Best Places to Live in Florida

Over the past three years, Florida has experienced remarkable growth, attracting a significant influx of individuals from all corners of the nation to the Sunshine State. This surge in population can be attributed to various factors such as the inviting climate, picturesque coastlines, flourishing career prospects, and the added allure of no state income taxes.

If you’re perusing this text, you might be one of those contemplating this relocation. Are the perpetual days of warm weather beckoning you? Does the notion of evading state income taxes bring sheer delight? Can you envision yourself coexisting with alligators and embracing the occasional torrential rain?

Whether you’re uprooting your entire family, exploring new opportunities within the realm of young professionals, or in pursuit of the ideal retirement haven, we’re here to assist you in narrowing down the finest places to establish your new life in Florida.



Certainly, the most dynamic city in the Sunshine State, Miami makes a resounding impact, and the median home value in this coastal metropolis stands at $474,701. Naturally, within this expansive and vibrant urban landscape, various neighborhoods exist, showcasing notable price variations between areas like South Beach and the inland communities. Nonetheless, serving as a global nexus for finance, culture, arts, and international trade, Miami presents its residents with a distinct fusion of business prospects, the rich tapestry of Florida-Cuban culture, electrifying nightlife, captivating history, and a coastal way of life.

For those seeking metropolitan living infused with a tropical flair, Miami unquestionably holds strong appeal. While it may come with a relatively higher cost of living, the city boasts a remarkably low unemployment rate of 1.7%, notably below the national average. Moreover, the per capita personal income in the United States rests at $55,477, yet Miami’s average stands at $64,849, potentially offsetting the elevated living expenses.


Discussing college towns, Gainesville emerges as a city intricately intertwined with the University of Florida. Notably, the university commands a significant presence as the largest employer in the city, constituting nearly 12% of the entire workforce. It’s interesting to note that Gainesville holds the distinction of being the birthplace of Gatorade, a product synonymous with sports and hydration.

Yet, Gainesville’s appeal extends beyond Gator football and refreshments. Despite its lack of proximity to beaches, the city offers an abundance of outdoor prospects within its parks, botanical gardens, and nature preserves, even featuring the renowned Satan’s Sinkhole. The artistic community in Gainesville is vibrant and diverse, encompassing realms such as theater, public murals, and prominent museums like the Florida Museum of Natural History and the Cade Museum for Creativity and Invention.



Taking a closer look at Jacksonville, the most populous city in Florida and surprisingly the largest in terms of area among all contiguous U.S. cities, the median home value stands at $378,914. While lower than the statewide average, it surpasses the national figure by a slight margin.

In addition to this, Jacksonville offers a plethora of job opportunities, boasting an impressively low unemployment rate of 2.5%. The city boasts an extensive coastline spanning 22 miles of pristine beaches, excellent highway connectivity, and a remarkable 270 days of annual sunshine, and is further distinguished by hosting a premier public school district within Florida. The array of activities available in Jacksonville adds to its appeal, making it a favored destination for numerous families. Notably, it ranks among Florida’s youngest cities, with an average resident age of 36. Furthermore, the city lays claim to the largest urban park system in the United States, as confirmed by Visit Jacksonville.

With its comprehensive offerings, Jacksonville stands as a city that leaves little to be desired, with ample space and resources to warmly welcome newcomers.



Tampa heralded as the prime choice for residing in Florida, boasts an array of enticing features. Foremost among them is its vibrant social milieu, fostering easy connections and a constant array of engaging activities.

In recent times, Tampa has experienced a palpable surge, akin to a thriving boom town, with an influx of newcomers contributing to the city’s vigor. This transformation is further underscored by the emergence of fresh eateries and bars that have injected new life into an already dynamic urban landscape.

Tampa’s allure is notably enhanced by its idyllic winters, a factor that solidifies its position atop our list of Florida’s finest residential locations. Another considerable advantage lies in its rich historical and cultural panorama, which arguably ranks among the most captivating in the entire state.

For those situated near downtown, the area’s high walkability is a noteworthy convenience. However, venturing beyond the downtown core often necessitates vehicular travel, emphasizing the sprawling nature of the bay area, a common point of contention among residents.

The prevalence of car usage in navigating the city does bring about a downside in the form of traffic congestion, which can pose a genuine challenge, particularly for individuals with commutes to tackle.

Cape Coral

Cape Coral

Nestled close to Fort Myers and the Gulf of Mexico along Florida’s southwest coastline, Cape Coral emerges as a cozy city with a population of approximately 204,500 residents. Its residents relish the proximity to Gulf Coast beaches, well-appointed golf courses, and an array of attractions. A distinctive feature of the city is its intricate network of 400 miles of canals, which translates to abundant opportunities for indulging in boating, fishing, and water sports. The median home value in this locale rests at $431,137, marking an impressive 27.7% increase from 2021 to 2022.

For those seeking an authentic Florida experience, Cape Coral delivers an array of outdoor activities, including tennis courts and pristine nature preserves. Additionally, this locale becomes home to some of Florida’s most endearing wildlife, such as manatees and a diverse range of birds. Life in Cape Coral assumes a quieter and more leisurely pace, a quality that aligns perfectly with the aspirations of certain individuals seeking a more tranquil lifestyle.

St. Petersburg

Observing the statistics above, if the remarkable number of sunny days caught your attention and you suspected it was a typo, rest assured, it’s not. St. Petersburg earns its well-deserved title of the “Sunshine City.”

Remarkably, there are just four days annually, on average, when the sun doesn’t grace St. Petersburg with its presence.

Another substantial advantage of residing in St. Petersburg is its status as one of the few remaining affordably-priced urban waterfront areas in the United States. The city is also endowed with ample public waterfront access.

Despite recent concerns about a diminishing middle class, St. Petersburg has managed to maintain a window of opportunity for affordable housing, in contrast to the prevalent trend in much of the country.

St. Petersburg stands as a vibrant melting pot of individuals hailing from across the nation and the world. A significant portion of its residents are transplants, fostering an environment that lends itself to easier social connections and friendships.



Located just south of Sarasota on Florida’s coveted Paradise Coast lies Naples, a city whose name draws inspiration from the renowned Mediterranean community along Italy’s coastline. Evident parallels exist between the two: a climate akin to paradise, tranquil waters, and a vibrant fishing culture. Naples, however, boasts its own distinctive charm, notably characterized by its pristine sugar sand beaches and breathtaking coastal sunsets, often accompanied by the celebrated green flash phenomenon during the summer months.

Yet, Naples offers far more than its appealing beaches, although they are undeniably captivating. The city presents an array of upscale dining options, boutique shopping experiences, inviting botanical gardens, opportunities for dolphin viewing, and the exhilarating pursuit of swamp buggy adventures.

While Ocala may be known as the horse capital, Naples proudly lays claim to being the Golf Capital of the World. For enthusiasts of the fairway, the city boasts an impressive selection of over 90 golf courses within its borders, with many more in the vicinity. As an added bonus, should your golf ball happen to land near a resident alligator, you’re granted a free drop without any accompanying penalty.


In Sarasota, counted among the finest Florida cities for residents of somewhat mature median age (hovering around 49 years old), there exists a remarkably diverse array of activities, particularly during what’s often referred to as “the season.”

The city boasts an array of exceptional dining establishments and a bustling downtown core that manages to avoid the overwhelming influx of tourists found in other Florida locales. Sarasota’s ambiance stands apart as less overtly tourist-centric and more reflective of a community where people truly live and work.

However, it’s worth noting that the Siesta area remains a prominent tourist hub, a factor to consider if contemplating a move here. Sarasota emerges as an excellent choice for retirement or raising a family, holding more appeal in these realms than for young singles in their 20s and 30s.

While Sarasota does offer a substantial variety of activities, it’s important to recognize that it’s the sort of town where many establishments tend to close around 10 pm.


For families seeking an inland lifestyle, Ocala stands as an excellent choice. Situated in north central Florida, this city offers a cozy, small-town atmosphere while granting access to a range of urban conveniences. The local populace revels in the charm of tree-lined streets, with exciting destinations such as the Ocala National Forest and the Appleton Museum of Art adding to the city’s appeal. Equestrian enthusiasts are also in for a treat, as Ocala boasts an unparalleled selection of horse farms and events, solidifying its reputation as a hub for such pursuits. With home prices and rental rates ranking among the most attractive on this list, Ocala emerges as an ideal destination for those seeking affordability without compromising on potential.

Fort Myers

Fort Myers

Tracking the course of Florida’s southwestern Caloosahatchee River leads you to Fort Myers. This locale claims the title of Florida’s sunniest spot, boasting an average of approximately 265 sunny days per year. Fort Myers gained prominence thanks to the choices of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford, who selected the city for their winter residences. The iconic sight of Edison’s royal palm trees adorning McGregor Boulevard played a pivotal role in bestowing Fort Myers with its official moniker: the City of Palms. Unfortunately, Hurricane Ian left its mark on the city in 2022, and the recovery process is ongoing.

Continuing your journey beyond the entrance to Fort Myers and venturing closer to the Gulf, you’ll encounter a string of islands, among them the renowned Sanibel with its shelling beach, where tourists often engage in the famous “Sanibel Stoop” as they collect seashells. Fort Myers’ shoreline is positioned atop a shallow water plateau, an attribute that contributes to the delight of collecting an array of seashells.