Audubon Park: 10 Great Places to Live in Orlando in 2023

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A family enjoys Leu Gardens.

Photos by Roberto Gonzalez

During the lifetime of Orlando’s Naval Training Center, Audubon Park was abuzz with military families who called it home. Then in 1999, the base closed. A few years later, construction began on the neighboring high-end community of Baldwin Park. But Audubon Park would not live in its shadow. It would rise up as a destination neighborhood on its own merits.

The community rebranded itself as the Audubon Park Garden District in honor of its pride and joy, Harry P.  Leu Gardens. It also joined the Main Street America program, winning the Great American Main Street Award in 2016 for revitalizing its business district, creating a good-food scene, and its focus on urban farming.

“What’s really neat about that area is it’s a little bit eclectic. It’s a very warm and welcoming part of our community,” says Orlando District 3 Commissioner Robert Stuart.

The Monday night community market at Stardust Video and Coffee became a birthing center for business, giving rise to the $3 million East End Market and the Lineage Coffee chain. Park Avenue CDs relocated there, Redlight Redlight brewery became a local hotspot, and two Michelin-recognized eateries—Kadence and Domu—helped put the area on every gourmand’s map.

“Having the school in the middle of the district creates a lot of activity and exposure for people who wouldn’t see the business district.”—Robert Stuart, Orlando District 3 Commissioner

The opening of the top-rated Audubon Park School in 2018 drew attention to the area’s quirky collection of retailers where shoppers can find books, beer, coffee, vintage items, baked goods, ice cream, flowers and even fishing rods. 


Customers browse the selection at Park Avenue CDs.

 Michael Lothrop, president of Audubon Park’s Main Street organization and host of the “Hello APGD” podcast, “about 99 percent of the shops are independently owned.”

He credits Main Street with shaping the vision for the community. “The Main Street organization really tries to build that sense of community, and it tries to promote historic preservation.” Known for its mid-century modern homes, Audubon Park has a median age of 38 and a median home price of $445,000.

The community’s signature events—such as Zombietoberfest, Bastille Day and the Grandma Party Bazaar craft fair—reflect the community’s quirky character. “For me, it really is about the community,” Lothrop says. “There’s a real dedication to making it as great as possible.”


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