Orlando, Florida

The City Beautiful

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What's it like to live in Orlando?

Do I want to move to Orlando?!

I’ve lived down here for 8 years now. It’s personally not one my favorite I’ve lived, but I am not typically in the norm. I’m more of a mountain guy, and not super interested in the beaches. Also prefer cold to hot (I miss snow, but I think I’m the only one!). I’m explaining my gripes mostly because they tend to not be shared, most people love being able to go outside year round and not deal with ice on the roads. I live in Winter Garden, a suburb just outside of Orlando, and really like it there. The small downtown actually has a lot of life and character. Downtown Orlando itself has a great night life and food scene. Then there’s all the parks. Lot of friends spend a lot of time there. Other than downtown (lots of neighborhoods around there that are great), Winter Garden, Winter Park, and Maitland are some other nice areas I’d recommend. Hope that helps some!

Do I want to move to Orlando?!

I’m in my 30s and love it here. Live downtown in a house we rent with a yard and, in non-covid times, go to Disney about once a week with my partner (we head over after work, normally). Finding a house with a yard might be difficult depending on your rent range but there are actually more than usual amount of places for rent downtown as Covid has forced renters out of the area. There are also many parks. If you have a hobby, it will be easier making friends. In normal times, there are meet ups at the parks, meet ups based on different hobbies (we have done kayaking and hiking meet ups) and tons others but they are obviously in hold. I feel like there is so much to do here and living downtown means I can walk to most of my favorite spaces. Easy drives to beaches is a plus too. Feel free to PM me if you have questions.

Do I want to move to Orlando?!

Metro/Downtown Orlando has a great culture and music scene, and other posters are right there is a huge difference between Orlando and "Disney." I'd avoid Clermont and Kissimmee like the plague if you want any social life. Also be prepared for pricy housing either renting or owning.

In all you really couldn't find a better place to live, we're 30-40 minutes from the beach, theme parks are close (20 minutes if you live in metro Orlando, which I highly suggest over living near the parks). Good food, great music scene, fun night-life, and lots of green spaces.

I'd suggest looking in the Winter Park area if you can afford it, also most of Seminole County is a bit more affordable and not a far clip from Orlando. I'd even say the Sanford area has a pretty neat little social scene itself that a lot of people find more inviting than Downtown Orlando.

One caution, while Orlando is generally a pretty safe place, I'd plan a visit before you set your sights on a place to rent. I know a lot of people who really regretted their first rentals in town and had they just taken a chance to look around a bit they'd have found something a lot better.

What is it like to live in Orlando, FL?

A few things to know:

—Orlando is like a little Los Angeles: sunny, multi-cultural, some very expensive neighborhoods and oh yes: horrible traffic, several toll roads, and constant, irksome, road construction.

—Orange County, the county Orlando is in, has its own mayor—one of few counties to have this office—because Orange County got sick of Orlando using county money to pay for Orlando-specific stuff and created a strong mayor position to keep the city-county relationship in check.

—Orlando has a large Caribbean Hispanic population but also a large Jamaican population, Korean population, Vietnamese population, Haitian, and decent-sized Chinese population. There is a Lotte Plaza Korean supermarket and it rocks, it’s awesome, at least two Chinese supermarkets, several large Caribbean supermarkets, a whole Chinese shopping plaza on Colonial, a Viet Town (also on Colonial) and we’re getting another Korean market, an H-Mart, soon.

—Speaking of international influence, in the southern part of the city (OBT south of Florida Mall area) I use Spanish more than English. I’ve also heard a lot of Viet, Haitian Creole, and some Mandarin. It’s seriously a wonderfully international community.

—Millenia is the pretty mall with upscale stores. Florida Mall is more touristy and everyday, but still nice—and huge.

—Soccer is big here!

—The Disney parks are not downtown. They are not even in Orlando. And most residents do not go to them frequently unless they work there or just love Disney. I’ve not been in years.

—Downtown Orlando is nice, but much of the architecture is new and it shows. There is a somewhat generic but very nice, pleasing, relaxed feel to it.

Moving to Orlando | 10 things youll want to know