The idyllic setting that has cemented Metro Orlando’s position as the world’s top vacation destination has also attracted a flood of newcomers. This rapidly growing area is equally appealing to nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts, growing families, professionals, and retirees. Thousands of lakes combine with rivers, access to Atlantic Ocean beaches, forests, pinelands, wetlands, marshes, and rich farmland for one of the nation’s most diverse environments.

Central Florida has preserved countless lakes, rivers, and wilderness areas in their pristine, unspoiled state. Riding academies and stables offer trails and lessons, many of the golf courses are nationally ranked, fish-laden lakes attract avid anglers, and rolling rivers like the Econlockhatchee or the Wekiva are ideal for canoe trips.

Cutting-edge indoor facilities include the YMCA Aquatic Center in Orlando and the RDV Sportsplex in Maitland, the training home of the famous Orlando Magic NBA basketball team. The Sportsplex offers first-rate amenities from ice rinks to basketball courts, tennis courts, and fitness equipment. Professional and collegiate sports events keep fans cheering in spectacular arenas.

Tourism has driven quality commercial expansion throughout the area, creating a mecca of restaurants, shopping malls, and entertainment centers. Bargain hunters can spend the afternoon in quaint districts off the beaten path, or meander through the stores and specialty shops in regional malls. Restaurants from casual to elegant serve the finest cuisine, many with outdoor patios that take full advantage of Florida’s blue skies and cooling breezes. Throughout the four seasons, Orlando plays host to festivals and celebrations. Casselberry is known for its Oktoberfest and Scottish Highland Games. The Florida Film Festival rolls into Enzian Theater each year, attracting such cinematic legends as Oliver Stone and Paul Newman. Among the many other cultural treasures are the Bach Festival Society, the Orlando-UCF Shakespeare Festival, Southern Ballet Theatre, Orlando Philharmonic, and the popular Orlando Opera Company. Events that feature top artists constantly fill the calendar, with majestic venues catering to audiences in the tens of thousands.
Museums are first-rate and abundant. Some present fine art displays, while others preserve the legacy of the past or explore the possibilities of the future. The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art is a jewel in the crown of the Central Florida art community, claiming the world’s most impressive collection of Louis Comfort Tiffany stained glass. The Orlando Science Center encourages exploration with hands-on exhibits that fascinate all ages.

Although new residents are impressed with the diversity of attractive housing available in Central Florida, the prices tend to elicit the widest smiles of all. “More value for the money” is the real-estate rule in this mecca of fairway and lakefront homes. From ranches and small farms to elegant condominiums and magnificent estates, Central Florida has a home that caters to every budget and lifestyle. Rippling out from the City of Orlando are a number of welcoming communities, from secluded enclaves that excel in recreational amenities to highly developed municipalities.

Without a doubt, Metro Orlando is an enviable address that seems to grow richer and more appealing with each year. No one who lived in this area during the “B.D.” (Before Disney) era could have imagined the total transformation and the sweeping changes that would take place throughout Central Florida in the later decades of the 20th century.

Today, the most visited theme parks in the world are all clustered in Orlando, where they are complemented by an increasing number of world-class family attractions and amenities. Beautiful new construction,  an active cultural community, lush local parks, nationally recognized golf courses,  and leading institutions of higher education are only a few of the advantages. Like the climate that graces this all-season paradise, every aspect of life seems to be “just right.”

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