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The Best Places to Live in Orlando
Moving to a new city is always challenging. And a large part of that challenge is looking for a place to live. There are so many things to consider when weighing your options-house styles, neighborhood safety, quality of schools, the convenience of location-it all can be quite overwhelming.
That’s why we’ve done the research for you, so you don’t have to. You’ve no doubt seen our Orlando City Guide, which includes a short section on a few of Orlando’s most popular neighborhoods.
This list is a more in-depth neighborhood guide meant to examine what it’s like living in each of these highlighted areas (and by way of introduction, we’re Bellhop—Orlando movers and movers throughout the country).
We’re searching the hot lands of Orlando, locating the best places to live. The parks, fresh seafood, theaters, wildlife, watersports, museums, and the area’s richest entrepreneur (Mr. Mickey Mouse of course) keep residents happily entertained. We’ve researched and compiled our list of the top 4 places to live in Orlando. Check out our list below to help guide you on picking your new Orlando home.
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While comfortable Orlando suburbs are often packed full of retirees, Winter Park draws a different crowd. Idyllic and tree-lined? Yes. But also, Orlando’s thriving food scene got its start right in this neighborhood.
The suburb opened the city’s heart for great food when 4 Rivers Smokehouse opened its doors. This little starter is considered one of the best barbecue joints in the entire state. And, it has since successfully spread its saucy goodness to 14 locations. Today, the restaurant scene in Winter Park thrives with dishes from authentic Indian fare to high-end Mexican food.
Warm and welcoming, Winter Park invites a diverse crowd. And located only about 15-minutes north of downtown, this neighborhood offers all the amenities of a modern city and all the charm of a small town.
Things to do in Winter Park
A local favorite in the neighborhood is The Ravenous Pig. Their warm, elegant dining area serves tasty American dishes, in-house brewed beers, and handcrafted cocktails. Try their Chicken & Waffles with black strap caramel and apple jam. Want to eat lunch like a local? Visit Black Bean Deli. This tiny Cuban corner serves pressed, hot sandwiches that honor the traditional ingredients and flavors of old-time Cuban cuisine.
Besides food, Winter Park holds parks, museums, events, and shopping destinations. Visit Park Avenue, the beautiful, tree-lined main street of Winter Park. You’ll find a busy pocket with more than 140 shops, boutiques, and cafes. Walk through the tropical oasis at Mead Botanical Garden, blooming with local floral foliage and dotted with wildlife. Or peruse Louis Comfort Tiffany’s stained glass designs at The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum.
Schools in Winter Park
The top schools serving Winter Park include Lakemont Elementary School, Hope Charter School, and Winter Park High School.
Homes in Winter Park
Art deco, bungalows, four square, cape cods, craftsman, Victorian, and prairie homes. Winter Park’s got ‘em all. Check out the current houses for sale and homes for rent in the area, and find what works best for you!
With a strong sense of community, a thriving restaurant and shopping scene, and regular local festivals, College Park is its own little city right in the middle of the big city. Located less than 10-minutes from downtown, this homey hub is a great place to live if you’d like to easily access all the perks of Orlando but want to know your community well.
Families across generations move to and stay in College Park. And with award-winning restaurants, boutiques, shops, and coffee houses, many residents don’t find much need to leave.
Things to do in College Park
Walk Edgewater Drive College Park’s busiest street, packed with tasty local grub and popular shops. Visit Loch Haven Park and picnic on its grassy lawn. Or spend the evening in this park’s on-site art museum and watch a Shakespear play at the theater.
Winter Park’s award-winning K Restaurant serves locally sourced American fare and wine. For the quirky, casual side of the neighborhood, check out Doghouse. This bright and tiny hot dog shop puts creative twists on a classic American meal, sells beer, and has an entire tater tots menu.
Soda Fountain, a quaint ice cream shop and next door to the Doghouse, is a perfect next stop. The shop serves classic icecream options like single and double scoops, apple pie with vanilla, banana split and rootbeer floats. But they also whip up “adult milkshakes” that are a bit boozier.
Schools in College Park
The top schools serving College Park include Orlando Science Charter School, Hope Charter School, and Legacy High Charter School among others.
Just 15 minutes from downtown, this neighborhood sits right along the edge of the beach and park of Lake Baldwin. It’s close-knit community and safe neighborhood streets won Baldwin Park a high ranking in the Home Union Research Services evaluation of the best neighborhoods for trick-or-treaters in the country. With an urban feel, but lower crime rates, Baldwin Park feels like an extension of the city, not a conventional suburban enclave.
New apartments line the town center, and thriving shops and restaurants stretch along New Broad Street. The neighborhood was designed to be incredibly walkable. And unlike the sectioned-off, islanded feel of some other newly developed neighborhoods, Baldwin Park blends naturally into the surrounding city.
Things to do in Baldwin Park
Join Baldwin Park locals at the Orlando Farmers Market. This large and popular market is pet-friendly, hosts live music, and sells fresh produce, plants, and handmade crafts every Sunday from 10 am – 4 pm. Baldwin Park boasts of over 50 miles of nearby walking paths where locals are commonly found jogging, biking, and walking their dogs.
The Orlando Science Center makes for a great family outing. This large facility has a Star Wars Exhibit, Dino Digs with giant builds of dinosaur skeletons, and hands-on explorations of animals from across the globe.
Taste the local grub at The Osprey Tavern. This cozy and classy neighborhood restaurant features seasonal dishes like Freshly Shucked Oysters and Smoke Grouper Croquettes. Check out Colibri Mexican Cuisine Baldwin Park for killer Mexican street food, craft cocktails, and a view of the lake. Or sample the beautifully-plated contemporary Asian cuisine at Seito Sushi.
Schools in Baldwin Park
The top schools serving Baldwin Park include Baldwin Park Elementary School, Audubon Park Elementary School, and Glenridge Middle School among others.
This neighborhood’s proximity to downtown, great schools, and quiet suburban feel puts it on our list. This charming enclave is notable for its historic homes, brick-lined roads, and ancient oak trees. It has two gorgeous lakes, walkable streets, and unique local restaurants, bars, and shops.
The area breathes a small-town feel with its museums, art festivals, and local parades that bring residents together. The 50-mile Urban Trail begins in the neighborhood, making this a great spot for people who want city-access but love some good outdoor activities.
Things to do in Park Lake-Highland
Check out Harry P. Leu Gardens, home to a bamboo forest, butterfly garden, and Florida’s largest formal rose garden. Shop along Mills 50 District’s spectrum of restaurants, bars, and indie shops. Or visit the beautiful and neighboring Ivanhoe Village. This village is full of antique stores, art galleries, restaurants, and retail shops.
Hungry? You won’t have to go far before bumping into unique local restaurants, like Pig Floyds. This hip, counter-serve stop serves diverse BBQ dishes using the flavors and techniques of different cultures to make a deliciously varied menu of meats. They also offer a tasty craft beer menu to pair. The Strand is another local favorite. This cozy, farm-to-table restaurant serves seasonal New American dishes, craft beer, and wine.
If you’re looking for a spot that features great drinks, check out Will’s Pub & Lil Indies. This quirky neighborhood cocktail bar is involved with and promotes everything indie, specifically, the independent Florida music scene. Quantum Leap Winery has wines from around the world. And the chic Mesa 21 will fill any craving for margaritas and Mexican food.
Schools in Park Lake-Highland
The top schools serving Park Lake Highland include Lake Highland Preparatory School, Orlando Science Charter School, and Lake Mary Preparatory School among others.
There you have it: the best places to live in Orlando!
We hope this was helpful, and if you decide to take the plunge, don’t hesitate to reach out to your friends here at Bellhop. As we said, we coordinate local and long distance moving services in Orlando, and we would love to help.