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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.
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