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20 Best Neighborhoods in Orlando, FL

By: Justin Chaplin
July 29, 2021

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.

Best Neighborhoods in Orlando

Ebyabe [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)]

1. College Park

  • Walk Score: 59
  • Transit Score: 36
  • Bike Score: 75

Embrace urban living in the quaint Orlando neighborhood of College Park. Situated just a few miles from downtown, residents know College Park for its mix of cottages and newer developments. It also boasts great outdoor recreation. 

Water enthusiasts have their choice of 280 acres of lakes. That includes Lake Ivanhoe for wakeboarding and waterskiing with views of the skyline. There are also parks, walking trails, and a family-friendly vibe. 

For a cultural outing in College Park, try the Mennello Museum of American Art and Orlando Shakespeare Theater. You’ll find a wealth of restaurants from Caribbean to Parisian cuisine, such as Les Petit Pleasures. 

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

keone [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)]

2. East Orlando

Newcomers looking for more diversity in their choice of Orlando neighborhoods can look to East Orlando. Popular with commuters and students, the neighborhood is home to the University of Central Florida. It lies just minutes from the Orlando International Airport. 

Shop the hubs at Waterford Lakes Town Center. Also, check out the area around Alafaya Trail. There, you’ll find a mix of big-box retailers and smaller brands. It’s also home to eclectic fare. 

East Orlando is starting to shed its reputation of not being as safe as surrounding Orlando neighborhoods. However, it's always wise to take precautions, particularly at night. 

Take a rideshare on an evening out with friends. Stop by Marlow's Tavern, then see a movie at the nearby Regal Cinemas 20. 

nick hoke [CC BY 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)]

3. South Eola District

  • Walk Score: 91
  • Transit Score: 63
  • Bike Score: 76

Nestled in the heart of downtown Orlando, South Eola is one of the best neighborhoods in Orlando for urban dwellers. Take your pick of highrises and upscale apartment buildings. They’ll have all your favorite amenities from pools to gyms. Locals also enjoy entertainment, shopping, and dining at their doorstep. 

On weekends, pick up some fresh produce at the Orlando Farmers Market. Go paddle boating or take in a live performance at Disney's outdoor amphitheater, Opera Orlando. You may also enjoy the trendy Abbey. 

You’re also just a short walk over to the rest of downtown Orlando. There, you’ll have endless options for nightlife and dining.

4. Celebration

It's easy to think you got lost inside of Disney World when walking around the spotless streets of Celebration outside of Orlando. Depending on who you ask, Celebration is one of the best neighborhoods in Orlando. Residents love its planned design and luxury-inspired touches. 

A Disney subsidiary designed and built Celebration. The community is known for a mix of upscale amenities. There’s even a natural habitat where deer still roam.

The community is no longer managed by or affiliated with Disney. However, 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 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. 

Photo by Josh Hallett

5. Thornton Park

  • Walk Score: 83
  • Transit Score: 53
  • Bike Score: 81

Interested in a boho-chic vibe? Brushing up against Lake Eola Park, the Thornton Park District features trendy boutiques, organic cafes, and a European feel. 

Head over to the vibrant Washington Street. There, you can enjoy wine bars, outdoor seating at cafes, and a decorative fountain. 

Residents enjoy a weekly wine and art walk. There’s also a nearby farmer's market and pop-up markets. Locals also love spots like Burton's Bar and Graffiti Junktion. They feature 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: 56
  • Transit Score: 29
  • Bike Score: 75

Situated just east of downtown Orlando, Baldwin Park sits on the site of a former U.S. Navy Center. It now features a mixed-use community and new apartment buildings. 

This highly walkable neighborhood is desirable for residents looking to ditch the car. It’s a great 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. Look for modern apartment buildings and new developments. Many are just steps away from your favorite Orlando neighborhood haunts.

East Park [CC BY 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)]

7. Lake Nona

  • Walk Score: 10
  • Transit Score: 1
  • Bike Score: 47

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 neighborhood. Developers soon saw opportunities to build a community around it. 

As one of the best neighborhoods in Orlando, you can take your pick of new construction homes for rent. There are also upscale apartment buildings with waterfront views.

Lake Nona also has a great design for those who love staying active. There are numerous walkways, gardens, and playgrounds. They’re all great places to soak up the afternoon sunshine. 

Grab an outdoor table with a waterfront view at Canvas. You can also try your skills at 90 hitting bys with a 220-yard range. You’ll also find free play games like skeeball at the Drive Shack. 

On Friday evenings, join an Art After Dark stroll at Lake Nona Town Center. Those feature music, special exhibitions, art displays, and adult beverages.

Dudemanfellabra at English Wikipedia [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)]

8. Lake Highland

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

During downtime, gather at Lake Highland Park for a waterside walk. Clear your head while fishing or soak up the city skyline views. 

Over on N Mills Ave on the East Side of the lake, locals gather at the restaurants and pubs to catch up after work. Try 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. 

Ebyabe [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)]

9. Milk District

Live in one of the best neighborhoods in Orlando. Residents know the Milk District for its vibrant cultural and progressive vibe. 

The Milk District welcomes creative spirits to its thriving music and arts scene. The area was once home to a dairy farm near the future home of the Orlando Municipal Airport. It has evolved into one of the most diverse neighborhoods in Orlando. 

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 for a quick bite. Recenter your mind and body at Orlando Power Yoga. You can also imbibe at the British-themed Bull & Bush pub.

10. Winter Park

Although its technically an individual city about 6 miles from Orlando, Winter Park is a hot area. This city attracts Orlando locals looking for upscale living with proximity to the city. Stroll the tree-lined sidewalks to the gorgeous parks and stroll through boutique shops. You may also enjoy museums like the Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art. 

Locals spend their weekends at Central Park to jog or meet up with friends. It’s also a great spot to take in live music or a concert. 

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

11. Florida Center North

  • Walk Score: 26
  • Transit Score: 34
  • Bike Score: 57

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

Florida Center North offers quick access to I-4 and retail/dining options at Lilly Pulitzer Mall at Millenia. For discount shopping, head to the Orlando International Premium Outlets.

12. MetroWest

  • Walk Score: 36
  • Transit Score: 24
  • Bike Score: 44

The MetroWest neighborhood in Orlando is a master-planned community with 1,805 acres of mix-used space. You're located southwest of Downtown Orlando but have everything you need to live, work, and play. MetroWest features several subdivisions, and homes, condos, and apartments are available for renters.

MetroWest is situated between I-408, the Turnpike, and Kirkman Road. 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: 47
  • Transit Score: 34
  • Bike Score: 58

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

With spaces like Barber Park, you aren’t far from green space. You can even catch waterfront breezes at Lake George or Lake Frederica. Renters are ideally situated near I-551 and I-15 to get to the rest of Orlando. South Semoran Blvd is a major road that runs north to south for convenient access.

14. Rowena Gardens

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: 68

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 stress over the city's lack of 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 while staying 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: 52
  • Transit Score: 38
  • Bike Score: 63

Situated southeast of the Orlando Executive Airport, Lake Frederica is a community with a namesake lake. Renters are close to dining off of South Semoran Blvd, I-552, and I-15. Beyond that, these freeways make commuting much easier. Choose areas 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: 40
  • Transit Score: 33
  • Bike Score: 49

The Kirkman South neighborhood of Orlando is situated alongside the Florida Turnpike, Turkey Lake, and Bill Frederick Park. The area is appealing to avid anglers looking to take advantage of one of the top-five rated fishing lakes in the state of Florida. There are horse stalls available for rent and spaces for festivals and events.

18. Windhover

  • Walk Score: 45
  • Transit Score: 36
  • Bike Score: 66

Windhover is located near the Florida Turnpike and I-4 for easy commuting. 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 sand dunes and wildlife. There's also a full-service tennis center.

19. Colonialtown North

  • Walk Score: 75
  • Transit Score: 35
  • Bike Score: 83

Take a stroll past pastel-painted mid-century bungalows in Colonialtown North. 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. Residents are not far from the Milk District, which has music venues, galleries, and indie shops with quirky finds.

20. Lake Como

  • Walk Score: 54
  • Transit Score: 33
  • Bike Score: 68

Lake Como is known for its recreational lake at the center of the neighborhood. 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 beauty of the park.

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

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: Miami:

Tampa:

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AUTHOR
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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