By Patrick Galvan, Storage.com
Orlando, Fla., is known for being a major tourist city. What outsiders may not know, however, is that it’s a great city for urbanites, snowbirds, families, and retirees alike. That’s why we’ve assembled a countdown of awesome tidbits you’ll want to know before moving to Orlando!
10. THE CITY BEAUTIFUL.
Orlando’s nickname is “The City Beautiful,” and it’s no mystery why. With its lovely architecture, lush green trees, clear blue skies, and surrounding wetlands, Orlando definitely lives up to its beautiful reputation. You can’t beat the weather either. As a city in Central Florida, Orlando is generally warm and humid year-round with temperatures rarely falling below 70°F. It almost never snows, and when it does, it melts almost instantly. In other words, if you’re moving to Orlando, plowing your driveway is a thing of the past!
9. THEME PARKS FOR DAYS.
Obviously, Orlando is best known as a vacation destination. With attractions like Walt Disney World, Universal Studios Orlando (also home to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter), and SeaWorld Orlando, Orlando was able to set an all-time record with more than 59 million visitors in 2013, beating out New York City for the bragging rights of most-visited city in the U.S. Although these parks clearly attract people from outside of Florida, they make perfect “staycations” for residents, who don’t have to fly or drive thousands of miles just to get away. Also, these parks have water parks, too, which are great when Orlando gets those humid 90°F (and higher) days in the summer. Universal Orlando has Wet ‘n Wild with everything from kid-friendly zones and wave pools to water slides; SeaWorld Orlando has Aquatica, which is home to the thrilling Ihu’s Breakway Falls; and Disney World has both Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach.
8. COLLEGE IN THE SUNSHINE STATE.
Did somebody say college? Orlando’s University of Central Florida currently enrolls more undergraduate students (51,269) than any other college in the country. There’s also Valencia College that’s one of the top schools for associate degrees and general studies. The school’s film program was even called “one of the best film schools in the country” by none other than Steven Spielberg! As for aspiring lawyers, Florida A&M University College of Law is the place to be. And, of course, Orlando also has several private institutions, including Belhaven University, Columbia College, and Hindu University of America.
Are you a UCF student that needs storage this summer? Find storage units near University of Central Florida!
7. DOWNTOWN IS HAPPENING.
Whether you’re looking for urban living, retail spaces, dining and nightlife, or arts and entertainment, Downtown Orlando has you covered. You can catch a concert or an Orlando Magic basketball game at Amway Center. Or perhaps you care to take in an Orlando Ballet performance at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts. If you’re interested in the downtown bar scene, try one of the 100 different tequilas at Don Jefe’s Tequila Parlour, or stop by Frank & Stein’s brew-pub for a craft beer paired with a game of pool, darts, or skeeball. Of course, there are several museums you can visit as well, including The Orange County Regional History Center, Mennello Museum of American Art, and Orlando Museum of Art.
6. SHOP TILL YOU DROP.
Orlando has four grand-scale shopping malls—The Florida Mall, the Mall at Millenia, Orlando Fashion Square, and Artegon Marketplace—that can fulfill the desires of any shopper. There’s everything from department stores like Macy’s and JCPenney to designers like Michael Kors, Prada, Versace, Chanel, and Gucci. Needless to say, if you can’t find a store at one mall, another mall is certain to have it.
5. LOOKING FOR A JOB?
Because Orlando is a major tourist city, it’s not surprising that Disney World is the city’s number one employer, providing jobs for more than 60,000 people. However, theme parks aren’t the only viable options around. Aspiring teachers will be pleased to know that Orange County Public Schools employs more than 50,000 while doctors, nurses, and other health care professionals will take comfort in the thriving Florida Hospital and Orlando Health systems, which employ more than 26,000 combined. If a new employment opportunity is in the cards for you, Orlando is definitely a good place to start a career.
4. BRING YOUR GOLF CLUBS.
With the lovely Florida weather, Orlando’s golf courses are prime venues for anyone who loves outdoor recreation. Check out Grande Pines, which was designed by famous course architect and designer Steve Smyers. Hunter’s Creek and MetroWest Golf Club are must-plays as well. If you can’t get a tee time at one of these courses, don’t worry! There are plenty of golf courses in Orlando and its surrounding suburbs!
3. CALLING ALL FOOD LOVERS.
Orlando’s food scene is eclectic, to say the least. With restaurants featuring global cuisine everywhere from Asian and Indian to Mexican and Brazilian, you’re sure to find dishes you like. For example, if you’re a fan of barbecue, try 4 Rivers Smokehouse, Yellow Dog Eats, or The Ravenous Pig, all of which were ranked in USA Today’s 10 best restaurants in Orlando. Burger enthusiasts will want to swing by Graffiti Junktion, voted Best Burger in Orlando by Orlando Weekly and Orlando Magazine. Or if you love comfort food, grab Ricotta Gnocchi and a glass of wine at K Restaurant, which tops several lists and local reviews on Yelp.
2. A GREAT PLACE TO RETIRE.
The constant sunshine, golf courses, and recreation opportunities make Florida a popular state for retirees. Orlando made Forbes’ 25 Best Places to Retire in 2013, and personal finance research site WalletHub.com ranked Orlando at number three in its top ten cities for retirement in 2014. Most of this is due to Orlando’s relatively low cost of living for its location (0.6% above national average). Even its median home price falls in the $160,000 range, which is fairly affordable. Low crime rates and no state income tax also round out the list of reasons why anyone looking for a retirement city would choose Orlando.
Is there anything we left out? Tell us what you think makes living in Orlando special!
If you’re moving to Orlando and need storage space to help with the transition, view Storage.com’s directory of storage units in Orlando, Florida.
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