Located in central Florida, Orlando is known as the “Theme Park Capital of the World” with over 62 million visitors flocking to its events and attractions each year. The Orlando metropolitan area is home to over 2 million residents, making it land among the Top 25 largest metro areas in the country. In addition to its theme-park moniker, Orlando is nicknamed The City Beautiful, and the name fits, as Orlando is an attractive city to call home. With a wide variety of comfortable and affordable available apartments in Orlando to move too, the city is a can't miss opportunity for happiness.
Before it was called Orlando, the town was known as Jernigan, named for Aaron Jernigan, a cattleman and the first permanent settler. The town became known as Orlando in 1857 for certain, but how it was named is disputed. There are three possible variations of the story. The first is after a soldier named Orlando Reeves who died there in 1835 after being attacked by a group of Native Americans in the Second Seminole War. The second variation, also taking place in 1835, says that the namesake is was South Carolina’s cattle rancher Orlando Savage Rees. He fought to stop a peace treaty with the Seminoles during the war. The third variation is that Orlando was named after the character in William Shakespeare’s play As You Like It, by James Speer, who was an admirer of Shakespeare’s works.
Orlando has two major seasons, the dry and relatively cool season is from late Oct until Apr, and the hot and rainy season (which also coincides with hurricane season) is from May through Sep. During the summer months the average high temperature is between 90° and 95°. The high humidity in the area usually keeps the temperature from breaking the 100° mark, but also causes the heat index to be as high as 110°. In those months, there are afternoon thunderstorms almost daily with spectacular lightning, heavy rain, and sometimes hail. During the cooler months, humidity is lower and the temperatures are milder. The average temperature in January is 60°, and there is little precipitation. Orlando does have considerable hurricane risk, but because of its location inland, the hurricanes usually weaken before reaching the city.
Getting Around Orlando
The city of Orlando has a bus system that serves most of the Central Florida area and is easy and inexpensive to use. There is not a lot of taxi usage, except to and from the Orlando International Airport (MCO), for other destinations you have to call ahead for service. Traveling by car is the easiest way to get around the city, but there are a lot of toll roads and finding parking is difficult. Downtown Orlando is fairly simple to navigate, as its layout is a grid system. The rest of Orlando however, is not laid out in a logical manner, so you will need an up to date GPS system or street map to get around.
Commuting in Orlando
The major highway going through Orlando is I-4. It is very congested and traffic can be stop and go during rush hour in the morning and evening. Toll roads are a good alternative during those times, including I-417, I-429, I-528, and the Florida Turnpike, however there are often long waits at the toll gates. The average commute for workers in Orlando is nearly 27 minutes.
The primary newspaper in Orlando is the Orlando Sentinel, which is the second largest in Florida by circulation. Other Orlando newspapers are the Orlando Business Journal and Orlando weekly. Orlando is home to 71 radio stations, playing every genre of music imaginable.
There are so many activities, events, and sports venues to visit in Orlando, you will never feel like there is nothing to do. You may think of Orlando as the home to Walt Disney World, but that is just the tip of the iceberg! There are plenty of options for fun all year long to take advantage of out of your Orlando apartments.
Orlando is full of sites to see - especially the museums. The Cornell Fine Arts Museum is one of the largest museums in Orlando with up to 5,000 pieces of art (paintings and works of paper) dating from the 14th century through the present. The Orlando Museum of Art is a popular destination due to its enrichment of the arts culture in Orlando with 10-12 exhibitions on-site and 13 off-site, gallery tours, educational programs, art appreciation lectures and much more. Orlando is also home to the University of Central Florida, Florida A&M University College of Law, Valencia College, Seminole State College of Florida, and over 25 private universities and colleges.
Things to do in Orlando
Of course there are the traditional Orlando hotspots like Universal Studios, Magic Kingdom and Epcot, but there are also a ton of other great entertainment options to get out of apartments in Orlando and enjoy. The kids will love the Orlando Science Center which has one of the most comprehensive dinosaur exhibits in the country. The Orlando Fire Museum is a smaller museum chronicling the progression of the fire department, but it is one worth seeing. The museum is a retired fire house that displays a collection of early Orlando fire equipment. There are many other museums to see including the Mennello Museum of American Folk Art, Millenia Fine Art Collection, Morse Museum of American Art, Orange County Regional History Center, and Ripley's Believe It or Not.
The Mount Dora Art Festival is held each February and is ranked one of the top 100 art shows in the country, with over 300,000 visitors each year. Orlando Mardi Gras is held on Saturdays from February until late April at Universal Studios. It is said to be second only to the real thing, and it features live jazz music, Cajun food, a parade, and street performers.The Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival runs from mid-March through mid-May at Walt Disney World. It features flower and garden displays, interactive areas for kids and the Flower Power Concert Series with artists from the 1960s and 1970s. The Florida Film festival premieres the best in current and independent films every April.
Orlando Vacation spots
If you just can’t get enough theme park fun, Legoland Florida is just 45 minutes from downtown Orlando. It’s great for families with children under 12. The Kennedy Space Center Complex is also worth visiting and it is an easy 50-minute drive east of Orlando. The complex is the home of Space Shuttle Atlantis and it features rides, tours, and two 3D IMAX movies. Mount Dora is a popular destination for antique hunters, and it is a quick 40 minutes from Orlando. This charming lakefront town offers a change to unwind with restaurants, cafes, and art galleries. If the beach is your thing, Tampa Bay is less than an hour and a half from Orlando, where you can hang out on the beautiful white sand Gulf beaches.
Where to move in Orlando
Metropolitan Orlando has some great neighborhoods for families and young professionals. Whether you choose Winter Park in the north, College Park near downtown, East Orlando, Lake Nona to the south, or Celebration to the west, making a move to Orlando can definitely bring up the fun factor in your life. With so many options in apartments in Orlando here at ApartmentHomeLiving.com, you can surely find your new home and be living in Orlando style in no time!