Everyone knows that Orlando is the theme park capital of the world, but there is a lot more to this beautiful city than those popular vacation destinations. Local residents enjoy a wide variety of outdoor activities, cultural attractions, excellent shopping, and delicious restaurants.
Of course, residents of Orlando also have the added perk of being able to visit all of the popular theme parks like Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando, Sea World Orlando, and Legoland Florida. But that is just the icing on the cake when you factor in all of the great things that Orlando has to offer!
Originally populated by Seminole Indians, the town of Orlando was officially incorporated just after the Civil War. During that time, the area became the hub of the booming Florida citrus industry.
The most famous event in Orlando's history happened in 1965 when Walt Disney announced his intentions to open Walt Disney World. After the resort opened in 1971, the tourism industry boomed along with the population and the local economy.
Tourism is a way of life in Orlando, and that translates into all kinds of fun activities and attractions for local residents to enjoy throughout the year.
In addition to all of the major theme parks, there are also tons of outdoor activities like the airboat tours at Boggy Creek Airboat Rides, zip line fun at Orlando Tree Trek Adventure Park, and the wild adventures of Revolution Off Road.
Orlando is also a golfer's paradise with more than 150 local courses to choose from. The legendary Arnold Palmer designed multiple courses in the area including Arnold Palmer's Bay Hill Club & Lodge, Shingle Creek Golf Course, and Orange Lake Resort.
The arts are also alive and well here in Orlando with enthralling performances taking center stage at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts and breathtaking exhibits to explore at the Orlando Museum of Art and the Cornell Fine Arts Museum.
Of course, Walt Disney World is also famous for promoting arts and culture and is almost always hosting some type of cultural festival. The Epcot events page is chock full of all kinds of exciting cultural events.
Being such a popular tourist destination also makes Orlando a hotbed for all different types of shopping excursions.
Those relaxed shopping destinations are also the place to be when it comes to dining in Orlando.
Where to Retire in the Orlando Area
I've compiled a whole list of Orlando area 55+ communities, but here are a few that stand out in particular:
Del Webb Oasis is located just minutes from Orlando area theme parks and attractions.
Like most Del Webb 55+ communities, Del Webb Oasis has a long list of amenities for residents to enjoy, including a 12,000 sq. ft. resort-style amenity center.
Del Webb offers 13 different floorplans here from their “Scenic”, “Distinctive”, and “Echelon” home series, plus the “Ellenwood” from their attached villa series. Prices start in the $400k's.
Four Seasons at Orlando – Kissimmee, FL
Four Seasons at Orlando is a gated community of 557 single-family homes located in Kissimmee, Florida, just south of Orlando. Amenities here include a 14,000-square-foot clubhouse with a state-of-the-art fitness center and an arts and crafts room, as well as an outdoor swimming pool, pickleball courts, and access to the 18-hole Mystic Dunes Golf Club.
There are 7 floorplans that range in size from 1,428 to 2,328 square feet. Prices start in the $500k’s.
Del Webb Sunbridge is a new 55+ gated community in St. Cloud, just minutes from Lake Nona and Orlando.
The 27,000 sf. Hammock Club features luxurious indoor and outdoor amenities like a zero-entry pool, resistance pool, pickleball and tennis courts, a fitness center, a movement studio, and more. Attached villas here start in the $300k's and single-family homes are also available.
Solivita is an award-winning retirement community in Central Florida’s attraction zone. No matter where you live within this lush gated 55-plus community in Kissimmee, you can easily walk, bike or drive your golf cart to indoor and outdoor dining venues, state-of-the-art spa and fitness complexes, pickleball or tennis courts, and other facilities for sports and games.
With two stunning championship golf courses, intimate neighborhood centers, softball field, miles of green space for walking and biking, and too many classes and clubs to count, you will have many ways to enjoy the Solivita life.
Home prices start in the $200k's.