There’s something magical going on in Orlando, and it’s not just on the basketball court. According to an annual report published by Forbes this past winter, Orlando ranks as the second fastest-growing city in America amongst 100 of the country’s largest metropolitan areas. Most impressively, Orlando posted the nation’s highest job growth percentage (4.6%) in 2016 and projects to be in the discussion again at year’s end.
Whether for work or pleasure, Orlando is swiftly becoming a high-profile destination, likely because of its family-friendly proximity to the Walt Disney World Resort and promises of sunny beachgoing year-round. Long-time Orlandoans understand, however, that while many of the perks of Central Florida living are real and rewarding, there are important city details that out-of-towners can only get from tenured natives.
To help the Orlando newcomer in your life understand their new home a little better, here are five things all first-time visitors should know:
1. Orlando Has Three Airports
To put this in context, New York City has two, so Orlando already earns high marks as a convenient travel hub since visitors have more freedom choosing where they land. Orlando International Airport is the most well-known, but there’s also the Orlando Sanford Airport located roughly half-an-hour north, as well as the Orlando Executive Airport for charter passengers.
Those unfamiliar with the city may think that the international airport is their best bet, even though they may be staying in a place that’s closer to Sanford—or vice versa. When planning your trip or move to Orlando, make sure to check where your home or accommodations are located in relation to the three airports.
2. A Day at the Beach Requires Some Light Travel
Incoming residents may imagine themselves walking out their front door right onto the beach, but that isn’t exactly the truth. The two closest beaches, Cocoa and Daytona Beach, are about an hour away by car. Luckily, there’s no shortage of hotels and resorts to help Orlando residents capture that sweet feeling of sunny luxury. Whether you’re an experience-hungry tourist or a long-time resident looking for a few hours away from home after a grueling bathroom remodeling or exterior renovation project, you won’t have to trek all the way to the beach to find a fulfilling Florida experience.
3. Don’t Sweat Downtown Parking
Especially in this humidity! If you’re staying in the downtown area, you’ll quickly become familiar with the International Drive, or I-Drive. One of Orlando’s main thoroughfares, the 11.1-mile stretch is located just southwest of downtown Orlando. Many of the city’s finest resorts and eateries are located here, and as such, there is already an established transit system to help visitors get around: the I-Ride Trolley. Many of the nearby theme parks and tourist attractions have transit agreements with the trolley system, so this is an excellent ride solution for those looking to see the major sights without struggling to find parking.
4. Make Sure to Take a Stroll Through Restaurant Row
Five minutes away from the Orange County Convention Center downtown is a well-known stretch of restaurants that offer Orlando’s most eclectic cuisine: Restaurant Row. There are plenty of places to get a burger or other tastes of Americana, but the eateries that populate The Row will also satisfy your cravings for foreign fare. With a roster that includes Bosphorous Turkish Cuisine and Roy Yamaguchi’s Polynesian Restaurant, there’s a place for every palate.
5. Come Prepared for Rain
Many flock to Florida for the promise of warm, sun-kissed outdoor adventures year-round, but this isn’t the complete reality. Orlando has a substantial rain season that spans from mid-May to October, and the city averages just over 50 inches of annual rainfall. If you’re moving to Orlando, you’re likely aware and will gradually adapt to the weather’s ebb and flow, but visitors that have strict itineraries filled with theme park visits should check the multi-day forecast before booking reservations.
There’s a reason Orlando is becoming such a popular destination for incoming residents and tourists alike; it’s a dynamic and ever-growing city with attractions to suit all tastes. Because it’s constantly changing, though, there are aspects of life in the city that don’t always sync with the expectations of those that don’t live in the area. If you have friends or family considering a short or long-term stay in Orlando, make sure to pass along these informative tidbits along with your own personal experience as a resident.
If you know someone planning to move to Orlando who’s currently in the middle of a purchasing a new home, make sure you recommend the area’s top home inspection service to guarantee that he or she gets the most honest assessment of their future home.
Since 2007, Advanced Look Property Inspections, LLC. has been one of the most preferred condo, townhouse, and single-family home inspectors in Metro Orlando and its surrounding areas. We’ve inspected hundreds-of-thousands of square feet of local real estate and are familiar with the way Central Florida homes are built. There’s simply no better option than Advanced Look Property Inspections, LLC. We provide comprehensive inspections and reporting on over 400 distinct home items to give buyers and sellers the best assessment of a property’s durability and functionality.
To learn more about our inspection reporting process, or to schedule your own Advanced Look Home Inspection, give us a call today at (407) 310-2828.
It will be the best move you’ll ever make!
*Home Inspection Areas include: Orlando, Kissimmee, Poinciana, Saint Cloud, Davenport, Clermont, Windermere, Celebration, Winter Garden, Ocoee, Apopka, Altamonte Springs, Lake Mary, Sanford, Deltona, Deland, Winter Park, Maitland, Casselberry, Longwood, Winter Springs, Oviedo, Avalon Park, Lake Nona