Many people come to Orlando because it’s home to the happiest place on earth: the amusement parks of the Walt Disney World Resort. But the Walt Disney Company doesn’t have a monopoly on happiness, and there is far more to the top-visited city in the entire state than its tourist attractions. Outside the theme parks, the rest of Orlando is an equally delightful place to live and work.
Located in central Florida in Orange County, Orlando is a lush, scenic city full of verdant parks and lakes interspersed with a mix of historic and contemporary neighborhoods. Each offers residents its own multicultural restaurants, fun shopping and interesting things to do from museums to sports.
Major highways crisscross the city linking everything, and the Orlando International Airport connects the city to the rest of the world. Add in professional sports, a vibrant arts scene, a robust economy and good weather year-round and it’s easy to see why this modern city is growing so fast.
The best 15 neighborhoods in Orlando for renters in 2023
Encompassing Orlando proper and nearby cities like Lake Mary and Winter Garden within the broader Orlando metro area, renters have hundreds of potential neighborhoods to choose from around the City Beautiful. All the different neighborhoods and surrounding communities offer something different, from bustling downtown districts to peaceful gated communities. While the average cost of rent can vary by neighborhood, Orlando’s city-wide average rent is $1,466 for a one-bedroom apartment. Compared to the national average, it also has a good cost of living.
While most neighborhoods aren’t the most walkable, many bigger neighborhoods have compact shopping and dining districts that are easy to navigate on foot. Plus, with all the Central Florida heat and humidity, you probably don’t want to be walking far during the heat of the day anyway. But there’s still plenty to enjoy outdoors, like the 22-mile multi-use West Orange Trail or watersports.
Looking at factors like average rent and things to do, these are the 15 best neighborhoods in Orlando for renters in 2023.
1. Winter Park
Located to the north of central Orlando, Winter Park is technically its own independent city. But since it’s part of the greater Orlando metropolitan area, this picturesque suburban area is still considered an Orlando neighborhood. And it’s easy to see why it’s one of the best neighborhoods in Orlando.
Dotted with lakes and lush parks, residents can walk through green parks like the Mead Botanical Gardens, golf or go boating. Winter Park is also a cultural destination with renowned museums like the Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art and the Rollins Museum of Art. Situated next to Central Park along North Park Avenue, downtown Winter Park is the main dining and shopping area. The walkable district has cute cafes, coffee shops, charming boutiques and local eateries. Winter Park also has one of the best seafood markets in Orlando, Lombardi’s.
Population-wise, Winter Park appeals to young couples, families and retirees. Young adults and students are drawn to the area on account of the higher education opportunities at Rollins College. Families take advantage of the peaceful neighborhoods, attractive single-family homes, good public schools and slower-than-downtown pace of life. Affordability is another plus, with an average monthly rent of $1,699 for a one-bedroom apartment.
2. Downtown Orlando
For young professionals and social butterflies who want to live at the heart of it all, downtown Orlando is the best neighborhood to be in. With an average monthly rent of $1,866 for a one bedroom, the young couples who call downtown Orlando home live within walking distance of breweries, comedy clubs, restaurants and entertainment like the Dr. Philips Center for the Performing Arts.
Sports fans can cheer on the Orlando Magic at the Amway Center. Downtown Orlando is also sometimes referred to as the Central Business District on account of its many office buildings.
Even in the middle of the city, it’s possible to get a taste of nature. Lake Eola Park is on the eastern side of the downtown Orlando area, with walking paths and scenic lookouts. The fountain at the center of the lake also puts on a spectacular light show. At the Walt Disney Amphitheater, you can catch live music, concerts and performances.
3. Park Lake/Highland
Source: ApartmentGuide.com/Camden North Quarter
Named after its two eponymous lakes, Park Lake/Highland is a residential neighborhood in northeastern Orlando. Living here, you’ll be neighbors with a lively crowd of young adults, couples and families. The average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Park Lake is $1,690.
This neighborhood is especially popular with families on account of the Lake Highland Preparatory School, which is one of the most prestigious and desirable private schools in Orlando. This elite institution is just steps from quiet neighborhoods of lovely family homes and beautiful apartment complexes.
Along North Mills Avenue in the Mills 50 District, the younger party crowd can find wine bars, beer halls, Asian eateries and other shopping and dining opportunities. This stretch of road is also a popular nightlife spot.
4. Baldwin Park
Centered around Lake Baldwin in northeastern Orlando, Baldwin Park is one of the newest neighborhoods in Orlando. It was originally the site of a vast Navy training base before being transformed into a tranquil, prosperous area for well-to-do families and young couples. One of the priciest Orlando neighborhoods, the average rent here costs $2,249.
Primarily residential, the majority of Baldwin Park is made up of suburban-style streets. But some shopping can be found in the form of specialty medical practices, salons and gyms. Most of the dining can be found close to Baldwin Lake along New Broad Street, which makes for a lovely evening out. Allowing for pedestrian traffic, walking trails fringe the lake for outdoor recreation and enjoyment, and the 7.2-mile Cady Way Trail also passes through the neighborhood. Blue Jacket Park has tennis courts as well.
For business travelers and frequent fliers, Baldwin Park is one of the best places to live in Orlando. The neighborhood is just a few minutes from the smaller Orlando Executive Airport.
5. College Park
If you’re looking for Orlando neighborhoods that feel like their own family-friendly town, you’ll want to consider College Park. This upscale and affluent district is situated in northwestern Orlando. One of the reasons for its sense of being a separate town is the 20th-century historic houses like the Jack Kerouac House, which was once the home of the famous writer and now hosts writer residencies.
The neighborhood offers a mix of outdoor and indoor fun. Lakes and parks like Lake Ivanhoe have many outdoor attractions like waterskiing and boating. Locals can practice their swing at the Dubsdread Golf Course, which has been a neighborhood institution since the 1920s. Along Edgewater Drive, residents will find vintage clothing shops, cafes and restaurants.
With a demographic mix of young couples and families, College Park truly reflects what it feels like to live in a small town. The cost of rent isn’t too bad either, with an average rent of $1,400 for a one-bedroom apartment.
6. South Eola
Source: ApartmentGuide.com/530 E Central Blvd.
As the name suggests, this quaint and historic district is located on Lake Eola’s southern shores. In South Eola, residents can find wine bars, hip photography stores and cool places to eat and drink. It’s also the location of the Orlando Farmer’s Market. Renters can choose from a mix of modern apartment complexes or older, historic homes.
For entertainment, The Abbey lounge-theater holds concerts and live shows, and there’s always nearby Lake Eola for outdoor fun. Attracting mainly couples ranging from young adults to retirees, renters pay around $1,999 per month here.
7. Lake Nona
Located close to the Orlando International Airport in southeastern Orlando, Lake Nona offers dining, shopping and recreation within a lovely, master-planned community setting. Spread out over a large area are individual subdivisions, each with its own living areas, parks and businesses. Young couples and four-person families make up the majority of the residents here.
There is golfing at the Lake Nona Golf & Country Club, and the USTA sports complex holds competitive tennis matches as well as lessons and casual play.
As a modern, upscale district, here you’ll find some of Orlando’s trendiest dining like the Park Pizza & Brewing Company. Boxi Park is another great option. Made out of repurposed shipping containers, this gathering place has food trucks, beach volleyball and live music.
Living in this curated space does come with a hefty price tag, though. The average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment is $3,054.
8. Lake Eola Heights
For young professionals and couples who need to live close to downtown but not quite in it, there’s Lake Eola Heights. Located on downtown’s northeastern border, Lake Eola Heights’ average monthly rent is $2,045. It offers schools, churches, a community garden and an overall more residential feel. With its charming homes and idyllic streets, this area is a designated historic district.
With a high walk score of 86, it’s easy to get around on foot. One of the many benefits of living here is the access to Lake Eola’s walking paths, gastropubs and entertainment opportunities.
9. Lake Davis Greenwood
Despite being located just five minutes from downtown Orlando on the other side of the Spessard L. Holland Expressway, Lake Davis Greenwood feels a world away. The majority of this residential district is made up of green areas, including a community garden. The most notable example is the lush Lake Haven Park, which holds a lake, walking paths and a cemetery.
The neighborhood doesn’t have many businesses, but that’s OK with downtown and other trendy districts being so close. Renters choose Lake Davis Greenwood for its peace and quiet and affordability. The average one-bedroom monthly rent is $1,650. Lots of young adult couples choose to live here because it’s close to downtown but more affordable.
10. Thornton Park
In Thornton Park, you’ll find tidy cobblestone streets of cute bungalows interspersed with juice bars, international restaurants and charming shops. Home to Howard Middle School and boasting a high walk score of 86, it’s a popular area with families.
The neighborhood even has its own lake, Lake Olive. But the larger and more scenic Lake Eola is a short walk away as well.
11. Southern Oaks
Source: ApartmentGuide.com/2935 Monaco Ct.
If you’re looking for a quiet, laidback residential area close to central Orlando, Southern Oaks could be the answer. Situated to the southeast of downtown Orlando, this area’s tree-lined streets, affordable rates and mix of single-family homes and apartment complexes appeal to young couples and families. The community can gather at spots like the South Ferncreek Community Church.
The neighborhood has a lower walk score of 35, so you’ll likely need a car to get around.
12. Metro West
Source: ApartmentGuide.com/Millenium Metro West
Located in west Orlando, this planned suburban community offers locals everything they need within a very small space. Grocery stores, restaurants, shopping and other businesses abound, catering to the neighborhood’s affluent residents. It’s also easy to get outdoors here from the MetroWest Golf Club to Bill Frederick Park along Turkey Lake.
For renters in Metro West, the average rent here is $1,766. Most residents are on the young side and are either couples or families.
13. Colonialtown North
This lovely neighborhood next to Park Lake/Highland attracts mainly young couples with its cute painted bungalows and trendy dining scene. North Mills Avenue has music venues, taquerias, Cajun cuisine and thrift shops. But just steps away are the peaceful, tree-lined streets of pretty, pastel homes. In nearby North Orange, the Orlando Repertory Theatre holds performances and classes. There’s also a community garden.
The rent in Colonialtown North isn’t too bad either. You can find one-bedroom apartments for an average of $1,400 a month.
14. Kirkman North
Source: ApartmentGuide.com/5536 Metrowest Blvd.
This residential area in west Orlando is ideal for families and couples who want a bit of peace and quiet without being too far removed. The slender Kirkman North neighborhood is nearly midway between downtown Orlando to the east and downtown Winter Garden to the west, making it easy to access dining, shopping and entertainment. Churches and community centers keep the community connected with programs and activities.
Students are also attracted to the area due to the proximity of Valencia College, which is part of the Florida College System. Rent-wise, the average rent for a one-bedroom is around $1,548.
15. Audubon Park
Source: ApartmentGuide.com/Infinity Off Baldwin Park
This neighborhood sits next to Baldwin Park in northeastern Orlando. Enclosed within just a few blocks, getting from your home to local businesses like Kelly’s Ice Cream or the idyllic Songbird Park is just a matter of minutes. As such, this cozy little area is popular with couples ranging from young adults to retirees, as well as families. There’s a K-8 school, several neighborhood ponds and a handful of small businesses like Park Ave CDs. Community activities are also a regular occurrence, including markets and family-friendly events.
On the north side of Corrine Avenue, you’ll also find the Garden District, which is the main social hub of the area with international restaurants and vintage shops.
Find the best neighborhood for you in the City Beautiful
Whether you want a trendy neighborhood in the middle of the city or a peaceful residential area as close as you can get to Disney World, you’re sure to find what you’re looking for in Orlando.