Get to Know the Neighborhoods of Orlando
Anyone who’s had the opportunity to visit the metropolis of Orlando knows that it has much more to offer than just theme parks. Take a trip in any direction and you’ll find something to love about Central Florida’s largest city. With a population exceeding 2 million, this area has a very rich history and blend of cultures, with a wealth of opportunities for those who reside there.
If you’d like to invest in Orlando real estate, then you should take the time to familiarize yourself with the best neighborhoods in and around Orlando.
(also check out Orlando Real Estate Statistic 2005-2013)
Best Neighborhoods North of Orlando
North Orlando houses some of the city’s most notable cultural gems. Each neighborhood in this area is different and comes with its own set of pluses and minuses.
Certainly more of a residential neighborhood, Lake Mary boasts beautiful landscapes and plenty of amenities. Within the city limits are a sports complex, multiple parks, a number of luxury hotels, and the Timacuan Golf Club. It’s also a short drive away from Wekiva Springs State Park, a particular favorite for Orlando natives during those hot summers. While you’re farther away from the hustle and bustle of the city, residents of this neighborhood love the affordable housing and proximity to pristine natural beauty.
Similar to Lake Mary, Sanford is another North Orlando neighborhood that is surrounded by gorgeous scenery. Nestled between Lake Jesup and Lake Monroe, it offers a quaint sensibility that you wouldn’t expect from a town with its own airport. The downtown might be small, but it’s well-equipped for a friendly community that houses a lot of long term residents.
Winter Park is a particular favorite for both tourists and residents of the Orlando area. It’s something of an “old money” town, with gorgeous cobblestone streets and a high median income. The center of the neighborhood is Rollins College, a private institution that provides a number of cultural trappings, such as a classical music series and the Cornell Art Museum.
Park Ave, the main thoroughfare that extends away from the college, has enough hip restaurants and cute boutiques to satisfy even the pickiest of palates. Available property in Winter Park will be more expensive than in other Orlando neighborhoods, but their housing market is a good place to invest as it has remained strong and stable thus far.
Neighborhoods Close to Downtown Orlando
The closer you get to downtown, the closer you are to all the action. There are a number of great neighborhoods in (or near) Downtown Orlando. Here are some to look into…
Named after the streets that bear the title of some of America’s finest educational institution, College Park may misleadingly imply that there are actual colleges in the area. (Not the case.) Actually, you’re much more likely to find an older resident who’s been there all their life than a young collegiate. It’s an incredibly walkable part of the city and enjoys a number of trendy restaurants and shops, as well as a close proximity to Loch Haven Park, and as a result the market here is becoming less and less of a bargain to buy.
Loch Haven Park
Tucked away to the east of College Park and buffered by four separate lakes, Loch Haven Park is the cultural hub of North Orlando. It houses three museums, two theaters, a science center and ballet studio, as well as a number of paved tree-lined paths that border its many lakes. It’s an excellent area to purchase property especially if you are looking for an investment or space to rent.
Known for its galleries, boutique shops, and First Friday musical gathering, Ivanhoe Village (once called “Antiques Row”) is an up-and-coming area for Orlando real estate. It has lots of great places to eat and drink, as well as a continuum of shops, and sits a mere two miles from the heart of Downtown. Close to the lakes that border Loch Haven Park, Ivanhoe Village is a great spot for anyone who is looking to settle in Orlando’s downtown.
Neighborhoods in East Orlando
Home of the University of Central Florida (go Knights!), East Orlando enjoys more of a college
town feel than the rest of the city.
The University of Central Florida (UCF) Campus
Once you become familiar with the Central Florida area, it’s hard to really even consider UCF and its surrounding neighborhoods as part of Orlando. At least 45 minutes away on a good day, the university is spread out over miles of land, which is a good thing when you consider the size of the student body. This area is a great place for investors to consider. You’ll always have students in need of housing, so purchasing a property to rent out can be a very wise decision. Due to its diverse student body, this is a dynamic neighborhood with lots of great bars and restaurants.
Neighborhoods in South Orlando
Once known for its prolific golf culture, the neighborhoods of South Orlando have taken it upon themselves to revamp their image into a more appealing and liveable space.
Originally conceived as a 7,000 acre golfing staple, Lake Nona has diversified with numerous housing units at variable prices as well as a Medical City that’s home to biotech researching groups like Burnham Institute. It’s convenient location close to the airport makes it an ideal center for business and technology, and the value of homes in this area are reflecting an increase in profitability. Though it lacks some of the amenities of the better known neighborhoods, Lake Nona has gorgeous scenery and is an up-and-coming powerhouse that will offer a ton of growth for the Central Florida marketplace.
Kissimmee is closer in proximity and energy to the surrounding areas of Disney and Celebration, a city that was designed by Walt Disney himself. It is heavily trafficked by tourists and known for its many entertainment options, such as the Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament venue and Disney’s Fantasia Gardens Miniature Golf Course.
While Kissimmee may not have the same cultural influences as some of Orlando’s other great neighborhoods, it is always an area that will see visitors in need of a place to stay. As the popularity of Airbnb and other housing apps continues to rise, investment in Kissimmee looks ever more attractive.
Delancy Park may be Orlando’s best kept secret. The neighborhood is skyrocketing in popularity, and it’s no wonder why: it’s feels more like some of the quaint areas of Downtown that it’s close to and is just a short drive from the parks and amenities that the city is known for. You’ll find excellent artisan eateries, taco shops galore, and a number of parks and lakes within walking distance of Delancy Park’s adorable neighborhood. If you’re looking for the right property in Downtown Orlando, be sure to check out Delancy Park.
Neighborhoods in West Orlando
West Orlando is likely best known for the person who put this city on the global map: Walt Disney. But did you know that the theme park tycoon also designed his own mini metropolis?
Though Celebration is technically a part of Kissimmee, its residents like to think of themselves as the inhabitants of a very special standalone town. Celebration was modelled after small American towns of the early 20th century, and often feels like a movie set when you wander through.
The livability index is high, a result of the low crime rates, excellent education, and abundant amenities that can be found here. Of course there is Disney World, but you can also find ESPN’s Wide World of Sports Complex, Celebration Golf Club, and a community that is actively supporting a sense of neighborliness and walkability. It may lack the true grit that some individuals need in a hometown, but Celebration certainly has a lot to admire.
Orlando Theme Parks
Obviously, it is safe for visitors to be at any of the major theme parks (Disney World, Universal Studios, and Sea World) during the day or night. However, it is important to stay vigilant of your surroundings when you are exploring a new neighborhood. Surrounding each park are small middle-class residential areas which are all pretty safe areas as well.
International Drive has a number of low-cost properties, but it is also a major tourist hub given its shopping options (outlet malls on the north end) and close proximity to the Orange County Convention Center and Universal Studios. This certainly is a neighborhood that offers a plethora of options for residents and visitors alike.
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