The Best Neighborhoods in Orlando

The City Beautiful has something for everyone.

Orlando offers 12-plus theme parks, a world-class airport, running/cycling paths, galleries and more. The city draws night owls, too, since most of the best neighborhoods in Orlando host a booming nightlife full of live music, comedy and breweries.

Affordable homes and job opportunities in medical, tech, engineering and education fields make this Orange County, FL, city a sweet destination for young professionals and families. Although the U.S. Census Bureau reports Orlando’s median age is 33, some neighborhoods are social meccas for retirees, who flock to the area’s resort venues and first-rate golf courses. There’s a reason why this diverse top tourist destination draws more than 75 million visitors each year.

Are you ready to stick around and make Orlando your home? Check out some of our favorite neighborhoods.

baldwin park orlando

Once a U.S. Navy training base, Baldwin Park lies adjacent to Walt Disney World and is within walking distance to grocery stores and restaurants. The urban community is dog- and family-friendly, too. Take your pup or kiddo to one of the best parks in Orlando, Lake Baldwin Park, equipped with a top-of-the-line playground, beach and doggy play space.

The Baldwin Park neighborhood rocks fitness to the core, offering gyms and outdoor activities. It also boasts community-friendly meeting spots for social gatherings and unique events like the Light Up Baldwin Park in December and the Independence Bash in July.

college park orlando

Resting just five minutes outside of Downtown, College Park is a sweet spot for local coffee shops, yoga studios and unique boutiques. It’s also home to educational venues, such as the Orlando Science Center and the Orlando Shakespeare Theater.

This community-oriented neighborhood with numerous local playgrounds makes it ideal for families who appreciate the small-town feel and shady, majestic oaks. Plus, you’ll enjoy the streets named after all of your favorite colleges: Harvard, Princeton and Vassar, to name a few.

downtown orlando

Want to be close to the action? In Downtown Orlando, you’ll find businesses, entertainment complexes and the arts. Known for its parades, festivals and nightlife, Downtown — also referred to as the Central Business District — sports entertainment venues like Dr. Phillips for Performing Arts Center and the Amway Center.

Residents and tourists love exploring the arts district, retail and restaurants. As one of Orlando’s best neighborhoods, Downtown mixes modern and historic architecture and features high-rise apartments in various styles. The breathtaking views of the city’s skyline and nearby Lake Eola are the cherry on top.

kirkman north orlando

Source: / The Grand Reserve at Kirkman Parke

Kirkman North rocks a low cost of living, solid public schools and a close-knit community known for its holiday lights and spirit.

A haven for the performing arts and the fashion/beauty niche, this neighborhood includes the Just Dance Too Performance Arts Company and Men in Style Orlando men’s apparel shop. The community also offers a small-town feel with local eats like EZ Crab Shack and Annie’s Roti Shop and Bar. When you’re craving the big city, bike to the larger Metro West, just 1.4 miles down the road, and stop at Valencia College along the way.

lake eola heights orlando

Head on over to Lake Eola to paddle on a swan-shaped boat, join a Tai Chi class or check out the mind-bending acoustics at the Walt Disney Amphitheater. Other perks include more than 35 restaurants and easy access to SunRail public transit.

Stroll or bike around the one-mile Lake Eola or grab a bite at the Orlando Farmer’s Market. Whether you’re searching for art deco, craftsman or colonial housing, you’ll appreciate the homey and quaint Lake Eola Heights.

lake nona orlando

Lake Nona lies just southeast of the Orlando International Airport, so planning a last-minute getaway is easy. However, you may want to stick around this hip community named for the lake it houses in the northern part of town.

Close to waterparks, Gatorland and the Nona Adventure Park, Lake Nona caters to adrenaline seekers. Other fun destinations to explore include the USTA National Campus, the nation’s largest tennis training facility, and the 50-acre Academic Health Science Campus, which sits on Lake Nona Boulevard.

metro west orlando

Source: / Indigo West

Once the home of endless orange groves, Debra, Inc. developed Metro West for business and commercial purposes. Today, residents describe this urban center as clean, safe and well-lit. You’ll appreciate this pristine neighborhood with top-notch landscaping and sunset views. Numerous complexes sporting lagoon pools and shady oaks and palms make Metro West a popular destination for families and singles alike. And, you can grab your putter and check out the MetroWest Golf Club.

park central orlando

Source: / Castilian Apartments

Living up to its name, Park Central sits near popular world-class attractions like SeaWorld, Walt Disney World and Universal Studios. Conveniently, public transit makes commuting to parks and shops a breeze.

This gated community offers spacious apartments with top amenities. The area also boasts high-ranked schools, making Park Central an excellent location for families.

thornton park orlando

Fans of shady oaks and cobblestone streets flock to Thornton Park. Walk down the popular Washington Street to see an eclectic mix of shops, organic cafes and tiki bars. Be on the lookout for the art and wine walks that occur on an ongoing basis. Another perk: Thornton Park knows how to celebrate holidays and throws block parties for Halloween, St. Patrick’s Day and New Year’s Eve.

ventura orlando fl

Source: / Rosehill Preserve

Offering sunset views and serene landscapes, Ventura’s an excellent place for empty nesters and retirees. If you favor resort living and golf courses, you better swoop in fast. Rentals in this area tend to go off the market quickly.

Grab a cocktail at the Ventura Country Club close to the Amway Center or take a stroll to one of the local parks. While you’re at it, hit one of the various produce stands or snag a slice at Mario’s Pizza Orlando.

Unique apartment designs, huts and even cabins are available for rent long and short term for your out-of-town friends and family.

Find the best Orlando neighborhood for you

Orlando has everything: adventure, nightlife, boutiques, delicious oranges … the list goes on. Whether you’re seeking a place to retire or a neighborhood to plant roots, Orlando caters to people of all ages, backgrounds and interests.

On the prowl for the best Orlando neighborhood for you? Take this quiz to find the best community for your needs.