Are you considering moving to Orlando? We may be biased, but we think it’s an excellent choice. You see, the city has a lot more to offer than just theme parks and attractions. This post is the first of a series that will dive into the diverse neighborhoods of the Theme Park Capital of the World.
We will start with an overview of the five primary residential areas of Orlando. Then, we will explore the main street districts in and around Downtown Orlando. By the end of this series, Mickey Mouse won’t be the first thing that comes to mind when you think about our vibrant city.
The Five Main Areas of Orlando
Also known as “The City Beautiful,” Orlando is home to a diverse and creative community. If you’re looking to move here, you will want to identify which of the five main areas is best suited for you and your family: Downtown, North, East, South, and West.
Downtown Orlando enhances the city’s skyline with its tall office towers, hotels, and apartment buildings. It offers beautiful performance venues, higher education campuses, and transportation hubs.
North of the downtown area includes neighborhoods like College Park, Fairview Shores, Winter Park, and Maitland. South of downtown, known as “SoDo,” is an emerging neighborhood that’s quickly developing.
East of downtown you will find Avalon Park. It is a suburban area close to the main campus of the University of Central Florida. West of downtown includes neighborhoods such as Dr. Phillips, Windermere, and Winter Garden.
Orlando Main Street Districts
In and around Downtown Orlando, there are multiple main street districts. Each has its own personality and flair, and each is special in its own way.
Audobon Park is a hip area of town not too far from Winter Park, Leu Gardens, and Downtown Orlando. It was initially developed in the ’50s and ‘60s to cater to the Orlando Air Force Base. It later became home to the Naval Training Center in Orlando. This district features unique, independent shops like a record store, vintage and consignment shops, and a craft brewery. Urban “farmlettes” are also predominant in this area.
City Street District
City Street District was formerly known as the Church Street District. This district emerged out of the Great Recession in the early 2010s in an effort by business owners to strengthen economic development in Downtown Orlando. During the day, it is a professional scene home to many businesses and coworking spaces. While in the evening, a large selection of bars and a handful of clubs keep the atmosphere lively.
Located right outside of Downtown Orlando is the College Park District. Its lifestyle is best described as urban living with a small-town feel. This neighborhood is home to many award-winning restaurants and small businesses. Its tree-lined streets contain a mixture of bungalow homes and new construction. To add to its small-town feel, this district hosts many popular annual events.
SoDo is known as a business district. It has many lakes and is very pedestrian-friendly with walkable parks and streets. It’s home to one of Orlando’s historic railroad stations just one mile from Downtown Orlando. This district is known as an emerging market with a growing amount of renovations and additions popping up each day. Many large retail chains have invested in this district. However, it still has a decent selection of smaller businesses including mom and pop restaurants.
Gateway Orlando District
In the southeast section of Orlando is what’s known as the spine of east Orlando, the Gateway Orlando District. It connects the city’s two major airports. The surrounding neighborhoods have an increasingly Hispanic and Latino population. As this district is experiencing an urban revival, it is becoming more of a virtual melting pot.
Nestled in one of Orlando’s most treasured historic neighborhoods sits Ivanhoe Village. It is on the northern edge of Downtown Orlando, anchored by the beautiful Lake Ivanhoe. Nearby the lake, there is a diverse selection of antique stores, boutiques, restaurants, and other unique shops. This district is also home to art galleries and design centers.
Mills 50 is another hip area of Orlando filled with a myriad of unique independent businesses. Some of these businesses include holistic living, massage therapy, and yoga. It’s also filled with a great selection of small local food joints, bakeries, bars, and cafes.
The Milk District
The Milk District is known for its culture and progressive lifestyle. It likely got its name from the TG Lee factory, one of the district’s landmarks. It is a creative district that fosters an art and music scene. You’ll see many murals on the walls of this district. It thrives off local businesses that include independent bars, restaurants, and boutiques.
Just east of Downtown’s Lake Eola is one of Orlando’s most stylish districts, Thornton Park. You can enjoy outdoor dining along its brick-lined streets. The restaurants and boutiques have a slight European feel to them.
Curry Ford West
Curry Ford West is Orlando’s newest Main Street District. You can experience everything from craft beer to craft coffee shops in this district. You can also enjoy a diverse selection of dining options. Staying fit is not a problem with personal training and yoga studios as well as two lakeside parks to walk or jog.
Discover Your Favorite Orlando Neighborhoods
This post provides a snapshot of all the wonderful neighborhoods that Orlando has to offer. The city has many thriving local scenes to take advantage of and explore. It seems as though there is a new place to check out every other week and there are plenty of fun activities for the whole family to enjoy. Stay tuned for upcoming posts as we dive a little deeper into each of these Orlando neighborhoods.
Ready to Move to Orlando?
If you’ve already made the decision to join us here in sunny Orlando, Florida, then you’ll want to start preparing for your move as soon as possible. This is especially the case if you are moving from out of state. We’d be more than happy to help you and your family relocate to this wonderful city of ours. Request a quote for your full-service move today »