The Sunshine State isn’t just for retirement and family vacations. It is a spectacular place to live as well. 

Whether you’ve been there or not, there’s is no doubt you’ve heard some spectacular stories about the always sunny Florida. There are downsides to living just about anywhere. However, we’re certain that the pros outweigh the cons down here. Being the largest producer of citrus in America, you’ll be stocked up on freshly squeezed Vitamin C. The beaches are never far away, so great activities and Vitamin D are always at your fingertips. In addition, the tourist industry is booming. So, there will often by a job for you if you’re willing to give top-notch customer service. That all being said, the best places to live in Florida still have decent standards of living with affordable housing. So, start packing because after you read through the best places to live in Florida, you’ll want to leave tomorrow.

1. Tampa

best places to live in florida - Tampa

Tampa is a growing city, meaning there are plenty of jobs and new developments happening right now. If you’re looking for a city that is vibrant and young, with spectacular healthcare and schools, this is it. With 185 parks scattered about the city, finding things to do as a family is simple. On top of that, it is home to Clearwater beach which is often voted the best Florida beach. If you’re looking for more tempting things, Tampa is home to Busch Gardens, a Zoo, and the Lowry Park Aquarium. Between this and the Tampa Museum of Art, all ages can find a great niche here. You’ll have the Tampa Lightning, a hockey team, to cheer on, along with the NFL’s Buccaneers. So, if you’re ready for one of the best places to live in Florida for just about anyone, keep Tampa in mind. 

2. Dunedin

best places to live in florida - Dunedin

If the city is not quite your cup of tea, head just outside of Tampa to Dunedin. A beautiful suburb of the city, you will have access to all its amenities but still, have a small town feel. It was voted the Best Little Walking Town in America by Walking Magazine. This makes it truly a paradise for those who want to be outside. You have a myriad of beaches at your doorstep, including Caladesi Island State Park. This is one of the last undeveloped barrier islands in America. On top of this, the 39 mile Pinellas Trail goes directly through downtown Dunedin, giving you quick pedestrian and biking access to the coast. Lastly, if you’re a fan of baseball, you can’t help but get excited to live in Dunedin. It is the Spring Training home to the Toronto Blue Jays. So, if you’re a baseball fanatic or want some suburban sunshine, Dunedin will be one of the best places to live in Florida for you. 

3. Tallahassee

best places to live in florida - Tallahassee

If you like the thought of living in the capital city or simply adore being in a college town, Tallahassee might win you over. Home to Florida State University and Florida A&M, there are ample jobs because of the college, as well as affordable housing. With the lower cost of living in Tallahassee, it is easy to see why it’s one of the best places to live in Florida. Because it is a college town, the public transportation is incredibly helpful and accessible, allowing you to go without a car if you’d like. Imagine taking that line out of your budget!

You should be forewarned, however, about two things. If you’re not a Seminoles fan before you move, you should be by the time you step out of your new house. This city lives and breathes for college sports. Also, the city is incredibly liberal in comparison to the rest of the state. Most locals are very active in politics, so that will be a common conversation around town. But, if you can make due or thrive with those two things, Tallahassee will easily be one of the best places to live in Florida for you.

4. Miami Beach

best places to live in florida - Miami Beach

So you might have thought of Miami Beach as one of the best places in Florida to visit, but it isn’t too shabby for living either. You don’t have to be a model or international celebrity living in South Beach to make the most of the beautiful city. The 20th-century art deco district is home to gorgeous pastel buildings which easily give this city a personality of its own. The city has over twenty different neighborhoods, making it incredibly diverse as well. This spot if not just for the rich and famous or the snowbirds. Of course, being on the southern tip of Florida, the Everglades and endless exploring are just a hop, skip, and a jump away. So, if you need a medium city with beach and adventure access, Miami Beach might be perfect for you. 

5. Naples

best places to live in florida - Naples

This small Florida city made our list of the best places to live in Florida for a few reasons. First off, if you are more blessed in the monetary department, you will feel right at home here. With the second-highest proportion of millionaires per capita, this city is well taken care of for all its residents. Naples has some of the best schools in the nation, as well as one of the lowest crime rates in the state. There are only 20,000 year round residents, so you will enjoy a small town feel.

Know in advance that there are many snow-birds that flock here for the winter months. But, that provides plenty of jobs around town. In 2017, it was named the Happiest and Healthiest city by Gallup-Healthways. This might be due to the stunning white sand beaches, pedestrian-friendly downtown, and having the Everglades and Ten Thousand Islands right nearby. So, if you’re ready to be happy, healthy, and tan, choose Naples, as it is truly one of the best places to live in Florida.

6. Sarasota

best places to live in florida - Sarasota

We aren’t entirely sure how this hidden Florida gem hasn’t busted at the seems in the past few years. Housing is still incredibly affordable and it has a bustling dining and art scene with beaches just around the corner. Whether you enjoy the theatre, opera, art galleries, or ballet, there are world-class performers that stay here year round to entertain. Sarasota is often in the top twenty lists for best places to live in America, so we just had to put it as one of the best places to live in Florida as well. If you like beer, you’ll find the famous Sarasota craft brews at just about any restaurant around. So, from the nightlife to the beaches and the expanse of culture available, we absolutely adore Sarasota.

7. Fort Myers

best places to live in florida - Fort Myers

A little further south of Sarasota lies Fort Myers. Being the most affordable city on our list, Fort Myers is well worth your research. It is a major tourist destination, especially due to the winter homes of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford being here. If you have a love for history and sunshine, this might be your city. It has one of the fastest growing economies right now, so jobs are plentiful and new, vibrant dining and entertainment options pop up daily. Will all this rolled into such a beautiful coastal city, it is easily one of the best places to live in Florida. If you hail from Boston at any point, you will also know Fort Myers as the spring training home to the Red Sox. So, whether it’s the baseball or the affordable economy that brings you here, you will quickly fall in love with Fort Myers.

8. St. Petersburg

best places to live in florida - St. Petersburg

Well, we can’t leave the Sunshine City in the Sunshine State off of our list of the best places to live in Florida. St. Petersburg is just outside of Tampa, the completing our fantastic trio of cities, including Tampa. Here, you’ll have access to the glories of Tampa while being slightly removed from the city traffic and stress. It currently has the Guinness Book of World Records award for the most consecutive days of sunshine, coming in at 768 days. If that doesn’t sound like heaven to you, well maybe you shouldn’t be thinking of moving to Florida. With all of this, St. Petersburg also has the Dali Museum, Fort De Soto Park, and beautiful botanical sunken gardens. So, if you’re looking for vibrant culture and sunshine for any age, know that St. Petersburg is one of the best places to live in Florida. 

When looking at all the best places to live in Florida, it can be hard to choose just one. From endless sunshine to a vibrant art scene, what speaks to you the most?

If you’re willing to spend a bit more for the nation’s best schools, then Naples might just be your next home. If you’re needing one of the most family friendly cities, Tampa might be your new hub. That being said, baseball can easily sway you to want to settle down in Fort Myers or Dunedin. But, if you love the college town feel and want to spend Saturdays tailgating and cheering on your team, think of heading to Tallahassee. Wherever you end up, Florida won’t disappoint you in the weather department, and you’ll most likely find yourself a beach person, even if you weren’t before. So, if you’re ready to make the leap, pick one of the best places to live in Florida for your next vacation and see if you could imagine yourself there year round. 

Related Article: Top Ten Best Places to Visit In Florida

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