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Orlando Neighborhood Guide
While there are a number of worth-a-drive-by spots in Orlando, we put together a list of what we considered to be its top neighborhoods. From charming 1900s homes to hipster havens and locally active scenes, these neighborhoods thrive with authenticity.
Popular Neighborhoods in Orlando
Listed on the National Registry of Historic Places, cobblestone streets lined and charmingly old moss-covered oaks make Winter Park Orlando’s quintessential "old money" neighborhood, and a great family-friendly attraction. The posh enclave is also host to a renowned farmers market and some of Orlando’s best boutiques and museums. From its shops and bistros to its festivals and farmers' markets, the tiny town of Winter Park is a gem for well-to-do residents and a must-see for anyone getting to know the real Orlando.
A quaint but unassuming neighborhood, College Park takes its name from its many streets named after colleges like Harvard, Princeton, and Yale. Its direct proximity to downtown Orlando also heightens its appeal, as do its local retailers and award-winning restaurants.
Perhaps the city's most stylish district, the cobblestone streets, quaint boutiques, superior dining and bustling arts village, lends Thornton Park an old-European atmosphere that’s worth the visit. Peruse the local art or enjoy the craftsman-style architecture in this hip and urban, yet relaxed part of town, just a few blocks from the heart of downtown. If you have the time, Thornton Park’s "Wine Walk + Art Stroll" happens every second Thursday of the month.
Downtown Orland (Church Street District)
With a rich history that dates as far back as the 1800s, this popular entertainment district encumbers historic buildings and towering skyscrapers to seamlessly juxtapose the old and the contemporary. Orlando’s bustling downtown is a mix of booming nightlife, live performances, professional sports and eclectic fine dining.
Tucked around a retro residential neighborhood known for its gardens and wild peacocks, Audubon Park is home to award-winning, farm-to-table restaurants, boutiques, live music venues and a thriving nightlife scene. Just a short walk from Harry P. Leu Gardens, a 50-acre botanical oasis, and anchored on its east side by the expansive Blue Jacket Park, Audubon Park is registered by the National Trust for Historic Preservation and is an accredited Main Street program, as well as an Orlando EcoDistrict.
Developed around and named after the T.G. Lee Milk national headquarters that sit at its heart, the Milk District is a historical dining, shopping, and nightlife district that dates back to the 1950s. Hungry locals and visiting tourist⎯not to mention visiting celebrities like the regular Jimmy Fallon⎯can also fill their heart's content here. With Orlando institutions like Beefy King, one of the few original roast beef fast-food sandwich joints America, the Milk District does not disappoint eaters, or shoppers, with its refined eclectic boutiques, vintage stores and palate comforting restaurants.
Although it is technically in Kissimmee, not Orlando, its close proximity and unique look and feel made its way to our list. Celebration’s homes, modeled after 1900s American towns, give the neighborhood a charming old-Hollywood movie set feel. The almost town also boasts a pseudo town center, with numerous restaurants and shops to visit, as well as a pedestrian friendly area. Home to most of Disney’s employees, Celebration is a family-friendly neighborhood that offers a great spot for weekend strolls and a unique aesthetic appeal.
Last but not least we have Orlando’s formerly historic “Antique Row.” An unassuming stretch of old Orlando lakefront, Ivanhoe Village is a walkable and bicycle-friendly district home to eclectic dining, funky shops, and swanky nightlife. The neighborhood also boasts Orlando’s cultural corridor, where the entertainment will go from highbrow to burlesque, and classic to contemporary with its live show venues, theaters and interactive exhibits in places like the Orlando Science Center, Orlando Shakespeare, and the Orlando Museum.