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About Orlando, Florida
Orlando is the county seat of Orange County, and the largest inland city in Florida, with an area of approximately 294.61 miles. It is located 85 miles northeast of Tampa, and about 238 miles northwest of Miami.
While the city itself has a population of approximately 295,000, the greater Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford Metro area has a population of over 2.5 million. It spreads over four different counties: Lake, Orange, Osceola, and Seminole. Orlando is one of the most-visited cities in the world primarily driven by tourism, major events, and convention traffic; in 2018, the city drew more than 75 million visitors. Its other major economic drivers include manufacturing (especially aerospace and missile systems), high-tech industries, film and television, and the citrus industry.
The city is a major travel hub in the area, with three airports (Orlando International, Orlando Sanford International, and Orlando Executive Airport), numerous train services (Amtrak, SunRail, and the developing Virgin Trains superfast line between Miami and Orlando), both municipal and statewide bus lines running through the city, and numerous shuttles for various tourist attractions.
Orlando, FL Real Estate
Orlando is one of the fastest-growing cities in the US, and one of the most affordable metro areas in Florida. With a below-state average cost of living, thriving economy, high employment rates, and high livability scores, it’s no small wonder that Orlando is one of the nation’s hottest real estate markets.
Orlando real estate is known for picturesque neighborhoods, offering everything from single-family homes and townhouses in master-planned communities, to resort-style gated communities, to downtown condos and villas bordering 23-acre Lake Eola Park. The Orlando area is peppered with lakes, and there are many lakefront properties and neighborhoods with water access.
Elegant luxury estate homes offer an urban oasis of relaxation, with beautiful contemporary or traditional-inspired modern designs. Flowing, open-air floor plans emphasize space connection in main living areas. Lakefront homes feature oversized windows and sliding glass doors to take advantage of beautiful water views. Homes feature the highest level of luxury finishes, gourmet kitchens with stainless steel appliances, and luxurious bathrooms with premium features. Larger properties feature guest accommodations, as well as storage spaces for necessities like boats and golf carts.
Orlando offers an amazing array of single-family homes, from new builds with contemporary modern architecture to beautifully-restored mid-century homes with modern upgrades. Many homes feature Mediterranean, Craftsman, or California architecture, with spacious interiors and open entertaining areas. Kitchens are large and functional and updated with the latest appliances. Lanais, decks, and pools are common features to complete your Florida lifestyle.
Condo developments in the heart of Orlando are close to everything- shopping, restaurants, nightclubs, and sports venues. Spacious floor plans offer 2-3 bedrooms, open kitchen and living spaces, and downtown views. Buildings offer fitness centers, pools and spas, and entertaining areas like cabanas, outdoor kitchens, and media rooms.
Some signature Orlando neighborhoods include Thornton Park, a cosmopolitan neighborhood with condos, restaurants, and boutiques; Lake Eola Heights, a historically designated neighborhood with quality restored homes; College Park, a family-centric area featuring brick-lined streets.
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People flock to Orlando from all around the world to visit its many theme parks, but there’s so much more to Orlando than just its thriving tourism industry. It offers lots of outdoor and recreational opportunities, fantastic dining and shopping, a vibrant arts and culture community, and exciting sports and entertainment options.
With year-round sunshine, even in the more temperate winter, Orlando is a great place to get outside. There are many great local parks, lakes, and preserves in the area for urban residents to reconnect with nature. Some standout places to explore include Lake Eola Park, Shingle Creek Regional Park, Harry P. Leu Gardens, University of Central Florida Arboretum, the Tibet-Butler Preserve, and the Great Florida Birding & Wildlife Trail.
There are endless sports and recreation activities for the entire family, with opportunities like the Boggy Creek Airboat rides, Orlando Watersports Complex, Andretti Indoor Karting & Games, iFly Indoor Skydiving, and the Orlando Tree Trek Adventure Park. Winter in the Park is a high-tech indoor facility that offers skating and, believe it or not, skiing in Orlando. Pirate’s Cove Adventure Golf is rated the #1 mini-golf course in Florida.
Florida is also home to the most golf courses in the country, and Orlando is no exception. Top-rated local courses include the Country Club of Orlando, Waldorf Astoria Golf Club, Grand Cypress Golf Club, Arnold Palmer’s Hill Bay Golf Club, and the Grande Vista Golf Club.
Downtown Orlando is another great place to visit. Church Street and Wall Street Plaza feature some of the city’s best restaurants and nightlife. Browse through unique boutiques and one-of-a-kind stores, visit one of the many museums and art galleries, or take a break in Lake Eola Park. Downtown is also home to the Amway Center, home of the NBA’s Orlando Magic, and frequent music concerts from international superstars.
The Orlando dining scene is rich and features many incredible eateries with flavors from around the world. Enjoy everything from food trucks to casual family fare, to sustainable seafood restaurants, to upscale fine dining. Top-rated spots include The Melting Pot, La Luce, Victoria & Albert’s, Eddie V’s Prime Seafood, Bosphorous Turkish Cuisine, Chatham’s Place, and Ana’s Brazilian Kitchen.
Orlando’s diversity also lends itself to a vibrant arts & culture community. The area is home to hundreds of museums, galleries, theatres, gardens, and historic homes. Highlights include the Orlando Museum of Arts, Osceola Center for Arts, the Orlando Fringe Festival, the Orlando Repertory Theatre, and the Broadway Across America Orlando Series. The Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts is a new, state-of-the-art facility offering access to world-class arts and entertainment. Orlando has all the premium shopping one would expect in a major metropolitan area. Notable malls include The Florida Mall, The Mall at Millenia, and Waterford Lakes Town Center. The Orlando International Premium Outlets, Orlando Outlet Marketplace, and Orlando Vineland Premium Outlets are just some of the outlet malls allowing visitors to purchase luxury brands at discount prices.
Of course, residents can take advantage of all the amazing theme parks in the Orlando area, including Walt Disney World Resort, Universal Orlando Resort, Legoland, Discovery Cove, Gatorland, and more. With so much to see and do at any of these attractions, you’ll never run out of reasons to visit! Most of these offer special rates and discounts for Orlando and Florida residents on day passes or annual passes.
The city of Orlando is serviced by Orange County Public Schools, with many schools offering excellent infrastructure supporting the arts and sports. There is also a variety of alternative, charter, and private schools throughout the region. Some of the highest-rated schools include Laureate Park Elementary, Pinecrest Creek Charter, Audubon Park School, Avalon Middle School, and Orlando Science Middle High Charter.
The greater Orlando area also offers numerous higher-learning options as well. It is home to the University of Central Florida, the second-largest university in the US, as well as Rollins College and its highly-ranked Crummer School of Business, and Stetson University.
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