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Settling Into Orlando: Your Guide to the City

Orlando is a large and exciting city, but just like with any new city, moving here can be an adjustment. One way to settle into a new city is to become familiar with local points of interest near your home. In the areas around UCF, off campus housing is where most students live, so by reviewing a guide to the attractions near campus as well as other basic information about Orlando, you can acclimate and feel right at home in your new city.   


Each day when classes end and you go off campus, apartments near UCF are likely your first destination. So, in the course of a few days, you’ll get familiar with the sidewalks and streets in your community. In order to branch out and discover other areas of Orlando, though, it’s helpful to know about the city’s transportation network.

Driving in Orlando

A personal vehicle is the form of transportation many residents use to get around Orlando. Your first step to becoming comfortable driving in the city is to learn the roads that run by the student apartments near UCF where you live. Next is to learn the city’s main thoroughfares so you can drive to places outside your local area. Interstate 4 connects Orlando to other cities on both coasts of Florida, but I-4 is also a main corridor for local traffic. Other prominent roads for getting around the city are East-West Expressway, Beachline Expressway, and Central Florida Greeneway. While University Boulevard is a popular route students take to campus. But until you’re familiar with the local roads, a navigational service such as Google Maps can provide driving directions.

Orlando Public Transportation

Exploring Orlando on foot is also possible because the city has a wide network of public transportation services. LYNX is a bus system that operates throughout the city as well as neighboring counties. You can purchase individual bus trips on LYNX or buy passes for routine travel. For faire-free travel, LYMMO is a bus service that runs in a loop around downtown Orlando. And to travel to class or go off campus, UCF Shuttles are available.

Long-Distance Travel

When you need to visit someplace outside of Orlando, there are several options for long-distance travel. At the Greyhound Orlando Bus Station, students can purchase tickets for regional and cross-country bus trips. Another fast form of transportation is a train service, of which Orlando has several, including SunRail, which runs to local counties, and Amtrak, which operations nationwide. There are also two airports in the city, the largest being Orlando International Airport.

Attractions near UCF

In Orlando, student housing can be located near UCF. As a result, the attractions that are located in the areas just off campus are also likely to be convenient points of interest for you to visit.

Orlando Dining

One reason students move off campus is to take advantage of the variety of dining options available. In fact, students can usually walk, bike, or drive just a few minutes from their apartments and encounter many types of restaurants, including everything from breakfast cafes and diners to fast-food restaurants and pubs. In addition to touring the areas near your home, another way to find new restaurants is with an online resource such as Zagat for Orlando.

Shopping in Orlando

An important part of settling into a new city is finding the stores that sell the goods you need. University Palms Shopping Center, which has stores for groceries and household items, and Alafaya Commons, which is an outdoor shopping venue, are conveniently located near where many UCF students live. As for on-campus shopping, University of Central Florida Bookstore is a popular source for Knights apparel and class materials.

Area Recreation

The nice weather in Orlando most of the year presents opportunities for going outdoors and using recreational areas. University of Central Florida Arboretum is a destination where students go for both exercise and education, as they walk on pathways surrounded by plant life. Meanwhile, for local athletics, you can visit Recreation and Wellness Center (RWC) Park, which features fields for baseball, football, rugby, soccer, and other sports.

Off Campus Orlando Student Housing

The Station Alafaya is a student housing community in Orlando near UCF, where residents live in fully-furnished townhomes with private bedrooms. Our community is also driven by amenities, including a gaming lounge, two-story fitness facility, and resort-style pool, as well as meeting rooms, a computer lab, and a free printing station. Meanwhile, with our convenient location just off campus, students can commute to class easily while also benefiting from the restaurants, shopping areas, and other attractions in the area. Contact us to schedule a tour of The Station!

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