Central Florida is a regional designation for the area surrounding Orlando in east central Florida, United States. The area represents the third largest population concentration in Florida, after the South Florida and Tampa Bay regions, respectively.
Although agreement on the exact boundaries of 'Central Florida' can vary, the region is generally considered to be Orlando and its surrounding suburbs, including Orange, Osceola, Seminole, Lake, Brevard, and Volusia counties. Polk, Flagler, and Sumter counties are often included in Central Florida demographics and are primarily served by Orlando media outlets.
Counties west of Interstate-4 (I-4) corridor are geographically in Central Florida, however they are considered part of the Tampa Bay Area or the Suncoast. This includes the city of Tampa and it's surrounding suburbs around Tampa Bay: Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco, and Hernando counties.
The central cities of both metropolitan areas Orlando and Tampa are in close proximity (85 miles), and as a result, their two metropolitan areas blend together in the area of Lakeland to make up a larger contiguous population center often referred to as the I-4 corridor. This is a population concentration that stretches from Tampa Bay on the west coast to Daytona Beach and Cape Canaveral on the east coast of the state.
With the exception of hill terrain in Northern Lake County, Central Florida is mostly flatland's with significant amounts of open space and over 1,500 lakes and ponds. There is a mixture of wetlands, Cypress forests, pastures, and coastline.
Major rivers include the St. Johns River, the Ocklawaha River, the Banana River, the Halifax River, and the Econlockhatchee River. Major lakes include Lake Apopka, Lake Tohopekaliga, East Lake Tohopekaliga, Lake Louisa, Lake Monroe, Lake Jessup, and the Butler Chain of Lakes.