Orlando named one of best places to live in America, report says

City Beautiful ranks in top 20 cities

Source: @DowntownOrlando

ORLANDO, Fla. – Orlando has been named one of the best American cities to live in, according to a new report.

The City Beautiful ranked No. 17 on the 2019 Top 100 Best Places to Live list, and outpaced more than 1,000 cities with populations ranging from 20,000 people to 1 million, according to Livability.com.

The rankings were chosen by an exclusive study led by Livability and Ipsos. More than 1,000 millennials nationwide were surveyed to distinguish what mattered most to them in cities. Affordability and job opportunities were the top responses.

The criteria for this year's survey included a new feature: a cap on housing costs. There would be no cities on the Liveability list that have a median home value of more than $250,000.

“The cities on this year’s list represent the best of the best when it comes to affordability and opportunity," Livability.com Editor-in-Chief Winona Dimeo-Ediger said. “These 100 cities are not just fantastic places to live in terms of their amenities, education, health care and infrastructure, they are places where young people can build amazing careers and communities.”

Boise, Idaha was voted as the best city to live, followed by Raleigh, North Carolina and Madison, Wisconsin. Tampa was the only Florida city to beat Orlando on the list, with a No. 12 ranking.

These are the other Florida cities on the list:

  • Clearwater (No. 43)
  • Tallahassee (No. 54)
  • West Palm Beach (No. 80)
  • Gainesville (No. 92)
  • Jacksonville (No. 94)

Although Orlando is known for its close proximity to theme parks, the city ranked on the list for its high scores in economics and demographics. The city's bustling technological scene, growing Puerto Rican population and LGBTQ community presence were among Orlando's standout reasons to be on the list.

Orlando features a wide range of activities away from roller coasters and cartoon characters, including parks, farmers markets, concerts and sporting events. Livability cites the local obsession as watching Orlando Magic games and teeing up at the many golf courses in the area.

Livability described Orlando's climate in its "six words or less" category as "blazing hot summers, deliciously temperate winters." 

The top industries in the Central Florida city are tourism, aviation/aerospace and advanced manufacturing. The median home value hit $227,173, which is $22,827 lower than the list's value cap.

Out of the people surved, the local dream jobs included a position at a startup company or to become a cast member at Disney World. For an after-work drink, The Courtesy was voted the best place to stop for a unique craft cocktail.

People revered the Winter Park Farmers Market as a weekend activity and suggested Puerto Rican food as a meal to anyone in Orlando -- specifically the mofongo.

Crooked Can Brewing Co. was voted as the best local brewery, with the Citrus Kicker ranking as the best local beer. For something fun, and free, to do during the weekend, Lakeridge Winery and Vineyards was chosen for its free tour and tasting.

The Jack Kerouac Project, a writers' retreat, was voted as the hidden gem of the city, with it being held at the house where Kerouac wrote the original manuscript for "Dharma Buns." To go hand in hand, the beloved bookstore of the area was Writer's Block Bookstore.