Moving to Florida Pros Cons of moving and living in Florida Sun, 26 Oct 2014 17:15:21 +0000 en-US hourly 1 The Best Places to Live in Florida 2015 Sun, 26 Oct 2014 16:50:47 +0000 These are the absolute best places to live in Florida in 2015 and beyond. Since Florida has a higher overall crime rates than other

free roaming chicken in oviedo

What does a chicken have to do with the best places to live?

states (so probably higher than the state you’re from), cities and towns must have a much lower crime rate than Florida’s average to make our list. They also must have better schools and better employment opportunities than what most Florida cities offer. They must also offer residents more shopping and dining options than the average Florida town. They must allow residents more recreational choices than the average Florida municipality.

Most importantly, residents must be able to enjoy all the advantages these areas offer without having to constantly worry about their personal safety. We’ve set the bar very high, but that’s how it should be to be called “best”.

Disclaimer: While these are the best places to live in Florida, we in no way are implying that these are the best places to live in the US. We feel that there is more than enough quality of life data available from non-partisan government, non-profit agencies and polls that show there are many other states and towns in the US offer a higher quality of life overall than Florida. A recent Gallup poll showed only 11% of Florida residents feel Florida is the best state to live in, but we estimate 100% of people moving to Florida think it’s the best. That’s quite a gap. Perception vs reality. A very high percentage of people relocate to Florida, then eventually move out. So the importance of choosing the best possible city/town to live in Florida can not be understated. This is especially true if you will be living in Florida all year round. We provide this list in an attempt to help improve your chances of finding Florida a place you want to continue to live in, after the initial honeymoon period ends.

Here’s the Best Places to Live in Florida 2015 (in no particular order).

Palm Beach, Florida

Best for: People who need city life, upscale Florida lifestyle, golfers, boaters, beach goers, big city amenities including nearby professional sports.

This city is the “Manhattan” of Florida, or the closest facsimile you’ll find in the sunshine state. Like Manhattan, this is not the city to consider if affordability is important to you. If you want the best in upscale shopping and living and have the stash to pay for it, it doesn’t get any better than Palm Beach for big city living by the water in Florida. Other similar good choices, but more laid back that are worth considering are nearby Key Biscayne and Naples on Florida’s west coast.

Palm Beach, Florida Video


Venice, Florida

Best for: Unpretentious big town/small city living, beaches, boaters, biking, golfers, festivals

Venice has made our best places lists for years, It’s just that enjoyable. The small city has everything that most people move to Florida for. The intercoastal waterway separates Venice into two sections, the mainland and the Island of Venice. The island has a great little historic downtown, parks and bike paths withing walking/biking distance the beach. There’s a wide array of homes and condos to choose starting at prices most people can afford to multimillion dollar waterfront properties. Nearby slightly more affordable Englewood, Rotonda (for golfers especially) and Punta Gorda are certainly worth considering also.

Venice, Florida Video


Oviedo, Florida

Best for: Laid back quiet Florida lifestyle without the crowds

Oviedo may be exactly what many people moving to Florida are looking for, but they never consider it because it’s off the big media’s radar, and that’s just fine with most of it’s residents.  People don’t move here for the beaches. They don’t move here for the theme parks. They live here because it offers a high quality of life for Florida. If it’s the beaches and Disney you want to visit, that’s easy to do because Oviedo is an easy day trip to either. A big advantage Ovideo has is that it’s population doesn’t swell with snowbirds during the winter to the point of making life miserable for full time residents. The cost of living is average for Florida once you buy a home that will likely be a little higher than average. You know a town is a great place to live if chickens are allowed to roam free. Nearby Winter Springs and Lake Mary are worth looking at also.

Oviedo, Florida “Free Roaming Chickens Town” Video

Dunedin, Florida

Best for: Affordability, beaches, amenities

Yes it’s Dunedin making it onto another one of our Best Places to Live in Florida lists. Although the prices are probably going up faster than elsewhere in Florida, you still may be able to buy a home in Dunedin for less than most of Florida. While there are plenty of towns in Florida that offer lower priced homes, it’s almost impossible to find one that scores so high as Dunedin in all the quality of life factors like schools, jobs and low crime risk. Add in one of the safest walkable downtown communities in Florida, close to beautiful beaches and big city amenities and you have a place that would be a best place, even if you had to pay the Florida average or higher for a home to live here.

Dunedin, Florida Video
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Florida’s Most Walkable Towns Mon, 20 Oct 2014 18:16:03 +0000 Walkable Cities Promote Better Health

Studies show that people who live the longest healthiest lives have one thing in common, they get plenty of exercise every day, and downtown fernandina beachthey don’t even own exercise equipment. They don’t belong to a gym either. They do live in communities where walking almost everywhere they want to go is just a natural part of their every day life. If they need to go to the store, they walk there. To visit friends, they walk.

So these people are getting the required daily exercise for excellent health that doctors are always preaching about, without even having to think about it. If you live in the typical American suburb, this is impossible to do, so you usually must buy exercise equipment (that usually just collects dust) or you join a gym (and then never go). If you’re going to move to Florida, or anywhere really, why not choose a community where you could live without having to use your car? It would be better for the planet and your waistline.

We have identified towns in Florida where you can get your daily exercise, naturally, by walking or biking instead of driving everywhere, and hopefully you’ll live a longer healthier life like the people in those studies. Our criteria was simple. The town must have a good mix of residential and commercial properties, so that residents can safely walk almost every where they need to go on a daily basis. The town also must be safe. Unfortunately, Florida’s violent crime rate is higher than in most our states. Regularly walking in towns with high crime rates is not something that I would suggest my family and friends do. So I don’t want you to do that either. High crime rates disqualified many possible walkable towns and cities from making this list.

Florida’s Most Walkable Towns and Crime

The Florida towns and cities that may be walkable, but did not make my list because of higher crime rates are: Delray Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood Beach, Key West, Pensacola and St Augustine. If you’re a business person in one of these towns that believes this is unfair because only part of the town has a crime problem, I understand your perspective. You have a business interest in people relocating to your town. BUT, look at it from a buyers perspective. If there are multiple towns that offer similar benefits, but some have lower crime rates and some higher, why should anyone move to a town with a higher crime rate? Especially if they’re going to be out there walking around every day.

#1 Dunedin, Florida

This great little area just north of Tampa and St Petersburg has made just about every positive list we’ve put out lately. The data for this area is just so positive compared to other places in Florida, including affordability. However, in a small town like this with fewer properties for sale, it wouldn’t take much of an increase in interest to boost prices. Dunedin is a small safe friendly town with a sense of community, which is rare in the extremely transient state of Florida. This area has received numerous awards from national publications such as “Best Walkable Small Town” and “#1 Best Beach in America”. This pedestrian and pet friendly town should be at the top of your list if you want to live in one of Florida’s most walkable towns.

 See a Video of Dunedin Florida

#2 Winter Park, Florida

Winter Park’s “Park Ave” forms the heart of this walkable town just north of Orlando, as it’s really like it’s downtown “Main Street”. Rollings College is located is also located here, so Winter Park has that sought after college town feel. Winter park is close enough to Orlando for occasion trips or commuting for work, but it’s far enough away to escape the major cities crime and traffic gridlock. The cost of living is about average for Florida, so it’s not cheap. If a walkable town with a college feel close to the theme parks and other amenities of Orlando sounds attractive to you, Winter Park is certainly worth consideration.

See a video of Winter Park Florida

#3 Fernandina Beach, Florida

When a town has “beach” right in the name and it’s being called out for having a wonderful walkable downtown, you know it’s something special. What more could you want in a place to live in Florida than to be by the beach, with a thriving walkable down town, and just a short driven to big city amenities? This great little place in Florida is just over the border from Georgia, so road trips back home for holidays are less of a hassle. The cost of living is about average for the sunshine state so it’s not cheap, but I think it’s a bargain compared to what you have to pay to live in many other similar locations in Florida. If you’re driving to Florida to scout out new places to live and are looking for a great downtown, why not spend the first night here ?

See a video of Fernandina Beach Florida

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