by Abby Golder
The city of Orlando, located in the center of The Sunshine State, is Florida’s #1 city for tourism. Despite the beautiful beaches in Miami and Key West and the rich history of St. Augustine and St. Petersburg, Orlando hosts a record-setting 62 million visitors each year. Located within the Orlando city boundary lines are Walt Disney World, Epcot Center, Magic Kingdom, Universal Studios, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Gatorland, and Discovery Cove. While these theme parks are enough to attract swarms of visitors, there are also world-class golf courses, airboat tours, nature trails, and many outdoor outlet malls. In addition to all the things to do in Orlando during the day, there is a vibrant nightlife scene with gourmet food, concerts, cocktail lounges, and nightclubs.
With its tourism forward industry, it’s hard to believe that there is any room left in Orlando for residents. You may be surprised to learn that there are over 2.4 million people currently living and working in Orlando who take advantage of all the city has to offer year round.
Orlando is much more than a bustling downtown and theme parks. In fact, this city in Florida is bursting with culture, and each neighborhood has its unique flair. Take Windermere, for example. This neighborhood was established in the early 1900s and features brick-lined streets and charming 1920s bungalows. Residents enjoy local boutiques and restaurants, and while this area may be one of the more expensive in the city, it is perfect for young professionals.
Many new condo developments draw in singles, couples, and retirees looking for a low-maintenance living solution. Interest in residential properties in these areas has grown as the baby boomer generation ages and decides to settle in warm climates. Even for those not ready for retirement, Orlando’s strong economic performance has continued to draw in new residents and homebuyers. For families, Oviedo and Hunter’s Creek neighborhoods offer a suburban environment and homes that fall just below the national average.
With copious jobs available in the tourism and entertainment industries, Orlando’s unemployment rate is below the national average. Employers such as Walt Disney World, the Golf Channel, JetBlue, and the University of Central Florida offer service positions to residents. Other well-represented industries include technology and electronic arts, as Orlando has spearheaded many advancements in simulation and video games.
According to a 2017 survey, the top industries hiring were healthcare, technology, sales, education, skilled trades, and construction. With a rapidly growing job market and no sales tax statewide, it’s easy to understand why many are making the move to the city, whether or not they have a job already lined up. Orlando is a modern land of opportunity.
THINGS TO DO
Whether you are looking for American cuisine or food with international flavor, look outside the chain restaurants and streets packed with travelers. Orlando is known as a melting pot of cultures, creating some of the most authentic and delicious cuisines in the nation. No matter what kind of meal is on your mind, you’re sure to find the right spot nearby.
- For BBQ food done right, 4 Rivers Smokehouse has 3 locations across the city and is known for their signature sauce.
- The Ravenous Pig is not only delicious; it is award-winning. The menu features seasonal ingredients and craft brews. If you plan to indulge, be sure to make a reservation before they run out of all the favorites!
- For the city’s best pizza, look no further than Fratelli’s Taste of Italy. Their Brooklyn style slices are by far the best pie in Orlando and are conveniently located downtown. They also have great dine-in specials every night of the week!
There are many activities for locals to enjoy outside of the theme parks. While a day spent at Walt Disney World may still appeal to Orlando residents on occasion, there are plenty of places that are lesser known and much less touristy.
- For an afternoon well spent, visit the Central Florida Zoo. Located in Sanford, this spot is also home to a beautiful botanical garden that appeals to all ages.
- Cranes Roost and Uptown Altamonte is the perfect go-to spot for a day spent in nature. Hike nature trails, relax around the lake and enjoy local craft shows and other annual events.
- If shopping at the outlets or the Mall of Millenia isn’t your speed, check out Park Avenue in Winter Park. This area offers high-end and boutique shopping without the crowds.
Florida lifestyle comes full circle as a resident of Orlando. From job opportunity to the number of activities and attractions, there’s no better time to make Orlando home. Are you ready to make the move? Contact our local experts for all your Orlando real estate needs.