An independent city created for northern snow birds, Winter Park is Orlando’s quintessential "old money" neighborhood. Posh boutiques and museums dot this charming enclave where the women are just a little bit blonder and a little bit thinner than anywhere else. Cobblestone streets are the norm here, as are wonderfully old oak trees covered in Spanish moss.
The upscale residential community of Lake Mary is just 19 miles north of Orlando. The city's website describes Lake Mary as a desirable place for young families to live due to its well-planned neighborhoods, excellent schools and recreational opportunities. When focusing on the criteria of economic opportunity, good schools, safe streets, things to do and a sense of community.
Deriving its name from streets named after colleges (Princeton, Harvard, Yale, et al), this neighborhood packs a punch because of its proximity to downtown Orlando and low-key beauty. Longtime elderly residents live alongside newer Orlando denizens, many of them professionals, in charming, though not inexpensive, homes.
From 1940 to 1968, this trendy neighborhood served as an Army Air Corps and Air Force base and later as the Orlando Naval Training Center, sort of a college campus for sailors. Today, it has been completely renovated and is home to thousand of residents.
East Orlando (UCF Area)
Home to thousands of students attending the University of Central Florida, Orlando’s largest state school, this neighborhood is dynamic, young and ethnically diverse.
Lake Nona is an up-and-coming neighborhood attracting families from different socioeconomic backgrounds, with housing units ranging from luxury homes to townhouses available to suit many budgets.
Though technically in Kissimmee, Celebration likes to think itself as an independent city catering to middle and upper middle class families (quite a few of them employed at neighboring Walt Disney World).
Windermere is a small town just 14 miles west of Orlando. According to the website Neighborhood Scout, this wealthy community is an excellent place to raise a family. The adults in Windermere support education -- perhaps because many are educated themselves -- resulting in a strong school system. The crime rate is low, especially when compared to Florida's averages, and the homes available, though expensive, are mostly single family properties.
Clermont (Lake County)
This town just west of Orlando has a feature not found in most of Florida -- hills. The rolling hills offers a great topography that frames the town beautifully.