Orlando, Florida is best known for being a top destination for vacationers, for its world famous theme parks like Universal Studios, Disney World, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, etc. and it's close proximity to white sandy beaches. Real estate in the West Orlando zip code of 32835 known as Metrowest consist of condos, town-homes, investment properties and residential homes.
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Orlando, FL is one of the largest cities in the United States and is known as "The Theme Park Capital of the World" with tourist attractions and events bringing more than 68 million visitors to the city in 2016, spending over $68 billion. The City is nicknamed "The City Beautiful", the fountain at Lake Eola as its symbol. The Orlando International Airport (MCO) is the thirteenth-busiest airport in the United States and the 29th-busiest in the world.
As one of the world's most visited tourist destinations, Orlando's famous attractions form the backbone of its tourism industry, as well as the Real Estate market. Walt Disney World and Universal Studios Orlando are the two most significant attractions. Walt Disney World was opened by the Walt Disney Company in 1971 and is located approximately 21 miles southwest of Downtown Orlando in Bay Lake. The Universal Orlando Resort was opened in 1999 as a major expansion of Universal Studios Florida. With the exception of Walt Disney World, most major attractions are located along International Drive with one of these attractions being the famous Orlando Eye. The Eye is known for giving it's passengers beautiful views of Orlando and is definitely a must-visit besides the major theme parks.
The city is also one of the busiest American cities for conferences and conventions; the Orange County Convention Center is the second-largest convention facility in the United States. Orlando grew rapidly from the 1980s up into the first decade of the 21st century. Orlando is home to the University of Central Florida, which is the largest university campus in the United States in terms of enrollment as of 2015. Orlando ranks as the fourth-most popular American city based on where people want to live according to a 2009 Pew Research Center study.
Before being taken over by European settlers in 1536, the area of Orlando was populated by the Seminole tribe. There are only a few archaeological sites in the area today besides the former site of Fort Gatlin along the shores of modern-day Lake Gatlin, just south of downtown Orlando.
Prior to being known by its current name, Orlando was once known as Jernigan. This name originates from the first permanent settlers, Issac and Aaron Jernigan, cattlemen who acquired land two miles northwest of Fort Gatlin along the west end of Lake Holden in July 1843 by the terms of the Armed Occupation Act.
It's not quite certain how Orlando got it's name, but there are at least five different stories for how the city came to have it's name. One of the most common stories is that the name originated from the tale of a man that died in 1835 during an attack by Native Americans in the area during the Second Siminole War. A lot of stories chronicle an oral history of the maker as a person named Orlando. One story includes a man named Orlando who was passing by on his way to Tampa with a herd of ox, died, and was buried in a marked grave. However, Historians agree that there was probably not a solider named Orlando Reeves. Legends for how the city was named is conflicted so nobody really knows. There's also the speculation that the city was just named after the protagonist in the Shakespearean play As You Like It.
The Reconstruction Era brought on a population explosion in the city, resulting in the incorporation of the Town of Orlando on July 31, 1875 with 85 residents. For a short time in 1879 the town revoked its charter and was then re-incorporated. Orlando was officially established as a city in 1885. The period from 1875 to 1895 is remembered as Orlando's Golden Era, when it became the hub of Florida's citrus industry.
Orlando was Florida's largest city in the years between the Spanish-American War and World War I and began to develop housing developments due to the city's popularity. Unfortunately, due to a series of devastating hurricanes and The Great Depression, the late 1920s was a hard time for the city.
The true economic boom for Orlando was when Walt Disney decided to build Walt Disney World in Orlando. He was said to have been considering Miami and Tampa but ended up choosing Orlando due to it's lesser risk of hurricanes. This also influences the large Real Estate market in the city. There are many homes for sale in Orlando for every buyer.
Today, the historic core of "Old Orlando" resides in Downtown Orlando along Church Street, between Orange Avenue and Garland Avenue. The Urban development and the Central Business District of downtown have rapidly shaped the downtown skyline during recent history. The present-day historic district is primarily associated with the neighborhoods around Lake Eola where century-old oaks line brick streets. These neighborhoods, known as Lake Eola Heights and Thornton Park contain some of the oldest homes in Orlando.
Orlando is the hub city of the Orlando-Kissimmee, Florida, Metropolitan Statistical Area, colloquially known as "Greater Orlando" or "Metro Orlando". Orange, Osceola, Seminole, and Lake are the four counties in the metroplex. It is the 26th-largest metro area in the United States with a 2010 Census-estimated population of 2,134,411.
Orlando is a major industrial and hi-tech center. The metro area has a $13.4 billion technology industry employing 53,000 people and is a nationally recognized cluster of innovation in digital media, agricultural technology, aviation, aerospace, and software design. More than 150 international companies, representing approximately 20 countries, have facilities in Metro Orlando.
Orlando has the 7th-largest research park in the country, Central Florida Research Park, with over 1,025 acres. It is home to over 120 companies, employs more than 8,500 people, and is the hub of the nation's military simulation and training programs. Near the end of each year, the Orange County Convention Center hosts the world's largest modeling and simulation conference, Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation and Education Conference (I/ITSEC). Metro Orlando is home to the simulation procurement commands for the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard.
Orlando, much like the rest of Florida and much of the deep southern United States, has a humid subtropical climate. The two seasons Orlando has includes a hot and rainy season that lasts from May to late September and a warm and dry season from October to the end of April. Terrain is generally flat and consists of mostly wetlands as well as lakes and swamps. The city is located 42 miles inland from the Atlantic and 77 miles from the Gulf of Mexico so although there is a hurricane risk, Orlando civilians will be safer from a hurricane than citizens in Florida's Southern cities.
Orlando is also one of the most diverse cities in the country. A large percentage of the population is of Hispanic, African-American, West Indian, Asian, Native American, and Caribbean Island heritage. Orlando has a large LGBT population and is recognized as one of the most accepting and tolerant cities in the Southeast. As of 2015, around 4.1% of Orlando's population identify as LGBT, making Orlando the city with the 20th-highest percentage of LGBT residents in the country. The city is host to Gay Days every June and holds a huge Pride festival every October.
The hip hop music, metal, rock music, reggaeton and Latino music scenes are all active within the city. Orlando is known as "Hollywood East" because of numerous movie studios in the area. Major motion picture production was active in the city during the mid-to-late 1990s, but has slowed since then. Probably the most famous film-making moment in the city's history occurred with the implosion of Orlando's previous City Hall for the movie Lethal Weapon 3. Orlando is now a large production center for television shows, direct-to-video productions, and commercial production.
Numerous recording studios and producers are located in the city, resulting heavily to the Boy Band craze of the mid-1990s. The groups Backstreet Boys, NSync, and O-Town all started in Orlando before becoming popular nationwide. The alternative groups such as Matchbox Twenty and Seven Mary Three are also from Orlando.
Orlando is the home city of two major league professional sports teams: the Orlando Magic of the National Basketball Association (NBA), and Orlando City SC of Major League Soccer (MLS). Orlando also hosts the University of Central Florida (UCF) Knights college athletics teams, which compete in Division I of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) as a member of the American Athletic Conference (The American).
Some of the best upscale shopping malls in the state of Florida are in Orlando. The Florida Mall is the largest mall in Orlando and one of the largest single-story malls in the USA at over 1,849,000 sq ft. There are over 250 stores, seven anchor department stores, and the Florida Mall Hotel & Conference Center Tower. The Mall at Millenia is a contemporary two-level upscale shopping mall, including the department stores and luxury designers. Orlando Fashion Square is located on East Colonial Drive, near Downtown Orlando.
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Listing information last updated on April 26th, 2019 at 12:30am CDT.