What Are The Best Neighborhoods In Orlando? (Find Out Now!)

Kirbee Anderson
by Kirbee Anderson

People contemplating a move to Florida often overlook Orlando as an option with the assumption it is nothing but roller coasters and anthropomorphic animals. There is actually much to recommend the city, and not just rides or the big mouse (although it is certainly the perfect place for people who love amusement parks or Disney). Orlando regularly tops lists of best or most beautiful places to live, so much so that it is nicknamed the City Beautiful.

Orlando offers something for everyone. Retirees can enjoy the year-round warm climate; families will access to endless kid-friendly amusements; and professionals will benefit from the great job market.

To determine the best neighborhoods, we analyzed the walking, biking, and transit scores along with proximity to the Orlando city center. Furthermore, we listed the best neighborhoods for golfers, families, Disney fans, and more! Regardless of which of these things brings you to Orlando, read on to learn about some of the best neighborhoods in Orlando, such as Lake Nona, Baldwin Park, and College Park.

Do You Need to Hire Movers?

Get free, zero-commitment quotes from pro contractors near you.

Why is Orlando a Good Place to Live?

Despite its beauty, amenities, and favorable weather, the cost of living in Orlando is barely above the national average. Its cost of living is only at 104, with 100 being the average. Median home prices come in at $245,000, also just slightly above the national average. Surprisingly, this is one metro area with relatively affordable housing costs.

Orlando is one of the fastest-growing cities in the United States. It has a ton of entry-level jobs. While people higher up in their careers may not be looking for an economy bursting with entry-level positions, many people do need the opportunity to get their foot in a door. If this resonates for you, Orlando may be worth a closer look.

Orlando residents come for the novelty of the parks, the tourism industry jobs, or the warm winters. They end up staying for the bustling food-truck scene, the beautiful neighborhoods, and robust cultural events and festivities.

Which Neighborhoods are the Best Places to Live?

Let’s take a look at several popular Orlando neighborhoods to help you find the right fit. Neighborhoods that appeal to single, young professionals may not be as convenient for families with children or families relying on the amusement parks for income. Orlando offers a little something for everyone, and neighborhoods are no exception.

Because there is no such thing as one best fit for everyone, these neighborhoods are not in ranked order. We address some of the ups and downs for each area.

1. Best Golf Neighborhood: Lake Nona

Central Florida is a golfer’s dream, and no doubt many who come to Orlando will want a golf course in their own backyards. Look no further than Lake Nona. There are many golf communities to choose from, and some come with access to ultra-exclusive courses. For the average person, though, golf course communities are appealing to people who want guaranteed green space and low neighborhood density as well as access to a country club lifestyle in the city.

For these benefits, the neighborhood of Lake Nona is tops for those who want to live in a golf course community. While Lake Nona is a popular course, there are actually three neighborhoods around it that feature a variety of price points, from the low 300s to several million dollars.

The community has many trails for hiking and walking, health centers, green spaces, and it is also near the Orlando International Airport for those who need air access in and out of the city. Young families will appreciate that some of the better schools in the district are in the Lake Nona area.

  • Walk Score: 10
  • Bike Score: 47
  • Transit Score: 1
  • Distance from City Center: 20 miles

2. Best Mix of Urban and Green Space: Baldwin Park

Baldwin Park in northeast Orlando has it all – location, employment, a downtown area, and ample public parks surrounding lakes. It is a new neighborhood that was built on the old Naval Training Center grounds after it closed in the mid-’90s. Rather than being mindlessly filled with new housing developments and shopping centers, the area was intentionally developed to create a community within Orlando itself.

Baldwin Park has a respectable walkability score, many one-way streets to encourage biking and walking, and a regional bike path runs through it. The lakes are surrounded by public parks and facilities, giving locals great access to the outdoors and all it has to offer. This is not to say that it lacks retail and development, because it certainly does not.

The neighborhood is not jammed with big box stores, but rather has its own city center complete with apartments above retail space. This combination of single-family homes and multi-family housing makes it appealing to many demographics and gives the community a bit more income diversity than one sees in other neighborhoods that are predominantly multifamily housing or predominantly single-family housing.

  • Walk Score: 56
  • Bike Score: 75
  • Transit Score: 29
  • Distance from City Center: 2 miles

3. Best for Families: College Park

People aged 30-44 are the greatest demographic in College Park, and no wonder families of child-bearing years flock to the quiet area with wide, tree-lined streets, generous lots, and homes owned by the same families for decades. Residents laud the sense of community in the area and the beauty of a neighborhood that was once an 80-acre citrus grove.

Even the local businesses add to the history and steadfastness of the community. Popular staples are Gabriel’s Sub Shop established in 1958 and the local Publix, which has been at its current location since 1960.

College Park residents enjoy a local golf course, ample park and green space, and bring their sense of community to support local schools. In all, the real benefit of College Park is that it allows its residents to live the pace and feel the experience of living in a small town, all the while being in Orlando.

  • Walk Score: 59
  • Bike Score: 75
  • Transit Score: 36
  • Distance from City Center: 2.5 miles

4. Best for Young Professionals: Thornton Park

For the party scene, there is no place like the Downtown neighborhood, but for actual living as a young professional, go for the “Downtown for Grownups,” Thornton Park.

The area is massively walkable and actually only a 10-minute walk from the city center. It features everything that the young and childfree require at the moment: great beer, bike trails, a high dog-to-human ratio, and interesting architecture. Its high number of bungalows make it a challenging neighborhood for families needing multiple bedrooms, but it perfect for someone who will be living an independent lifestyle.

Despite the neighborhood’s proximity to downtown, there are still ample opportunities to experience the outdoors, with Lake Eola being in the western part of the neighborhood.

An increase in new multifamily housing properties brings an increasing number of people to the neighborhood. With those new people, come even more dining and retail establishments to the area. One of the biggest draws is the excellent dining opportunities. Thornton Park residents can try their own hands at farm-to-table cooking thanks to popular farmers’ markets in the park.

Expect to see many young faces; the 18-24 demographic makes up the greatest portion of residents. About 60 percent of Thornton Park residents have a college degree.

  • Walk Score: 83
  • Bike Score: 81
  • Transit Score: 53
  • Distance from City Center: 1/2 mile

5. Most Affordable Neighborhood: The Willows

There is nothing wrong with the pocketbook making the final decision in a neighborhood, and if low cost of living is a priority, check out The Willows. Orlando, like many big cities, is plagued with a lack of affordable housing and jobs that fail to pay a living wage. A few neighborhoods in Orlando, like the Willows, have a below-average median monthly rent and home costs.

While some may balk at living in a less desirable part of town, choosing a rental below your maximum budget can help you create a more solid financial base for the future. The average rent in The Willows is only $998 per month, whereas the average rent in Orlando as a whole is $1,250 per month.

  • Walk Score: 38
  • Bike Score: 46
  • Transit Score: 34
  • Distance from City Center: 6.5 miles

6. Best Neighborhood for Disney Fans: Millenia

For those moving to Orlando who are true Disney fans, proximity and ease of access to the park and resorts may be a must-have when choosing a neighborhood. Are you an annual pass holder who wants to be able to easily swing by the park? Or do you want to enjoy resort dining and amenities? If so, Millenia could be the right place for you.

Millenia is still in Orlando, but just barely, and is one of the neighborhoods closest to Disney World.

  • Walk Score: 37
  • Bike Score: 33
  • Transit Score: 72
  • Distance from City Center: 8 miles

Do You Need to Hire Movers?

Get free, zero-commitment quotes from pro contractors near you.


If you decide to call Orlando home, the amusement park culture can be as little or as much of an influence on your neighborhood as you wish. The neighborhoods near the city center and the northern part of Orlando sport their own cultures. They have a sense of community that makes the amusement parks seem very far away.

When choosing a neighborhood, be sure to pay attention to the nearby schools if you have children in your home. Some Orlando public schools rate well below the state average. The school system itself falls squarely in the middle of the pack of Florida schools.

Home seekers will find homes across the city at a variety of price points and will surely be delighted by the trees, parks, and water that make Orlando the City Beautiful.

Kirbee Anderson
Kirbee Anderson

Kirbee is a licensed attorney and real estate broker, but DIY projects of all kinds call to her. Kirbee loves being at home with her husband, daughter, and dog and investing her time and energy into projects to make their home a unique and comfortable place for all of them. Her favorite projects include gardening, building new items, and creating solutions to manage clutter.

More by Kirbee Anderson