If you've decided to join the swarm and settle in Central Florida, be prepared for competition. The city's recent popularity means that storage units, apartment rentals and restaurant reservations are in high demand. So you better put your negotiation shoes on and get out there real quick. Like right now!
Listen up and you'll have a better chance to score that killer apartment you've got your eye on. First, get a job. Ideally before you arrive. Also, pad your rental resume by talking former landlords and employers into giving you glowing letters of recommendation. Put your finger on the city's pulse by grabbing a copy of the local paper and checking out local goings on. Even better, pop into a local bank and get an account with an honest to goodness Winter Garden address on it. Really, it makes all the difference in the world.
Nothing affects your quality of life more than your immediate surroundings. Some things to consider include commuting convenience, access to shopping and dining, social atmosphere, lifestyle and affordability. With that in mind, here are the best three places to live in Winter Garden:
Beulah/Killarney: Encompassing multiple lakes and the ever popular West Orange Dog Park, this area offers the whole package. And maybe a Fido or Odie or two.
City Center: This is a good place to find affordable studios or package deals like furnished apartments and apartments with paid utilities. Despite the easy access to the town's best shopping and dining, rentals are affordable and (relatively) abundant.
Crown Point/Fullers: Located on the shores of Lake Apopka, this beautiful area features a lot of seasonal residents. Those that choose to stay, however, enjoy the friendly neighbors and killer local tortillas. Killer as in good, not lethal.
Winter Garden is first and foremost a bedroom community for Orlando. Fortunately for commuters, the trip in is pretty painless. The 408 generally runs clearer than the other local interstates so you can make the drive to downtown in as little as 20 minutes. You'll pay a toll, but hey, it gives you the chance put that little change slot in your car to good use, filling it with coins instead of dust.
If you'd like to keep your change and save some stress, the Central Florida Regional Transit Authority (CFRTA) provides regular bus service from East Winter Garden to various points in Orlando. Monthly passes are available for the frequent riders.
If you're moving to Central Florida, you've probably already heard all about how awesome Orlando is. What you might not know is just how much Winter Garden has to offer its residents. Read on for some juicy highlights.
There are so many venerable buildings that the area is listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. Amble through the streets and soak in the living history. When you're ready for a break, sidle up to one of the quaint outdoor cafs and enjoy some sweet tea and a bite of lunch. Or a whole lunch. However much fits your hunger.
Now this is the way to do outdoor shopping. With over one million square feet of shops, restaurants and periodic entertainment events, this pedestrian-friendly, eye-pleasing retail village will swallow you for hours on end. Perfect for people-watchers, credit-card users and the like.
While Winter Garden is an inland city, there's an abundance of water. You'll find a slew of recreational opportunities thanks to lakes such as Beulah, Reaves, Tilden and the massive (and improving) Apopka.
Grab your bike, skates, skateboard or even your unicycle and head out on this fabulous multi-use rail trail that runs right through the center of Winter Garden. Don't own in-line skates? How come? Luckily, rentals and concessions are available at the downtown station.
Yes, if you're going to live in Winter Garden, you have to pay a little respect to the trains. Begin with a visit to the Central Florida Railroad Museum, where you can absorb a little bit of transportation history and take a gander at a voluminous collection of dining car china.