St. Cloud is a small town in northern Osceola County, Florida, United States. It is on the south bank of East Lake Tohopekaliga, about 26 miles (41.8 km) southeast of Orlando.
The population was 35,183 in the 2010 census and 54,579 in the 2019 census estimate. The city is part of Metro Orlando/Kissimmee/Sanford. St. Cloud was founded as a community for retired Civil War veterans and earned the nickname "Friendly Soldier's City.
During the 1870s, Hamilton Disston of Philadelphia became interested in the development of the region while on fishing trips with Henry Shelton Sanford, founder of the city of Sanford. Disston entered into a contract with the Florida Internal Improvement Fund, then in receivership, to pay $1 million to clear his Civil War and Reconstruction debt. In return, Disston received half the land it drained from the state marshlands. He dug canals and, in 1886-87, established the St. Cloud sugar cane plantation, named after Minnesota's St. Cloud, although many long-time residents claim the city was named Saint-Cloud in France.
It was only on June 1, 1915 that the Florida Legislature incorporated St. Cloud as a city. The city center has landmark buildings designed by Orlando's Ryan & Roberts architectural firm, a partnership of two women. The buildings of Ryan & Roberts and others downtown are predominantly Spanish Renaissance.
St. Cloud tried to separate itself from the surrounding cities, and particularly the theme parks, promoting an image of small town life and trying to become less economically dependent on Kissimmee. On March 6, 2006, St. Cloud launched CyberSpot, a program that offers residents free high-speed wireless Internet access. The city then shut down CyberSpot, claiming it was too expensive. The city is served by the Osceola Library System.
St Cloud's main highway is US 192, which works in conjunction with US 441 to the east and west. This six-lane road is crossed by avenues running from north to south.