What Orlando is and isn't....
I moved to Orlando Florida back in 1976. Being a Navy brat, we moved....a lot! Eventually I moved back here permanently in 1985. As a child, our thoughts of Orlando likely involve theme parks and swimming pools. That gradually fades over time and as we become adults, we begin to realize that there is so much more!
I bring people into our great city and the surrounding cities of Ocoee, Winter Garden and Windermere; on a regular basis. I love to introduce them to areas outside of the theme parks, which believe it or not, are just a small part of what the area has to offer. What I love about my town is the melting pot of people and businesses. As a tourist, you might think we are all hotels and tourist traps, but once you get to know the area, you'll find that we have some great restaurants, museums, local theater not too mention our sports teams. Finding your way around is pretty easy with our expressways and surface streets. Our location is close enough to reach the coast in less than and hour, but inland enough to protect you from overly active weather.
Contrary to what you may have heard, the schools in our area are better than average. As we become a bigger city, our schools have been improved and in many cases rebuilt to support the growth. UCF, once more of a local school, is now a destination University. Health and Technology is one of the bigger growth areas for the area. Our communities are becoming some of the most cutting edge developments as we have lots of land to work with, which enables builders to start amazing communities from the ground up. The communities often include green features and focus on human interaction and enjoyment.
We do enjoy our theme parks, but at a different level. Many of us have annual passes that lets us pop in and pop out. These parks often have special events that have name act entertainers, amazing food and drink and in many cases are less attended by the visitors and more by the locals. One of the newest additions to the area is the Dr. Phillips Center for the arts. This state of the art facility accommodates broadway touring shows along with some great local artists. Of course you can't forget the Amway Center, home of the Orlando Magic. These venue is not only beautiful, but also a great location to see your favorite musicians, often securing the top performers.
What about outdoor fun? Well, there numerous biking and hiking trails, skiable lakes, parks and playgrounds and of course shopping. There are outdoor and indoor malls so take your pick. If you like to shop high end, we have the Mall at Millenia and if it's all about the bargains, there are nearby factory outlets.
Finally, when it comes to homes, we have it all. High rise condos, entry level single family homes, mansions and everything in between. The Southwest section of town has some of the most pristine lakefront property you will ever find, along with some truly remarkable homes. There is something for everyone. So before you decide that Central Florida is all about Disney, take a closer look around. You will be glad you did! I wouldn't want to live anywhere else.