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Old 05-24-2015, 08:10 AM
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Well this was probably my last day trip to Orlando before moving there as I'll be out of the country until then. But I think I got to get to know Orlando a little more as I was all over the city.

Started my day in Downtown Disney and then made my way into the city. Didn't get to check out the Eye, but I did drive through the I-Drive and Dr. Phillips area a bit. Ate at my beloved Shake Shack accompanied by some paddle boarding on Lake Killarney. Picked up a Giordano's take-and-bake pizza, still have to eat that at home here.

I wanted to check out some of these neighborhoods that some of you have recommended to me. Ivanhoe Village seemed pretty cool. I really liked Mills 50 and the surrounding area. I didn't find the weather to be too hot, and I love the area by Lake Eola. Good place to go for a run.

Went to the Predators game, so my second experience at Amway. I used to go to a lot of Storm games 10 years ago or so, and it seems like Arena Football has died off. Just a few thousand people, but they did a good job of getting people into the game. Are Solar Bear games like that? I think the incredible atmosphere of Magic games is more my style, but catching some other sports at Amway definitely seems like a good relaxed night out.

The stretch from Winter Park to Downtown is definitely what I really like about Orlando so far. I guess that's as close to urban as you'll get here. But I like the places that are in between WP and DT.

I still really like the Winter Park Village area, and that's where I'll end up living. Close to Shake Shack, I can shop at Trader Joe's (also went there!), plus you have Lake Killarney and close to the SunRail station. Close to many Publix stores in different directions as well. I like that area the most.

I actually didn't leave Orlando until this morning because I got my first taste of Orlando's nightlife scene. This was important to me. Without it, I couldn't really consider Orlando as I'm a young single person who loves to party. It was a Saturday night, so loads of people. Downtown Orlando has lots of bars and a few nightclubs, but I settled on going to Vanity. Incredible that you can find a nightclub like that in Orlando. I like going to bars but I'm more of a nightclub person. I see there are a few other more laid-back nightclubs, and I'll have to check those out down the line. But I had a great time and it's easy to meet people. Even if you're not talking about the nightlife, people in Orlando seem much friendlier in general than they are here in Tampa.

One thing I'm still trying to gauge, and perhaps this is most important to me, is how big Orlando actually feels. I've seen some others say previously that Orlando feels bigger than it actually is because of the Disney presence and all the development in other areas that we get because of it. And I agreed with that. However, normally you wouldn't catch me in a city the size of Orlando. I'm a big city person through and through. So I like vibrant neighborhood after neighborhood, and the closest thing Orlando has to that is the stretch from Winter Park to Downtown.

But I think the city may have "enough" for me. I can live in WP, and have the surrounding areas to enjoy plus Downtown for some solid nightlife. Plus, I'm interested in exploring Orlando as a whole. I want to get out there and check out the areas by SunRail stops, the UCF area, etc. I guess if I do that, I won't have a problem meeting people and enjoying Orlando. I was just worried for a second that I picked a place to live that was a little too small for me! I could easily leave FL, but I make more money here than elsewhere, so it's kind of a sacrifice. And it's not a bad one, because Orlando overall might be the best place in Florida I've seen.
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Old 05-26-2015, 07:36 AM
 
Location: Seminole County, FL
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Mills/50 is definitely one of my favorite spots for lunch when craving Asian food.

Lake Eola is always a hit.

Another area you might want to check out is College Park around Edgewater/Princeton. Took my wife to "The Spa" over the weekend, and while she was in there, I got to spend a good 2 or 3 hours walking and hanging out in the area. It's nice if you feel the area surrounding Lake Eola or Orange/Magnolia Ave downtown get too old.

When you have more free time and feel like driving up a little, take the 429 all the way up to its end and head to Mount Dora. It's a 30 minute drive from Downtown Orlando. Don't let the size of the town fool you. Downtown Mount Dora is very nice and has several neat bars, shops, restaurants, and it overlooks one of the nicest lakes in CFL.

Anyway, welcome to town!
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Old 05-26-2015, 08:20 AM
 
Location: FLORIDA
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you'll be in charlotte or raleigh in 3-5 yrs LOL
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Old 05-26-2015, 08:30 AM
 
Location: Seminole County, FL
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PDF View Post

One thing I'm still trying to gauge, and perhaps this is most important to me, is how big Orlando actually feels. I've seen some others say previously that Orlando feels bigger than it actually is because of the Disney presence and all the development in other areas that we get because of it. And I agreed with that. However, normally you wouldn't catch me in a city the size of Orlando. I'm a big city person through and through. So I like vibrant neighborhood after neighborhood, and the closest thing Orlando has to that is the stretch from Winter Park to Downtown.

I wouldn't list Disney as a reason why Orlando feels bigger than it is. The sheer amount of Sprawl, with each area having somewhat of a central core, is more the reason why I find the size to be big enough (I'm a big city guy myself.)
For example, Altamonte has Uptown, the Downtown core has several different sections (it's grown A LOT since I moved here in 2002), College Park is pretty vibrant and has somewhat of an urban feel, downtown Sanford is nice a pretty built up, with a nice pier by the river, Winter Garden has a pretty decent downtown area, on top of that square where they built that movie theater.....
These are just a few of the many areas around.

That's what I like about Orlando's layout. While I'm not a big fan of sprawl itself (I hate Atlanta), the fact that each part of the Orlando metro has a vibrant, central core, makes it seem bigger than it is, and provides one with an opportunity to visit different places quite often should one get bored with one particular area.
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Old 05-26-2015, 08:37 AM
 
Location: Altamonte Springs, FL
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You picked the right nightclub. Vanity is the nicest one in Orlando. We used to have more nightclubs, but many have gone and been replaced by bars. There is another big one over by Baldwin Park called Gilt, but have not checked that out since it changed hands from the old club. We don't get out as much as we have to get a sitter now, lol, but eventually. We also like the Attic, Suite B, and Sky 60 (rooftop) downtown. Vain, Tier, and Beacham are rather rundown...like lipstick on a pig type of thing. The reason Vanity is so nice is because it was a complete renovation, not just slapping some nice fixtures on an old venue.
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Old 05-26-2015, 10:12 AM
 
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I'd agree with previous posters. As far as Orlando's Urbanness goes, there's not much besides the area of Park Avenue stretching to downtown, though College Park is quite nice.

What is cool about Orlando is it's regional location, and how within an hour and a half, you can get to:

-Theme Parks
-East Coast Beaches
-Tampa/Ybor City
-Kennedy Space Center
-Citrus Country/Bok Tower Gardens
-Mount Dora
-Other Towns Scattered throughout the area (DeLand, Winter Garden, Sanford)
-UCF, and all the community events it has
-Ocala National Forest
-Kelly Park and other fresh water springs
Shoot, I'll even throw in:
-Gainesville
-St. Augustine
-Kissimmee Prarie Preserve (for stargazing/astronomy)
(can get to both of those in that length of time if moving pretty quickly.)

I suppose if really analyzed, this could be said for many, many regions, but I think it's clear that you'd have a pretty hard time being bored in Orlando.
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Old 05-26-2015, 10:22 AM
PDF PDF started this thread
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arcenal352 View Post
I wouldn't list Disney as a reason why Orlando feels bigger than it is. The sheer amount of Sprawl, with each area having somewhat of a central core, is more the reason why I find the size to be big enough (I'm a big city guy myself.)
For example, Altamonte has Uptown, the Downtown core has several different sections (it's grown A LOT since I moved here in 2002), College Park is pretty vibrant and has somewhat of an urban feel, downtown Sanford is nice a pretty built up, with a nice pier by the river, Winter Garden has a pretty decent downtown area, on top of that square where they built that movie theater.....
These are just a few of the many areas around.

That's what I like about Orlando's layout. While I'm not a big fan of sprawl itself (I hate Atlanta), the fact that each part of the Orlando metro has a vibrant, central core, makes it seem bigger than it is, and provides one with an opportunity to visit different places quite often should one get bored with one particular area.
I agree. That's exactly why. It seems like there are so many different areas to discover versus the handful you usually get in a city.
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Old 05-27-2015, 08:01 AM
PDF PDF started this thread
 
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Originally Posted by Pete C View Post
You picked the right nightclub. Vanity is the nicest one in Orlando. We used to have more nightclubs, but many have gone and been replaced by bars. There is another big one over by Baldwin Park called Gilt, but have not checked that out since it changed hands from the old club. We don't get out as much as we have to get a sitter now, lol, but eventually. We also like the Attic, Suite B, and Sky 60 (rooftop) downtown. Vain, Tier, and Beacham are rather rundown...like lipstick on a pig type of thing. The reason Vanity is so nice is because it was a complete renovation, not just slapping some nice fixtures on an old venue.
I loved it. That's why I went there. High-end nightclubs are up my alley.
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Old 05-31-2015, 07:49 AM
 
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Originally Posted by StreetSmarts View Post
you'll be in charlotte or raleigh in 3-5 yrs LOL
Just out of curiosity, why would you say that? I know you're joking, but was curious why you listed 2 NC cities. Are there a ton of people leaving Orlando for NC?

The biggest reason I ask is that I currently live in raleigh, but will most likely be relocating to Orlando in the next several months due to family obligations.
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Old 05-31-2015, 02:13 PM
 
Location: FLORIDA
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Originally Posted by jello212 View Post
Just out of curiosity, why would you say that? I know you're joking, but was curious why you listed 2 NC cities. Are there a ton of people leaving Orlando for NC?

The biggest reason I ask is that I currently live in raleigh, but will most likely be relocating to Orlando in the next several months due to family obligations.

Floridians have been moving to NC in droves for quite some time now. Raleigh, Charlotte and Asheville are definitely 3 "hot spots."

I have friends here visiting from Alpharetta GA right now. They just dont like Central FL at all. One of the is from here. I'm not going to get into the reasons but they just like the feel of the Alpharetta area a lot better and can relate to them a bit better. They are both early 30's professionals, educated.
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