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Get to know Dr. Phillips

It’s not often that a neighborhood with an advanced degree, but that’s what you’ll get south of Orlando in Dr. Phillips. Named after Philip Phillips, a medical doctor who revolutionized orange juice processing and wisely invested in citrus groves (and the land underneath them), this unincorporated area has become an enclave of stately homes surrounding a central business district that features some of the fanciest strip malls you’ve ever seen. Many homes here are situated around lovely lakes, and the neighborhood borders several gated communities, many with world-class golf clubs. Dr. Phillips is centered among Orlando’s attractions but manages to be isolated from them by the aforementioned lakes and an interstate. Residents can easily visit Mickey or Harry Potter, or head over into the tourist mecca of International Drive, which is an astounding ad hoc theme park in itself. Most Dr. Phillips residents seem quite happy with life in their own neighborhood, though.
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History & Culture

Dr. Phillips came from the same place Dr. Philip Phillips’ money came from — orange groves — and that’s exactly what it was until a mousy neighbor arrived in 1971. As Orlando began to grow and expand toward the tourist entertainment to its south, those groves were converted into subdivisions. Demand for Dr. Phillips homes is high because it’s close to everything while still being set somewhat apart, and the people who call it home take advantage of all of the things it’s close to. Locals make up a surprising percentage of tables on a night in Restaurant Row, and the people at the table next door might be next to you in the stands of a high school baseball game the next night. The area is full of biking and walking trails, and though they aren’t well connected they are busy with health-conscious residents. To the west and south of Dr. Phillips are dozens of world-class golf courses and excellent lakes for boating. A home for Orlando’s professionals, the area is full of energy, and residents take both work and relaxation seriously.

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Dine & Shop

People on vacation eat out, and Dr. Phillips is hemmed in by tourist attractions, so there is a tremendous number of restaurants in and around the area. The strip along Sand Lake Road has become known as Orlando’s Restaurant Row for the quality and variety of the venues there. It’s a decidedly high-end selection that includes not only chef-driven white-cloth affairs but speakeasies and taco joints, and even the few chain restaurants seem nicer than other outlets. It’s the be-seen dining-out spot for the residents of Windermere and the western golf communities and is even a destination for downtown Orlandoans and Winter Park denizens who have hundreds of other options at the ready. Like the restaurant scene, there’s a nice selection of curated shops and boutiques in Dr. Phillips, though most of the designer retail can be found just north at the Mall at Millenia or (in a discounted and sometimes questionably authentic way) in the gigantic outlet malls that exist to put luxury goods in the hands of vacationing internationals.