beach, splash pad and look at all the birds or enjoy a long jog or walk. I walk :) “The State Streets” have tons of original old homes some dating over 100 years old, and many have been updated or remodeled. It is a truly quaint area that runs on a slower pace and shopping with more mom and pop stores than any other city on this list. It truly is the perfect balance of country and city. Crime rates are also relatively low in this city as well. It offers “small town connections” and is one of those towns where everyone knows someone.