Orlando is a vibrant Florida city with loads to offer in fun attractions and also gainful employment! All the more reason to call Central Florida home.
But those looking for Orlando proximity with a lower-key lifestyle will find a number of lovely burgs for apartment living – whether that means a beachy locale, a cabin in the woods or just an easier commute in a more affordable neighborhood.
Read on for 10 amazing options near Orlando that you should call home.
Like many Florida cities, Sanford is a trifle sprawling. But it has an amazing historic downtown, with brick streets, charming buildings and a growing roster of hip attractions from nightlife to dining to galleries and boutiques. All of this is nestled up against the shore of Lake Monroe, which makes for as hip and exciting a night out as any in Orlando, with the added benefit of appealing to every age bracket and being exceedingly easy when it comes to parking.
Walkability is epic, and this is a beautiful town to visit (and even better to live) and still easily commutable to downtown – only about 30 miles, business district to business district.
One-bedroom apartments in Sanford average $1,134.
Like Sanford, Winter Garden, too, has a historic downtown with lots to do – from the idyllic live oaks over the patio at Plant Street Market to a living, breathing railroad museum to charm the oldest and youngest in your troupe with ease.
Winter Garden, east of the Orlando metro, is also easily commutable, but with a small-town feel that lowers the blood pressure. Despite its 'burb location, Winter Garden is home to two of the most well-reviewed restaurants in the area, both of which are housed within the charming Edgewater Hotel.
One-bedroom apartments in Winter Garden start at $1,232.
This town is farther from the metropolitan action of Orlando – about an hour's drive – but what it lacks in proximity to the 407, it makes up for in proximity to the B-E-A-C-H. DeLand, too, has a historic town that's enjoyed a renaissance over the years. It's home to breweries, meaderies and regular festivals that bring Orlandoans out to bask in this city's charm.
It's also home to prestigious Stetson College and enjoys something of a college town vibe. It's also SunRail accessible, which makes downtown commutes so easy, you won't even have to take a car!
A one-bedroom in DeLand starts at $641.
Few towns are as idyllic as Mount Dora. It's full of all kinds of historic homes and looks ready for a postcard portrait. Mount Dora (while not actually atop a “mountain") does get its name, in part, for some surprisingly hilly terrain for the Sunshine State. The best homes are situated with hilltop views of Lake Dora, where you can catch a stunning sunset nightly.
Top tier restaurants, including 1921, the Goblin Market and the ridiculously Instagrammable sushi doughnuts of WAVE Mount Dora, make it a date-night destination that you can actually call home.
A one-bedroom in Mount Dora starts at about $970.
With more convenience to downtown, Ocoee – at just 11 miles – is the closest city on this list to Orlando. A quick scoot on the 408 (highway) will have you inside the 407 in an average of 20 minutes. And your apartment community will have a far more relaxed vibe. One that's easier on the pocketbook, too.
One-bedrooms run about $1,241 but you'll get more space for that money, while still being able to hit up all the Orlando attractions with ease. Farm-to-table fans will note that Ocoee is nearby to many of the city's best restaurant's suppliers, like Lake Meadow Naturals. You can also pick blueberries in your figurative backyard when they're in season!
It's like living in the wilderness. Apopkans enjoy proximity to gorgeous natural areas, including Wekiwa Springs State Park and Rock Springs Run State Preserve, where activities such as hiking, camping and even tubing on one of the region's beautiful natural springs make for happy, outdoorsy residents.
If you've got a city commute, though, it could be worse. Apopka is less than 20 miles from downtown – that's 30 minutes without traffic. A one-bedroom here will average around $1,024 a month.
Clermont's rolling hills are a startling contrast to much of Florida's natural landscape. In fact, Florida's highest point (a mountain topping out at a whopping 345 feet) can be found in Lake County near Clermont. Its weather and topography are so appealing that the National Training Center, a world-class facility where elite athletes come to hone their skills, calls Clermont home.
Many national fun runs and obstacle races make stops here, as well – the hills are great for challenging events! A one-bedroom in Clermont starts at $1,247.
Since the space program kicked off in Cape Canaveral, just 10 miles away, the neighboring beach has been home to astronauts (real and fictional). And Cocoa is actually one of the most popular beach destinations for Orlandoans, as well. Why? Because it's less than an hour's drive from the center of town!
Beautiful Riverfront Park is a draw for national touring acts and the famed Cocoa Beach Pier – recently renovated and full of fun to-dos! – is minutes away. Only 40 minutes from Orlando, a one-bedroom here starts around $600 per month.
It was a town built, literally, by Disney in the 1990s, and although the mega-corp doesn't own or run the place anymore if you've ever wanted to live on Main Street, U.S.A. inside the Magic Kingdom, this master-planned community is among the few places on earth you'll feel that vibe.
With a lovely lake, tons of family attractions and events, an idyllic downtown and of course, minutes-away access to Walt Disney World, Celebration one-bedrooms start at $1,305. But you'll never have to leave town – all your relatives will want to come visit you, instead. It's about a half-hour from downtown barring traffic, which can be formidable, but you'll have a couple of options outside of I-4.
Tourism is a top money-maker in Kissimmee, but the charming downtown and its surrounds were built on the dual-powerhouse industries of cattle ranching and farming – and much of that rancher history remains. The Silver Spurs Rodeo is still a tremendously popular event here, and since Kissimmee essentially borders Walt Disney World, ongoing development is bringing more industry to the city, as well.
Just this year, the massive Margaritaville Resort Orlando opened and soon the entire neighborhood of homes will be completed, along with a water park and massive dining, shopping and entertainment complex. Get in on the one-bedroom ground floor at a rate of $1,204 on average.