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14 Cities Near Orlando, FL to Live in, 2022

May 9, 2022

Orlando is known as The City Beautiful, though it has other nicknames like City Phenomenal and City of Light. Despite its theme parks, entertainment, dining, and amenities, Orlando also features scores of parks, green parks, and wilderness areas.

While rents are rising in Orlando, there are still affordable prices in the metro area. If you want to enjoy the attractions in Orlando, its strong economy, and sun-kissed weather, you can also look for a cheaper cost of living in Orlando's nearby cities.

We did all the research for you to find the best cities near Orlando, ordered by the closest proximity to Downtown. So here's where to get started.

1. Winter Park

  • Miles away from downtown Orlando: 7.9 miles
  • Commute time to Orlando via Car: 18 minutes via FL-426 W and E Fairbanks Ave and I-4 W
  • Commute time to Orlando via Bus/Train: 19 minutes via Winter Park Station on SunRail P315 towards Southbound
  • Commute time to Orlando via Bike: 41 minutes via Winter Park Rd
  • Median Rent: $1,300
  • Population: 29,795
  • Median Household Income: $80,500
  • Walk Score: 44
  • Transit Score: 28
  • Bike Score: 51

Winter Park took roots as a resort community during the 19th and 20th centuries. Today, the area is home to civic buildings, art galleries, country clubs, museums, and Rollins College, though it's also known for its orange grove and wild peacocks that once roamed the neighborhoods.

A small arts and culture scene thrives in Winter Park with the Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art and Rollins Museum of Art. There are also plenty of outdoor sports, like the Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens and Kraft Azalea Gardens. For craft cocktails, locals head to the local Brewstillery.

Rents for upscale, modern complexes are still relatively low in Winter Park. Look for apartments near Highway 426 and 436.

2. Altamonte Springs

  • Miles away from downtown Orlando: 11.7 miles
  • Commute time to Orlando via Car: 18 minutes
  • Commute time to Orlando via Bus/Train: 1 hour and 9 minutes via Gateway Dr and Lotus Landing Blvd with a transfer to Longwood towards Southbound
  • Commute time to Orlando via Bike: 1 hour and 5 minutes via Maitland Ave
  • Median Rent: $1,322
  • Population: 46,231
  • Median Household Income: $55,312
  • Walk Score: 35
  • Transit Score: 25
  • Bike Score: 44

Altamonte Springs was incorporated as a town in 1921 and recognized as a city in 1967. The area took its name from the Altamonte Land, Hotel, and Navigation Company.

Reasonable rents and proximity to Downtown Orlando make Altamonte Springs a popular place to live, work, and play. Locals enjoy Crane's Roost Park, the Altamonte Mall, and Congo River Golf. In addition, the Lake Lotus Nature Park features 150 acres and 120 acres of woods and wetlands. The median age in Altamonte Springs is 34 years old, with a strong representation of 25 to 44-year-olds.

Look for modern apartment complexes and older midrises along I-4 for quick access to Orlando. Lakes, ponds, and wetlands dot the landscape, making it possible to find apartments with waterside views.

3. Ocoee

  • Miles away from downtown Orlando: 12.6 miles
  • Commute time to Orlando via Car: 19 minutes via FL-408 E
  • Commute time to Orlando via Bus/Train: 56 minutes via Mall Rd and S Clarke Rd - 105 towards N Garland Ave and W Amelia St with a transfer at Lynx Central Station towards Southbound
  • Commute time to Orlando via Bike: 1 hour and 2 minutes via FL-50 E and W Colonial Dr
  • Median Rent: $2,075
  • Population: 47,295
  • Median Household Income: $79,273
  • Walk Score: 50
  • Transit Score: n/a
  • Bike Score: 43

Ocoee was once a tiny agricultural settlement filled with citrus and vegetable farming. Then, during the 1880s, the construction of the Florida Midland Railroad spurred growth in the area.

Ocoee's median age is 35-years-old and home to young professionals and families looking for a laid-back lifestyle. Ocoee doesn't have much nightlife, but you'll find local favorites like Smith's Tiki Bar for craft cocktails. Locals spend afternoons enjoying local parks and making the most of life's slower pace.

You'll find most of Ocoee's apartments around Highway 50 and Highway 429. Look for an option on the western side of town for proximity to Lake Apopka.

4. Casselberry

  • Miles away from downtown Orlando: 13.7 miles
  • Commute time to Orlando via Car: 23 minutes via I-4 W
  • Commute time to Orlando via Bus/Train: via 436S towards Fernwood Blvd and Oxford Rd with a transfer to Altamonte Springs towards Southbound
  • Commute time to Orlando via Bike: 1 hour and 17 minutes via US-17 S and US-92 W
  • Median Rent: $1,340
  • Population: 28,794
  • Median Household Income: $49,377
  • Walk Score: 33
  • Transit Score: 22
  • Bike Score: 48

When the Homestead Act was passed in 1862, settlers began homesteading in Casselberry. The location was initially incorporated as a tax-free town in 1940 to avoid property taxes, but eventually incorporated as a city and reinstated taxation in the 60s and 70s.

The median age in Casselberry is 37.2 years old, attracting millennials looking for reasonable rents near Orlando. You won't find nightlife in Casselberry, but there's plenty of outdoor recreation, like Secret Lake Park. Locals gather at Bowigens Beer Company for a place to relax with a beer, and golf is available at the Casselberry Golf Club.

Apartment hunters can find options along Highway 17, though local midrises and single-family homes for rent in the Casselberry area are also available.

5. Longwood

  • Miles away from downtown Orlando: 15.7 miles
  • Commute time to Orlando via Car: 25 minutes via I-4 W
  • Commute time to Orlando via Bus/Train: 35 minutes via SunRail P317 towards Southbound
  • Commute time to Orlando via Bike: 1 hour and 23 minutes via US-17 S and US-92 W
  • Median Rent: $1,697
  • Population: 15,087
  • Median Household Income: $65,651
  • Walk Score: 94
  • Transit Score: 100
  • Bike Score: 76

Early settlers in Longwood arrived in the early 1870s by steamboat and began developing the area. Development dropped off during the Great Depression but rapidly grew again with the rise of Disney and other theme parks.

The median age in Longwood is 42.7 years old, though the city is popular with both millennials and families. The backdrop is idyllic, with a historic district spanning 190 acres and 37 structures. Beyond nearby theme parks, Longwood is home to Wekiva Island, Hourglass Brewing, and Spring Hammock Preserve.

I-4 runs through Longwood with nearby clusters of modern apartments. In addition, you'll find options near Lake Monroe and Lake Jesup Conservation Area to access green space and tranquility.

6. Winter Garden

  • Miles away from downtown Orlando: 16.9 miles
  • Commute time to Orlando via Car: 23 minutes via FL-408 E
  • Commute time to Orlando via Bus/Train: 1 hour and 54 minutes to Mall Rd and S Clarke Rd with a transfer to N Garland Ave and W Washington St and Church St
  • Commute time to Orlando via Bike: 1 hour and 17 minutes via FL-50 E and W Colonial Dr
  • Median Rent: Starts at $1,500
  • Population: 46,964
  • Median Household Income: $85,065
  • Walk Score: 30
  • Transit Score: n/a
  • Bike Score: 42

Winter Garden was established in 1903 and incorporated as a city five years later. Before establishing a citrus farming industry, the town was once known for its vegetable, sugar cane farming, and fishing.

The median age in Winter Garden is 38.5 years old and attracts young professionals growing their careers. While the real action is in Orlando, there are still plenty of local amenities, including Crooked Can Brewing Company and the Garden Theatre. There are also historical stops around Winter Garden, like the Winter Garden Heritage Museum and Central Florida Railroad Museum.

Many of the apartments in Winter Garden are found along Lake Apopka, offering waterfront views and recreation. Also, look for options near Highway 429 for a quick commute into Orlando.

7. Apopka

  • Miles away from downtown Orlando: 20.4 miles
  • Commute time to Orlando via Car: 27 minutes via FL-414 E, John Land Apopka Expwy, Maitland Boulevard Extension, and I-4 W
  • Commute time to Orlando via Bus/Train: 1 hour and 9 minutes via S Central Ave and M A Broad St to Lynx Central Station and SunRail P317 towards Southbound
  • Commute time to Orlando via Bike: 1 hour 41 minutes via 18.7 miles via Edgewater Dr
  • Median Rent: $1,723
  • Population: 54,873
  • Median Household Income: $69,343
  • Walk Score: 18
  • Transit Score: 18
  • Bike Score: 37

Apopka takes its name from Ahapopka, a Seminole word for "Potato eating place." Early American settlers developed a Masonic Lodge and trading center during the 1830s.

Apopka has a reputation as a nice, welcoming area. The city has a median age of 37.3 years old, looking for a quiet, laid-back lifestyle.

Once a notoriously polluted lake, Lake Apopka is now a popular outdoor recreation destination. You can find apartment complexes near the lake for waterfront views. Or look for areas near Seminole State Forest for access to green space.

8. Kissimmee

  • Miles away from downtown Orlando: 22.4 miles
  • Commute time to Orlando via Car: 32 minutes via Florida's Turnpike
  • Commute time to Orlando via Bus/Train: 24 minutes via Kissimmee Station towards Northbound
  • Commute time to Orlando via Bike: 1 hour and 42 minutes via US-17 N, US-441 N, and US-92 E
  • Median Rent: $1,338
  • Population: 79,22
  • Median Household Income: $41,399
  • Walk Score: 30
  • Transit Score: 27
  • Bike Score: 49

Kissimmee was settled by the confederate major and riverboat captain J. H. Allen. His steamboat was the first cargo on the Kissimmee River. The area was originally a trading post, though it quickly grew to include millions of acres of marshlands and plains.

Kissimmee established itself as an Orlando suburb and a destination for many Disney and theme park travelers. The median age for residents is 34.5 years old, and it offers a diverse community. As a result, there are plenty of opportunities for careers in tourism and hospitality.

You'll find plenty of apartments for rent in Kissimmee, with options near Florida's Turnpike. Take your pick of living near greenspace or in the middle of the action in Kissimmee.

9. Clermont

  • Miles away from downtown Orlando: 26.1 miles
  • Commute time to Orlando via Car: 33 minutes via FL-50 # and Fl-408 E
  • Commute time to Orlando via Bus/Train: 2 hours and 13 minutes from FL 50 & 10th St with a transfer to FDOT Park N Ride, W Colonial Dr and Walker St and Lynx Central
  • Commute time to Orlando via Bike: 2 hours and 26 minutes via FL-50 E and W Colonial Dr
  • Median Rent: $1,468
  • Population: 28,794
  • Median Household Income: $49,377
  • Walk Score: 21
  • Transit Score: n/a
  • Bike Score: 32

The 16-square-mile town of Clermont was founded in 1884 and named after French founder A.F. Wrotnowski. The city offers a residential feel with commerce focused on lodging, tourism, and retail. Clermont is also famous for its 200-foot Citrus Tower, dotting the landscape since 1956.

The median age in Clermont is 45 years old, but you'll find plenty of locals ranging from 25 to 45 years old. You'll still find options like the Clermont Performing Arts Center and The Crooked Spoon Gastropub for brews and burgers despite its residential vibe.

Orlando's metro area offers outdoor beauty, like Lake Louisa State Park and Palatlakaha River Park. If you live on the east side of town, you’ll find Lake Minneola. Settling near Highway 50 provides convenient access to the rest of the metro area. You can find what you're looking for, whether greenspace or amenities.

10. Sanford

  • Miles away from downtown Orlando: 27.7 miles
  • Commute time to Orlando via Car: 30 minutes via FL-417 Toll S
  • Commute time to Orlando via Bus/Train: 1 hour and 26 minutes via 46E towards W Airport Blvd and W Sr-46 with a transfer to Sanford Station towards Southbound
  • Commute time to Orlando via Bike: 2 hours and 19 minutes via Seminole Wekiva Trail
  • Median Rent: $1,270
  • Population: 61,051
  • Median Household Income: $52,664
  • Walk Score: 27
  • Transit Score: 20
  • Bike Score: 40

Henry Sanford arrived in the Sanford area in 1870, looking for an investment during the Reconstruction period. While the site grew into a port city and railroad terminal during the late nineteenth century, today, Sanford is known as the "Historic Waterfront Gateway City," located on the southern shore of Lake Monroe. Settler

Unlike other sites in Central Florida, Sanford boasts a historic downtown with 20 buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places. In addition, locals explore the Sanford RiverWalk, Black Bear Wilderness Area, and Central Zoo & Botanical Gardens. The median age in Sanford is 34.9 years old, and a popular area for young professionals and families.

Most apartment complexes in Sanford are around I-4, but you'll also find options near Lake Monroe. The western edges of town brush up against the Rock Springs Run State Reserve.

Cities Near Orlando with Higher Commute Times

The cities near Orlando offer reasonable rents and high quality of life. However, if you work remotely and only need to head into Orlando occasionally, you can enjoy living in cities a few hours away. Here are options with longer commute times from Orlando to consider.

1. Tampa

  • Miles away from downtown Orlando: 95.0 miles
  • Commute time to Orlando via Car: 1 hour and 36 minutes via I-4 E
  • Commute time to Orlando via Bus/Train: 2 hours and 8 minutes on Greyhound towards Atlanta
  • Commute time to Orlando via Bike: 8 hours and 55 minutes via US-27 N
  • Median Rent: $1,484
  • Population: 384,959
  • Median Household Income: $55,634
  • Walk Score: 50
  • Transit Score: 31
  • Bike Score: 55

Spanish explorer Ponce de Leon first arrived in Tampa in 1513. The area eventually grew as a military center with the establishment of Fort Brooke and a local cigar industry. Today, Tampa is known for its strong economy and attractions, including Busch Gardens, Busch Gardens, The Florida Aquarium, and the Raymond James Stadium.

Tampa's median age is 35.7 years old, attracting newcomers looking for business and cultural offerings. Industries in the Tampa Bay area include avionics, business services, financial services, tourism, marine sciences, and manufacturing.

Renters will find options along I-275 and Highway 580. In addition, you'll find waterfront views along Old Tampa Bay and Hillsborough Bay.

2. St. Petersburg

  • Miles away from downtown Orlando: 106.8 miles
  • Commute time to Orlando via Car: 2 hours via I-4 E
  • Commute time to Orlando via Bus/Train: 3 hours and 37 minutes via Grand Central Station - B towards Clearwater and a transfer at Shoppes at Park Place and St. Petersburg to the Greyhound towards Tampa
  • Commute time to Orlando via Bike: 13 hours and 13 minutes via Fred Marquis Pinellas Trail
  • Median Rent: $1,437
  • Population: 258,308
  • Median Household Income: $60,798
  • Walk Score: 44
  • Transit Score: 33
  • Bike Score: 59

St. Petersburg celebrates a reputation of nearly year-round sunshine and a laid-back beach resort vibe. Newcomers and visitors came to the area in the 1830s and 1840s to establish homesteads and citrus crops.

While the median age in St. Pete is 42.9 years old, it is also home to plenty of remote workers, beachcombers, and long-stay tourists. Beyond soaking up the rays in "Sunshine City," St. Pete is home to golfing, boating, fishing, and the waterfront Dali Museum dedicated to its namesake artist.

While the beachfront is lined with hotels and restaurants, you can still find apartment complexes across the street. You'll also find options along Highway 687 and I-275. Beyond hospitality, you'll find financial services, manufacturing, and medical technology industries in St. Pete.

3. Jacksonville

  • Miles away from downtown Orlando: 141.1 miles
  • Commute time to Orlando via Car: 2 hours and 7 minutes via I-95 S and I-4 W
  • Commute time to Orlando via Bus/Train: 3 hours and 23 minutes via Jacksonville Amtrak Station and a transfer to JRTC Bay N to the Jacksonville's Greyhound towards Miami
  • Commute time to Orlando via Bike:
  • Median Rent: $1,208
  • Population: 949,611
  • Median Household Income: $55,531
  • Walk Score: 26
  • Transit Score: 21
  • Bike Score: 41

Jacksonville originally grew in the 18th century as Cow Ford and was settled by British colonists. During the late nineteenth century, it became a winter vacation destination attracting tourists from the Midwest and North. Today, Jacksonville is the most populous city in Florida.

The median age in Jacksonville is 35.9 years old, and it's home to millennials, college students, and retirees. Top industries include healthcare, retail, finance, insurance, education, and transportation. Jacksonville is also home to multiple military facilities, including Naval Air Station Jacksonville.

Jacksonville is a large city with plenty of apartment complexes. Live near Downtown for proximity to urban amenities or career opportunities. If you want to live near the beach, consider that Jacksonville and Jacksonville Beach are two different cities, although their boundaries brush up against each other.

4. Miami

  • Miles away from downtown Orlando: 238.2 miles
  • Commute time to Orlando via Car: 3 hours and 40 minutes via I-95 N and Florida's Turnpike
  • Commute time to Orlando via Bus/Train: 4 hours and 50 minutes via Miami Airport's RedCoach towards Orlando with a transfer at Orlando RedCoach Station, Mccoy Rd, and Gondola Dr, Sand Lake Rd headed towards Northbound
  • Commute time to Orlando via Bike: 21 hours and 59 minutes via Florida A1A N and S Highway A1A
  • Median Rent: $1,656
  • Population: 442,241
  • Median Household Income: $44,268
  • Walk Score: 77
  • Transit Score: 57
  • Bike Score: 64

Miami was incorporated in 1896 and grew with the railroad's arrival, water and power systems, and a resort hotel. The area was originally marshy from the nearby Everglades, though locals developed canals to drain water from most of the land.

Miami's median age is 40.1 years old, though it's filled with a diverse mix of college students, young professionals, retirees, and spring breakers. Major industries include tourism, finance, media and telecommunications, and international trade. But, of course, you're also never far from the beach or nightlife.

Renters can live away from the action or live near the nightlife, dining, and pubs. Many of the apartments for rent in Miami sit along Biscayne Bay. If you need access to Orlando, look for apartment buildings along I-95.

Finding the Best City for You

The Orlando metro area offers peaceful suburbs, city living, and plenty of amenities. You're also never far from theme parks, including Disney and Universal Studios. Ready to narrow down your Orlando and Florida apartment search? Take the quiz to get started.

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AUTHOR
Susan Finch is a freelance writer and content manager focusing on local experiences, travel, and anything relating to really good food and craft brews. Her work has appeared in travel guidebooks and national magazines and newspapers. Read More
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