Florida has been experiencing remarkable growth over the past three years. Folks from across the nation are moving to the Sunshine State because of its sunny weather, beautiful coastlines, great job opportunities, and the fact that there are no state income taxes (yes, you heard that right). If you’re reading this, you might be one of those folks contemplating a move. Are you feeling the allure of those never-ending warm days? Does the thought of no state income taxes make you grin from ear to ear? Are you prepared to coexist with gators and summer downpours?
Whether you’re relocating your entire crew, scouting vibrant young-professional scenes, or searching for your dream retirement spot, we’ve got you covered in narrowing down the best places to live in Florida. Let’s get started!
Sarasota, with its vibrant arts scene and beachy atmosphere, sets itself apart from Florida’s typical coastal cities. Its downtown features upscale resorts and fine dining, while Siesta Key Village and St. Armands Circle offer a more intimate, seaside ambiance. This unique metro area appeals to young professionals as well as retirees, with neighborhoods like the up-and-coming Rosemary District adding an eclectic touch.
Activities: Beaches like Lido Key and Siesta Key are popular, and cultural enthusiasts can explore the Sarasota Orchestra, Asolo Repertory Theatre, and more. Relax at tiki bars and seaside restaurants like O’Leary’s Tiki Bar and Grill.
Cost of Living: Sarasota’s popularity comes at a price, with increasing home costs. Average rental prices are also higher than nearby areas.
Naples, nestled between the Everglades and the Gulf of Mexico, offers pristine beaches, golf courses, and fine dining. The region experiences a distinctive seasonal rhythm with the winter arrival of “snowbirds,” who escape the summer heat by heading south. While the coast enjoys luxury living, development pressures and high property values present challenges.
Activities: Enjoy beach life or explore the arts and wildlife at places like the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary. Farther east, Big Cypress National Preserve offers 729,000 acres of nature to explore. Cultural events and festivals are part of Naples’ charm.
Cost of Living: Costly properties may limit accessibility, but the area’s beauty and no state income tax can offset expenses.
Melbourne, a vibrant Space Coast metro, combines space exploration with down-to-earth attractions. Residents can witness rocket launches and enjoy outdoor activities. Melbourne’s community integrates arts, science, and economic development, making it welcoming to a diverse range of people.
Activities: Beaches are abundant, and outdoor enthusiasts can explore hiking areas like the Viera Wetlands and the Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge. The region’s arts and culture scene keeps residents engaged.
Cost of Living: Florida’s lack of a state income tax is advantageous. Although housing is reasonable, some expenses like gas and groceries tend to be higher.
Jacksonville, Florida’s largest metro area and one of the best place to live in northern Florida, blends cultural diversity with urban living. With its thriving arts scene and numerous parks, the city offers a wide range of experiences for those who lives in Florida. Also, bridges connect downtown to the beaches, providing multiple dining, shopping and entertainment options.
Activities: Jacksonville residents enjoy beach life, arts events at museums like the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens, and sports, including the Jacksonville Jaguars NFL team.
Cost of Living: Jacksonville provides affordable housing, though transportation expenses, such as owning a car, can be substantial.
Tampa Bay offers a mix of relaxed beach living and metropolitan amenities. The area comprises Tampa, St. Petersburg, and Clearwater, each with its own distinct character. Tampa is known for its social scene and Hispanic community, while St. Petersburg thrives as an arts destination.
Activities: Residents engage in beach activities, watersports, and boating while enjoying the area’s arts scene, outdoor markets, and a variety of sports events.
Cost of Living: Tampa’s cost of living matches the national average, and Florida’s lack of state income tax is a financial advantage. However, a competitive housing market can present challenges.
Pensacola, with its white sand beaches, multicultural heritage, and rich cultural scene, offers a unique blend of history and entrepreneurship. The city is characterized by Native American, African, European, Asian, and Latin influences, resulting in a warm and hospitable community.
Activities: Explore historical sites and museums, including the National Naval Aviation Museum and Historic Pensacola. Enjoy the vibrant arts scene, live music, and annual festivals that celebrate the area’s diverse culture.
Cost of Living: Pensacola’s cost of living is slightly below the national average, making it an affordable choice within the Florida panhandle.
Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Beach welcomes a seasonal ebb and flow of tourists, offering both a bustling and tranquil environment. Known for its racing events and NASCAR heritage, the city boasts much more, from fishing and golf to museums, theaters, and entertainment options.
Activities: Enjoy racing events at the Daytona International Speedway, stroll on the beach, and explore cultural venues like The Peabody Auditorium and the Daytona Beach Bandshell amphitheater.
Cost of Living: Daytona Beach has a cost of living below the national average, making it an attractive option for residents.
Orlando’s diverse facets combine to create an appealing area for business, living, and recreation. Besides world-renowned theme parks, the city offers a vibrant downtown, historic neighborhoods, and an array of cultural attractions and recreational activities.
Activities: Experience the theme parks, visit the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, attend sports events, and explore outdoor recreation and festivals.
Cost of Living: Orlando’s housing costs align with the national median, and the absence of a state income tax benefits residents.
Tallahassee, Florida’s state capital, is one of the best cities to live in northern Florida. It provides a unique experience with four distinct seasons, diverse architecture, and a rich Southern heritage. The city is home to three higher education institutions and offers a balance of culture, sports, and outdoor activities.
Activities: Engage in cultural events, music, theater, and explore museums, historic sites, parks, and outdoor adventures in nearby natural areas.
Cost of Living: Real estate in Tallahassee is more affordable compared to other Florida cities. Florida’s lack of state income tax benefits residents.
Port St. Lucie, FL
Port St. Lucie, located on Florida’s Treasure Coast, offers a relaxed lifestyle, scenic waterways, and affordable housing options. It combines outdoor activities, golf, and access to the St. Lucie River, making it one of the best neighborhoods in Florida.
Activities: Explore the outdoors with boating, fishing, and hiking, enjoy cultural events, and attend festivals and sporting events.
Cost of Living: While groceries and dining out are slightly more expensive than some parts of Florida, Port St. Lucie offers affordability compared to larger South Florida markets.
From Jacksonville’s vibrant neighborhoods to the enchanting appeal of Daytona Beach, each city has its unique character. Tallahassee’s rich heritage and Port St. Lucie’s relaxed atmosphere add even more options to the mix. And of course, you can’t forget the beautiful neighborhoods of Pensacola. Whether you’re looking for laid-back coastal living, vibrant arts scenes or or a family-friendly environment, Florida has something for everyone!
Q : Are alligators a common sight in Florida?
A : Yes, alligators are often seen in Florida’s wetlands, rivers, and lakes.
Q : What are some great places to live in North Florida?
A : In Northern Florida best places to live include Jacksonville, St. Augustine, Tallahassee, Gainesville, and smaller towns like Fernandina Beach and Lake City.
Q : Where is a good place to live in Florida?
A : Florida offers a variety of great places to live including popular options like Miami, Sarasota and Tampa. Ultimately, the best place for you will depend on your lifestyle, career goals, and personal interests.
Q : Is Northern Florida a good place to live?
A : Northern Florida can be a fantastic place to live, depending on your priorities. The region has charming towns, outdoor recreational opportunities, and a lower cost of living. However, it might have fewer job prospects than major cities in the south.