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Old 09-03-2010, 10:03 AM
 
Location: Charleston
411 posts, read 465,944 times
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Charleston has a very posh looking downtown south of Calhoun St along King Street and East Bay Street. I wold say it easily rivals Georgetown in DC.










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Old 09-03-2010, 10:26 AM
 
Location: Orlando Metro Area
3,204 posts, read 2,918,607 times
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New Orleans, Atlanta, and Orlando are IMO the best downtowns in the south when you factor in everything each downtown has to offer. As far as very honorable mentions go, Nashville, Charleston, and Savannah are really the ones that come to mind first.

Follow these links to see profiles of each downtown:
Elements of Urbanism: New Orleans | Metro Jacksonville
Elements of Urbanism: Charleston 2009 | Metro Jacksonville
Elements of Urbanism: Nashville | Metro Jacksonville
Elements of Urbanism: Orlando | Metro Jacksonville
Elements of Urbanism: Savannah | Metro Jacksonville
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Old 09-03-2010, 11:10 AM
 
Location: metro ATL
8,190 posts, read 6,075,536 times
Reputation: 2698
Quote:
Originally Posted by OrlFlaUsa View Post
New Orleans, Atlanta, and Orlando are IMO the best downtowns in the south when you factor in everything each downtown has to offer.
I know we talked about nightlife in downtown Orlando earlier, but what else does downtown Orlando have? I'm genuinely curious about that.
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Old 09-03-2010, 11:42 AM
 
Location: Orlando Metro Area
3,204 posts, read 2,918,607 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Akhenaton06 View Post
I know we talked about nightlife in downtown Orlando earlier, but what else does downtown Orlando have? I'm genuinely curious about that.
Hey I respect your honesty and asking instead of just bashing. Did you read the Elements of Urbanism article from MetroJacksonville that I posted about downtown Orlando? It sheds some light on what is so appealing to Orlando locals about our downtown. In any of those pictures was there an abundance of big box retail, chain restaurants, or touristy destinations??... answer no. Now, I'm not trying to be critical of downtown Atlanta, because I like it, however, a lot of it is not geared towards "living". If I'm not mistaken, downtown Orlando has a larger population than downtown Atlanta, and I can easily see why. Tree lined streets with little cafe's, coffee shops, and wine bars. Neighborhood restaurants dotting the CBD's surrounding neighborhoods, and as you mentioned great walkable nightlife. Urban grocery, located next to a gem of an urban central park (Lake Eola), professional sports (Orlando Magic), performing arts (Bob Carr & soon to be New Performing Arts Center), abundance of concert venues (Amway Arena/Amway Center, Firestone, the Social, Walt Disney Amphitheater), higher education in the city core (UCF and Valencia branch campuses & Florida A&M College of Law), true cultural district (ViMi aka Little Siagon), tons of residential areas that are still filling up, 12 screen stadium seating theater that caters to locals and even shows Magic games, incredible antiques district along Lake Ivanhoe, and 2 fantastic medical centers (Florida Hospital's main campus and Cancer hospital plus Orlando Regional Medical Center which includes Arnold Palmer) which act as book-ends for downtown Orlando. And finally, a walk-ability score that lots of downtowns in the south only dream about including Atlanta. Now, to give credit where credit due, DT Atlanta has way more "cultural" amenities, higher education and shopping than Orlando, and that's why despite my reservations, I put it above Orlando for overall DT not nightlife. But we've already gone over the trade off in vibrancy due to Atlanta being a much more spread out downtown (bigger).
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Old 09-03-2010, 12:14 PM
 
Location: metro ATL
8,190 posts, read 6,075,536 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OrlFlaUsa View Post
Hey I respect your honesty and asking instead of just bashing. Did you read the Elements of Urbanism article from MetroJacksonville that I posted about downtown Orlando? It sheds some light on what is so appealing to Orlando locals about our downtown. In any of those pictures was there an abundance of big box retail, chain restaurants, or touristy destinations??... answer no. Now, I'm not trying to be critical of downtown Atlanta, because I like it, however, a lot of it is not geared towards "living". If I'm not mistaken, downtown Orlando has a larger population than downtown Atlanta, and I can easily see why. Tree lined streets with little cafe's, coffee shops, and wine bars. Neighborhood restaurants dotting the CBD's surrounding neighborhoods, and as you mentioned great walkable nightlife. Urban grocery, located next to a gem of an urban central park (Lake Eola), professional sports (Orlando Magic), performing arts (Bob Carr & soon to be New Performing Arts Center), abundance of concert venues (Amway Arena/Amway Center, Firestone, the Social, Walt Disney Amphitheater), higher education in the city core (UCF and Valencia branch campuses & Florida A&M College of Law), true cultural district (ViMi aka Little Siagon), tons of residential areas that are still filling up, 12 screen stadium seating theater that caters to locals and even shows Magic games, incredible antiques district along Lake Ivanhoe, and 2 fantastic medical centers (Florida Hospital's main campus and Cancer hospital plus Orlando Regional Medical Center which includes Arnold Palmer) which act as book-ends for downtown Orlando. And finally, a walk-ability score that lots of downtowns in the south only dream about including Atlanta. Now, to give credit where credit due, DT Atlanta has way more "cultural" amenities, higher education and shopping than Orlando, and that's why despite my reservations, I put it above Orlando for overall DT not nightlife. But we've already gone over the trade off in vibrancy due to Atlanta being a much more spread out downtown (bigger).
OK, I was asking, not to compare it to Atlanta's downtown per se, but to see if there was anything unique that DT Orlando offers, and it doesn't look like it. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but I also don't think that makes it one of the best three downtowns in the South. I'd probably put downtown Charleston and Richmond above DT Orlando because they pretty much have all of what DT Orlando has (a pro sports arena being an exception), plus a couple of unique things. And of course they are also more historic.
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Old 09-03-2010, 12:35 PM
 
Location: Orlando Metro Area
3,204 posts, read 2,918,607 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Akhenaton06 View Post
OK, I was asking, not to compare it to Atlanta's downtown per se, but to see if there was anything unique that DT Orlando offers, and it doesn't look like it. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but I also don't think that makes it one of the best three downtowns in the South. I'd probably put downtown Charleston and Richmond above DT Orlando because they pretty much have all of what DT Orlando has (a pro sports arena being an exception), plus a couple of unique things. And of course they are also more historic.
I only made a comparison to Atlanta in the sense that Atl's DT takes on a less livable feel. I don't care if you sub any other less livable DT in there since the point I was trying to make was that Orlando is unique in having a tourist free, very livable DT. Don't know much about Richmond, but as much as I love Charleston, I would have to disagree that the only thing DT Charleston is missing is pro-sports. For me it comes down to feel. I like the pace, feel, layout, and more vertical feel of Orlando over the older, low-rise European feel of Charleston. Not to mention, with that history in Charleston come tons of visitors. Visitors eating in your DT Charleston restaurants, riding on tour buses and horse tours through your DT, going to your DT clubs and bars, and basically supporting your DT amenities. Maybe I'm tourist-phobic being from Orlando, but we are very very glad that there is a imaginary line-of-demarcation that keeps the tourists away from our Orlando. Can't say the same for Charleston, my mother-in-law lives in Summerville so I'm familiar with the area.
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Old 09-03-2010, 12:47 PM
 
Location: metro ATL
8,190 posts, read 6,075,536 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OrlFlaUsa View Post
I only made a comparison to Atlanta in the sense that Atl's DT takes on a less livable feel. I don't care if you sub any other less livable DT in there since the point I was trying to make was that Orlando is unique in having a tourist free, very livable DT. Don't know much about Richmond, but as much as I love Charleston, I would have to disagree that the only thing DT Charleston is missing is pro-sports. For me it comes down to feel. I like the pace, feel, layout, and more vertical feel of Orlando over the older, low-rise European feel of Charleston. Not to mention, with that history in Charleston come tons of visitors. Visitors eating in your DT Charleston restaurants, riding on tour buses and horse tours through your DT, going to your DT clubs and bars, and basically supporting your DT amenities. Maybe I'm tourist-phobic being from Orlando, but we are very very glad that there is a imaginary line-of-demarcation that keeps the tourists away from our Orlando. Can't say the same for Charleston, my mother-in-law lives in Summerville so I'm familiar with the area.
That's a fair point (abundance of tourists); however, downtown does extend beyond the historic district.

But I would throw Richmond into the mix, since it's got a great mix of the vertical feel you like plus the history, but not the tons of tourists like Charleston has.
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Old 09-03-2010, 12:54 PM
 
Location: Orlando Metro Area
3,204 posts, read 2,918,607 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Akhenaton06 View Post
That's a fair point (abundance of tourists); however, downtown does extend beyond the historic district.

But I would throw Richmond into the mix, since it's got a great mix of the vertical feel you like plus the history, but not the tons of tourists like Charleston has.
Richmond is one I'll have to check out but my immediate and obvious objection would be the weather and lack of at least one pro sport. I do love Charleston and could easily over look the tourists, just wish there was more to do outside of DT. See that's where Orlando kills it. We have a really nice but small DT and then go 20 min south and you come to Universal Studios, I-Drive, Disney, and much more.
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Old 09-03-2010, 01:05 PM
 
Location: metro ATL
8,190 posts, read 6,075,536 times
Reputation: 2698
Quote:
Originally Posted by OrlFlaUsa View Post
Richmond is one I'll have to check out but my immediate and obvious objection would be the weather and lack of at least one pro sport.
Sometimes I think those do better in a setting immediately outside of downtown, like in Philly. At any rate, you can check this profile out (also from MetroJacksonville.com) to get a feel for downtown Richmond.
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Old 09-03-2010, 01:09 PM
 
Location: Orlando Metro Area
3,204 posts, read 2,918,607 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Akhenaton06 View Post
Sometimes I think those do better in a setting immediately outside of downtown, like in Philly. At any rate, you can check this profile out (also from MetroJacksonville.com) to get a feel for downtown Richmond.
Thanks will do, maybe I'll have to amend my list of best downtowns in the south.
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