Most states are either popular for tourism or hotspots to live. Florida happens to be both. The thriving cities here are as attractive to new college graduates as they are to families. Not to mention, the state has long been one of the most popular places in America to retire. If you are considering a move to the Sunshine State, then you may want to weigh your pros and cons first.
- Weather – One of the biggest draws to the city is the gorgeous weather. When other parts of the county are shoveling a foot of snow for their morning commute, you will be squeezing in a run on the beach.
- Beaches – Florida has nearly 700 miles of sandy beaches. Seriously, do you need another reason to move here? You will have access to water activities such as snorkeling, diving, surfing, paddle boarding, sailing, kayaking, and more anytime you want.
- Income Tax – What is income tax? Floridians know nothing about this!
- Attractions – It is impossible to run out of things to do in Florida. Who wouldn’t want to live close to Disney World?
- Golf – Florida has some of the most coveted golf courses in the country. A few popular picks include Millcove Golf Club, Pembroke Lakes Golf Club, Calusa Pines Golf Club, and Bay Hill Club and Lodge.
- Housing – Nearly every major city offers diverse housing. Whether you are looking for an affordable studio apartment, single family homes, or a mansion with a killer view, you will find it here, and you may be surprised at how affordable it is.
- Career – It does not matter what you have a degree in, or what skills you have; finding a job in Florida is easy. As of June 2013, the unemployment rate is 7.1 percent, which is under the current national average of 7.6 percent.
- Tourists – Eventually, after you are here many years and no longer feel like a newbie, you may start avoiding certain places that are touristy.
- Clothing Costs – Although the cost of housing is more reasonable than other parts of the country, the state does average some of the highest closing costs. Of course, location does play a role.
- Natural Disaster – Your renters or homeowners insurance is going to be higher living here because of the risk of hurricanes and other weather-related disasters.
Top 10 Cities
- Jacksonville – Florida’s most populated city boast the state’s third largest seaport. Careers in banking, insurance, hospitality, healthcare, and logistics are in abundance. Hot neighborhoods include Phoenix, Midtown, Moncrieff, and Brentwood.
- Miami – Nestled on the Atlantic Coast, Miami boasts a population around 5.5 million, making it America’s fourth largest urban area. It has the busiest cruise stop port in the world and is the headquarters for countless large companies. Coconut Grove, Coral Gables, and the Pine Crest are the places to be.
- Tampa – If you move to Tampa, consider Carrollwood, Brandon, and Westchase neighborhoods. Several Fortune 1000 companies are headquartered here, plus there is the Department of Defense and more than 20 hospitals and four trauma centers.
- Orlando – This is the theme park capital of the world so jobs in hospitality are plentiful. More than 51 million tourists visit this city annually, according to VisitOrlando.com. It is also a major high-tech and industrial center. Fantastic neighborhoods include Winter Park, Longwood, and Lake Mary.
- Saint Petersburg – The best neighborhoods in this sun-drenched sanctuary include Bahama Shores, Driftwood, and Placido Bayou. This city has a thriving arts scene and large employers like Raymond James, Bayfront Medical Center, and Fidelity National Information Services.
- Hialeah – This city is a small business owner’s dream. Although there are chain retailers, mom and pop businesses flourish here.
- Tallahassee – Florida’s capital is a center for agriculture and trade and is recognized as a premium center for research. Recommended neighborhoods include Southwood, Stoney Creek Crossing, and Swift Creek Woods.
- Fort Lauderdale – Some of the world’s most beautiful beaches are here so the economy revolves primarily around tourism. Bayview, Oakland Park, and Coral Ridge Isles are recommended neighborhoods.
- Port Sainte Lucie – This is a fast-growing area and considered a city for all ages. The crime rate here is considerably lower than the rest of the state.
- Pembroke Pines – This is an upper class, a fast-growing area with fantastic schools. It consists mainly of new subdivisions that offer a family-oriented community.
Honorable mention goes to Sarasota. The city sits politely on the Gulf Coast, so you can expect warm weather and plenty of sunshine year-round. Visit the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, Mote Marine Aquarium, and the Big Cat Habitat and Gulf Coast Sanctuary when in Sarasota.