With its pristine beaches, golf galore, and rich cultural heritage, the Sun state is a top destination for people looking to relocate. Residents of the state enjoy a good quality of life thanks to the pleasant climate, lush reserves, and a thriving economic environment. Confused about where to start? Head to our list of best places to live in Florida to find a place you would like to call home.
Port St. Lucie
This friendly beach town is warm both literally with temperatures rising to mid-70s °Fahrenheit or 21°Celcius in winter and figuratively. Four colleges sharing a campus ensure that education is within easy reach. The town is well connected with Naked Lady Ranch Airport and Treasure Coast Airport being less than 10 miles or 16 kilometers away. This tropical town is the go-to place for golf lovers with a variety of options that suit all pockets.
In February and March every year, the baseball-loving residents get to watch the New York Mets’ spring training. For the residents who prefer cultural events to sports, the numerous events hosted by the Civic Center promise a good time. If you wish to avail the amenities of beach cities like Daytona Beach or Miami without the hustle bustle that accompanies them, Port St Lucie must feature on your list of best towns to live in Florida.
Address: Port St. Lucie, Florida, USA | Google map location: https://goo.gl/maps/4ttkmZtbfupQGkGNA
Located 14 miles or 22.5 kilometers to the east of Tampa, this sunny suburb is one of the good places in Florida to live for families. The crime rate here is exceptionally low when compared to that of the generally violent state. Valrico is an economically thriving place. This can be seen from its median household income which has increased exponentially over the last 20 years.
Currently, it stands at $70,732, making it one of the highly prosperous towns. The prices of houses hover around $190,200 and the prices in the suburb are promising. GreatSchools scores the local academic institutions a strong 8/10 making it one of the top places to live in Florida with children. With less than 30% of the households being families with children, Valrico is a diamond in the rough for families that holds great promise.
Address: Valrico, Florida, USA | Google map location: https://goo.gl/maps/YR5ZY7o49eEWC6Dp8
With its pristine white-sand beaches, it is not difficult to see why Sarasota is often ranked as one of the best cities to live in Florida. Situated along the coast to the south of Tampa and north of Fort Myers, this place seamlessly blends Old Florida and a lively cultural scene.
There is no dearth of cultural events – Sarasota will mesmerize you with its ballets, operas, and orchestras. You will also find amazing shows put up by community and professional theater organizations here. The culinary scene is just as marvelous with a wide range of options.
Residents especially take pride in the award-winning craft beer. If having ample green spaces is high on your list of prerequisites for a home city, you will be delighted by the numerous parks and reserves here! The affordability of property rates is the ultimate cherry on top. The house prices have an average of $160,100 which is much lower than the national average.
Address: Sarasota, Florida, USA | Google map location: https://goo.gl/maps/Y9atrDM3A2ipGfs39
Located in Broward County, Weston is often overlooked because of its crime rate but it has many things going for it. For starters, the education setup in Weston is commendable which can be seen from the 9/10 that it has secured on GreatSchools. The graduation rate is also impressive. A significant proportion of the population in Weston consists of families.
This is a big plus point as it means that families are a key factor for consideration when it comes to policies and town planning. On the economic front, the low unemployment rate coupled with a high average household income of $93,814 ensures that families can comfortably afford the relatively high cost of living. If you prefer outdoor activities, you could explore the natural reserves or the 46 miles (74 kilometers) long bike trails within the city with stunning glimpses of the Everglades.
Address: Weston, Florida, USA | Google map location: https://goo.gl/maps/T4Q8AdUDrdAWtNWK8
Popularly known as the Sunshine City, St. Petersburg is located near Tampa, to the south of Clearwater. The sun shines brightly on this place on all days of the year except for five. The population of around 250,000 has a significant proportion of retirees. This is because of the excellent healthcare facilities and the affordable cost of living. The crystal-clear water and the white sand beaches impart a sense of serenity to this place.
But there is more to the place than that – the buzzing downtown with its thriving nightlife is where the young residents enjoy the most. The place boasts of a vibrant cultural landscape with many museums, theater companies, and active arts districts. The average house price in St. Petersburg for a two-bedroom home is $145,100 which sounds like a bargain when you consider all the big city facilities it offers.
Address: St Petersburg, Florida, USA | Google map location: https://goo.gl/maps/KqHC7HyAwhQRWD9EA
Located along the southern Gulf Coast, the first thing that endears most people to Naples is its pristine, white-sand beaches. There is a multitude of options for recreation such as some first-class golf courses. A stroll in the historic, pedestrian-friendly downtown or a shopping trip to the classy stores and boutiques is sure to lift your spirits on a dull day.
This city of 20,600 residents boasts of a low crime rate. The state of the education system in Naples is excellent and the graduation rate is impressively high. Both the Everglades and the Ten Thousand Islands are close to Naples making it one of the best places to live in Florida. Naples is known to be a millionaire playground. The $1100 rent for a house seems reasonable when you consider just how stunning the place is!
Address: Naples, Florida, USA | Google map location: https://goo.gl/maps/pZeXXgYjoaAasCaw5
Often referred to as the Theme Park Capital of the World, it is easy to be dazzled by the bustle of this lively place. Orlando has rightly earned its nickname – you will find Walt Disney, Legoland Florida, Sea World Orlando, and Universal Orlando here. But there is more to Orlando, which has a population of 257,000, than just amusement parks. The public schools have garnered praise from all quarters and the overall state of the education system is outstanding.
The 115 neighborhoods boast of a low unemployment rate making it one of the best cities in Florida to live for families. The good state of transportation makes life in Orlando easier and more comfortable. The house prices hover around $160,500. The average rent is $1000 which is quite a surprise for a city of Orlando’s stature.
Address: Orlando, Florida, USA | Google map location: https://goo.gl/maps/NKhZMsQs7FvjyhjW8
This Hillsborough County city has a population of 355,600. It is the third-largest city in the state of Florida and is known to be quite welcoming and warm. Tampa is considered to be one of the best areas to live in Florida for families thanks to its impressive state of education and outstanding healthcare facilities. A theme park and 185 parks await families looking to have fun outdoors in Tampa.
The abundant sunshine and its location near the water add to the place’s appeal. The only downside to this place is the relatively high crime rate. Tampa boasts of a rapidly growing job market and the economic prospects are bright because of an increasing number of Fortune 1000 companies that are setting up their business here. The house prices have an average of $160,000 and rentals usually fetch around $960 here.
Address: Tampa, Florida, USA | Google map location: https://goo.gl/maps/efQWeeWtAr75DpRC7
This River City on the Sea is one of the top cities to live in the state if you are looking for a lush place. It boasts of the biggest urban park system with over 80,000 acres of woods and wetlands. Add to this the long stretch of the coast and the stunning St. Johns River flowing along with the city and you can visualize just how picturesque this beachfront place is.
The region’s economic progress owes to the contribution of the business sector which boasts of many well-known companies such as Mayo Clinic and Johnson & Johnson. Historic neighborhoods and fascinating street art add to the charm of this place. All the amenities of this coastal city can be enjoyed at affordable rates – the average house sale price is $235,000 and the cost of living is relatively low.
Address: Jacksonville, Florida, USA | Google map location: https://goo.gl/maps/bTfzUXnv8yWoGVC5A
Many people mistake Miami to be the capital of the state but it is Tallahassee that is the official state capital. With a population of 187,000 residents, Tallahassee is mostly known to be a college town. Solid academic institutions such as Florida State University, Florida A&M University, and Tallahassee Community college are established here. Tallahassee is thus a great option for families in general and students in particular.
The young college-going crowd adds a zing to the nightlife. Weekends are never dull with the local parks, museums, sports events, and cultural festivals providing ample recreation and relaxation. All of these amenities sound even more attractive to families in the context of the low cost of living in the town. In Tallahassee, you can buy a decent house at an average of $177,900.
Address: Tallahassee, Florida, USA | Google map location: https://goo.gl/maps/sR5SE4KcBEKSLdrT6
New Smyrna Beach
Situated to the south of Daytona Beach along the Atlantic Coast, this quaint beach town has great scope for lively outdoor activities. There is an abundance of green spaces thanks to the many parks such as Lake Ashby Park, Doris Leeper Spruce Creek Preserve, and Smyrna Dunes Park. The tennis courts, golf courses, and fishing charters offer more opportunities to have fun outside.
The residents have great reverence for local artists and you can admire local art at Arts on Douglas or the Atlantic Center for the Arts. Flagler Avenue and Canal Street are the go-to places in New Smyrna Beach for shopping at boutiques and small shops but the multiple malls around the place can take care of everyday needs. As New Smyrna Beach is close to both Daytona Beach and Orlando, city amenities can be accessed conveniently.
Address: New Smyrna Beach, Florida, USA | Google map location: https://goo.gl/maps/xqhNQYnq9Pb6ithG6
Located in Lee County, Fort Myers is around 80 miles or 130 kilometers south of Sarasota. The options for recreation here are aplenty ranging from coastal activities such as strolling on white-sand beaches and thrilling deep-sea fishing to playing a game on the well-maintained golf courses such as the Eastwood golf course. The downtown is pretty upbeat and the town also has a farmer’s market.
With both the Minnesota Twins and the Boston Red Sox hosting their spring training here, baseball fans especially love Fort Myers. The place also houses the international airport RSW. Fort Myers has a population of 68,500 with many senior citizens due to the pleasant weather blessed with lots of sunshine and affordability. The cost of living is quite affordable considering the many amenities in the town and the prices of houses average at $146,800.
Address: Fort Myers, Florida, USA | Google map location: https://goo.gl/maps/kY43Fc4WkYzniGJ69
Cape Coral combines safety and brighter economic prospects well. With around 20% of the citizens being in the 65 and above age category, it is easy to see why this place appears to be more of a retirement destination. However, the bright economic opportunities, especially in the healthcare and light manufacturing sector, also make it a popular place for those seeking a job.
The unemployment rate is as low as 5.5% and the job market is touted to be one of the fastest-growing ones in the country. While the educational achievement rate is comparatively low and the opportunities for cultural engagement are few, the beaches make up for this lack. If you are looking for a safe, economically thriving place, Cape Coral should definitely feature on your list of best places to live in Florida.
Address: Cape Coral, Florida, USA | Google map location: https://goo.gl/maps/3WjUhuCxn6KFhse17
Located in Broward County, Fort Lauderdale is one of the largest cities in the state. It has earned the nickname of Venice of America because of the myriad water bodies surrounding and flowing through the city. These include the New River, Atlantic Ocean, and the striking inland canals.
The overall quality of life is enriched by the ample sunshine and a wide range of cultural, recreational, and educational facilities. Healthy economic growth is a result of an array of sectors such as marine, real estate, high technology, manufacturing, mining, finance, etc. Cultural attractions include the Museum of Art, Broward Center for Performing Arts, and the Old Fort Lauderdale Village and Museum. Access to education is ensured by Florida Atlantic University and Broward College.
Address: Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA | Google map location: https://goo.gl/maps/s42JXn8bKDMJadmaA
Originally started as a mobile home park known as Orange Blossom Gardens, The Villages is a one-hour drive away from Orlando. While growth was not prominent in the initial years, things began to turn around in the mid-1980s owing to the community’s focus on the development of facilities. Today, it is hailed as being a master-planned community.
As it is an age-restricted area, the population mostly comprises retirees. The diverse clubs, recreation centers, and sophisticated golf courses make The Villages a place that many people would like to call home. It is often proclaimed to be the fastest-growing community in the whole nation and looking at the constant amelioration of its amenities it is not difficult to see why. In 2020 alone, a staggering 2,452 new houses were sold here.
Address: The Villages, Florida, USA | Google map location: https://goo.gl/maps/whQ9TAVWEnC6Jvuc8
Blessed with 14 miles or 22. 5 kilometers of splendid white sand beaches, Venice has a lot going for it. It is situated on the Gulf Coast, just south of Sarasota. The area was known as Horse and Chaise till 1888. Frank Higel changed its name to Venice as for him the place was reminiscent of the Italian city. Most of the recreational options in this place involve the outdoors.
The numerous parks offer unique activities – Hecksher park is where residents play shuffleboard but the children’s favorite remains Legacy park. The Centennial park offers the simple pleasure of listening to music while watching a fountain splash. Charmingly bizarre local activities are not amiss – a Sharks’ Tooth festival is held here every year. The museum, arts center, and theater ensure that the cultural scene remains vibrant and diverse.
Address: Venice, Florida, USA | Google map location: https://goo.gl/maps/BYhSAMNYhePynM929
The unparalleled vibrancy of the cultural scene in Miami is on account of its coastal beauty, alluring clubs, and numerous restaurants. Families in Miami have no shortage of options when it comes to recreation. The aroma of Caribbean flavors from Little Haiti and Little Havana will definitely make your mouth water. Art deco architecture imparts a unique visual appeal to the place.
All of this is further beautified by the weather which seems to be in forever high spirits around here. The cosmopolitan flair of the place is only dampened by the unemployment rate which is high when compared to other cities in the state. However, the healthcare sector looks promising with major employers such as Mount Sinai Medical Center and Baptist Health South Florida. The house prices, especially for properties near water, tend to be on the higher side.
Address: Miami, Florida, USA | Google map location: https://goo.gl/maps/SCbvCkctRhWShoPq7
Located just south of Orlando, it is easy to see how Kissimmee got its nickname of the attraction zone. All the popular attractions of Orlando are within easy reach from this place. How easy? A few minutes in the car would take you to the Walt Disney World Resort from Kissimmee. The popular parks of Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney World, and Animal Kingdom await you here.
Another 15 minutes in the car and you will arrive at Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. Continue down the road if you are interested in checking out the Sea World. If you are a foodie, the Epcot Food and Wine Festival held every fall might just become your favorite annual event. The theme parks also play a key role in providing employment. Along with the payment, a job at a theme park comes with some amazing perks and discounts.
Address: Kissimmee, Florida, USA | Google map location: https://goo.gl/maps/5P4Hz1jtzzhBiyAG8
This picturesque place is situated to the north of St. Petersburg and the west of Tampa. Its marvelous white sand beaches juxtaposed to the stunning blue water are what attract most people to the area. While the beaches are a great place to just lay back and relax, they also offer other recreational activities such as fishing and boating. Watching dolphins is another great way to unwind at the beaches.
Cultural attractions include the historic Capitol theater and the Clearwater Marine Aquarium which can certainly hold their own. The options for shopping include the fine downtown Clearwater’s Cleveland Street District and the funky Mandalay Ave. There are a host of options for grabbing delicious seafood. The proximity to Tampa ensures that residents have easy access to an international airport.
Address: Clearwater, Florida, USA | Google map location: https://goo.gl/maps/JAyVdAZqJRGs9ow99
Located to the south of Jacksonville and north of Daytona Beach, St Augustine is popular for being the oldest city in the nation. The multiple museums and historical monuments here pay a tribute to its glorious past. It is no wonder that history buffs absolutely love this place. Whether you head to the Lightner museum or choose to appreciate art at the Art Galleries of St Augustine, the state of the cultural scene will not fail to impress you.
You can also watch great performances at the Limelight Theater or the St Augustine Amphitheater. Residents who enjoy classical music look forward to the St Augustine Music Festival which is held every summer. Climbing the 249 steps of the St Augustine Lighthouse is one of the most fun outdoor activities.
Address: St. Augustine, Florida, USA | Google map location: https://goo.gl/maps/nB1aBG7rYm6h7Ngb7
Located to the west of Orlando and north of Disney World, Clermont is known as the Choice of Champions because of it being the preferred training ground of many elite athletes. Clermont is a popular destination for families because of its educational endeavors, fitness facilities, and a growing business community. Residents enjoy performances at the Clermont Performing Arts Center which is a part of the large Clermont Arts and Recreation Center perched on the city’s hills.
History buffs prefer visiting the Clermont Historic Village Museum. People throng to the buzzing downtown for shopping and dining. The city, which has a population of about 44,301 people, offers a wide range of housing options from large estate homes to smaller single-family ones.
Address: Clermont, Florida, USA Google map location: https://goo.gl/maps/9s1UwhMa2RDtvy8BA
Thus, whether you intend to relocate for better educational opportunities, employment, or retirement, Florida’s sunny suburbs and bustling cities will definitely extend a warm welcome to you.