What started out as a small, out of the way town encompassing only four square miles in 1875, Orlando Florida has blossomed into a city covering over 100 square miles with a greater metropolitan population of 2 million people. The availability of year-around sunshine and an average annual temperature of 82 degrees has made Orlando a great place to visit, and also a great place to live. The greater Orlando area is home to at least a dozen colleges and universities.Companies such as Federal Express, NBC Universal, JetBlue, The Walt Disney Company, and other major employers are proud to have settled in Orlando or have a major presence in the community.
South Eola District
Located in the heart of Orlando, South Eola is commonly known as the “Best little neighborhood in Orlando.” With a walk score of 93, South Eola is a “Walkers paradise.” Clustered around Lake Eola, there are plenty of things to do, places to eat and of course fantastic places to live. Located along the shore of Lake Eola is Relax Grill. Considered by many locals to be Orlando’s most lovely and inviting spot, Relax Grill offers a magnificent view of the lake and a menu that combines the best of American, Middle Eastern and Greek cuisines. Because the area offers so many amenities, condominiums and well known businesses, South Eola is a destination where you can “Taste it, do it, live it, and earn it.”
Central Business District
Located adjacent to South Eola is Orlando’s Central Business District. While this is commonly known as the heart of the Orlando’s business and commerce, it’s not all business. In fact, Orlando’s Central Business District (known by the locals as the CBD) is home to a fantastic farmer’s market, and the annual Orlando Film Festival. The CBD is well known for its arts community; Orlando’s Loch Haven Park is home to Orlando’s Philharmonic Orchestra, Orlando’s Shakespeare Festival, and the Orlando Museum of Art. Sports enthusiasts will enjoy attending the annual Florida Citrus Bowl football classic, Orlando Magic’s NBA games and for those who like more “active” sports will enjoy the Central Florida Trail which offers plenty of walking, jogging and biking, all within the CBD.
Just to the west of South Eola and The Central Business District is the Thornton Park neighborhood. Thornton Park has a very cosmopolitan feel to it and is home to fine dining restaurants, fashion boutiques and fabulous condominiums such as The Sanctuary and The Waverly. Thornton Park always has a steady influx of young professionals and urbanites who appreciate this luxurious neighborhood. A couple of popular stops in Thornton Park are the CityFish Restaurant and The Virgin Olive Market. Known to the locals as “The Neighborhood Noshery,” The Virgin Olive Market is a great eat-in or take-out establishment.
Lake Eola Heights
Lake Eola Heights was officially designated a local historic district in 1989. It’s also listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. Covering an area of approximately 38 city blocks, Lake Eola Heights offers a fantastic mix of old style architecture and modern living. Lake Eola Heights is a place of living history; home to such famous places as the Jack Kerouac House, the Firestone Tire & Rubber Company Building, and the old Orlando Railroad Building.
East Central Park
Only two miles away from downtown Orlando and the Central Business district, East Central Park is a hidden residential gem that features some great places to visit and “just hang out at.” Petey’s NY Pizza is widely regarded as Orlando’s best Italian dining experience. And just a short drive from the East Central Park neighborhood is the Rainforest Café. Self described as “A wild place to shop and eat,” its part restaurant and part adventure. Is it a jungle excursion or a place to grab a bite? It’s a little of both!