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Orlando, FL

Getting to Know Orlando, FL

While Orlando is well-known for its theme parks, there's much more to it - abundant green spaces, warm weather, high culture and higher education. This beautiful Central Florida city is filled with fun attractions for all ages, shopping to rival any larger city, and a wide array of apartment options.

Best Neighborhoods in Orlando

  • Winter Park: Outside of the city of Orlando itself, Winter Park is big and has some of everything. Originally built as a winter resort for northern businessmen, the name and cost of the place makes perfect sense. It's a bit expensive to live in, but if you can afford it, it's a great neighborhood to live in. 
  • College Park: Not far from downtown, College Park mixes two aspects you rarely see together. It has the feeling of a small community, but is right near all the big things happening in the city. If you like that mix, this is the place to find it. 
  • Lake Nona: Lake Nona started as a "medical city", reflected in the number of hospitals in the area, but became much more. With over a dozen large communities, lots of green space, and easy access to the main freeways to get everywhere else, it's a good place for families. 
  • Pine Hills: One of the fastest growing parts of the city, Pine Hills has been going under big changes in recent years. The Central Florida Fairgrounds host events throughout the year, so there's always something interesting going on, and the neighborhood only seems to be improving over time. 
  • South Eola: Built around Lake Eola Park, South Eola is a more historic part of downtown. It's right in the middle of everything, with more festivals, shops, and restaurants than you'll know what to do with. 

Orlando Attractions

Whether long days at the beach is your passion or you'd rather meander through museums, Orlando has something for everyone. Downtown offers fine shopping, Lake Eola, concerts and events as well as a vibrant scene for dining and bar-hopping. Golf is serious business in Orlando, where you'll find tons of scenic courses, some private but many public. When you're looking a little farther afield, you'll find Walt Disney World, Universal Studios and Cocoa Beach, the theme parks that come to mind when most people think of Orlando. 

Free Fun Things to Do in Orlando

It costs you nothing to admire the eclectic collection of art, jewelry, glass and sculpture on display at Grand Bohemian Gallery, but it might be hard to walk away without making a purchase. Orlando's "secret garden," Kraft Azalea Gardens in Winter Park, is a popular spot for long walks and quiet. Popular with the whole family is a stroll along Disney's Boardwalk, where you can come for free and spend minimally (think ice cream or cotton candy). Popular with locals is downtown's Lake Eola Park, which also hosts the Orlando Farmers Market on weekends in addition to being a great park.

Orlando Sports

Orlando is a sports fan's paradise, with University of Central Florida's collegiate teams and professional sports teams, including Orlando Magic basketball and Orlando Pride soccer teams providing plenty of action. 

For Families with Kids

Although Orlando is famous for its theme parks, there are also other fun things to do with your kids, including gathering for a free movie under the night sky in Central Park in Winter Park. For families with toddlers, Leu Gardens is a good choice with its free storytime events once a month.

Orlando, FL Schools

For moms and dads looking for the highest-rated schools for their children, check out Niche.com's 2018 Best School Districts report; it ranks Seminole, Orange and Volusia county schools on top, based on data gleaned from the U.S. Department of Education.

Orlando's Natural Beauty

Winding rivers, diverse species of palms, botanical gardens, abundant wildlife and birds are part of the natural world in and around Orlando. A short drive reveals majestic Atlantic Ocean beaches and its sea life. 

Orlando Parks

Head to Lake Eola Park to walk the nearly one-mile path, attend an outdoor concert, feed the swans or rent a paddleboat. If you came to Orlando with your dog, be sure to hit the city's numerous on- and off-leash parks. Standouts include Greenwood Urban Wetlands, which requires dogs to be leashed but provides well-maintained green space in downtown. Another favorite is Barber Park that has off-leash play areas for large and small dogs (this park also has basketball courts, play areas for kids and tons of paths to explore).

Orlando Getaways

Here are our top picks for the best beaches and day trips near Orlando:

  • Daytona Beach: Spend hours lounging on the beach, catch a NASCAR race or cool off at the water park, all just an hour away in Daytona Beach.
  • St. Pete Beach: A two-hour drive puts you in St. Pete Beach for sunbathing, browsing the galleries or taking a cruise to Shell Key to glimpse wildlife.
  • Key West: The nearly seven-hour drive to Key West is worth it for the diving, snorkeling and fishing opportunities.
  • Miami beaches: Hop on Florida's Turnpike for a 3.5-hour drive to the wide beaches of Miami, where you can enjoy South Beach nightlife after a day in the sun.
  • Atlanta: Tour the CNN Center, visit the expansive Georgia Aquarium or stroll through 30 acres of plants, statues and fountains in the Atlanta Botanical Garden, all for a six-hour drive.

16 Cool Things to Do in Orlando Besides Theme Parks

There are plenty of things to do in Orlando besides theme parks. While Disney's BoardWalk and the Universal CityWalk get a lot of the publicity, here are other cool things to do in Orlando for new locals that aren't affiliated with either Disney or Universal.

  1. Tibet-Butler Preserve -- This is a lovely, calm natural preserve with an environmental center. It's a great place to hike, bird-watch and learn more about the environment. It's one of the top free things to do in Orlando.
  2. The Downtown Arts District -- This section of Orlando is full of theaters, museums and galleries for locals to check out. For example, artists would love the CityArts Factory or the Grand Bohemian Gallery. Theater fans would love the Mad Cow Theatre Company.
  3. Market on South -- A haven of plant-based dining with a big shared market space, this is a really nice date spot in the Milk District, which is a great place to visit.
  4. Tasty Tuesdays -- Every Tuesday, there's a food truck meetup event in the Milk District from 6:30 to 10 p.m.
  5. Lake Jesup Park -- Home to gators and boat launches, this is a great free place for Orlando locals to chill out away from tourists while still being close to the water.
  6. Leu Gardens -- Admission is $10 for adults, but most locals chose to become members/supporters of this favorite local garden. Explore 50 acres of local plant life.
  7. Lake Underhill Park -- A perfect place for exercising and right next to the airport, this park connects with Festival Park, the skate park and more, so it's a good place to start. There are dozens of other little parks, though. Another favorite to check out would be the Big Tree Park.
  8. Winter Park Farmers' Market -- This will likely be your new favorite Saturday-morning activity. There are sometimes very cool local art events thereas well as some of the best local food.
  9. Cornell Fine Arts Museum -- At Rollins College, you can find a beautiful art gallery that's completely free and open to the public.
  10. Drive to the Beach -- Lori Wilson Park is a short distance away and has fairly cheap admission. Visiting the beach is one of the best parts of living in Florida, so check it out.
  11. Fort Christmas -- Check out the pioneer-style architecture of this small historic fort.
  12. Local Golfing -- There are tons of golfing opportunities in Orlando, some affiliated with the major resorts. Arnold Palmer's club is just one example of many.
  13. Local Brewery Tour -- Orlando Brewing is a relatively new craft brewery that locals should hop on over to visit. There's also Ocean Sun BrewingCrooked Can Brewing Company, and the Redlight Beer Parlour.
  14. The Cloak & Blaster Gaming Pub -- Nerds hoping to play some games will have a blast at this really interesting local pub, complete with a sci-fi-style lounge. The fries come highly recommended!
  15. Kraft Azalea Garden -- This secret garden is tucked away in a 5.22-acre park on the shore of Lake Maitland.
  16. Charles Homer Morse Museum of American Art -- A huge collection of Tiffany glass and fine arts are found here.

Frequently Asked Questions About Orlando, Florida

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Average Rent in Orlando

Studio1 Bed2 Bed3 Bed
Dec 19$1,404$1,460$1,757$2,038
Oct 191,4241,4601,7372,019
Sep 191,3801,4521,7182,039
Aug 191,3951,4791,7492,049
Jul 191,5681,4651,7592,058
Jun 191,5521,4521,7662,070
May 191,5771,4571,7752,073
Apr 191,5221,4581,7762,060
Mar 191,5591,4351,7752,025
Feb 191,5191,4471,7472,021
*The rent information included in this summary is based on a median calculation of multifamily rental property inventory on Apartment Guide and Rent.com over the past 12-months and is for illustrative purposes only. This information does not constitute a pricing guarantee or financial advice related to the rental market.

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Information is copyrighted and school data provided by GreatSchools.org. Information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Schools listed above are based on distance from the selected location and are just a sampling of the schools in the area. To find a particular school district, and how it relates to a specific apartment, please contact the apartment manager.

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