Orlando and Central Florida Best Areas to Move

Where’s the Best Place to Live Near All of the Theme Parks, Shopping, Dining and Entertainment of the Orlando-Central Region of Florida?

Did you just get back from a Disney vacation in the Orlando area and loved so much you’re thinking about moving there? Or were you just offered a great new job in the Central Florida area?

Maybe you’re retiring and always enjoyed the amazing choice of dining and shopping options in Orlando while visiting Florida. Whatever your reason for wanting to learn where the best places to live in the Orlando area are, you have come to the right place!

How Does a Place Qualify for Our Best Places to Live in the Orlando Area List?

#1 Crime and Safety in the Orlando Florida Area

Florida has one of the highest overall crime rates in the US today. Of course that fact isn’t mentioned in the brochures for your last vacation because that’s not what it’s purpose was.

If you heard sirens while on vacation in Florida, you may have assumed it was just a routine response to something innocent like a car accident. The truth is that Orlando’s property and violent crime rate are more than twice as high as the national average. In the past, Orlando’s murder rate more than doubled in just 1 year (2015 from the prior year).

That’s why to qualify for any of our best places lists, a place must have crime rates lower than the national average. The FBI breaks crime rates down into 2 different categories for reporting…

  • Property Crime- These are crimes such as burglary of an unoccupied home, smashing windows of an unoccupied vehicle or stealing a kid’s bike from the backyard when no one is around.
  • Violent Crime- Rape, shooting someone, or robbing someone of their possessions by force or by using the threat of force. Threatening a kid in the backyard in order to take his bike would be considered a violent crime.

All of the places on our list below had property and violent crime rates that were below the national average, as reported to the FBI for the most recent year available at the time this post was written. Most of the places on our lists have crime rates far lower than the US average and are among the safest places to live or work in the US.

#2 Fun and Convenience in the Orlando Florida Area

All of the places on our lists must have a combined higher number of dining, shopping, parks and other recreation opportunities per capita, than are available in most other places in Florida. So our choices offer not only a safer environment, but also more places to go and things to do so you can enjoy where you live.

#3 Better Schools and Job Opportunities in the Orlando Area

This is important for more than the obvious reasons. Due to periods of explosive growth, cities in Florida can change dramatically very quickly. If kids in your new town get a better education, and there’s more job opportunities, there is a better chance of crime rates remaining low. So your new home town has a better chance of remaining a “best” place farther into the future.

Additionally, I’ve seen lots of retired people move to Florida who never thought they would have to ever work another day in their life. However, due to costs that rose far faster than their fixed income, they were forced to go back to work to make ends meet. Living where there’s better job opportunities couldn’t hurt, just in case.

florida move guide book cover and discription

So Where Are the 4 Top Places to Live in the Orlando Florida area?

In random order…

1) Minneola Florida, One of the Best Places to Live in the Orlando Area

Minneola Florida is a small town of only 11,000 residents just 30 minutes west of downtown Orlando. Minneola’s property and violent crime rates are so low, the town is among the safest places to live in the US. Yes, it’s true, there are still great places to live in the US that are almost as safe as “Mayberry RFD”.

Living in a town like Minneola gives you easy access to the theme parks, shopping, dining and huge diversified employment market that Orlando offers. But it also provides you with a safer more tranquil place to live, away from the traffic congestion and other ills that major cities can suffer from.

Learn more about Minneola Florida in this video from the comfort of your chair


2) Dr Phillips Florida is Without a Doubt One of the Best Places to Live in the Orlando Area

The 12,000 people who live just a 20 minute drive southwest from the center of Orlando in a town named after a generous physician, live in a town that enjoys higher quality of life factors such as lower crime rates and schools that produce students that have higher test scores. While Minneola is more of a nice quiet rural town, Dr Phillips is more like an upscale Orlando suburb of Orlando.

The cost of living in Dr Phillips is far higher than Florida’s average but it buys the highest quality of life available in Central Florida today. This would be an excellent place to call home in the Orlando area if you can afford to live here comfortably. especially if you have children of school-age.

Good videos on Dr Phillips were not easy to come by but this may provide more insight.

3) Oviedo Florida is a Best Place to Live in the Orlando Area

Just 25 minutes northeast of Orlando is a small city of 36,000 that is well known for the chickens that still run free throughout its older downtown area. Many people who are employed at the nearby Central Florida Research park, University of Central Florida and Seminole State College live in Upscale developments in Oviedo.

Although the cost of living here is just slightly more than Florida’s overall average, Oviedo offers residents a disproportionately high quality of life when compared to most of Florida. The crime rate here is about 60% lower than the national average for both property and violent crime. Oviedo may be a great choice for families with school-age children because student test scores in Oviedo are much higher than the national average, which is extremely hard to find elsewhere in Florida.

Oviedo is a great places to live in Central Florida, but there weren’t many videos available that highlight the town, so here’s one about the chickens


4) St Cloud Florida, a Better Place to Live in the Orlando Florida Area

St Cloud Florida is is a small city of 40,000 about 40 minutes south from the center of Orlando. St Cloud is our pick for those looking for the best place to live in the Central Florida/Orlando area that’s also affordable. The cost of living in St Cloud is considerably lower than Florida’s average and that’s mostly due to currently lower housing prices.

While crime rates here are not as low as our other choices, they are considerably lower than the national average, and far lower than Florida’s average. Student test scores here are higher than Florida’s average too.

It’s not easy to find a town with lower home prices, low crime rates and higher student test scores, in today’s Florida. If you want to enjoy a higher quality of life in the Orlando area for less cash out of your pocket, St Cloud Florida may be your ideal spot.

Of Course we have a St Cloud video or you.

Ron Stack, “That Best Places Guy of Zeus Press Inc

  • Want to be certain if moving to Florida is right for you or your family? You’ll know after reading the Florida Move Guide.