Nicknamed “The City Beautiful”, Orlando is located in Orange County and is one of the best places to live in Florida. Offering its residents a pleasant mix of urban and suburban life, Orlando has a variety of restaurants, parks and activities to do. If so, you've come to the right place. Whether you are looking for a starter home, a rental property or a forever home, this expert guide will guide you to the 12 best places to live in Orlando and show you some of the incredible qualities that each location will offer your family.
When we talk about Orlando, the first place that comes to mind is downtown Orlando. And, consequently, downtown Orlando is also the first destination on your tour of the best places to live in Orlando. With an abundant population of nearly 20,000 people, Downtown Orlando is the epicenter of this Central Florida city and is home to a variety of exciting and lively communities. Here are some of the reasons why downtown Orlando is such an extraordinary place to live.
Downtown Orlando offers the best of city life, without the bustling vibe of other Florida metropolitan areas, such as Jacksonville or Miami. Connected by the popular I-4 highway and just a 20-minute drive from Orlando's famous theme parks, downtown Orlando contains a cluster of high-rise office buildings, condominiums and several vibrant neighborhoods appreciated by singles and young families. Plus, if you're a working professional, Downtown Orlando is an amazing place to live. For example, the city offers several business-oriented organizations established to connect like-minded professionals and foster innovation.
When it comes to finding a home in downtown Orlando, the options are endless. The neighborhood you choose depends on your lifestyle, wants and needs. For example, the Mills 50 district near Lake Ivanhoe is full of modern apartment complexes planned around trendy restaurants and bars. In contrast, Thornton Park, Colonialtown and Lake Eola Heights are best known for their artisan-style homes, beautifully restored to preserve their historic charm.
These neighborhoods are much quieter than the Mills 50 district and are great places to raise a family. Orlando is home to more than 290,500 people and spans two major counties in Central Florida, Orange County and Seminole County. Throughout this vast area are neighboring cities and towns that are home to some of the best places to live in Orlando. For starters, the historic city of Winter Park is located in the heart of Orange County, just a 12-minute drive (6.2 miles) north of downtown Orlando.
Far enough from the hustle and bustle of the tourist district, Winter Park is a thriving community known for its brick fairways and sprawling properties overlooking sparkling lakes and pristine golf courses. Residents love living in Winter Park mainly because it's so picturesque. The houses here are eclectic, from multi-million dollar mansions to quaint bungalows and medium-sized houses with more modest budgets. Winter Park is also a cultural center for museums and concerts, as well as outstanding institutions such as Rollins College and Full Sail University.
Plus, the city is centrally located, making it easy to get to just about anywhere in the Orlando metropolitan area. Next on their list of the best places to live in Orlando is the luxurious suburban city of Maitland. Although the city is a lesser-known part of Orlando, Maitland is one of the richest and best-preserved areas in the region. Located on the edge of Winter Park, along the I-4 corridor, it is a suburban haven for families and young professionals looking to live close to downtown Orlando without sacrificing space or amenities.
As one of the oldest communities in the Orlando area, Maitland is a place that honors its history, with many houses and buildings that maintain their original facades. Yet at the same time, it's completely modern, with a newly built downtown area flanked by trendy restaurants, retail stores, and a brewery focused on a community lawn. This remarkable little city also hosts the annual Florida Film Festival, which is held at Maitland's famous Enzian Theater, an independent movie theater. Developed by Walt Disney Company, the picturesque community of Celebration is right next to the theme parks.
So who's ready to buy annual passes and hang out with Mickey Mouse all year round? First, you can expect to feel at home with the Celebration vintage theme. For example, there is a strong presence of houses, townhouses and apartments that adopt a well-designed style with colonial, Mediterranean and Victorian influences, so the whole area comes together in unity. You can then walk to the Celebration Town Center, located on the main street, and stroll through quaint little shops and local restaurants to the lakefront park. Perfect for the whole family to enjoy a day in the city.
The family-friendly city of Winter Garden. Located west of downtown Orlando, Winter Garden is a hub for those who prefer to live in a quieter and more peaceful part of the Orlando area. Throughout the city, you'll find gated communities, new lots that give you the option to build your own custom home, and quiet family neighborhoods. Speaking of restaurants, take a stroll along the historic cobblestone streets of downtown Winter Garden and peek through the windows of delicious restaurants and old Florida restaurants.
Winter Garden is also home to many outdoor attractions, so you can fully enjoy Florida's beautiful nature. For example, ride your bike along the pristine West Orange Trail or grab your fishing rod and catch largemouth bass on Lake Apopka. As you can see, Winter Garden is a lovely place to call home to anyone who wants to soak up Central Florida life at its best. Welcome to the wonderful city of Windermere, an excellent destination for those who want to live in the heart of luxury.
Like many big cities in the United States, Orlando has neighborhoods that fit the lifestyles of the rich 26% famous. In this case, it's Windermere. Founded in 1887, Windermere began almost a century and a half ago through the citrus industry. However, as more people began to move to this picturesque city, Windermere grew and became the most sought after place it is today.
Just a 20-minute drive from downtown Orlando, Windermere is considered a prime location for an Orlando community. With its luxurious neighborhoods, picturesque parks and natural areas, and strong community lifestyle, it's no wonder why Windermere made it onto the list of the best places to live in Orlando. Built on land that once housed a U.S. Navy base, Baldwin Park is one of Orlando's newest gems and boasts a bustling walkable community of homes and rental communities.
A variety of excellent restaurants, shops and services are grouped into a New Urbanism concept that creates a city within a neighborhood. This New Urbanism lifestyle allows your active outdoor lifestyles to thrive, as most of Baldwin Park is designed with bike paths, tree-lined sidewalks, and relaxing parks throughout the venue, including Lake Baldwin Park, a 23-acre dog-friendly park. If you're considering a move to Baldwin Park, make sure you easily imagine strolling along a well-maintained sidewalk to your favorite local restaurant and then doing some light shopping at your own grocery store. With more than 1,125 acres, Baldwin Park continues to experience great positive growth.
So, if you are looking for new construction and a great location for new families, take a look at what the area has to offer. The next step in the guide to the best places to live in Orlando is none other than Lake Mary. Central Florida offers several amazing communities that are independent cities in themselves, and Lake Mary could be at the top of the list. Approximately 18 miles north of downtown Orlando, Lake Mary is a destination of choice for high-tech businesses and growing neighborhoods.
This community is known for its well-planned residential areas, great schools and great businesses, including great restaurants and several shopping options. First known as Lake Mary in 1882, many assume that the area is newly established. Its slower pace than the city center gives visitors a genuine sense of community. Do you want to be located near the Orlando International Airport and be part of one of the country's highest-tech infrastructures? So the 17-square-mile mixed-use neighborhood of Lake Nona could be the perfect match.
In addition, water sports fans enjoy fishing or hiking along Lake Apopka, and birdwatchers can enjoy many of the area's 300 documented species. Scenic Wekiwa Springs State Park offers over 13 miles of nature trails that you can canoe, camp or hike. In addition, cyclists can ride 22 paved miles of the West Orange Trail, an epic stretch of trail for cyclists and fitness enthusiasts. Apopka is also home to one of Florida's premier outdoor sports facilities, with 28 fields and an outdoor amphitheater.
This city is truly a little piece of heaven for anyone who enjoys the outdoors. Orlando, Florida, a booming tourist city, is not only a great place to vacation, but also a wonderful place to settle down. Economy is a source of pride for Orlando, given its attractions and diverse food, drink and shopping options. In addition, Orlando is quite diverse, making it a cultural center for those looking to celebrate a community with people from all walks of life.
It's also worth mentioning that the typical value of a home in Orlando has increased by almost 23% over the past year, making Orlando a great city if you're looking to generate capital, so you're not only getting a property, but also a good return on your investment, thanks to the booming real estate market. Do you prefer a more relaxed atmosphere and better real estate prices than the city itself? Consider the charming suburbs of the Orlando area with such good access, you won't really feel too far from the city. College Park For those who love a lot to do and be in the middle of all the action, College Park is a great area close to downtown, full of small businesses and award-winning restaurants. The area is also home to one of the best public golf clubs in Orlando, along with many other green areas and parks in the city.
SanfordIf suburban living is more your style, Sanford isn't far behind and has been touted as one of the best places to live in the state. Is it expensive to live in Orlando? Well, that depends on where you've lived before. The cost of living in Orlando is generally higher than in other cities in the state; however, it is cheaper than in many other major cities in the country and is still more affordable than other popular places in Florida, such as Miami or Tampa. If you're moving to Orlando from a smaller town or city, expect to pay more in food, lodging and transportation expenses.
A cost-of-living aspect in favor of Orlando? Taxes. In fact, Florida state income taxes are simply not a thing. On top of that, the city has a relatively low sales tax rate of 6.5%, which means there is more money left in your pocket instead of going to Uncle Sam's house. In addition, if your children are older or you want to continue your studies, the city is home to the second largest university in the country, the University of Central Florida, as well as many public and private colleges and universities, such as Rollins, Full Sail and Valencia, to name a few.
Orlando's weather is usually one of the main deciding factors that people mention when they move to the area. While hurricanes are a serious and logical concern for many, the weather is simply beautiful here most of the year. Even when it's cold, the cold is much less severe than in most other states, with an average low of 52°F (52°F) (and a high of 71°F) during the coldest month. The city offers many opportunities for professionals from various industries.
It is home to major hospitals and several Fortune 500 companies, such as Siemens and Oracle, not to mention the famous cartoon mouse. Sports and recreational activities abound. If you like active or extreme water sports, there are the Orlando Watersports Complex, Andretti Indoor Karting %26 Games, iFLY Indoor Skydiving and the Orlando Tree Trek Adventure Park, to name a few. There are entertainment venues dedicated to the little ones.
Younger adventurers also have plenty of fun options in Orlando. For example, check out the Crayola Experience if you want to spend an entertaining and educational day or weekend in a setting different from one of the most famous theme parks. You can also visit the Orlando Museum of Art, Osceola Arts, Orlando Repertory Theatre and the Mad Cow Theatre, among others, anytime you want. So even if you move from a larger city, you're unlikely to get bored here.
Here you can also enjoy science and history. The Orlando Science Center is a must for those with inquiring minds, plus the area is home to hundreds of museums, historic houses and even gardens that you can visit to further immerse yourself in the history of the area. The beach is just a short drive away.If you need a break from city life, or if you simply miss smelling the sea and feeling the sand under your feet, remember that there are many beaches within a couple of hours of Orlando, where you can enjoy a mini vacation any weekend. However, for occasional longer trips during the weekend or to other places of interest, the options offered by the city are more than enough.
There are Amtrak, SunRail and (upcoming) Virgin Trains routes. Buses are another great option if you need to travel within the city or between Orlando and South Florida for fun, and there are even free buses that reach some areas within Orlando. If that's not enough, Orlando's prime location gives you access to ports and cruise lines just an hour's drive away. There is magic in the air of Orlando, the only possible problem is to get there.
Do you need any advice? Get help from professional carriers, load everything into a truck or get around with PODS. Rent a portable storage container and have it delivered to your driveway, ready to be loaded at your own pace. Do you need help with heavy duty work? PODS can even connect you to local packing and loading services. When you're ready, they'll pick up your container and deliver it directly to your new home in Orlando or take it to one of PODS's secure storage facilities until you're ready for it.
Are you moving from somewhere else in the state? See our guide to moving in Florida and save yourself time and headaches. And if you haven't decided on Orlando yet, visit the PODS blog to explore the best places to live in Florida and other sunny cities. Ivonne Spinoza is a freelance writer and a frequent contributor to the blog PODS. His work has been featured on Matador Network, PBS's Independent Lens, and The Chicago Tribune, among others.
When you're not snuggling your cats, or you're kondo-ing someone's life or fighting jet lag in some airport. Save my name, email and website in this browser for the next time I comment. When we talk about central Florida, it's almost impossible not to mention Orlando, FL, a unique and lively city located in the heart of the Sunshine State. Basically, if you're looking to live in a big city setting with small-town prices, Orlando is the place to be.
There is no perfect answer to that, as Orlando and its surrounding communities offer a lot no matter where you go. This means that Orlando may be a better place for young professionals looking to advance their education and career, rather than families with young children. If you're moving to Orlando because you want to be closer to magic, then you'll love this next city of Orlando. .