Special Issues » Annual Manual

Welcome to Orlando

Orlando Weekly’s guide to the city and its neighborhoods.


Outsiders like to visit us, but they sure don’t know us. When they think Orlando, they think of a place that’s Anytown, USA – all chain stores and strip malls and corporate anonymity, run by a shadow government with its HQ buried somewhere deep in the calculated heart of Walt Disney World.

We know that couldn’t be further from the truth. The heart of Orlando is not in the theme parks (though they are an integral part of who we are and what we do). It’s in our neighborhoods. Though they often go overlooked by tourists, neighborhoods with unique identities – places with beautiful parks full of tropical foliage and mystery, locally owned businesses and favorite watering holes – are as much a part of our city as the Mouse, the roller coasters, the water parks and the alligators.

Each year, we put this annual manual together to give you an insider’s guide to what makes Orlando (and its surrounding cities and towns) a unique place – a place we’re proud to call home. In the following pages, you’ll find profiles of many of our major neighborhood hubs. We highlight some of the prime places to eat, drink and shop, followed by listings of all the best in arts & culture, nightlife, sports & recreation, attractions and events. It’s a little bit of everything that makes Orlando whole – from its history to its future. The takeaway? Orlando is frequently a happy accident.

Read about the city through our eyes, then get out there and explore it – whether you’re new to town, a longtime resident looking for new adventures in your own city or a tourist just passing through, we’ve tried to include something for you. Now it’s your turn to make it your own.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at feedback@orlandoweekly.com.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club for as little as $5 a month.