These are the opinions of writers and not the opinions of 407apartments.com or any of our advertising partners.
Orlando is an incredibly fast growing and expansive city. While you may think Disney and retirees upon moving to the Sunshine State, you'll be pleasantly surprised by the up and coming Central Florida area. UCF has become the largest university in the country and the downtown area is becoming a destination for young professionals. If you manage to snag a job in the Central Florida area after college, or are moving here to look for one, then you have to ask yourself several questions before you choose an apartment:
Where am I going to work?
Orlando is usually separated by East Orlando and West Orlando. Carefully consider what area you're living in because you do not want to be commuting on I-4 if you don't have to. The I-4 corridor is considered one of the worst areas of commute in the country. As a general rule of thumb, the closer you get to the I-Drive area the more cars there will be and the closer you'll want to be to work.
Many young professionals that work in West Orlando choose to stay in that area to live. It's a great choice and one that gives you the ability to work Downtown or in the I-Drive area easily. East Orlando has a smaller population but still has access to UCF and towns in Seminole county (Oviedo, Lake Mary).
What are the best areas for young professionals?
If you're in your early to mid 20's you still want to network and meet others your age. Since you're no longer getting paid in peanuts like in college that means you can afford to go to nicer bars and clubs with people your age. The best places to network and go out tend to be in the downtown area. Downtown has an assortment of social clubs and events that cater to the young professional. Join Meetup.com if you want to network with others of likeminded interests.
While the downtown area has really grown out of it's shell the past few years, you may prefer a different experience that a touristy area like I-Drive or a college area like East Orlando can get you.
It's tough moving away from your college town and having to face the real world. Drink prices are higher and life becomes a bit more responsible. If you really miss the college experience, you can live in the UCF area and still have the ability to work a full-time job elsewhere. Just a forewarning, I not recommend living with current UCF students but instead getting a one-room unit. The prices will be affordable for the area and you still have the ability to go to your favorite UCF bars on nights you can go out.
So where to move, really?
For a young professional that wants to network and really make a life here in Orlando, there is no better area than Downtown. The community of Downtown Orlando has grown into it's own in the past few years. A fun trip can be had for everyone from successful businesspeople to young professionals to college students to even tourists looking to get away from the I-Drive area. It's an incredibly diverse area with relatively affordable rent prices for a metropolitan downtown area. A great place to start a career!
And just ask yourself: Would you rather be having cocktails at Coronas Cigars with business executives right down the street from your place or worrying about drinking and driving commuting just to go out? Save yourself the headache and frustration and move where you want to work AND to go out.