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With its’ hot job market, booming tourism and a variety of housing options,Orlando is a great place to live. It is one of the world’s fastest-growing cities and has one of our nation’s lowest unemployment rates. Orlando is considered one of Florida’s major cities and has the 9th busiest airport, the Orlando International Airport, in the United States.
Orlando incorporated as a city in 1885. The Orlando-Kissimmee Metropolitan Statistical Area is Florida’s third-largest metropolitan area, following Miami and Tampa. The area includes four counties; Orange, Osceola, Seminole and Lake. The Metro area is easily accessible from Interstate 4, Florida Turnpike, East/West Expressway and the Beachline. The Orlando area is home to more than 100 lakes, the largest of which are Lake Apopka, Eustis, Griffin, Harney, Harris, Jesup, Monroe, Sand Lake and Tohopekaliga.
Of course, Orlando is best known as a vacation wonderland where dreams come true.
Orlando has many neighborhoods within the city limits. Several of the neighborhoods in downtown were constructed during the Florida Land Boom in the 1920’s. This era produced many bungalow style homes that were designed for warmer climates. Today, you will see a wide variety of architectural styles in Orlando. Mediterranean, Spanish and European home styles are the most prevalent. These homes are designed to be comfortable and livable in our warm Florida climate. Stucco exteriors with clay tile roofs are common. The interiors of these homes are designed with open living space allowing for air to circulate more freely throughout the home. You will also find a variety of Coastal, Ranch, Southern and Victorian style homes in the area. Many of these homes are faced with engineered wood which is resistant to warping, insects and rot. They are generally designed with one or more porches and verandas and windows that allow cooling breezes to flow freely throughout. The majority of homes focus on the backyard area, which usually includes a terrace, lanai, deck or patio that borders a pool.
In 2007, it was estimated that there were 227,907 people residing in the city.
From ultra-modern skyscrapers to historic buildings,Downtown Orlando has a wonderful mix of architecture. Downtown living provides a lifestyle that blends charm with sophistication. Hundreds of Condominiums and Single Family residences are sprinkled throughout Downtown Orlando where you can stroll down quaint brick-lined streets. Spend your afternoons in Lake Eola Park, picnicking, feeding the ducks, and watching the swan boats glide by. You can spend your evenings listening to live music or visiting art galleries. When it comes to entertainment, Downtown Orlando is the place to be. Dance clubs, Martini Bars, Piano lounges, Rooftop bars, live music; the list goes on and on. Downtown Orlando hosts a wide variety of restaurants that cater to every taste and mood.
Orlando is one of the fastest growing retail markets in the United States. There are four major shopping malls in Orlando. The Florida Mall is the largest with over 250 stores, The Mall at Millenia is an upscale shopping mall with world-famous department stores and Orlando Fashion Square is the closest to Downtown and includes a 14 screen theater.
A large part of Orlando’s economy is dependent upon the tourist industry. The Orlando area is home to a wide array of tourist attractions and theme parks, including Universal Orlando Resort, SeaWorld Orlando and the famous vacation resorts and theme parks of Walt Disney World. The most significant development for Orlando’s economy occurred in 1971 when Disney opened its’ first theme park (the Magic Kingdom) in Orlando. This event was the catalyst for an explosion of growth in the Orlando Metro area.
Orlando is home to the Orange County Convention Center; the second-largest convention complex in the United States. Convention attendance plays a big part in our region’s economy.
Whether visiting for business or pleasure, Orlando hosts an estimated 52 million tourists a year.
Many large engineering firms have facilities in the Orlando area as well. Lockheed-Martin has a manufacturing plant and research labs in Orlando. Other notable firms that conduct business here include General Dynamics, Westinghouse, Siemens, GE, AT&T, Raytheon and Boeing to name a few.
Film, Television, Music, and the Performing Arts are a developing sector of Orlando’s industry aided by the numerous entertainment companies and schools in the area. Orlando has been called “Hollywood East” due to its successes in this area.
Darden Restaurants, the largest operator of restaurants in the world, has its’ home base inOrlando.
The public education system is administered by the Orange County Public Schools. Orlando has many private schools to choose from, including;Trinity Preparatory School, Lake Highland Preparatory School, The First Academy and Bishop Moore High School. There are over thirty six Colleges and Universities located in the Orlando area with the Universityof Central Florida being the second largest university in the state.
There are two non-profit health systems in Orlando: Orlando Health and Florida Hospital. Orlando Health houses two facilities, the Orlando Regional Medical Center is Florida’s only Level 1 trauma center and the Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women and Babies is the only Level 3 neonatal intensive care unit in the area. Florida Hospital’s main campus is ranked as one of the best hospitals in the nation.
Orlando has well over one hundred Park & Recreational facilities throughout the City. This includes Parks, Park & Recreation Centers, and Older Adult Recreation Centers, pools, athletic fields, tennis courts, tracks, racquetball courts, the Orlando Skateboard Park, Festival Park and an Exceptional Recreation facility for children with disabilities.
Golf enthusiasts will find paradise in Orlando. Orlando is well known for its wide array of golf courses available for any level of golfer and offers some of the best courses in the United States. Tournament level courses designed by the top course designers boast lavish, sophisticated clubhouses.
Orlando is home to the Orlando Magic professional basketball team and has been host to numerous professional athletic teams. A number of professional clubs come to the area to train their players in the areas many stadiums and arenas.
Orlando prides itself on the progress it has made as a Bicycle Friendly Community and realizes the importance of providing a safe network of facilities for bicycle travel. There are numerousbicycle and pedestrian trails throughout the city and the LYNX buses are equipped with bike racks.
There is an active rail route within the Central Florida region that includes Amtrak for passenger travel. SunRail is a Central Florida passenger rail system serving the City of Orlando, Volusia, Seminole, Orange counties, and soon Osceola County.
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