A.D. Thompson
orlando florida neighborhoods families

The city of Orlando is growing at an explosive rate. Each day, the news brings word of a new company that is planning to expand into the Orlando metro. Amazon recently announced it will be opening a new fulfillment center in the City Beautiful.

This Central Florida metropolitan area boasts excellent school districts, great parks, and serious scenery. Here are a few that combine all three of the features that make for the best neighborhoods in Orlando – whether you’re looking for a place to call home while deciding where to buy or a family-friendly rental community where you can settle in and stay awhile.


Widely known as one of the best neighborhoods in Orlando, Oviedo has a long roster of elementary schools, three middle schools and two high schools – and just about every single one is A-rated. This growing city is just 20 miles from downtown Orlando and super close to the University of Central Florida. It’s famous for the chickens that roam freely throughout town, frequently stopping traffic. Parks, new and old, abound. Oviedo’s new aquatic center offers an Olympic size pool as well as its own small water park. Oviedo Grove Apartments, for example, are less than 10 minutes from the Aquatic Center. Over the last several years, Oviedo has been a hotbed for renovations and new developments. The Oviedo Mall and town center areas recently underwent major renewal projects and a new hospital opened just last year.


Winter Park

This well-known Orange County cit has a gorgeous, walkable downtown and boasts one of the best public high schools in the entire state. And while it certainly has high-end options, there are apartments available at multiple price points. Central Place at Winter Park is not only in the Winter Park high school district, it’s within walking distance of Full Sail University, as well. There is truly something for every member of the family. Outdoor spaces here abound, from the fountains of Central Park to the color and wildlife of Mead Botanical Garden to the hiking trails of Cady Way. Prefer art to outdoor adventure? Winter Park is also home to a number of art museums and one of the largest outdoor art festivals in the country.


With a number of highly rated schools, Longwood’s vibrant community and proximity to beautiful natural pursuits make a natural qualifier among the best neighborhoods in Orlando. And one of the family-friendliest. Milwee Middle School, a pre-engineering magnet school is located in Longwood. Sabal Club is situated in a green, woodsy, well established area of Longwood. Its pool, dog park and playground make it a wonderful place for families looking to make a new home in the area.

Lake Nona

This new and growing region is prime for families, with excellent schools that run from pre-K, quite literally, to med school! This planned community within the city of Orlando is home to 6 separate institutions of medical research or training. Designed for walkability, Lake Nona is one of the best neighborhoods in Orlando for parents who are trying to instill the value of a healthy, active lifestyle in their children. With so many pretty places to walk or bike, there’s no excuse to spend time inside staring at a screen. NorthLake Park in Lake Nona offers single-story and even two-story townhome plans for families interested in calling this growing Orlando neighborhood home.



About The Author

A.D. Thompson

A.D. Thompson spent the first half of her 25-year career behind the editor’s desk, including time at Playgirl Magazine. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Orlando Sentinel and a host of other publications, print and online. Now a full-time freelancer, she is the Orlando expert for USA Today’s 10Best.com and writes about everything from Mickey Mouse to marijuana-based tourism with equal levels of enthusiasm – and occasional bouts of the munchies.