Where is the best place to live in Orlando Florida for families? That is an interesting and complex question. Because our lives are all different and there are so many things that affect the happiness in a home. Obviously we want to live in a safe and secure area, we want good schools and we want a nice community. Preferably a community with amenities or close to a YMCA, public park or something along those lines.
After I cover those items, yes I will give my opinion on the best place to live in Orlando Florida for families. Let's approach those items above in the order I laced them in. First up, drive time to work. Drive time to work is critical because it can affect your mood before you leave for the day and after you return from your work. Trust me there are some roads in Orlando that are never pleasant to drive on. You can usually tell where the bad roads are in a city as they are an alternative to a toll road or the only way between popular destinations. In Orlando my least favorite road is the South John Young Parkway. Yes the roads here are highly trafficked at peak hours but the John Young seems to always have it out for me so trust me take the turnpike whenever you need to go north or south in Orlando.
Local grocery stores you can pass on your way home or visit in under 10 minutes drive from your home seem to be critical to me. I don't want to waste gas or 30 minutes worth of driving because I want something I am low on or guests arrive. Publix is the most common store in Orlando followed by Winn Dixie. The headquarters of Publix is actually in Lakeland FL and so yes they know Central Florida very well and watch it closely. There is an excellent chance that you will have a grocery store within that 10 minute window or you are about to get one.
What do I mean by Low Traffic in a large city? Well I actually mean tolerable traffic. The closer to the center of Orlando you get the worse traffic is if you have far to drive. Most families do not have an interest in living in a condo in downtown Orlando or with teenagers in Baldwin Park (NE of Downtown Orlando). The good news is there are a lot of great areas along the periphery that are just waiting on new families and have great schools as well. Great schools come with higher property taxes and in my opinion the nicer the homes are in an area the better the schools tend to be.
Lake Nona is one of the two areas above actually in Orlando. The other two are so close it doesn't matter because Orlando is actually has some strange boundaries anyway. Trust me, they are worth it. Lake Nona is in Eastern Orlando and east of the Orlando International Airport. This area has great schools and awesome everything else. There are several other smaller areas worth considering by Lake Nona. Namely Eagle Creek and Randal Park and Moss Park.
Number two in my list is Windermere. Windermere is very expensive. Many people cannot afford to live there but it has a lot going for it including some magnificent communities, lakes, golf and one of the best private schools in America. If you work from home or close to this city then definitely click number two up above. Oh yes, it borders Disney World.
Winter Garden could easily be number one if the schools were just slightly better. That being said they are building new schools all over south Winter Garden and this is the fastest growing portion of Central FL. It would take a couple of thousand words to describe the growth here so I will only summarize it instead. Good schools, so close to Disney you can see the fireworks from many of the homes, new communities all over Southern Winter Garden and like Lake Nona it is expected to grow for the next 20 years. When people visit here they decide to live here. Also there is a local turnpike that gets you to downtown Orlando etc. very quickly.
Dr. Phillips used to be number one and still could easily be. I placed it last of these four because I like newer homes (most do) and there just aren't many in Dr. Phillips. There are some gorgeous homes here but many of them are 20+ years old. Newer homes are more efficient and by far more popular. The newer homes are in Southern Dr. Phillips. Now then, this is an awesome location. It borders Interstete-4, Universal Studios and Volcano Bay. The schools are well respected in this area, the YMCA is world class, the local city parks are awesome and there is just always something to do. All you need here is the right house and I just think that Lake Nona is the best place to live in Orlando Florida for families.