Is Orlando, Florida a Walkable City?

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Key Points

  • Orlando has a high rate of crime and pedestrian accidents. Both make most of the city unsafe for walking.
  • The most pedestrian friendly neighborhoods include South Eola, the Central Business District, and Winter Park.
  • Celebration and Winter Garden are both close to Orlando and also very walkable.

Orlando has experienced massive growth over the past decades (due in large part to the Mouse). The population has nearly doubled, from around 1.2 million Orlando-area residents in 2000 to nearly 2.1 million in 2024. 

Orlando covers a much larger area, with more distinct suburban towns, than other famous American cities. With the theme parks, especially Disney World, being located just on the outskirts of Orange County, the question of whether Orlando is a walkable city is a tricky one to answer. 

Once you break Orlando down into smaller neighborhood pieces, it’s easier to see how certain spots are very walkable places to visit and live, while others aren’t the best option for walking.

Here, we’ll look at pedestrian safety in Orlando and go over some of the most walkable neighborhoods in the Orlando area.

Pedestrian Safety and Accident Statistics in Orlando

Before jumping into areas that are great walkable options, it’s important to note what it means for a city to be walkable. One of the biggest overall factors to determine this is safety. 

Crime rates in Orlando as a whole are fairly high, as with most big cities, though they aren’t as bad as America’s most famous large cities, like Chicago. 

Pedestrian safety is not good either, as Orlando ranks one of the worst in terms of pedestrian deaths. In the greater Orlando metropolitan area, there were 740 deaths from 2010-2019.

However, these safety issues come with a caveat – they include the whole Orlando area, not just the city itself. Areas on the outskirts of downtown Orlando, such as Orange Blossom Trail and John Young Parkway, which feed into the city, are notoriously bad. I-4, the major highway running through Orlando, is one of the worst in the country as well.

Yet these are not places you’ll be walking when traversing the city of Orlando. There are plenty of nicer areas meant for walking, with tons of crosswalks, restaurants, and boutique shops to visit. 

Don’t let some of the statistics get in your way – Orlando is not bad in terms of walkability.

Orlando’s Most Walkable Neighborhoods and Parks

Here are some of the most walkable neighborhoods and parks in the city.

South Eola

South Eola has a ton of restaurants, bars, coffee shops, and apartments to call home. It’s one of the few areas in Orlando that seems entirely built for city living, and residents can find anything they need with a 5-minute talk in any direction.

This includes easy access to Florida’s famous grocery store, Publix. Additionally, South Eola has a convenient SunRail stop. The Sunrail connects to Winter Park, other parts of Orlando, and even connects to the Brightline to travel to Miami.

Orlando City Sightseeing Tours

There’s more to Orlando than theme parks. Discover the city of Orlando and the surrounding region on this full-day sightseeing bus tour and boat cruise. Learn about the history of Orlando. Enjoy a scenic boat ride through the lakes and canals of historic Winter Park.

The new Brightline train system is a glowing opportunity for the city or Orlando, and plans for its expansion are far along in development, with stops potentially planned for Tampa Bay and the theme parks.

If that’s not enough, South Eola boasts access to the downtown area’s only dog park – Constitution Green. There is also the Orlando Farmer’s Market, which can offer fresh foods in a fun to explore atmosphere. 

It’s an overall great space to live or visit and is top on the list of walkable spots in Orlando.

Lake Eola Park

Located within the South Eola neighborhood is the centerpiece of Orlando’s downtown area, Lake Eola Park. The 43-acre area is home to a variety of recreational activities, including paddle/pedal boats, walking, and Swan-watching. Don’t get too close, though, as they are known to get angry! 

The sidewalk that wraps around the park is just short of a mile around, so it’s the perfect distance for a walk. The fountain at the center of the park even has a fun show nightly from 8 to 9pm where it moves to music. 

Though the park is often overshadowed by the nearby attractions, it is a nice spot to spend some time while in Orlando.

Central Business District

Located slightly closer to the heart of downtown than South Eola, the Central Business District is also very walkable. The previously mentioned Eola amenities are still within walking distance, and the variety of entertainment options close by is much higher. 

Entertainment can include a Broadway show at the Dr. Phillips Center, multiple museums, and live venues for concerts and more. There are still plenty of great restaurants and shops to visit, so it is a great spot to walk.

Winter Park

Winter Park is the upscale tip of Orlando and is filled to the brim with fine dining and fancy boutique shops. The atmosphere is alluring and interesting with enough character to feel personable and enough upscale options to feel exciting. 

Rollins College is located in Winter Park, and students help bring out the active and fun atmosphere that makes Winter Park a walkable location. It feels a bit more relaxed than downtown Orlando, so it is a spot that might be attractive to visitors and potential residents alike!

Beyond Orlando

There are also a couple of places near Orlando that are great for pedestrians.

Celebration

Disney’s idea of a model town fell through, but the charm of the city is still very much alive. Celebration, located just outside of Disney World about 30 minutes from downtown Orlando, is a picturesque town full of homes and condos. 

Its main street restaurants, shops, and churches are all walkable, and it’s one of the safest spots you can be. Celebration also puts on an awesome Christmas light contest yearly, so it is an incredible spot to visit if you are visiting Orlando during the holiday season.

Winter Garden

Often deemed as Florida’s “Mayberry” (Andy Griffith’s home town of Mount Airy, North Carolina and inspiration for the show setting), Winter Garden has a quaint and welcoming downtown area full of great spots to walk and dine. 

Although the city as a whole is not the most walkable overall, the central part of Winter Park is great for walkability. If you are wanting to live somewhere you can get by without a car, central Winter Park is one of those places.

The Bottom Line

Orlando, and its adjacent metropolitan area, has issues, but is still a great spot to find walkable locations which make living and visiting well worth the effort. 

Each area and town has its own unique style, flair, and culture. You can follow your taste buds or simply follow the beautiful views, and you will be sure to find very walkable parts of Orlando.



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