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What to Know Before Moving to Orlando:

Orlando, Florida’s largest inland city, is notably recognized as “the most magical place on earth.” Adults and children alike dream of meeting Mickey Mouse, eating breakfast with the princesses, and waltzing through Cinderella’s Castle. Snowbirds journey annually to enjoy the warm weather and the decadent resorts draw national and international guests. Although it is not the city’s only source of revenue, tourism brings over 75 million guests to local hotels, resorts, and attractions infusing its economy with over $75.2 billion annually. So, whether you come to spend in the economy, or you come to help build the economy, we have some helpful tips as you prepare.

Find All You Need to Know About Moving to Orlando

So you’re ready to move to the Beautiful City?  We’ve created this resource to provide you with everything you need for your Orlando move, right at your fingertips.  Check out the links below for everything you need to know before,  during, and after your move.  

Orlando Places to Live
Orlando Places to Live

Great Places to Live in Orlando:

Finding the right place to live for your ideal lifestyle is about finding a delicate balance between salaries, expenses, education, activity, and distance to work. This is why it is important to consider the cost of living, schools, and overall safety when researching the best place to live. Below are some of the most popular places to live in the Orlando area and some general information about each.

Baldwin Park

With a population of 6,200, Baldwin Park ranks at the top of the list of popular places to live in the Orlando region.  Many young liberal professionals and families choose this location because of the urban suburban atmosphere.  Statistically, residents here hold a master’s degree, earn a median salary of $69,000, and prefer to rent their homes rather than own them, paying an average of $1400 a month.   Trendy coffee shops, cozy restaurants, and impressive parks draw many Floridians here to enjoy the bucolic scenery and vibrant neighborhood.  The public schools here offer a quality education and are highly rated in their safety and in their education. Orlando Science Middle/High Charter School is ranked as the best middle/high school in the Orlando area with an overall A+ Overall Niche Grade as scored by Niche.com. Orlando Science Middle/High Charter School excels across the board in academics and offers a student-teacher ratio of 16 to 1. Similarly ranked with an A+ Niche Overall Grade, Winter Park High School may not excel quite as high in overall academics but is recognized as 12th in the state for best public high school teachers in Florida. Oakland Avenue Charter School and Hope Charter School follow closely behind, still rating in the A realm.  Families remain safe in this neighborhood as the crime rate falls far below the national average.

Colonialtown North

Coming in second on the list of places to live in Orlando, Colonialtown North offers a quiet, slower-paced neighborhood catering to young families and professionals.  With a population of 3100, most residents earn an average of $82,000 annually and spend $1300 on a home mortgage.  Sixty-two percent of the local residents hold a bachelor’s degree or master’s degree, resulting in a community that emphasizes education and learning. Winter Park High School, Oakland Avenue Charter School, and Hope Charter School also serve the Colonialtown North community.  Although not entirely free of crime, the crime rate is far below the national average.

Delaney Park

With a population of just over a thousand, and a median home value of $381,000, young professionals choose to own their home in the densely suburban section of Orange County known as Delaney Park.  Established families here gather an average salary of $78,000, and prove a B+ grade of ethnic diversity (link).  Following other neighborhoods in Orange County, crime rates are far lower than the national average.  Parents choose this location based on its safe, pleasant neighborhood, and its highly rated education service from Oakland Avenue Charter School and Hope Charter School.

Winter Park

Not every business professional, young family, or retiree prefers the urban feel of the first three listed neighborhoods.  Over 30,000 people have chosen the downtown perks of Winter Park.  Its close proximity to I-4 gives it a busy and fast-paced lifestyle.  Annual household incomes average $79,000, while the average home value reaches $400,000.  This space offers access to many restaurants, coffee shops, bars, and shops.  Intricately located within the middle of the city limits are several small ponds and lakes.  These beautiful spaces offer residents a relaxing atmosphere combining the beauty of the beach with the comfort of their own address.  Winter Parks school aged children benefit from the highly effective public school system.  Each major school in the public school system rates with an A.  Orlando Science Middle/High School and Winter Park High School top the charts with A+s, while Orlando Science Elementary, Dommerich Elementary, and Audubon Park Elementary School follow close behind with As and A-s.  Naturally, with a more highly populated neighborhood and a close connection with a busy interstate, Winter Park’s crime rate is higher than its neighboring sections, but still slightly lower than the national average.


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Orlando Careers and Opportunities
Orlando Careers and Opportunities

Career Opportunities & Industries in Orlando:

Prominent Orlando job markets include real estate, hospitality jobs such as hotel attendants and theme park service members, and trade jobs.  With a continually growing economy and booming metropolis, trade workers are vital to road crews, residential and commercial construction and maintenance, and HVAC teams! (obviously, with a year-round summer climate!  Nobody has time for a broken air conditioner!!)

The metropolis of Orlando includes 1.7 million people and roughly 105,000 businesses.   According to The Orlando Chamber of Commerce, the Orlando economy added 1500 businesses in 2018, to bring the employment total to 1.5 million people. With over 8,500 companies,  Professional Services tops the list of businesses in the Orlando area.  There are over 8500 companies that cater to the Professional Services economy.  Restaurants come in second place with 3,148 places of business, and Personal Services and Consultants come in a close third with 3,106 companies. 

Professional Services would include vocations like a Corporate Controller with experience in both finance and accounting.  Salaries range from $80,000-$95,000 annually.  Confidential looks for candidates capable in financial planning, financial strategy, and banking.  Along the lines of banking, a June 2019 article in Orlando Business Journal lists Fairwinds Credit Union as the top earner of best places to work in Orlando.  Scoring second on the same list with a performance rate of 89%, FBC Mortgage with its 294 employees, provides residential mortgage lending throughout retail and wholesale/correspondent divisions.  The Orlando Magic NBA sports team scores big with a 88% performance record.  Its team consists of 295 members who are dedicated to quality service and a professional game face in the Orlando business world.  

With over 3100 businesses, restaurants and eateries rank second in the industrial economy.  The Orlando area is flooded with tourists and snowbirds many months out of the year, making the “out-to-eat” option a necessity, not just a luxury.  As of April 27, 2020, an executive chef in the Orlando area cooks up a median salary of $66,000.  Of course, pay is determined by kind of restaurant, personal certifications, additional skills, and years spent in the profession.  Along with Executive chefs, sous chefs, general managers, and servers are needed to meet the high demands of the food service industry.  Food service companies are also hot commodities for events such as weddings, graduations, retirement parties, and family get-togethers.  With 5-star ratings, these three catering services have topped the list for exquisite dining.  Puff ‘N Stuff provides an extended array of cuisine options, including American, ethnic, continental, vegan, dietary restrictive needs.  They use state of the art techniques and menu options.  

Primarily serving the Orlando, Daytona, Tampa, and Central Florida areas, Cocktails Catering has planned and served spectacular events for nearly a decade.  Their professional staff and delicious food are sure to be just the ticket to celebrate your special day.  

Beaches and sunshine draw many couples to central Florida for their dream wedding.  John Michael Exquisite Weddings and Catering is a full service planning company prepared and ready to provide event packages that leave you worry free.  This company provides table set-up, linens, personnel, food, decor, and atmosphere.  

Personal Services and Consultants come in a close third position for the top job market options.  Much like the professional services, the personal services provide financial, strategic, and planning options for individuals.  

Other Central Florida job opportunities, according to a 2017 listing on OrlandoJobs.com, include healthcare, education, skill trades, technology, and construction.

Orlando Things to Do
Orlando Things to Do

Things to do in Orlando:

Beaches Near Orlando:

It is hard to plan a trip or a move to Florida without considering several trips to the beach.  Warm sunshine, bowing palm trees, white sand, and crystal waves-there is something so welcoming and so relaxing about the beach.  Orlando offers dozens of options for seaside tanning and dockside dining.  With its central location, Orlando guests can take advantage of either gulfside or oceanside beaches.  Vero Beach, a mere two hour drive from Orlando, is known for its luxurious downtown and its illustrious nature preserve on the Indian River Lagoon.  Travelers enjoy kayaking down the river or walking along the sandy coves.

Cocoa Beach calls to the spring break crowd and the surfing community.  Cocoa is the international headquarters for the Ron Jon Surf Shop.  Its iconic retail store proudly boasts of 52,000 square feet of beachwear and accessories.  From t-shirts and sunglasses to paddle boards and floaties, you are sure to find all that you need when spending time on the beachfront.  If reading or relaxing does not suit you, be sure to apply for surfing lessons!  Ron Jon Surfing School trains surfers of all ages to ride the waves.  

Four major cruising lines launch from Port Canaveral. Head on over to Space Coast to watch the ships come to port or launch out into the deep.  You will see ships from the Norwegian Cruise Line, the Disney Cruise Line, the Carnival Cruise Line, or the Royal Caribbean Cruise Line making their way to the luxurious islands of the Caribbean.  On a more scientific theme, Orlando has a draw to space travelers and astronauts with the The Kennedy Space Center named as the birthplace of America’s space industry.  Take a morning or afternoon to visit some of the amazing exhibits from man’s voyage to the moon, the space shuttle Atlantis, or the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame.  If you time your visit just right, you may even see a rocket launch!

Port Canaveral also offers tourists the chance to explore the Canaveral National Seashore and the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge.  Nature shows its glory and prestige as bald eagles fly overhead and manatees glide through the canals and waterways.

Daytona Beach draws Nascar fans from all over the world and is often called the “World’s Most Famous Beach.”  From May to October, guests enjoy free concerts, shows, and fireworks.  Activities for kids and adults along the pier and the boardwalk make this a favored spot for residents and tourists.  

Many Orlandoans consider New Smyrna Beach to be “the locals beach.”  Old Florida shops, unique boutiques, and casual eateries line the five blocks of Flagler Avenue.  

Established in 1565 as the first settlement in the United States, St. Augustine models a historic European city style.  Scores of people come to visit the legendary “Fountain of Youth”, the infamous St. Augustine Lighthouse, or swim with the dolphins at the St. Augustine Alligator Farm and Marineland.  

Theme Parks in Orlando:

Orlando offers just about any kind of theme park one could imagine.  Holding on to the favorites of the past and continually to imagine possibilities of the future the theme parks of Orlando reach the young and the dreamers.  Dreams come true at the Walt Disney World Resort, and you really do feel magical standing in front of Cinderella’s Castle! Here families and friends create memories of a lifetime by exploring and enjoying Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Animal Kingdom, Disney Hollywood Studios and a couple of water parks: Typhoon Lagoon, and Blizzard Beach.  Harry Potter lovers and Universal movie fans find much to enjoy at the Universal Orlando Resort. Attractions of favorite movie characters and rides simulating famous movie scenes attract the pop-culture crowd.

SeaWorld leaves crowds amazed as ginormous aquatic animals put on talent shows and amaze with their trained behavior.  Folks tap into their inner child as they plunge down one of the 47 waterslides, tackle wave pools, and stroll down serene beaches.

Museums in Orlando

Museums in Orlando offer a quieter, slower pace compared to the hustle of the Disney Parks, or an activity to line your itinerary on the rainy days.  Visit the mid-sized Orlando Museum of Art in the northern section of Orlando, that houses specific Floridian art and eclectic exhibits.  The Orlando Science Center appeals to young learners with hands-on exhibits, IMAX theaters, and exciting experiments and educational displays. Be sure to stop by Ripley’s Believe it or Not!  It is sure to leave you amazed and questioning things you never thought existed.

Shopping and Restaurants in Orlando

Shopping in Orlando does not have to be only for Bermuda shorts, flip-flops, bathing suits, and tanning lotion.  Many day trippers love to spend the day at one of three expansive shopping centers: Mall at Millenia, Disney Springs, or Orlando Premium Outlets-Vineland Ave.

Along with the 5-star rated restaurants, there are several “mom and pop” shops that should be added to your list of eating spots.  Head over to Woodsby’s Countryside Cafe, known for its famous grits and home-cooked meals.  Here is a list of Orlando’s top 10 homestyle eateries.

Sports in Orlando:

Though it is mostly known for its theme parks and its beaches, there are several professional sporting programs that call thousands to its stadiums.  The Orlando Magic, established in 1989 as a franchise expansion, brings the “magic” to the professional basketball community as they wow crowds in the Amway Center. The Orlando Rays bring the heat to the baseball community being class AA affiliates of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. Nascar fans are all too familiar with the Daytona International Speedway and the famous racers it draws in.

Major League Soccer is making quite a presence on the professional scene.  The Orlando City Soccer Club, the 20th professional soccer team to join the league, was founded in 2015 and maintains quite an impressive roster of national and European players.

So, whether you are coming to stroll the beaches, cheer on your favorite basketball team, or putting down new roots, Orlando has the scenery that captivates, the neighborhoods that welcome, and the job market that can capitalize your economic strengths.

Getting Around Town – Transportation in Orlando:

Public transport in Orlando includes the Orlando International Airport, offering air transport to cities and all over the continental states and the international realm.  The LYNX bus service is a local bus route providing transportation to Orange County and its surrounding parts.  This bus service provides transport to nearly 90,000 passengers a day.  The LYMMO provides fare-free rides to Orlando residents and employees and visitors, connecting them to local ships, restaurants, and businesses.  There are several other rail options through SunRail, Amtrak, and Brightline.

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