What Are the Best Places to Live in Florida?
Moving to Florida is an exciting prospect. A state that is known for its warmth, nonstop sunny weather, and its beaches? How could anyone say no? As you think about the different cities in Florida where you could live, make sure to think about your specific priorities.
Tallahassee is a great Floridian city to live in for a variety of reasons. First, it boasts a nice mix of urban-suburban appeal. The city is incredibly family-friendly with above-average schools and a variety of fun attractions for families with young kids. But while this city is incredibly family-friendly, it is also a great place for young professionals and students.
In fact, some might even call this city a true college town as it stands as the home of Florida State University. Residents of this city definitely come together on game day around their FSU team that has won many championships in the past. This comradery among residents makes for a fun atmosphere.
Additionally, while practically all other Floridian cities seem to have summer-time weather year-round, Tallahassee is one of the few cities in Florida that gets four distinct seasons. While you likely won’t experience any snowing or drastically low temperatures like in Vermont or elsewhere in the northern US, having these four seasons means you should expect to have some cool times during the year. For some, this might be a real benefit of living here.
Miami is one of the most vibrant and diverse cities in Florida. Miami boasts strong Latin American influence and some areas of the city are strictly Spanish-only. But besides the incredibly beautiful and eclectic mélange of cultures to be found in this city, there is also incredible architecture. The city is famous for many of its art deco buildings with bright colors from creamy whites to bright pink and blue smattered across the walls.
Besides its world-class beaches, beautiful weather, and incredibly developed tourism and hospitality, the city is also one of the best places to eat. Because of the strong Latin American influence, expect to find incredible Haitian, Dominican, Cuban, Puerto Rican, and Venezuelan food. Moving to this city will allow you to taste incredible food because there are seriously so many different restaurants to try out.
But in addition to getting excited about the food, the diversity, and the beautiful architecture, be prepared to enjoy some of the most beautiful museums and exposure to the art and music of any city. Miami is for sure a vibrant place to live.
Tampa is located on the middle southwest coast of Florida situated around an inlet. The city is famous for many reasons. But one of the most important reasons why it would make a great place to live for prospective residents is its great financial market. Of all the cities in Florida, Tampa acts as the state’s main financial capital. Moving here could mean access to great job opportunities or increased business for your current business.
Additionally, Tampa also has many beautiful beaches in the center of the city around the inlet as well as many other beaches on the actual coast. Even more than beaches, Tampa is an incredibly fun city to live in with a famous amusement park like Busch Gardens. In addition to Busch Gardens, Tampa also boasts an incredible variety of other family-friendly activities that you can try out with your kids that are little or with your kids that are a bit older. Try checking out the main zoo—it houses thousands of animals and even has a rescue center for injured manatees. Kids can get within close proximity of the animals and really learn to love nature. Tampa also boasts a variety of fun museums from the Museum of Science and Industry to the Glazer Children’s Museum. Tampa also proves an incredibly fun walking area with its world record for the longest continuous sidewalk, Bayshore Boulevard.
Orlando is one of the biggest and most well-loved cities in Florida. This city became well-known after Disneyworld was built a few miles from the city center. Disneyworld certainly does represent one of the main draws to Orlando if you are a Disney fan—as an Orlando resident, you can get special deals on season passes at a lower cost. Also, because Disneyworld is so large, having a season pass and being able to visit the different parks throughout the year means you’ll be able to switch things up each time you head to Disney.
But besides the appeal of Disneyworld, Orlando is also well known for its SeaWorld and Universal Studios Park located nearby. This park houses one of the many legendary Harry Potter Worlds as many other rides from your favorite movies. Living in the Orlando area and having access to this fun park among others is a great decision if you are still raising a family.
Key West is one of the more unique and vibrant cities to live in Florida. The city is situated in the Florida Keys area which is an archipelago—a group of islands close together. Living in Key West gives you quick and easy access to this beautiful grouping of islands with all the cool tourist benefits that come along with them. Each island boasts its own unique culture and vibrancy.
Key West itself is one of the loveliest cities with some of the coolest sites to visit. For book lovers out there, you can visit Ernest Hemmingway’s home with many of the original furniture from when he lived there. The city also has some of the cleanest and most incredible state parks and places to snorkel. Consider visiting the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park where you are likely to see turtles and other ocean life.
Finally, Key West boasts some of the best fishing that there is. There are many fishing opportunities in Key West if you are interested in starting a new hobby. From fishing piers to locations where you can take a small fishing boat, you will have access to a variety of different kinds of fishing in a variety of scenic locations.
Fort Myers is a lovely city situated on the southwestern edge of Florida. The city is a great place to live if you want to be relatively close to big attractions like Disneyworld in Orlando or other destination cities like Tampa and Miami. Additionally, despite the close proximity to these awesome locations, the city itself is quite affordable and has a lovely downtown area.
The historic district has recently received a large amount of funding to improve and refresh the area’s restaurant and shopping scene. The improvements have made the area a family-friendly and young professional-friendly area to hang out and eat delicious Cuban, Mexican, or traditional Southern food.
Daytona Beach ranks as one of the greatest places to live in the US. And it makes sense why. First of all, despite being a relatively large city, it has a quaint small-town feel. And while so many cities in Florida boast incredible beaches, Daytona Beach’s beaches stand apart. They are famous for the hard-packed white soft sand that has attracted many vacationers for a long time.
Above all, Daytona Beach is most famous for its racing history. Ever since the early days, Daytona Beach has been home to the Daytona International Speedway considered the mecca of automobile racing. So if you are interested in cars and interested in NASCAR, living in Daytona Beach could be a real treat. But if this isn’t exactly what gets you excited, be prepared at least for increased numbers of people around the time of the year when the Daytona 500 takes place.
Gainesville is situated in the middle north of Florida which means that it is not a Floridian city with quick access to the beach. But while Gainesville isn’t necessarily a beach town, its central location means that you are at most about an hour or an hour and a half from a beach on either side of the state. Its central location also means you are only a few hours from Orlando, Jacksonville, Tampa, and Tallahassee making the city a great place to live with easy access to the tourist appeal of other larger cities.
Jacksonville is the northmost city in Florida and is also its largest city. It stretches across about 870 square miles and is home to about 900,000 people. Jacksonville has its pros and its cons. Of its pros, no matter where you live in Jacksonville, you are likely to be within close distance of the beach. The city is situated around the St. Johns River and around its outlet into the Atlantic Ocean. Because of this, the city has so many beautiful beaches all in the heart of the city. Additionally, because Jacksonville is situated towards the top of Florida, you’re closer to other great destinations as well—Atlanta Georgia for example is only about 5 hours north.
The city is also a great place to be in for its job market. Compared to other Florida cities, Jacksonville has a healthy and developing job market making it easier to find a job. Or if you are running your own business, having a healthy job market makes it a lot easier for you to be successful. On top of the developing job market, Jacksonville also boasts a comparably low cost of living given the size of the city and the opportunity it offers.
But while Jacksonville offers many incredible benefits, you should also be aware of the high crime rate. Jacksonville has one of the highest crime rates in the country so it’s not a city for the faint of heart. The most common types of crime are robberies.
Port St. Lucie
Port St. Lucie is a beautiful city situated in the southern part of Florida above West Palm Beach. Port St. Lucie goes back to 1567 when the Spanish arrived and began building a settlement on December 13th, the holiday for Saint Lucia. They named the settlement after her and it’s been that way ever since.
Port St. Lucie is the 8th largest city in Florida—a bit bigger than Fort Lauderdale—and it has a lot of benefits for prospective homeowners. First of all, like many other cities in Florida, Port St. Lucie is known for its wonderful warm weather and beautiful beaches. But the things that really set Port St. Lucie apart have to do with its cost of living and tax policy. Living in Port St. Lucie is incredibly affordable. In fact, you can maintain about the same standard of living that you could have in NYC with half the salary in Port St. Lucie. This affordability makes it a great choice for prospective homeowners who want to take advantage of the beautiful benefits of living in Florida without exorbitant expenses. Having a low cost of living is an added bonus to the state’s already awesome tax policy. Florida is one of the few states to not have income tax which can save you thousands of dollars every year.
In addition to its affordability, Port St. Lucie also offers a variety of great activities. Great golfing represents one of its best offerings. There are a large number of beautiful golf courses for various skill levels throughout the city. And even more than golf, Port St. Lucie has great fishing as well. Because the city is connected to both the ocean and the St. Lucie river, you will have many different fishing options available to you.
While thinking about where you want to move is an exciting prospect, be sure to think about a variety of factors. Moving somewhere sunny with great beaches sounds great initially, but make sure that the other aspects of the city match what you want. Do your research to really understand the housing market so you can find a home where you really want to live.
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