living in orlando

Orlando Area Information

Area Information

Arts and Culture
Orlando's arts community is, strong and growing." The budget of all arts organizations is $25 million annually. The quality of what the community receives for this investment is extraordinarily high.
Two organizations need to be mentioned:
Central Florida Performing Arts Alliance

  • The Central Florida Performing Arts Alliance is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit member organization that advances theatre, dance and music through informing, advocating and nurturing relationships on behalf of the performing arts community. The Performing Arts Alliance serves roughly 500 individual artists and 85 producing companies in Central Florida.

United Arts of Central Florida

  • United Arts of Central Florida is a dynamic collaboration that includes regional corporations, small business, local governments, arts organizations, museums, artists, school districts and individuals. They work to enhance the quality and diversity of cultural experiences available throughout Lake, Orange, Osceola and Seminole counties. Since its inception in 1989, United Arts has invested over $74 million in local cultural organizations and cultural education.

  • Opera, Ballet and Dance
  • A MAGI Entertainment/Dance Productions
    Orlando Ballet
    Orlando City Ballet
    Orlando Opera
    Orlando School of Cultural Dance

  • Music
  • American Guild of Organists, Central Florida Chapter
    Bach Festival Society
    Festival of Orchestras
    Florida Symphony Youth Orchestra
    Florida Young Artists Orchestra
    Orlando Gay Chorus
    Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra
    The Orlando Chorale

  • Theater
  • Annie Russell Theatre
    Art Sake Film Acting Studio (Warehouse Studio)
    Bob Carr Performing Arts Centre
    CBC Creative
    Central Florida Theatre Alliance
    Cirque du Soleil
    Civic Theatres of Central Florida
    The Dying to Perform Players
    Mad Cow Theatre
    Mark Two Dinner Theatre
    MicheLee Puppets
    Mother J. Productions
    MurderWatch Mystery Theatre
    Orlando Hauntings
    Orlando International Fringe Festival
    Orlando-UCF Shakespeare Festival
    Orlando Youth Theatre
    Osceola Center for the Arts
    People's Theatre
    Pickett & Spiller Productions
    Playright's Roundtable
    Puppet Celebration
    SAK Comedy Lab
    Sleuths Mystery Dinner Theatre
    Studio Theatre
    Suntrust Broadway Series
    Theatre Downtown
    UCF Civic Theatre
    Wekiva River Players
    Zora Neale Hurston Festival - 2003 - Celebrating 50 Years of Black Theatre

  • Visual Arts
  • Galleries
  • Albertson Peterson Art Consultants
    AKA Lounge
    Crealde School of Art: Alice & William Jenkins Gallery, Community Gallery, & Sculpture Garden
    Boom Art Gallery
    Florida Photographers' Gallery
    Gallery 17-92
    Gallery at Avalon Island
    Grand Bohemian Gallery
    Guinevere's Coffee House
    Jeanine Taylor Folk Art
    Leslie Boyd Gallery
    Maria Reyes-Jones Gallery
    Millenia Fine Art Collection
    Mount Dora Center for the Arts
    Museum Artists' Studio Gallery
    Orlando City Hall Terrace Gallery
    Orlando Visual Artists' League (OVAL)
    Prima Gallery
    Timothy's Gallery
    Wentworth Gallery
    Wilfon-Remieres Gallery

  • Museums
  • Albin Polasek Museum and Sculpture Gardens
    Cornell Fine Arts Museum
    Harry P. Leu Gardens
    Maitland Art Center
    Mennello Museum of American Art
    The Morse Museum of American Art
    Orange County Regional History Center
    Orlando Museum of Art
    Orlando Science Center
    Osceola Center for the Arts

  • Other Visual Arts Links
  • Atlantic Center for the Arts
    Downtown Arts Market
    Florida Artists Registry
    Zora Neale Hurston Festival
  • Back to top
  • Film
  • Enzian Theater, Inc.
    Florida Film Festival
    Pickett & Spiller Productions

  • Art Schools
  • Atlantic Center for the Arts
    Art Sake Film Acting Studio (Warehouse Studio)
    City of Orlando Recreation Bureau
    Crealde School of Art
    Doug Sinning Productions (Music Classes)
    L.A. Acting Studio
    Mad Cow Theatre Acting Classes
    Maitland Art Center - offering visual arts classes
    Osceola Center for the Arts
    SAK Comedy Lab Improvisation Classes
    Theatre Downtown

  • Community Arts
  • City of Orlando Recreation Bureau
    Maitland Art Center
    MicheLee Puppets
    Mother J. Productions
    Orlando Youth Theatre
    Osceola Center for the Arts
    People's Theatre
    Storytelling: Project Imagination

Above information from Performing arts council site at:

The following stats include Orlando and communities within 25 miles-Kissimmee-Winter Park-Maitland

  • Museums and Culture
  • There are 32 museums
  • Dance and theatre
  • There are 34 facilities
  • Performing arts-schools-instruction (music to ballet)
  • There are 35 facilities
  • Art Galleries/ Visual Arts 
  • There are over 150 galleries
  • Antique stores
  • There are over 210 Antique stores
  • Orlando Symphony Orchestra
  • 3710 Neptune Dr, Orlando, FL 407-228-8414

To see lists and addresses go to or www,

Some local highlights include the following:

  • The artistic director of the Orlando Ballet, Fernando Bujones, is internationally renowned in ballet circles.
  • Orlando is home to one of the top orchestras in the state. 
  • Orlando is home to the top opera in the state. 
  • The Morse Museum is internationally known for its Tiffany Glass collection. 
  • The City of Orlando’s Public Arts division curates three galleries, all of which are free to the general public. Two of the galleries are located in Orlando’s City Hall; the third is housed within the historic Harry P. Leu Gardens Garden Home.  
  • The Florida Film Festival in Orlando has been ranked among the top 10 festivals in the world by The Ultimate Film Festival Survival Guide, 2nd Edition. 
  • The Zora Neale Hurston Festival is an internationally known celebration of the cultural contributions that Africa-descended people have made to the United States and to world culture. 
  • The Orlando Museum of Art boasts a renowned permanent collection and has played host to many world-famous traveling exhibits, including American glass artist Dale Chihuly, China’s Ming Dynasty Collection, and American folk painter Grandma Moses. In the past, they have hosted the Ming Exhibit, among others. 
  • Orlando annually hosts the Orlando Broadway Series, Orlando-UCF Shakespeare Festival and the Festival of Orchestras.
  • The Orlando Fringe Festival is a well-known, off-beat cultural event.

We are also home to professional sports and the annual Capital One Bowl and Champs Sports Bowl games.

In conclusion, a good tax base and income from visitors and new residents means an expanding arts program. Arts and culture is a very strong part of the Orlando experience.


Cost of Living

The cost of living index is based on the composite price of groceries, housing, utilities, transportation, health care, clothing and entertainment.

Cost of living indexes will generally be higher in areas that offer access to beaches, culture, arts and recreation. In addition areas, that offer a wider variety of services such as health and education will run higher due to higher wages, and increased quality of living.

Cost of living indexing explanation
A figure of 100 points is used as an average both for the USA and Florida. For example:
Boise Idaho is ranked at a 99
Boston Mass is rated at 240
San Francisco at 217
Statewide, Florida cities come in from a low of 90 and up.
One way to compare Florida areas to salary requirements

For example-If you were relocating from Portland Oregon (whose rate 1s 94.0) to Orlando, and you currently make $50,000 per year, the formula is as follows
Take the destination index, in this case Orlando-94.0 and divide by Portland’s index-120, then multiply by a salary of $50,000. This will give you a figure of $39,166 which would be required to make in Orlando to have the same quality of life.
See comparable Florida statewide
* Re cost of living--in some areas Real Estate has went up dramatically however costs that factor in such as food, transportation, rents etc have not increased at the same rate-so in some areas, even though housing is expensive, the overall rating may still be low

2007 stats per Sperlings best Places

Boca Raton-154.74
Cape Coral-Ft Myers-108.0
Ft Lauderdale-132.0
Fort Walton-Destin-120
Jacksonville metro-94.0
Big Pine Key fl-132.46
Key Largo-146.0
Key West-168.0
Marathon fl-162.06
Miami metro-138.0
Naples Fl-250.59
Orlando metro-94.0
Palm Bay-84.56
Palm Coast-Flagler-125.01
Panama City-86.35
Pensacola metro-82.0
Tampa 94.60
St Pete-Clearwater-91.58
Vero-Beach Indian River-122.87
West Palm Beach metro-112.05
(Population Weighted-State Average=100
See national comparisons
Cost of living (100 = nationwide average)

* New York, NY -164.50
* Long Beach, CA -135.71
* Palo Alto, CA -234.42
* Boston, MA -127.60
* Malibu, CA -492.80
* San Francisco, -187.23
* Greenwich, CT 215
* Chicago, IL -126.45
* Dallas Tx -92,94
* Atlanta Ga -112.21

For more information about cost of living go to either
Sperlings best Places
or Accra's site at

A lower cost of living means you keep more of what you make. That mixed in with a great quality of life makes Orange County very appealing.

There is one thing you need to be aware of and that is the housing market has risen here significantly-so the housing cost will skew the CGI index.. Prices have gone up 30 to 40 percent in just the last year—there is some sign that things are slowing down but in comparison to other parts of the country (see below) and given the lifestyle here, is why the areas real Estate market is hot.
You can still find homes ranging from 200,00-300,000 (condos to single family)


  • Minimum two bedroom single family homes in Sarasota
  • As of August 2005, the median sold price is $248,600.
  • New homes start at 240,000
  • Condo starting price is $200,000

Orange County

  • Water and sewer go to
  •          City of Apopka
  • City of Orlando (OUC) - Water
  • City of Orlando - Sewer
  • City of Maitland
  • City of Winter Park
  • Electric
  • Orlando Utilities Commission (OUC)
  • Progress Energy
  • Natural Gas Companies:
  • TECO Peoples Gas
  • Telephone Companies:
  • BellSouth
  • Sprint

In conclusion, given Florida’s climate and Job opportunities and the outdoor recreation prospects, Miami can really make sense. Why not live in a vacation spot?


Sunshine makes people feel healthier and improves your outlook on everything. After living in Florida for 10 years, I can tell you that it’s great to wake up to a warm climate and sunshine almost year round. It makes for a positive outlook on life. What’s your mood when it’s cold, drizzling and cloudy out? Orlando’s mild weather and great lifestyle makes staying health much easier.

Orlando Regional Healthcare is one of Florida's most comprehensive private, not-for-profit healthcare networks. Their facilities, advanced medical treatments and procedures, and highly qualified staff distinguish Orlando Regional as a healthcare leader for two million Central Florida residents and 6,000 international visitors annually.
Statistics for Orange County. As of 2004, there are:

  • 77 assisted living facilities
  • 13 major hospitals
  • 5 adult day care centers
  • 109 health care clinics

The 1,572-bed system includes:

  •     * Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children & Women
  •     * M. D. Anderson Cancer Center Orlando
  •     * Orlando Regional Medical Center
  •     * Orlando Regional Lucerne Hospital
  •     * Orlando Regional Sand Lake Hospital
  •     * Orlando Regional South Seminole Hospital
  •     * Orlando Regional St. Cloud Hospital
  •     * South Lake Hospital
  •     * Orlando Regional Healthcare Foundation
  •     * Health Research Institute
  •     * Graduate Medical Education
  •     * Orlando Regional Visiting Nurse Association

      Above information from: 

Orange County Health Department message:

All of us at the Orange County Health Department believe that we can make a difference as we strive to become the healthiest and safest community in Florida.  Our mission is to provide leadership for superior community health promotion, protection and preparedness.  We place special emphasis on health education, maternal and child health, epidemiology, environmental health, school health, dental care services, and a variety of other programs.

We hope you will become familiar with what this health department has to offer.  In addition to providing information concerning our services, this site gives you the opportunity to learn about many health and safety issues.  You will be able to read about the latest health tips, acquire education on parenting skills and breast feeding for healthier babies, and obtain information about environmental health issues and our many other programs.  You will also find links to other health sites.

We hope you will enjoy our Website at  Even more, we hope you will find this resource helpful in keeping you and your family healthy.  Our experienced, dedicated staff is always available to provide you with information regarding your health and safety needs.

For hospital and medical facility names and addresses in Orange County go to:   
For more specific health  information see the Website listed above.

Florida Addiction Statistics and Rehab Assistance:


There are more than 165,000 students, 7600 teachers and over 150 elementary and secondary schools in Orange County. Orange County Public Schools are the 12th largest school district out of more than 16,000 in the nation.

For a comparison of schools and school districts on a variety of criteria, view Florida School Indicators Reports at the Florida Department of Education's Web site.

Orange County school specifics:

  • 100 Elementary Schools
  • 51 secondary schools
  • 125 junior high
  • 94 senior High Schools
  • 150 College-Universities
  • 3 Magnet schools
  • 10 junior colleges
  • 22 Charter schools 
  • 240 private and parochial schools
  • 4 Alternative Schools
  • 15 adult education
  • 50 business and vocational schools
  • 263 pre schools

Partial list of Colleges/Universities:

  • University of Phoenix
  • Rollins College
  • Stetson University
  • University of Central Florida
  • Florida Metropolitan University

Junior/Community Colleges:

  • Seminole Community College
  • Valencia Community College
  • Lake-Sumter Community College    

Vocational/Technical Schools:

  • Winter Park Tech
  • Orlando Technical Center
  • Mid-Florida Technical Institute
  • Orange Technical Education Centers / Westside Tech
  • Lake County Area Vocational Technical Center
  • UTI-Motorcycle, Marine & Mechanics Institute

Other Schools:

  • Florida Technical College
  • DeVry University
  • ITT Technical Institute
  • Orlando Culinary Academy
  • Full Sail Real World Education (Digital Media)
  • International Academy of Design & Technology
  • FAMU College of Law
  • Barry University College of Law
  • Sistema Universitario Ana G. Mendez
  • Nova Southeastern University

For specific locations and more information-see



Orange County’s mild climate, lets you enjoy outdoor recreational opportunities year round. Winter, spring and fall are filled with lots of sunshine.

The hottest month is July and August, with an average high of 92° F and an average low of 73° F. In January the average high temperature is 70° F and the average low is 48° F.
Normal annual precipitation is 53 inches, with the largest monthly totals accumulating from July through September.

Orange county Temperature Annual high average

  • Month  Air       
  • January  70.8    
  • February 72.7    
  • March    78.0   
  • April      83.0
  • May       87,8
  • June      90.5
  • July       91.5
  • August    91.5   
  • September  89.7   
  • October   84.6   
  • November  78.5   
  • December   72.9 

*To compare Orange County weather with other major USA cities go here                 

Other Weather Indicators Annual

*Although it looks like we have lots of cloudy days, the sun is out almost year round and the clouds are partial-not like in the Northwest (where I’m from) and it will stay overcast and dark for weeks on end.

*Although we do get rain here-it is a tropical rain and comes and goes quickly and acts as a refresher to the hot days.

To see average January temperatures across the United States go to
Compare where you live or want to live in Florida. For more specific info, look at the area you are interested in and go to the weather page.

So what about Hurricanes, the rainy season and humidity?
We are a tropical climate, so our rainy season comes in the summer. Generally it will rain hard for a half hour then subside. It does get humid then. Although not as bad as you’d think. Our water breezes really help cool us off.
Despite four devastating hurricanes in 2004, the number of Florida visitors rose 7% to an all-time high of 79.8 million last year and is on target to hit 80 million this year.
To think on:
If you live on the coast you stand the greatest chance of having one affect you. Some areas of Florida have gone fifty years plus without one but you never know.
As a resident having lived in the Keys and now in central Florida I’ve been through them.

In my opinion, the best thing you can do is buy a home that was built after Andrew-August 92 that was built to stricter building codes. Have window protection and a backup generator and make sure your insurance is up to date. If they ask you to leave, do it!

Realize-If you live in an older home that was not built up to the stricter building codes (After Hurricane Andrew-August 1992) or you live in a mobile home you stand the best chance of having major structural damage.

Living on the beach in a mobile home is asking for it. Although, you may never have a problem, you’re still definitely taking your chances. Barrier islands and open-water Ocean or Gulf front are the most prone to damage.
Having lived in California, I prefer the threat of a hurricane however as opposed to an earthquake. At least you have a warning.

*Living in a waterfront home typically means that you will pay a higher Insurance premium. The insurance is higher due to flood and wind concerns.
Part of this is also because the pricing on these homes is higher so there is more value to insure against.

Having said all this, I can’t imagine living elsewhere. It is really great to wake up and it’s sunny out.
We spend over half our lives indoors, so when you do go outside, wouldn’t it be nice if it was warm and sunny?

What if you went on vacation and never went back? Sound crazy?

We spend half our lives indoors—why not spend the rest of the time in the sun?  You can live in Paradise




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About the areas
The site has the state divided up into 19 major areas and 80 plus sub-areas. We chose these areas as they are the ones most referred to in guides about Florida and also because most people are familiar with them as the names evoke something. Additionally on each area dropdown there is information relevant to florida real estate and relocating to florida. We have provided lists of Florida Real Estate agents-Mortgage brokers and more.