Do You Ride Your Bike Daily for Exercise and Fun?
Looking for a Great Place to Move in Florida with lots of Bike Trails or Bike-Friendly Streets?
Biking is one of the healthiest forms of no-impact (for less aches and pains as we age) exercise there is. Florida is ranked the 24th “best” state for bike riding by the League Of American Bicyclist, a nonprofit organization founded in 1880 that works to make US communities safer for cyclist.
Florida faces some some challenges in providing safe places to bike that many states don’t have to contend with. In addition to 20 million plus (3rd most populous state) residents, the state hosts over 110,000,000 tourist each year. Many of the state’s roads are terribly congested with car traffic.
Distracted tourist driving rental cars in unfamiliar areas can pose a risk to both cyclist and pedestrians. I scan Florida news headlines daily. Accidents with fatalities involving vehicles and pedestrians or bike riders is an almost daily occurrence.
If You’re a Daily Bike Rider, Here’s Why This List of Bike Friendly Florida Cities is Important
New data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that Florida is the deadliest state to ride a bike in the country.
Here’s a video about the dangers of riding a bike in Florida.
What’s Required to Make Our Best Bike Friendly Town List
- All of the towns chosen for this list have received awards for working to improve the safety of bicyclist and make their community more bike friendly.
- All towns must offer bike riders more places to ride safely, than most other towns and cities in Florida.
- The town must also meet all of the other requirements to be named to a “best places list” on this website. What are those requirements?
To make any of our best places lists, towns must first pass the low crime rate test.
They also must have better rated schools and more job opportunities than most Florida towns.
In addition, they must have more shops, restaurants, recreation and entertainment possibilities per capita than the average Florida town, and other other requirements.
So yes, the towns on this list are not only better, safer places to ride but they also offer a higher overall quality of life than most other places in Florida.
So Here They Are, The 4 Best Bikeable Cities to Live in Florida
In random order…
1) Boca Raton – Best Bikeable Large City with Beaches in Florida
March 2016 Boca Raton Flash Flood
Boca Raton is located on the Atlantic coast of Florida 46 miles north of Miami. It’s one of the largest cities in Florida that has crime rates low enough to qualify as a best place on this website.
The city has a Bronze Award from the League of American Bicyclist for it’s work in improving rider’s safety and becoming a more bikable city.
Boca Raton has four bike trails that range from 2 to 5.7 miles in length. The Ocean Boulevard Path runs almost 5 miles along the coast offering riders pleasant beach and ocean views.
The path is part of a popular much longer ride ride along A1A through numerous towns but that includes riding in road bike lanes and just the road shoulder.
Boca Raton is one of the most desirable upscale cities in Florida but not every one can afford to live here comfortably.
If you’re moving to Florida and want a safer large city with beaches that’s also bike friendly, Boca Raton is the place.
Warning: Boca’s property crime rate is now higher than the national average, however it’s violent crime rate is still quite low, especially for a larger city in Florida. If crime rates continue to worsen in the future, we will have to remove Boca from this list.
2) The Villages Best Bike-Friendly Retirement Community in Florida
The Villages 55+ active adult retirement community is unlike any other in the world.
Located in Central Florida 57 miles northwest of Orlando, this retirement community has grown into a true city of 100,000 that has all the businesses, goods and services that a regular city does.
The difference is, it’s all surrounded by a “gates” (although it’s open to the public).
It’s safer than the rest of Florida including the nearby town of Ocala.
The Villages in Florida was awarded a silver award from the League of American Bicyclist.
Many of the 55 and older residents use nothing but their golf cart for transportation on a daily basis in The Villages.
There are over 100 miles of paved paths that can be used by bike riders, joggers and golf carts alike.
There’s nothing else in Florida or the world quite like it.
If you’re thinking about moving to an active retirement community and you love to bike, this is the place for you.
Learn more about “The Villages” Retirement Community in this video
3) Fernandina Beach Best Bikable Island Beach Town in Florida
Fernandida Beach is located on the Atlantic coast less than 10 miles from I-95 right after crossing the Georgia-Florida border.
Situated on Amelia Island, Fernandia Beach has a large historic downtown that is one of the most walkable and bikable places in Florida.
It’s also a Bronze Award winning bike friendly town.
This is a place where you can leave your car at home and ride your bike to breakfast in the morning or for dinner and a drink in the evening.
You can ride your bike to the beach too.
You can pretty much ride anywhere you want to go in this island beach town.
Looking for a longer ride? Take the paved 6 mile Amelia Island Trail down the island and back.
While it’s not cheap to live in Fernandina Beach, this is one of the most affordable places in Florida to live an island lifestyle.
Learn more Fernandina and Amelia is this video.
4) Venice Best Bike-Friendly City with a Historic Downtown and Beaches in Florida
Venice is located about 70 miles south of Tampa right on the Gulf of Mexico.
There are no Gold Award winning bike towns in Florida, but Venice is one of only three Silver Award winners in the Sunshine State.
Venice’s high quality of life ratings have landed it on numerous best places to live in Florida lists on this site for years.
The town of Venice is split into two parts by the intercoastal waterway.
There’s a paved bike path on both sides of that waterway.
One part of Venice is known as the Isle of Venice.
This is where you’ll find parks, beaches and a historic downtown as well as paved bike paths to connect all of it.
It’s also here you can get onto the Legacy Trail, a 12 mile paved bike path.
If you’re looking for a bikable town with a very high quality of life for Florida, Venice may be your place.
See Venice and learn more about it in this video
One Thing to Consider Before Moving to Florida to Enjoy Biking Year Round
When people consider moving to Florida, one of the benefits they believe they’ll gain is the ability to enjoy outdoor activities all year long due to the warm weather, such as riding a bike for exercise, pleasure or as an alternative to using their car to go places.
True, you won’t have to deal with snow and ice.
Unfortunately, many discover it’s too hot and or humid for them to enjoy outdoor activities during Florida’s tropical summer-like conditions that can last up to 9 months a year…
Ron Stack “That Best Places Guy”
- Want to be certain if moving to Florida is right for you or your family? You’ll know after reading the Florida Move Guide.