Welcome to the great city of Orlando—famous for its adventure-filled theme parks, green golf courses, and the giant observation wheel that lets you steal panoramic views of Downtown Orlando and beyond. What’s not to love?

Yes, Orlando Florida is a fun place to spend a week on vacation, but as a travel nurse, you might be asking, is Orlando a good place to live? Absolutely!

Picture this—fulfilling your passion for helping others by day and painting Disney Springs red by night. Not to mention, exploring all the other sights this bustling city has to offer while you find yourself as a travel nurse. In this guide, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about living in Orlando, Florida, including where to stay, the best restaurants in town, and more advice for moving to a new city.

Choose From Orlando’s Best Neighborhoods

Before you learn how to make friends as a travel nurse when moving to Orlando Florida, one of the first items to check off of your to-do list is finding the best place to live. 

Here are a few best neighborhoods to consider looking into:

Thornton Park

Located on the east side of Lake Eola Park, locals call this neighborhood the Downtown Orlando for grownups—and with good reason. It offers plenty of live indie music, delicious eats, frequent festival,s and other events, like a weekly farmer’s market and Reggae Sundays.

The list of activities doesn’t end there. Here are a few others to put on your Thorton Park to-do list:

  • SAK Comedy Lab    
  • Mucho Tequila and Tacos1 
  • Southern Contemporary Cuisine   

Baldwin Park

What started out as a naval training center has blossomed into one of Orlando’s top districts for young professionals. From tree-lined parks to boisterous bars, there’s something to explore around every corner. Only 10 minutes from downtown, Baldwin Park is also an excellent central location for commuting to and from work. 

Be sure to check out some of these nearby sights while you’re here:

  • Blue Jacket Park
  • Lake Baldwin Park
  • Wildflower Farm

East Central Park

If you’re looking for a quiet, cozy place to rest your head at night, East Central Park might be the place for you. It’s near enough to downtown that you can be close to the action when you want, but far enough to enjoy the peace and quiet when you’re in need of some downtime.

Most places in this Orlando area are conveniently located within walking distance of each other, so you can fuel up at the coffee shop and easily walk down the block to stock up on groceries.

Once you’ve got your pantry in order, check out these local haunts:

  • Lake Eola Park
  • Orlando Festival Park
  • Super Rico Colombian Bistro

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Cost of Living in Orlando, Florida

Before you continue your search on how to find housing as a travel nurse, pack your bags and and choose a neighborhood to settle in, it can help to know how a new home will affect your wallet: 

  • Rent – Whether you prefer an area that’s bouncing with energy or a low-key laidback suburb, Orlando has plenty of options, at an average of $1,820 per month, depending on what part of town you choose to call home.2
  • Groceries – Though it’s tempting, you probably can’t live off of Mickey Mouse-shaped baked goods from the happiest place on earth. Typically, a quart of milk in Orlando costs about $1, bread about $2.38 per loaf, and a dozen eggs will be $3.02.3
  • Utilities – Essentials like gas, water, and electricity are a must wherever you go. In Orlando, utilities will cost about $111 for a single individual.3 
  • Childcare – Daycare and preschool can be a little on the expensive side in Orlando, averaging about $876.3 

Places to Explore In and Around Orlando, Florida

There are countless places to discover while you’re here, so we’ve narrowed down the list to some of our favorite nearby destinations. If you’re wondering what to do with your days off, these places are no more than an hour away:

Kennedy Space Center

If Disney World is the home of all magic in Orlando, Kennedy Space Center is the home of all the ground-breaking science in the region, from NASA rocket launches to space shuttles taking off in real-time. In between launches, there are still plenty of out-of-this-world attractions to encounter:4

  • U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame
  • Rocket Garden
  • Space Shuttle Atlantis
  • Shuttle Launch Experience
  • Lunar Theater

Downtown Mt. Dora

Experiene southern charm at its finest in the quaint Central Florida town of Mt. Dora. Stroll the cobblestone streets shaded by the moss-covered oak trees and window-shop the picturesque local boutiques. Once you’ve worked up an appetite, you can grab a bite at one of the area’s many restaurants.

Thornton Park District

We previously mentioned this neighborhood in the Orlando area as a popular neighborhood to stay, but even if you’re not living there, you should still take advantage of Thorntown Park District’s many live events. Thornton Park District’s event calendar is stacked to the nines with things to do on your days off:5

  • Take the night market by storm – Grab a bite so you can sample the flavors of each food truck while swaying to the sounds of the live music. While you’re at it, peruse the offerings of some of the best local vendors in town.
  • Shop at the farmer’s market – Find some of the freshest deals on your favorite seasonal fruits and veggies. Don’t forget about the just-from-the-oven baked goods.
  • Sip and see at the wine and art walks – Wine and art walks allow any Orlando resident and visitor to soak in the creativity of some of the city’s homegrown art work. Don’t forget to enjoy libations from the many wine stops along the way. Even better? This is a monthly affair. Cheers!

Be On the Lookout For Orlando’s Best Restaurants

With tourism pouring in from countries all over the world, Orlando is a melting pot of blended cultures, so you can expect the cuisine options to delight your tastebuds. Here are some of the restaurants that will have us asking for seconds:

Se7en Bites

When in the South, eat as the Southerners eat. Feast your eyes—and your belly—on some of the most mouthwatering southern comfort foods in Orlando.

Its staple items, the chicken pot pie and vanilla bean bourbon bacon nighttime skypie (say that five times fast) were recently featured on an episode of Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives. Suffice it to say, they’re Guy Fieri-approved.

Hawkers

Voted as the best take-out food in Orlando in 2021, Hawkers is the ultimate way to end your day after a long shift. If you’ve got a hankering for flavor-packed Asian street food, try some of their must-try menu items:6

  • Roast duck bao buns
  • Yi-Yi’s chicken dumplings
  • Bulgogi steak lettuce wraps

Hunger St. Tacos

You’ll never leave hungry when you stop by Hunger Street for some tacos. With over 10 delectable tacos to choose from, there’s a taco for everyone—and we mean everyone. Would you like a classic al pastor taco? Great. How about a vegan-friendly taco made with sauteed hibiscus? Consider it done.

Their menu doesn’t stop at tacos. Prep your palate with their cucumber salad, pick your tacos, and don’t forget about their quesadillas—we recommend the Al Gringa. Go big or go home.

Orlando Adventures You’ve Got to Try

Considering that approximately 75 million people visit O-Town each year, it’s safe to say that there are plenty of fun things to do while you’re here.7 Of course, visiting Disney World is a must, but there are a few other high-priority items to consider adding to your list:

Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Grab your floo powder and transport yourself directly into the world of Harry Potter like never before. Stop by Hogsmeade for a pint of Butter Beer before venturing off to explore other famed locations you’ve only ever dreamed of seeing. A few must-see stops include:

  • Flight of the Hippogriff
  • Olivander’s Wand Shop
  • The Hogwart’s Express
  • Harry Potter and the Escape From Gringotts

Gator Land

Did you ever truly stay in Florida if you didn’t see any gators? Get up close and personal with:8

  • Gators
  • Crocodiles
  • Snakes
  • Big cats
  • Birds 
  • Snakes

If you’re feeling especially bold, you can even hold a baby alligator. After you’ve had your creature fill, quench your thirst for adrenaline one final time and zip down the Screamin’ Gator Zip Line.

Harry P. Leu Gardens

Escape the hustle and bustle of city life and become one with nature at this tranquil retreat. Donated to Orlando in 1961 by Mr. Harry P. Leu and his wife, Mary Jane, the gardens began as a place for the pair to plant the flora they found on their trips around the world.

Before long, the garden bloomed to a size of over 50 acres of exotic plants and flowers.9 In addition to gardens, this botanical bonanza offers tranquil trails, forests, and lakes to help you let go of unwanted stress and refresh your body and mind.

Moving Tips for Relocating to Orlando

Moving to Orlando, Florida, might be at the top of your list of places to work now that you’ve learned some of the city’s ins and outs. But before you start packing your bags, we’ve got a few pearls of wisdom to share before you make the leap:

  • Prepare for traffic – Due to Orlando’s high volume of tourism, you can expect to find an equally high volume of traffic from visitors coming and going from Disney, SeaWorld, Universal Studios, and other local attractions. Plan your commute accordingly and leave early to make sure you get to work on time. If you need a time passer in the car, find yourself a podcast or audiobook to keep you entertained on the way.
  • Take home more on each paycheck – Unlike many other states, Florida doesn’t have a state income tax. This means you’ll see more of your income included in your paycheck each month.
  • Pack for summer weather – The Sunshine State is not known for having your typical four seasons. Instead, it’s blessed with hot and hotter for the majority of the year. Between November and February you might have a few crisp days that allow for a flannel shirt and jeans, but when packing your casual wear for an Orlando assignment, you can typically stick to shorts, a mixture of short-sleeved blouses and tanks, and sandals.
  • Know your interstates – Don’t let the interstates fool you. Although I-4 is labeled East and West, it does not, in fact, go in either of those directions. Predominantly, it runs North and South.

Make Orlando Your Next Travel Home with Host Healthcare

There are so many unique destinations travelers have the privilege of calling their temporary home, but there’s something special about Orlando. Gain a taste for the local flavor, relive your childhood dreams by wearing the mouse ears, and make memories that’ll last a lifetime—all while being able to do a job you love.

Let Host Healthcare help. After your application’s been accepted, work with one of our experienced recruiters to assist you in finding a travel nursing job that fits your interests and level of experience.

Apply today and let the journey begin.

 

Sources:

  1. Visit Florida. Coolest Block in Orlando: Thornton Park for Food and Drink. https://www.visitflorida.com/travel-ideas/articles/orlando-thorton-park-district/ 
  2. Rent Cafe. Orlando, Fl. Rental Market Trends. https://www.rentcafe.com/average-rent-market-trends/us/fl/orlando/ 
  3. Living Cost. Cost of Living in Orlando, Florida. https://livingcost.org/cost/united-states/fl/orlando
  4. Kennedy Space Center. All Attractions. https://www.kennedyspacecenter.com/explore-attractions/all-attractions
  5. Thornton Park District. Events. https://www.thorntonparkdistrict.com/event-directory/ 
  6. Hawkers. The Food. https://eathawkers.com/menus/dining/ 
  7. Florida Review. Florida Tourism Statistics for 2020. https://floridareview.co.uk/useful-resources/florida-tourism-numbers 
  8. Gatorland. Animals. https://www.gatorland.com/animals-at-gatorland/ 
  9. Hotels. 52 Best Things to Do in Orlando. https://www.hotels.com/go/usa/best-orlando-things-to-do