We moved to Lake Placid, FL about 20 years ago, I too was from Lee County. There's no comparison of the counties. Lake Placid is more laid back, friendlier, and cleaner than most areas of Lee County. Highlands County is larger and cleaner than say, Hardee, Hendry and Okeechobee Counties. Lake Placid has their communities and also quiet, country living. If you are looking to get away from the noisy "city" life, I recommend the Henscratch Rd. area of Lake Placid which is only 15 minutes from Lake Placid or Sebring's shopping. There's also places for sale by owner, so don't limit yourself to realtors. Check Zillow.com and search Eden Ln, Lake Placid, FL 33852 which is a central location for that area and should bring up quite a few listings. This area is also drier than most with it being part of "The Ridge".