Moving to Orlando
Welcome to our comprehensive guide designed to make your transition to the 'City Beautiful' as smooth as possible! As you're contemplating a move to Orlando, FL, you're probably aware it's more than just the home of Mickey Mouse. From its thriving arts scene and lush, verdant parks to its bustling downtown and unique neighborhoods, Orlando offers a rich tapestry of experiences. So, whether you're heading here for a job, a change of scenery, or simply for the year-round sunshine, this guide is your personal roadmap to navigating and settling into your soon-to-be new hometown!
What to Know Before Moving to Orlando
1. The Sunshine State isn't Cliche!
Orlando is known as "The City Beautiful," and it holds true to its nickname with its gorgeous sunshine year-round! But don't be fooled by the 'Sunshine State' tag; Orlando can also surprise you with sudden, brief, and torrential afternoon downpours. So while you're packing up your beach essentials, don't forget to toss in an umbrella!
2. Blend of Culture and Cuisine
Orlando is not just about Disney world and Universal studios, this city boasts a vibrant mix of cultures and culinary delights. From traditional Southern comfort food to exotic international cuisines and farm-to-table restaurants, the food scene is irrefutably diverse. No matter where you come from or what your taste buds crave, Orlando's gastronomical landscape promises to satiate your every culinary fancy!
3. It's a Sports Haven!
If you're a sports enthusiast, Orlando will not disappoint! Home to the Orlando Magic NBA team and Orlando City Soccer Club, there's never a shortage of exciting athletic events. And note this, Orlando is one of the few cities to host Pro Bowl games and is a prime golfing destination, hosting the Arnold Palmer Invitational every year!
4. Water, anyone?
No, we're not talking about hydration (though given the Florida warmth you should definitely do that!). Did you know Orlando has over a hundred parks and 21 community centers providing aquatic programs? And here's a lesser-known fact- Orlando boasts more than 100 lakes! Residents can enjoy a plethora of water-based recreational activities including boating, fishing, and paddleboarding.
5. Let's talk about Space
Another perk of living in Orlando is its proximity to the Kennedy Space Center. Not only is it an amazing place to visit, but it also provides Orlandians the unique and awe-stunning opportunity to watch live rocket launches. Yes, you'll literally be watching history blast off!
6. The City is a Green Dream!
And here comes another little-known fact about this gem of a city. With 40% of the land of the city-area being water or green space, Orlando is committed to preserving its natural beauty. The city has over 50 miles of nature trails and over 40 city parks, some of which are amongst the largest in America. So get ready to indulge your inner nature lover!
Moving into Orlando, with its endless recreation, gorgeous weather, diverse culinary scene, not to mention the never-ending thrill of living near 'Mickey's home', is an adventure in itself. Come for the enticing theme parks or the mesmerizing space launch viewings or the eco-friendly environment with umpteen trails and parks- just get ready to discover and enjoy the hidden layers of fun and frolic that Orlando unfurls! So before you start obsessing about Mr. Mouse too much, remember that Orlando has a whole lot more to offer!
Pros and Cons of Living in Orlando
Pros of Living in Orlando
Year-Round Warm Weather
Orlando is known for its constant sunshine and warm, tropical climate which is enjoyed by residents all year round. If you enjoy outdoor activities and despise cold weather, Orlando would be an ideal place for you to live.
World Class Entertainment
Orlando is home to the world-famous Walt Disney World and Universal Studios, offering endless fun opportunities. The entertainment scene is always buzzing, with events, music festivals, and world-class dining available within the city.
Practical Cost of Living
Compared to other major cities and popular destinations in the U.S, Orlando has a relatively affordable cost of living. This includes healthcare, transportation, groceries, and general consumer goods, which are usually below or around the national average.
Diverse Job Market
The job market in Orlando is robust and diverse. Aside from tourism, there are many opportunities in sectors such as healthcare, education, and technology, making it appealing to a wide variety of professionals.
Natural Beauty and Outdoor Activities
With access to numerous beautiful beaches, natural springs, and parks, Orlando residents get to enjoy plenty of outdoor activities such as hiking, boating, or picnicking. Wildlife enthusiasts will also appreciate the city's proximity to various nature preserves.
Cons of Living in Orlando
Orlando's popular tourist destinations mean that the city often gets crowded, especially during holiday seasons. These crowds could lead to heavy traffic at times and longer wait times at restaurants and attractions.
Hot and Humid Summers
While the warm weather in Orlando is a pro for many, the summer months can get excessively hot and humid, sometimes reaching uncomfortable levels. This might not suit everyone, particularly those who prefer a cooler climate.
Lack of Public Transportation
Orlando is a city where a car is almost a necessity. The public transportation options are limited and often not very efficient or timely, which is a significant drawback for those without personal transportation.
Being situated in Florida, Orlando is at risk of hurricanes, especially from June to November. These storms can cause serious damage and disruptions, although the city is well-prepared and experienced in dealing with such events.
The warm, humid environment of Orlando encourages bugs and other pests, which may be an inconvenience. From mosquitoes to palmetto bugs, outdoor pests are prevalent, especially during the summertime.
Is Orlando a Good Place to Live?
Orlando, FL is a great place to live because of its sunny weather, outdoor activities including the world-class theme parks, and vibrant, multicultural community. It's also a foodie's paradise with an abundance of unique dining experiences and offers a lower cost of living compared to many other American cities. With its dynamic economy, strong job market, and array of arts and music festivals, Orlando offers an enviable quality of life.
What Is Orlando Famous For?
Orlando is famously home to Walt Disney World, the globe's largest and most frequented amusement park. With its four distinct parks - the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney's Hollywood Studios, and Disney's Animal Kingdom - as well as various resorts, golf courses, and water parks, Disney World provides a magical and imaginative experience for kids and adults alike.
Another centerpiece of Orlando's amusement park repertoire is Universal Studios. Known for its exciting rides and attractions that bring popular movies and TV shows to life, this park hands over an unforgettable experience. It's home to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, a unique attraction that draws millions of Potterheads annually.
National Training Center
The city of Orlando is known for being a hub for American sports, with the National Training Center as a key spot. This state-of-the-art sports and fitness facility is one of the best in the world, providing top-notch training programs for athletes. The NTC has even played a crucial role in training numerous Olympians and Paralympians.
The Orlando Science Center
Known for its hands-on approach to learning, the Orlando Science Center is a remarkably engaging institution. It's a leading science museum that offers interactive exhibits and displays captivating for both children and parents. There is always something new and exciting to discover!
Overview of Tax Rates
The property tax rate in Orlando, Florida as of 2023 is around 0.98% of the property's assessed fair market value, which is below the national average of 1.07%. Florida's property taxes are primarily based on property valuation and classification.
Orlando, Florida has a combined city and state sales tax rate of 6.5% as of 2023. This is relatively average compared to the rest of the United States with Tennessee having the highest sales tax at 9.55%.
Florida is one of the seven states that do not collect personal income tax. Therefore, residents of Orlando do not pay state income tax, regardless of their income level. This lowers the tax burden for Orlando residents significantly compared to states with high personal income tax rates such as California.
The Orlando, FL housing market presents significant potential advantages for both renters and buyers. Property prices remain relatively moderate compared to other US markets, with a median house price around $275,000, making homeownership more accessible. The city's growth and thriving economy also make it a promising arena for property investment. For renters, Orlando offers competitive rental rates alongside high-quality living standards. However, due to Orlando's popularity as a tourist destination, rental availability can fluctuate, especially in peak seasons. For both buyers and renters, Orlando's housing market offers significant benefits but requires informed decision-making and timing.
Cost of Living
Orlando, FL offers a cost of living that aligns reasonably with the national average, making it an attractive locale for both families and businesses. Although the housing market is somewhat more expensive relative to other Florida cities, it still remains affordable when compared to major metropolitan areas nationwide. Other living expenses such as utilities and health care are slightly lower than national averages. In sum, Orlando presents a balance of affordability and lifestyle, making it a desirable choice for many.
Weather & Natural Disasters
Orlando, Florida, boasts a humid subtropical climate characterized by hot, humid summers and mild, drier winters. Summer temperatures often exceed 90degF, punctuated by frequent afternoon showers and thunderstorms. The winter months bring average highs in the 70sdegF, providing a welcome respite from the heat. Tropical cyclone activity can impact Orlando from June to November during the Atlantic hurricane season, with peak activity typically in September. Orlando is relatively sheltered from direct hurricane landfalls due to its inland location, but it's not immune to hurricane impacts, including excessive rainfall, strong winds, and occasional tornadoes. Despite these potential risks, Orlando's generally warm and sunny climate is a major draw for both residents and visitors.
Economy & Job Market
Tourism and Hospitality
Construction and Real Estate
When you think Orlando, FL, the Magic Kingdom might be the first thing that comes to your mind, and you wouldn't be entirely wrong - tourism and hospitality is indeed a major contributor to Orlando's economy. This vibrant city has historically been the dream vacation spot for many, which propelled its tourism industry to new heights. But the glistening surface of Orlando isn't all theme parks and Mickey Mouse shaped ice-creams; the real magic happens beyond the Cinderella's castle. Today, Orlando's economy is diversified and booming with healthcare, technology, education, and construction playing crucial roles as well. It's the nation's hub for modeling, simulation and training technology and a recognized medicinal city with top-rated hospitals and bio-sciences.
If you are planning to move to Orlando, FL, it's a fantastic place to look for a job! The diversification of the economy has created an employment market teeming with opportunities in various sectors. With an unemployment rate below the national average pre-pandemic, there's plenty of work to go around in the City Beautiful. The hospitality and healthcare sectors are the city's largest employers but the technology and education sectors are seeing sharp growth as well. Also, given the continuous housing boom, there is also an increase in construction and real estate jobs. So, whether you're a doctor or a game developer, teacher or a construction worker, Orlando's job market has a place for you!
Traffic and Transportation
Welcome to the bustling hub of Orlando, FL, where palm trees gently sway on the edges of our busy roadways! Orlando's average commute time charmingly clocks in at about 26 minutes - just enough time to jam out to your favorite tunes! But hey, if you fancy trading a steering wheel for a good book, take a spin on our public transportation system. We've got LYNX buses shimmying their way around Orange, Osceola and Seminole counties, not to mention the SunRail train rattling through the heart of the city. Lastly, air travelers can embark on sky-high adventures from Orlando International Airport, Gateway to the Sunshine State, providing non-stop flights to more than 130 domestic and international destinations. So, no matter how you choose to navigate, Orlando, FL boasts a buffet of transportation options suited to adventure seekers and 9-to-5 commuters, alike!
Best Neighborhoods in Orlando
1. Baldwin Park
Once a Naval Training Center, Baldwin Park has transformed itself into a model of suburban sophistication and charm. If you're looking to move to a pedestrian-friendly neighborhood that perfectly blends residential, commercial, and recreational spaces into one, then Baldwin Park is the place for you! Here, you'll discover tree-lined streets, a wide array of restaurants, chic boutiques, trails around Lake Baldwin for biking and walking, and community events like art festivals and farmer's markets.
2. Winter Park
Just a short drive from downtown Orlando, Winter Park exudes charm with its brick-lined streets, upscale shops, and world-class restaurants. Renowned for the beautiful Rollins College and its stunning campus, Winter Park also boasts the Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art, home to the world's largest collection of Tiffany glass. Winter Park is a paradise for those who love culture, aesthetics, and a sophisticated, yet comfortable, environment.
3. Thornton Park
If a hip, urban environment complete with colorful bungalows, enchanting brick-lined streets, and some of Orlando's top restaurants sounds appealing, welcome to Thornton Park. This downtown neighborhood is just a short stroll from Lake Eola Park, making it perfect for those who like being at the heart of the action. You'll find plenty to do here with an eclectic mix of dining spots, unique boutiques, and vibrant nightlife options.
4. College Park
Don't be fooled by the name - College Park is for everyone! This lively neighborhood, named for its streets that pay tribute to famous colleges like Harvard and Yale, is brimming with a charm all its own. It's teeming with small-town charm while offering striking views of downtown Orlando along its Edgewater Drive. Known for its unique local shops, dining establishments, and events such as the annual Dancing on the Drive street party, College Park is perfect if you appreciate a close-knit, energetic community.
5. Lake Nona
Described as a city within a city, Lake Nona is a rapidly growing, innovative neighborhood in Orlando. From a top-rated education system to a thriving bioscience cluster - the 'Medical City', Lake Nona caters to families and professionals alike. The neighborhood is also home to Lake Nona Golf & Country Club, a championship-level golf course. Walking paths, lush landscapes, and an array of dining and shopping establishments make Lake Nona a great all-around choice.
Each of Orlando's neighborhoods brings a distinct flavor and unique attractions. Thus, choosing a neighborhood is just as important as choosing the house itself. The vibe of the place, the ambiance and the crowd it caters to are crucial factors to consider. So, whether your style is cutting edge urban, charming suburban, or somewhere in between, Orlando truly offers a little something for everyone.
Things to Do
Are you moving to Orlando, FL and wondering what top things you should do there? Well, it's not all about Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando Resort, although they do make our list! This vibrant city boasts a rich scene full of food, music, art, and plenty of outdoor activities. We're not going to bore you with your average places to visit, but rather share some unique and lesser-known charms of the city. Let's dive in!
1. Walt Disney World
No trip to Orlando is complete without a stop at the happiest place on Earth. Besides the main Disney park, there's Disney's Animal Kingdom, EPCOT, and Disney's Hollywood Studios. You can easily spend days exploring the different worlds and rides each park has to offer.
2. Universal Orlando Resort
Do you crave thrilling roller coasters and being a part of movie magic? Universal Orlando Resort is your stop. Ride the Hogwarts Express between the Wizarding World of Harry Potter parts of the park, and don't miss Jurassic Park River Adventure.
3. Visit Lake Eola Park
Nestled in the heart of downtown Orlando, Lake Eola Park is a beautiful sanctuary. You can rent a swan-shaped paddle boat, walk around the lake, or simply relax in a shaded area. The park is also home to the Walt Disney Amphitheater, which hosts numerous events throughout the year.
4. Explore Harry P. Leu Gardens
Few cities can boast a 50-acre botanical oasis, but Orlando can! When you feel like stepping back from the hustle and bustle of the city, the Harry P. Leu Gardens are a serene haven of beauty and tranquility. From the stunning rose garden to the serene butterfly garden, there's something to captivate everyone.
5. Check Out Ivanhoe Village
This neighborhood is one of Orlando's best-kept secrets. Teeming with local boutiques, hip bars, and eateries, Ivanhoe Village is an enchanting place to spend an afternoon. Don't miss "The Hammered Lamb", a fun bar with a scenic view of Lake Ivanhoe and one of the best Bloody Mary bars around.
6. Experience Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens
A unique Orlando gem, the Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens is dedicated to preserving the works of the Czech-born American artist. The museum is located in Polasek's home and is an intimate glimpse into his life and the stunning artwork he created. The gardens surrounding the home are also stunning and offer a peaceful retreat.
7. Try Something Different at the Orlando Science Center
For those moving to Orlando with kids (or even those who are kids at heart), the Orlando Science Center is a must-visit. Filled with interactive exhibits on the natural world, astronomy, and technology, it makes learning fun and exciting!
Whether you're in Orlando for its world-renowned amusement parks or its hidden gems, the City Beautiful has so much to offer. The vibrant neighborhoods, breath-taking nature, and diverse food and drink scene make Orlando more than just a tourist trap. It's a place with something for everyone, whether you're a thrill-seeker, foodie, or nature lover. Come live life the Orlando way!
Find Movers for Your Orlando Relocation
Moving to Orlando offers an exciting world of sunshine, Disney magic, economic growth, and a vibrant culture. Still, making the move can feel intimidating without the right assistance. With Great Guys Moving, a stress-free transition can be just a click away. This moving service connects you with top-notch, affordable movers ready to make your Orlando dream a reality. Known for their speed, dependability, and integrity, these licensed and insured movers can take a load off your shoulders. Why wait? Request your free moving quote from Great Guys Moving today, and start making magic in Orlando.
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