Dreaming of urban living at its finest in a walkable neighborhood that supports car-free living? Orlando is home to many walkable communities with shopping, dining, and entertainment easily within reach by foot or bicycle. Here are some of the best and most walkable places to live in Orlando, Florida. 

South Eola

South Eola is Orlando’s most walkable neighborhood! Located in the heart of downtown Orlando surrounding Lake Eola Park, the neighborhood is home to the only grocery store and the dog park in the downtown area. The historic Constitution Green is a popular destination for dog owners while Lake Eola Park is the neighborhood’s crown jewel with paddle boats, community events, and the award-winning Orlando Farmers Market for fresh produce within walking distance. 

South Eola is home to more than 2,000 people with a combination of single-family homes, townhouses, high-rise apartments, and condos. Most residents are within a five-minute walk of one of the neighborhood’s 110+ restaurants, coffee shops, and bars! 

South Eola has a Walk Score of 90 compared to Orlando’s overall Walk Score of just 41. 

Central Business District

Just west of South Eola is the second-most walkable Orlando neighborhood: the Central Business District. Popular with young professionals, most of the more than 3,000 residents are minutes from more than two dozen restaurants, bars, and entertainment destinations. 

The Central Business District is within walking distance of the grocery store and entertainment. Here are just some popular amenities within minutes of your front door: 

  • Nightlife including bars and the SAK Comedy Club
  • Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts
  • Orange County Regional History Center
  • Live music at The Vanguard
  • CMX Cinemas Plaza Café 12 movie theater
  • Orlando Public Library
  • Art galleries
  • Multiple gyms
  • Dozens of restaurants and bars

The Central Business District is truly Orlando’s most pedestrian-friendly destination.The Central Business District has a slightly lower WalkScore than South Eola at 85. It’s more bicycle-friendly and has better public transportation access too. 

Thornton Park

Thornton Park is east of South Eola and nestled against Lake Lawsona, a picturesque open space park. This smaller neighborhood of about 600 people is home to nearly 40 restaurants, coffee shops, and bars. It’s gained a reputation as a trendy destination for its indie music venues and walkable main street. 

Thornton Park offers a five-minute commute to the Central Business District.  You’ll also find employment options within walking distance with medical and law offices nearby. It’s served by the free downtown Lymmo bus system. The three bus lines serve the downtown area and connect to the Lynx Central Station, SunRail stations, and top attractions. 

Park Lake/Highland

Park Lake/Highland is north of Lake Eola and the Central Business District. It’s located along East Colonial Drive, one of Orlando’s three main retail activity hubs. It’s home to Lake Highland Park, a quiet destination popular with residents which connects to the Orlando Urban Trail. About 4,000 people use the three-mile trail every week which winds around six lakes and through five neighborhoods. 

The Park Lake/Highland neighborhood has a Walk Score of 84 and a Bike Score of 87. It’s best known for Little Saigon, a dense collection of Vietnamese businesses and restaurants. Residents enjoy easy access to nightlife options, live music, and eateries in the Mills 50 district all within walking distance. 

Staying Safe As A Pedestrian In Orlando

Living in a walkable neighborhood gives you an unbelievable sense of freedom. You to get to know your community in a way you can’t while driving. However, it’s important to stay safe when walking around Orlando’s downtown area. 

Orlando has been ranked the 8th most dangerous metro area in the United States for pedestrians. Florida reached a record-high number of pedestrian accidents in 2021 with 842 deaths across the state. Between 2016 and 2020, there were 431 pedestrian deaths in the Orlando metro area with a pedestrian fatality rate of 3.37 per 100,000 people. 

Orange County is Florida’s third-deadliest county for pedestrians after Pinellas and Lafayette. These top three counties even outnumbered fatalities in Miami-Dade County.  

To stay safe while enjoying your new neighborhood, make yourself as visible as possible with bright or reflective materials at night. Do not rely on pedestrian signals; always look before crossing. Make eye contact with drivers to verify they see you, are not distracted, and have stopped completely. Always obey traffic signals and cross at marked crosswalks and intersections when possible.