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