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20 Best Neighborhoods in Orlando, FL

March 10, 2022

Orlando's reputation as a theme park haven draws visitors and newcomers looking to satisfy their Disney, Universal, and amusement park itch. But there's more to living in Orlando than hitting up the theme parks. You’ll also love the great shopping, museums, and fine dining. 

From lakefront living to cultural, urban amenities and a diverse culinary scene, here are 20 of the best neighborhoods in Orlando to call your new home.

1. College Park

  • Walk Score: 62
  • Transit Score: 36
  • Bike Score: 71
  • Median 2-Bedroom Rent: $2,275

Situated just a few miles from downtown, the quaint Orlando neighborhood of College Park is where residents can fully embrace an urban lifestyle. College Park is known for its mix of cottages and newer developments, boasting great outdoor recreation.

Water enthusiasts can choose from over 280 acres of lakes, including Lake Ivanhoe, for wakeboarding and waterskiing with skyline views. If you prefer to stick to the shore, you can also check out parks and walking trails, all with a general family-friendly vibe.

The Mennello Museum of American Art and Orlando Shakespeare Theater offers unique cultural outings in College Park. You’ll also find many restaurants featuring cuisines from Caribbean to Parisian, such as Les Petit Pleasures.

After work, locals meet up at Tartine for French-Southern fusion or Ollie's Public House for rotating beer on tap.

2. East Orlando

Look to East Orlando for more diversity, as there are many great Orlando neighborhoods. The East Orlando neighborhood is home to the University of Central Florida, making it popular for commuters and students. It also lies just minutes from the Orlando International Airport.

Shop at Waterford Lakes Town Center or check out the area around Alafaya Trail for a mix of big-box retailers and smaller brands. Catch rideshare for an evening out with friends, stop by Marlow's Tavern, then see a movie at the nearby Regal Cinemas 20.

East Orlando is starting to change its reputation of not being as safe as some of the other nearby Orlando neighborhoods. However, it's always wise to take precautions, particularly at night.

3. South Eola District

  • Walk Score: 91
  • Transit Score: 63
  • Bike Score: 77
  • Median 2-Bedroom Rent: $2,800

One of the trendiest neighborhoods in Orlando for urban dwellers is situated in Orlando’s Downtown — South Eola. Here you can find countless highrises and upscale apartment buildings, all filled with your favorite amenities, including pools and gyms.

Pick up some fresh produce at the Orlando Farmers Market on weekends and enjoy entertainment, shopping, and dining at their doorstep. Plus, you’re just a short walk over to the rest of downtown Orlando from South Eola, where you’ll have endless options for nightlife and dining.

For more adventures, you can go paddle boating or take in a live performance at Disney's outdoor amphitheater, Opera Orlando. You may also enjoy the trendy Abbey.

4. Celebration

When walking around the spotless streets of Celebration outside of Orlando, it's easy to think you got lost inside Disney World. As you can imagine, Celebration is one of the best neighborhoods in Orlando, and residents love its planned design and luxury-inspired touches.

A Disney subsidiary designed and built Celebration with a mix of upscale amenities. There’s even a natural habitat where deer still roam. However, the community is no longer managed by or affiliated with Disney.

Even so, the vibe is still going strong with pre-approved Victorian, French, Coastal, Mediterranean, and Colonial Revival-style homes. They’re designed around a cozy village-style concept.

Celebration is also one of the safest neighborhoods in Orlando. Residents walk to the town center to dine at Celebration Town Tavern or Columbia Restaurant. There, you can sip wine and stroll the oak-lined streets.

5. Thornton Park

  • Walk Score: 83
  • Transit Score: 53
  • Bike Score: 83
  • Median 2-Bedroom Rent: $2,495

Brushing up against Lake Eola Park, the Thornton Park District of Orlando features trendy boutiques, organic cafes, and a European feel. Thornton Park is excellent for renters interested in a boho-chic vibe.

The vibrant Washington Street offers everything from wine bars, outdoor seating at cafes, and a decorative fountain.

Residents enjoy a weekly wine and art walk, the nearby farmer's market, and several pop-up markets. Locals also love spots like Burton's Bar and Graffiti Junktion, featuring popular happy hours.

Look for an apartment nestled inside upscale bungalows and craftsman homes. You can also choose modern apartment buildings with swimming pools. Many are just steps away from area boutiques.

6. Baldwin Park

  • Walk Score: 55
  • Transit Score: 29
  • Bike Score: 68
  • Median 2-Bedroom Rent: $2,538

Orlando’s Baldwin Park neighborhood sits on a former U.S. Navy Center just east of downtown. It now features a mixed-use community and new apartment buildings.

This highly walkable neighborhood is desirable for residents looking to ditch their cars, as it’s an excellent place for walking or bicycling to nearby restaurants. You can also enjoy concerts, porch sales, and bars. The Nest Bar and Osprey Tavern are popular spots.

Baldwin Park offers plenty for renters looking for upscale amenities, with several modern apartment buildings and new developments to choose from. Many are just steps away from your favorite Orlando neighborhood haunts.

7. Lake Nona

  • Walk Score: 14
  • Transit Score: 3
  • Bike Score: 48
  • Median 2-Bedroom Rent: $2,469

Nestled southeast of the Orlando International Airport, Lake Nona features sprawling parks and a business hub for work and play opportunities.

This upscale Orlando neighborhood got its start when the Central Florida GreenWay was built through the heart of the area. Developers soon saw opportunities to build the surrounding community.

Lake Nona is also great for staying active, with numerous walkways, gardens, and playgrounds. Thankfully, all of these are great places to soak up the afternoon sunshine.

For waterfront views, ask for an outdoor table at Canvas. You can also try your skills at 90, hitting balls with a 220-yard range. You’ll also find free play games like skee ball at the Drive Shack.

Join an Art After Dark stroll at Lake Nona Town Center on Friday evenings to see music, special exhibitions, art displays, and adult beverages.

8. Lake Highland

Located in the Park Lake Highland area, the Lake Highland neighborhood attracts residents dreaming of living along the waterfront. The tranquil community is close to downtown Orlando yet offers an escape from the bustle and grind.

Gather at Lake Highland Park for a waterside walk during downtime, or opt to clear your head while fishing or to soak up the city skyline views.

Locals gather at the restaurants and pubs to catch up after work over on N Mills Ave on the East Side of the lake. Some favorite spots include Will's Pub, The Strand, or King Cajun Crawfish for shellfish boils and other Gulf Coast specialties.

Shop the local favorite Nora's Sugar Shack for cigars and gifts. You may also opt to cruise along the Orlando Urban Trail for a sunshine-filled bike ride.

9. Milk District

The Milk District is one of the best neighborhoods in Orlando, known for its vibrant cultural and progressive vibe.

The name of this area pays homage to its history, as it was once home to a dairy farm near the now Orlando Municipal Airport. It has since evolved into one of the most diverse neighborhoods in Orlando.

Today, the Milk District welcomes creative spirits to its thriving music and arts scene. This funky Orlando neighborhood features colorful murals and community gardens. Locals gather at independently owned coffee shops and restaurants.

Grab a sandwich and other treats at the Teahouse and Sandwicheria or re-center your mind and body at Orlando Power Yoga. You can also imbibe at the British-themed Bull & Bush pub.

10. Winter Park

Winter Park is a hot area, although it's technically an individual city about six miles from Orlando. This city attracts Orlando locals looking for upscale living near the city. Stroll the tree-lined sidewalks to the gorgeous parks and stroll through boutique shops.

Throughout Winter Park, you can enjoy your choice of museums, like the Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art. Otherwise, locals spend their weekends at Central Park, getting exercise, hanging with friends, or seeing live music.

There's also a famous Winter Park Sidewalk Arts Festival. Take your pick of eateries, from vegan restaurants to steakhouses. Then, pop into the Bulla Gastrobar for an after-dinner drink.

11. Florida Center North

  • Walk Score: 28
  • Transit Score: 34
  • Bike Score: 59
  • Median 2-Bedroom Rent: $1,500

Florida Center North offers an urban, liberal feel with plenty of rentals, including single-family homes, townhouses, and apartment complexes. Like most Orlando, apartment complexes throughout Florida Center North come outfitted with pools to escape the heat. On-site fitness centers are also available.

Quick access to I-4 and retail and dining options at Lilly Pulitzer Mall at Millenia makes Florida Center North an excellent location with lots to do. For discount shopping, head to the Orlando International Premium Outlets.

12. Metro West

  • Walk Score: 36
  • Transit Score: 23
  • Bike Score: 41
  • Median 2-Bedroom Rent: $1,650

The Metro West neighborhood in Orlando features 1,805 acres of master-planned mix-used space. Although you’re located southwest of Downtown Orlando, situated between I-408, the Turnpike, and Kirkman Road, you’ll find you have everything you need.

Metro West features several subdivisions, and homes, condos, and apartments are available for renters. The neighborhood has a reputation for cleanliness, manicured lawns, and quick access to the west of Orlando.

Locals gather at Bill Frederick Park’sTurkey Lake and can stay for a weekend in the cabin, fishing or enjoying the walking trails.

13. South Semoran

  • Walk Score: 46
  • Transit Score: 34
  • Bike Score: 56
  • Median 2-Bedroom Rent: $1,390

For a laid-back lifestyle, the South Semoran Orlando neighborhood offers excellent options for renters, including condominium communities and apartment complexes. Some properties have ponds and fountains with views to match, ample green space, and all the amenities you want in Florida, like swimming pools.

Barber Park provides plenty of green space, and you can even catch waterfront breezes at Lake George or Lake Frederica.

For easy access to the rest of Orlando, residents hit the nearby I-551 and I-15 in South Semoran. For convenient access, South Semoran Blvd is a major road that runs north to south throughout this neighborhood.

14. Rowena Gardens

  • Median 2-Bedroom Rent: $1,882

Rowena Gardens boasts a sparse, urban vibe with bars, restaurants, coffee shops, and parks, all within minutes from your door. It's also a popular place for families looking for quality public schools.

Rowena Garden's location is unbeatable, with proximity to the rest of Downtown Orlando and plenty of unique attractions. Stop by Leu Gardens, Orlando Science Center, or Winter Park for some shopping.

Renters live near Lake Rowena and N Mills Avenue for proximity to dining and entertainment options. The neighborhood sits just a short distance from Mead Botanical Garden for flowering gardens, wildlife habitats, and pavilions.

15. Lake Davis-Greenwood

  • Walk Score: 40
  • Transit Score: 39
  • Bike Score: 67
  • Median 2-Bedroom Rent: $1,500

The historic Lake Davis-Greenwood neighborhood in Orlando is home to the Greenwood Cemetery and Fern Creek. The cemetery was established in 1880 to relieve the city's lack of a permanent burial location. Orlando residents pooled their resources to buy 26 acres of land. The cemetery offers moonlight walking tours and period events.

Today, the neighborhood offers a quiet reprieve from city living within convenient distance to everything you need. I-15 runs through the north side of the community and the Central Business District.

16. Lake Frederica

  • Walk Score: 53
  • Transit Score: 38
  • Bike Score: 62
  • Median 2-Bedroom Rent: $1,550

Situated southeast of the Orlando Executive Airport, Lake Frederica is a community with a namesake lake. Renters are close to dining off South Semoran Blvd, I-552, and I-15. Beyond that, these freeways make commuting throughout the rest of Orlando much easier.

Choose a spot off the water or updated apartment buildings with pools and tennis courts to make the most of the Florida sunshine.

17. Kirkman South

  • Walk Score: 44
  • Transit Score: 33
  • Bike Score: 51
  • Median 2-Bedroom Rent: $2,215

The Kirkman South neighborhood of Orlando is situated alongside the Florida Turnpike, Turkey Lake, and Bill Frederick Park.

The area is appealing to outdoor enthusiasts, including avid anglers looking to take advantage of one of the top-five rated fishing lakes in Florida. There are also horse stalls available for rent and spaces for festivals and other local events.

18. Windhover

  • Walk Score: 45
  • Transit Score: 37
  • Bike Score: 65
  • Median 2-Bedroom Rent: $1,500

Windhover is located near the Florida Turnpike and I-4 for easy commuting throughout the rest of Orlando. It's ideally situated for theme park lovers with the Wizarding World of Harry Potter practically in your backyard.

Kirkman South is north of Windhover and close to Shadow Bay Park. Spend your free time hiking, biking, and exploring the dunes and wildlife. There's also a full-service tennis center.

19. Colonialtown North

  • Walk Score: 77
  • Transit Score: 35
  • Bike Score: 84
  • Median 2-Bedroom Rent: $2,050

In the Colonialtown North neighborhood of Orlando, you can take a stroll past pastel-painted, mid-century bungalows. Residents here are not far from the Milk District, which offers music venues, galleries, and indie shops with quirky finds.

The area is hopping with tapas bars, taquerias, and pan-Asian spots. You can drink into the late-night hours at taprooms and craft cocktail bars.

20. Lake Como

  • Walk Score: 55
  • Transit Score: 33
  • Bike Score: 61
  • Median 2-Bedroom Rent: $2,150

Situated off I-408 in the Orlando neighborhood is Lake Como, which is near the historic Greenwood Cemetery. Entire homes, units within single-family dwellings, and smaller apartment complexes are standard around Lake Como.

The neighborhood is known for its recreational lake at its center. Blooming azaleas, oak trees, and the neighborhood’s massive lion sculpture draw visitors looking for a quiet reprieve. The surrounding park was renovated with footbridges and crape myrtles to enhance the park's beauty.

Finding Your Orlando Neighborhood

Ready to pack up and move to one of the best neighborhoods in Orlando? The city offers something for everyone. A thriving culinary scene, vibrant downtown, and eclectic mix of tree-lined streets. What’s not to love?

Ready to find your Orlando home? Learn about what the average rent prices are in Orlando and why Orlando is one of the best places to live in Florida.

If Florida still seems to pricey for you after reading about the cost of living, consider affordable cities in Florida..

Then take our quiz to start apartment hunting in Orlando!

Learn more about living in Florida:



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Justin is a Content Manager and contributing author at Apartment List, helping people navigate the world of renting. Justin previously spent his time earning his BBA in Marketing from Boise State University. Read More
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