First off, let me say that I'm responding to this without taking the time to entirely read through all the replies, so I appoligize if I'm repeating anything others might have already said.
I was born in Houston and currently live here (Kingwood, to be exact), but my parents are from Orlando, so I've been going there 2-3 times a year practically my whole life, so it's like my second home. Both places have their ups and downs. But hands down, I would much rather live in Orlando over Houston any day, that is for sure. Here's a few of the reasons...
Let's start with the weather. Generally, Houston has more of a winter than Orlando, which is one thing I do like about Houston weather. But in the summer, the heat and humidity in Houston is almost unbearable. While it's just as hot in Orlando, the humidity in Houston is way worse, and that's what's makes it so bad here.
Then there's traffic. Yeah it can be bad in Orlando, but nothing like it is here in Houston. Houston is way more crowded, on and off the roads. Plus, the roads are so so so much nicer and cleaner in Orlando.
While people in Orlando may get annoyed by the tourists, Houston has to put up with all the immigrants, illegal and not. And just the fact that central Florida attracts so many tourists, while Houston attracts practically none should tell you something. And I saw above where someone said everyone in Orlando works for a theme park... not true at all!
When it comes to places to live, they both have nice areas and not so nice areas. You mentioned the Woodlands as a place you might live if you move here, great choice! The Woodlands is one of my favorite places around here. They have a great mall and tons of good retaurants. I'm not that familiar with all the places to live in Orlando, but there are some really really nice areas where famous athletes and such live. One of my favorite areas is Winter Park, some really nice older houses there.
If you're a fan of beaches, (and you had better be if you move to FL
'cause you're missing out if you're not!) Orlando wins again. Obviously neither Houston nor Orlando is on the coast, but Orlando is not a far drive from Daytona Beach and many others. Although I personally would reccomend St. Augustine near Jacksonville, as it is not near as crowded as Daytona. I guess most people in Houston venture to Galveston, but that beach is just nasty compared to anything in Florida.
When it comes to comparing the 2 cities' major airports, well IAH
is deffinately bigger, but I am a huge fan of MCO
, a very nice airport IMO, with a nice varriety of planes and airlines if you're intterested in spotting.
Then there's the apsect of professional sports teams, an important one to me. I would miss going to Astros games very much if I moved away from Houston! And although Orlando doesn't have a MLB team, the Astros' spring training is in Kissimmee, which isn't far from Orlando at all, about an hour drive I think. The Braves also have Spring Training at some Disney complex in Orlando too, I think. I'm also a much bigger Rockets fan the Magic. Don't really care about hockey or the WNBA.
Well geez, I could go on forever about the things I like about Orlando more than Houston, but I think you've got the picture by now that I choose Orlando over Houston any day.