A little over 2 years ago my family was relocating to Central Florida from the Atlanta Metro purely because we wanted to. We felt that after 5 years we needed to try something new and {bonus} we had family in Orlando. There was just one problem with this plan…we lived 8 hours away and couldn’t just drive around to find a house. So we took advice from family for a general area to look and then set to internet research.

We quickly discovered that houses in Orlando were much pricier than our little corner on the outskirts of Atlanta so we settled for a 4 bedroom condo in a good school district. We figured that having our kiddos in a good elementary school was the most important thing and that we could deal with the cramped quarters for a year…and that’s exactly what we did. Little did we know that we had found the perfect neighborhood in Orlando for us. 

A Gold Mine

We quickly discovered that there were picturesque parks, delicious restaurants, and friendly faces all within our tiny town of Maitland, Florida. It was the best move of our now 10 year marriage…and there had been quite a few.

Picturesque Parks

Lake Lily Park

Our first and favorite park is Lake Lily Park. This relatively shady park {important in Orlando!} has a little playground, walking path around the lake, wildlife ready to finish your lunch, and a weekly farmers’ market

My husband and I love to meet here for our lunch breaks to get away from our computers, and our kids love playing on the newly renovated playground.

Maitland Community Park

When you are looking for tennis lessons, a basketball court, or a covered pavilion for a birthday party/get-together, Maitland Community Park is our go-to! This wooded park also has multiple paths with exercise stations throughout if you are looking to change up your workout routine and escape the gym. 

This park is the perfect location for elementary school friends to meet up after school, or on the weekend. It is not uncommon to see a large group of moms participating in Baby Boot Camp classes

Delicious Restaurants

Olea Mezze Grille

Another thing I love about Maitland is the sense of community and how involved the local businesses get. Each fall Olea Mezze Grille has a friendly competition for the local schools to earn money. This spurs lots of Spirit Nights and fills up the place.


Whether you are looking for a fine dining experience, or just your favorite Italian treats {read: wine} to take home, Antonio’s is the place to go! Located right across the street from Lake Lily it is in the heart of Maitland and is absolutely delicious. 

Enzian Eden Bar

Photo Credit: enzian.org

If you are looking for a fun date night give the Enzian a try. Whether you want to check out a movie, or just dine at their open air Eden Bar you will not be disappointed! Oh, and don’t miss the drink specials. 

Friendly Faces

Maitland Public Library

While small, this is a very mighty library. Maitland Public Library has been serving this community since 1896 and I have had nothing but amazing experiences there. Their event calendar is filled no matter what your age or interest, the children’s area is delightful, and their book sales are a GREAT time to fill your own shelves with new friends…er…books. 

Frequently when I find myself with a short break between commitments I pop in and enjoy the smell of the books.

Jeremiah’s Italian Ice

Sure, this may not be the first place you think of to find a friendly face, but I have never found anything other than smiles at Jeremiah’s. Even on blazing hot days where the line is 4 families deep the workers are always friendly and happily indulge my children as they want to sample different flavors. Another bonus is we always run into friends while having our treats.

I’ve never been happier.

After living in 6 different states throughout my life, I’ve never been happier than I am in my little corner of Central Florida called Maitland. We are less than an hour from the theme parks and beaches that one typically thinks of when going to Orlando, but we have the small town energy of middle America where everyone knows your name and will help you out. 

I feel like I have found my forever home in MY Maitland.

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