The Pine Hills
neighborhood of Orlando
provides an affordable alternative to the pricey gated communities and more lavish accommodations in the surrounding region. Thanks to Pine Hills' proximity to several colleges as well as countless employers in the greater Orlando metropolitan area, most residents spend 30 minutes or less getting to work.
This neighborhood lies about seven miles northwest of downtown Orlando
and 12 miles east of Lake Apopka.
Schools in Pine Hills
School data provided by GreatSchools
Restaurants & Nightlife
Route 50 contains the majority of restaurants in the region, and while fast food chains proliferate, several unique and charming establishments successfully compete for attention among the local residents and those looking for some for the area's secret gems.
For mix-and-match sushi, Chinese, Thai and Japanese foods, visit Bamboo Asian Cuisine. Dine-in or carryout patrons enjoy Bamboo's scrumptious modern interpretation of traditional oriental dishes. Chef's specials and lunch specials highlight some of the restaurants best dishes. Start off with some steamed edamame or teriyaki skewers, then try the Thai red curry or moo goo gai pan. Sushi items may be ordered a la carte, and the menu contains a number of vegetarian items.
Burgers and other sandwiches, soups, salads and home-style side dishes constitute the menu at That One Spot. Whether you choose gourmet burgers with onion rings and a side of freshly made soup or the signature That One wedge salad with goat cheese, dried cranberries and walnuts, this restaurant serves it up with style and pizzazz.
Pine Hills can get pretty wild at night, but the fun clubs and real nightlife can be found mostly to the east and south, closer to downtown. Locals love Cowboys Orlando 's monstrous 20,000 square feet of dance floor and patio. Dance and drink all night, or shoot a few games of pool. This place provides good music and great fun. With different specials for every night of the week, Cowboys makes a great place to throw parties.
History & Culture
One of the first suburbs of Orlando, Pine Hills was developed in the mid 1950s to be an upper-middle class enclave with a country club, but due to convenient proximity to the city, quickly became a preferred neighborhood for local blue-collar workers and their families.
Several museums grace the Orlando area, from the Orlando Museum of Art to the Orange County Regional History Center. Right outside of the neighborhood, Orlando’s annual two-week Fringe Festival exists to provide an accessible, affordable creative outlet that draws the community together through the arts.
The Lynx bus system provides service throughout the region, including free rides in the downtown area on certain routes. Rides via taxicabs and Uber can be arranged over the phone or computer. Public parking costs nothing around Pine Hills, but downtown Orlando has meters and garages with free public parking only at large stores. Route 438 runs through here, connecting to nearby Lake Apopka as well as to Interstate 4, which leads into the city.
While sidewalks do exist on main roads, they are lacking in other parts of town, and bike lanes are limited to Pine Hills Road, so walking and other outdoor activity should probably be reserved for the area’s parks.
It costs less to live in Pine Hills than in most of the surrounding towns. One-way bus fare to downtown costs $2, with free transfers within a 90-minute window. The average one-bedroom
apartment rental price runs about $570 per month, and you can get a draft beer nearby for $3. Gas prices stay around 2 percent below the national average.
Besides downtown Orlando, the West Oaks Mall provides most of the shopping choices for this part of town, with the usual department stores and chains well-represented in addition to the eateries and stop and shops. This area contains more high-value stores than anything, with bargains everywhere.
Visit Evelyn's Creations for fashionable clothing at affordable prices. Specializing in African clothing and ethnic jewelry made of beads, stones and cowrie shells, the store also has beauty products and home decor items. Have clothing and other items including hand painted scarves and canes made for you while you wait.
Zou Zou presents a collection of styles from both hard-to-find labels and hot new designers. The boutique has been featured in national fashion magazines and has a growing clientele that appreciates the stylish, practical and flattering pieces found here.
At Etoile they say, "Fashion is what you buy. Style is what you do with it." A clothing, home goods and accessories boutique that specializes in vintage, handmade and local brands for men and women, Etoile staff help you find what you want if you just ask them.
Grocery choices for Pine Hills include Winn-Dixie, Save-A-Lot, and the Walmart Supercenter. The Homegrown Local Food Cooperative provides an online farmers market of sorts, from which members can select their order and pick it up on the weekends.
Of the free-to-enter public parks in Pine Hills, Barnett Park provides the most choices for outdoor exercise
and fun. In this park you can ride on a professional BMX track or biking trail or take a hike on nature trails. Ball fields and dog parks allow for team sports and fun with Fido and you can also rent pavilions here for large events and parties. You can bring in any type of food or drink you'd like.
The annual Florida Film festival, a small and intimate affair for movie lovers of all sorts, attracts submissions and film lovers from far and wide and presents a unique combination of widely distributed and indie-feel films that will attract all kinds of audiences.