Top 15 Communities to Call Home in Orlando, Florida

Orlando, Florida, is much more than just a vacation hotspot; it’s a place to put down roots and become part of a community. From young families seeking serene neighborhoods to professionals looking for the pulse of the city, Orlando has a spot for you.

An Overview of Orlando

The city’s famed theme parks and attractions, including Universal Studios and Disney World, are predominantly located in the southwest quadrant, approximately 20 miles from the city’s heart. Meanwhile, the bustling International Drive hotel district closely borders the southeast side of I-4, offering convenient access to these entertainment hubs.

In Orlando, the neighborhoods of International Drive, Sand Lake/Dr. Phillips, and Lake Buena Vista, particularly in the south and west sections, boast the highest density of hotels, restaurants, nightclubs, golf courses, and attractions. This area offers visitors a rich tapestry of experiences, making it the prime destination for those seeking the essence of Orlando’s vibrant hospitality and entertainment scene.

Why Orlando?

Aside from its world-renowned theme parks and attractions, Orlando also offers a diverse and thriving community that makes it an ideal place to call home. Here are some reasons why Orlando continues to attract people from all over the world:

  • Growing in Tech: Orlando ranks ninth for fastest-growing tech hubs by job growth in the U.S., according to Best Colleges. Orlando’s tech industry job growth is projected to be 26.8% — more than double the growth for computer and information technology jobs nationally by 2030, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  • Weather: Known as “The Sunshine State,” Florida boasts warm weather year-round, and Orlando is no exception. With an average of 233 sunny days a year, residents get to enjoy outdoor activities all-year-round.
  • Culture: While theme parks may be the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about Orlando, the city has much more to offer. From art galleries and museums to theaters and music venues, there’s always something happening in the city’s vibrant cultural scene.
  • Diversity: Orlando is a melting pot of cultures, with residents from various backgrounds and nationalities. This diversity is reflected in the city’s food scene, festivals, and events, making it a rich and exciting place to live in.
  • Family-friendly: With its abundance of theme parks and attractions, Orlando is a haven for families. In addition, the city has highly-rated schools and plenty of outdoor spaces for families to enjoy.
  • Location: Orlando is conveniently located in Central Florida, making it easy to explore other parts of the state. Residents can take a short drive to the beach or explore natural attractions like springs and parks.

Golf enthusiasts have their choice of 20 golf courses, ranging from public to private and restricted options. Whether you’re already a resident or considering Orlando as your next home, take the time to explore. Orlando is a city filled with discoveries waiting to be made.

Neighborhood Highlights in Orlando, Florida

Here’s a rundown of the best communities in ‘The City Beautiful.’

1. Baldwin Park: The Urban Community Gem

Once an Air Force base, Baldwin Park blossomed into a model urban community in Orlando. It’s praised for its amenities, from the Village Center to bike paths and beautiful green spaces. Residents here revel in the small-town atmosphere enhanced by a range of shops, restaurants, and community events. It’s also a hub for fitness enthusiasts, with various outdoor spaces and nearby gyms.

For Baldwin Park homeowners, you’re investing not just in a house but in an active, integrated, and urbanely elegant lifestyle.

2. Lake Nona: Futuristic Community Living

Lake Nona offers a riveting vision of the future in its Medical City and state-of-the-art educational facilities. This tech-centric community has become a beacon for families who value education and healthcare. Lake Nona’s commitment to innovation extends to its residential spaces, with modern design concepts, eco-friendly ideals, and a focus on sustainability.

Residents can enjoy the tranquility of nature while staying connected through cutting-edge technological advances that make Lake Nona one of the most unique living experiences in Orlando.

3. College Park: The Neighborhood with a Heart

Nestled among Orlando’s many lakes, College Park is just minutes from downtown but feels worlds away. This community takes pride in its local boutiques, eateries, and fiercely local sense of identity. College Park has a reputation for being a supportive environment for families and young professionals alike.

With a mixture of historic homes and new developments, it’s a community where you feel the heartbeat of the neighborhood.

4. Winter Park: The Storied Community Jewel

Winter Park is a historic community that shines with cultural events, upscale boutiques, and tasty dining delights. Its cobblestone streets are lined with live oaks and stately homes, making it a timeless location for family life. The city boasts one of the nation’s most renowned liberal arts colleges, fostering an intellectual vibe that permeates the community.

Winter Park offers a quality of life that’s hard to match, providing a bit of everything for its residents from top schools to a thriving arts scene.

5. Lake Eola Heights: The Charming Community Hub

Lake Eola Heights offers sweet serenity in the heart of the city. Centrally located near downtown, this neighborhood is home to the iconic Lake Eola Park, a picturesque haven in the midst of an urban landscape. The historic homes here tell the stories of Orlando’s past, while trendy cafes and local businesses hint at the city’s bright future.

It’s a walkable, bike-friendly community with a vibrant street life, where neighbors are friends and friends are family.

6. Dr. Phillips: The Cosmopolitan Community

Dr. Phillips is known for its unbeatable location and delightful high-end lifestyle. Named after citrus magnate Dr. Phillip Phillips, this community is a gateway to the best that Orlando has to offer. Residents enjoy close proximity to world-class shopping, dining, and entertainment.

The community is also celebrated for its excellent public and private schools, making it a top choice for families who want to live in the lap of luxury while providing their children with exceptional educational opportunities.

7. Altamonte Springs: For the Active and Outdoorsy

Altamonte Springs, while just a short drive from Orlando, feels like a world apart, thanks in large part to its lush parks and strategic position around the sparkling Altamonte Lake. This community is perfect for those who relish the great outdoors, with a multitude of recreational options such as hiking, boating, and picnicking.

Its clean and safe neighborhoods make it an ideal place for families, and its reasonable housing costs offer an excellent value in an increasingly expensive market.

8. Audubon Park: The Community for the Environmentally-Conscious

Audubon Park is a paradise for those with green inclinations, both in terms of the environment and the lifestyle. This neighborhood is one of the most committed to sustainable living, featuring organic grocery stores, recycled materials in its homes and buildings, and a widespread movement toward eco-friendly living.

With its proximity to Downtown Orlando and a small-town community feel, Audubon Park is attractive to those who value the earth and close-knit relationships with their neighbors.

9. Thornton Park: The Chic and Trendy Community

Just east of Lake Eola, Thornton Park exudes a cosmopolitan feel with a neighborhood structure. Its main street, Washington Street, hosts a bevy of boutiques, cafes, and contemporary dining destinations. The chic nature of this community is countered by its family-friendly environment with parks, top-rated schools, and a true small-town atmosphere.

With a mix of historic homes and modern apartment complexes, Thornton Park appeals to a broad range of residents who crave an eclectic urban lifestyle.

10. Oviedo: The Community Dedicated to Education

Oviedo revolves around a strong commitment to education, both for its students and the community itself. This city prides itself on its top-rated schools and is home to the sprawling University of Central Florida. Oviedo offers a wide variety of family-oriented activities, from cultural events at the amphitheater to the allure of the nearby Black Hammock Adventures.

The strong sense of community, affordable housing, and upcoming infrastructure developments make Oviedo a magnet for those who prioritize a family-friendly lifestyle.

11. Horizon West: The Growing Community for Families and Professionals

Horizon West is a rapidly developing community that caters to both families and young professionals. With its diverse mix of residential properties, from single-family homes to luxury apartments, Horizon West offers something for everyone. This community prides itself on its strong emphasis on outdoor activities, with an abundance of parks, trails, and lakes perfect for recreational activities.

With its convenient location near major highways and top-rated schools, it’s no wonder Horizon West has become a sought-after destination for those looking for a mix of suburban and urban living.

12. Windermere: The Luxurious Community with Small-Town Charm

Windermere may be small in size, but it makes up for it with its luxurious and exclusive feel. This upscale community is known for its beautiful lakefront properties, top-rated schools, and quaint downtown area filled with unique shops and restaurants. Windermere offers a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of city life, yet it’s just a short drive away from popular attractions like Disney World and Universal Studios.

With its scenic views and small-town charm, Windermere is the perfect community for those seeking a high-end lifestyle.

13. Montverde: The Hidden Gem of Lake County

Nestled on the southwest shore of Lake Apopka, Montverde is a hidden gem that offers a peaceful and rural lifestyle. This small town is home to stunning landscapes, including lakes, forests, and natural springs. Many homes in Montverde are situated on large lots, providing residents with plenty of space for outdoor activities and privacy. In addition to its natural beauty, Montverde also has a strong sense of community and is known for its small-town events and friendly atmosphere.

Montverde is the ideal destination for those looking for a quiet and serene escape from city life.

14. Ocoee: The Growing Suburb with a Rich History

Ocoee may have started as a small citrus town, but it has now grown into a thriving suburb with a rich history. This community is located on the shores of Lake Apopka, offering residents easy access to water activities like boating and fishing. Ocoee also has several parks and recreational facilities, making it a great place for outdoor enthusiasts. In addition to its natural amenities, Ocoee also has a strong sense of community and is home to several annual events, including the popular Founders’ Day Festival.

With its blend of history, nature, and modern amenities, Ocoee is an ideal location for families and individuals alike.

15. Winter Garden: Where Old Charm Meets New Development

Located in the heart of Central Florida, Winter Garden is a charming and vibrant city that seamlessly blends history with modern development. This community is known for its quaint downtown area, lined with local shops, restaurants, and cafes. It also has a strong sense of community, hosting events like farmers markets and festivals throughout the year.

In addition to its charming main street, Winter Garden also offers residents access to several recreational facilities, including parks and golf courses. With its small-town charm and convenient location near major highways, Winter Garden is a highly desirable place to call home.

Final Thoughts

In Orlando, finding the perfect community isn’t just about location; it’s about forming connections and cultivating a lifestyle that resonates with you. From the hip urban enclaves to the peaceful suburban retreats, Orlando’s neighborhoods offer a diverse range of experiences. The next chapter in your life could be written in the warm, welcoming pages of an Orlando community, so take your time, explore, and discover the one that feels like home.

If you’re considering a move to Orlando, Florida, or currently reside here and are curious about exploring different neighborhoods or subdivisions, partnering with a local expert is invaluable. I’m Nicole Mickle, and as someone who lives in and knows the area extensively, I’m perfectly positioned to guide you. Whether you’re searching for a spacious backyard, a home with a pool, proximity to a golf course, specific school districts, after-school programs, senior living options, a gated community, or amenities like a community center, I can help narrow down the best neighborhoods suited to your needs. Let’s discuss your ideal features and start the search for your perfect home.

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I’m Nicole Mickle, a real estate agent in Orlando, Florida. I’m here to assist you in making the most out of your Florida lifestyle.

In addition, I’m the author behind¬†Florida Homes and Living, a blog dedicated to sharing valuable content about Orlando, interior design, remodeling, and the Florida lifestyle.

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