Voted America's No. 1 travel destination by Visit Orlando's tourism officials in 2018 and attracting a record 75 million visitors, Orlando's a place people want to be. Residents can't get enough of the city's famous theme parks, adventure sports, booming nightlife and rich history. From downtown lofts to pool or golf course views, living in Orlando is becoming more attractive to people looking for a hip, popular place to call home.
So, pull on your mouse ears and grab your putter because here are the top 10 things you need to know about living in Orlando.
Housing more than 12 major amusement parks, Orlando offers more than Walt Disney World. Sip on a butterbeer at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Orlando, hop on one of 50 rides at Legoland or kiss a dolphin at the underrated Discovery Cove. As a bonus, Florida residents receive steep discounts and save a bundle on season passes.
Nighthawks take note: Disney Springs and Universal get a second wind after dark and become havens for couples and singles. You can dance to live music or check out standup comedy shows.
It turns out thrill-seekers adore Mickey's abode. Indoor or outdoor skydiving, anyone? Orlando has both. A 12,000-foot Screamin' Gator Zip Line? Go buck wild. Axe-throwing? Take a gander. To top it off, head over to North Orange Avenue to ride a full-throttle flyboard and resemble a hoverboarding Jetson.
Orlando has its share of standout neighborhoods, and with them come numerous entertainment and cultural perks. A typical one-bedroom Orlando apartment goes for a respectable $1,489.29, and the cost of living ranks about 9 percent lower than the national average.
People tend to flock to these Orlando neighborhoods:
Extending beyond the city of Orlando, the Lynx bus system offers convenient public transportation, so no sweat if you lack a car. Residents can also ride the LYMMO Downtown Circulator that travels four different routes within Downtown Orlando.
Not a bus fan? No worries, try the SunRail commuter train with 16 stations spanning over four counties and 49 miles of track. Another Orlando public transit perk: You can bring your bike on all of them.
Orlando offers an eclectic dining scene ranging from savory Asian dishes to spicy Cuban entries. Downtown Orlando and College Park have the best restaurants by neighborhood, according to “Orlando Magazine."
With its diverse palette, Orlando doesn't claim one signature dish. But whether you're in the mood for spring rolls or tapas, you simply must leave room for dessert — a 27-million-dollar industry in Florida. Give the southern classic, pecan pie a whirl.
Head downtown to the Amway Center on Church Street to see the National Basketball Association's Orlando Magic shine. With a seating capacity of 20,000 fans, you'll be part of one heck of a wave.
Like soccer? Head over to the Exploria Stadium on W. Church Street, home to Orlando Pride and the Orlando City Soccer Club. (Start saving for those season tickets, today.)
Rev up your golf cart because Orlando offers more than 170 courses. The Mission Inn Resort and Club and the Winter Pines Golf Course are both near apartments. Afraid to rock your handicap? Practice your golf clap, instead, at major tournaments like the PGA Tour and Arnold Palmer Invitational.
According to U.S. Climate Data, the average highs for Orlando in January and June are 71 and 91 degrees with lows of 50 and 73 degrees. Like all Florida weather, Orlando's is unpredictable. That's why layers are your friend. Some days you'll need that sweatshirt as you walk downtown to the nearest sushi bar. On other days, you'll be peeling off layers like a Florida orange.
Plan on a versatile wardrobe and know that Orlando gets around 52 inches of rain annually, far more than the national average of 38. Know that you should always have an umbrella and poncho on hand.
Scholars believe Spanish explorer Ponce De Leon brought citrus to Florida around 1513. Soon after, settlers began planting small groves, but it wasn't until 1880 – when the first railroad came to Orange County – that the citrus business boomed.
Unfortunately, a December freeze in 1894 took out 90 percent of the crops, and the orange business never fully recovered. That being said, the name Orange County, where Orlando resides, still lives on.
All cities have their weaknesses. For Orlando, terrible traffic tops the list. The city's major highway, Interstate 4, leads to most major destinations and has been voted one of America's most dangerous. So, before hitting the highway, take a few deep breaths and expect roadblocks and construction.
Orlando is an entertainment haven for all ages and is perfect for adventurers, sports fans and foodies alike. If you're planning a move, visit one of the thousands of apartments located in “The City Beautiful." Your dream home awaits.