6 Great Cities to Move to in Florida

Jon Fesmire |

If you want to move to a sunny state where beaches are plentiful, Florida is a good choice. So grab a beach towel, pack that sunscreen, and let’s have a look at the best cities to move to in The Sunshine State.

Coral Gables

From its inception, Coral Gables was a planned community. As such, it has strict zoning, which gives the city a feeling of comfortable order. With its proximity to Miami, you’ll not only be able to enjoy all that Coral Gables has to offer, but all the beauty of Miami and Miami Beach as well. Downtown is especially walkable, giving residents a nice place to go shopping or dining.

Coral Gables has a population of about 50,000, and is home to the University of Miami, so your kids approaching college age may be happy staying in town for their higher education.

Housing can be on the expensive side, as Coral Gables is one of the wealthiest cities in the country. The median price for a house is about $880,000.

Jacksonville

For a more affordable city, try Jacksonville. In this city of 850,000, the median house price is about $200,000. There’s plenty to do in Jacksonville as well, from visiting the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens to checking out the more than 5,000 works of art at the Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens.

Unemployment here is at a low 3.7%, and Jacksonville is home to both the University of North Florida and Florida State College at Jacksonville, so there are excellent opportunities for work and education.

Miami Beach

Miami Beach, which is located just moments from exciting Miami, is home to about 90,000 people. Miami Beach is a slender island with five star restaurants, active nightclubs, and clean, sandy beaches.

The median cost of a home is about $390,000. The unemployment rate is about 3.5%, which is 0.4% less than the Florida average.

In addition, Miami Beach is only about 10 miles from Miami, so residents have ready access to everything the big city has to offer as well, from the University of Miami to the Vizcaya Museum and Jungle Island.

Naples

Only about 21,000 people call Naples home, but tourists love it here. In Naples, many outdoor activities are popular, including fishing, boating, golf and tennis. Downtown Naples is a great place to walk around, and in addition to boutiques to shop in, you’ll find art galleries and family restaurants.

The median housing price in Naples is about $410,000. Yes, prices are a bit high, which may partly be due to the fact that Naples has the second highest number of millionaires in the U.S.

Orlando

Want a place with great entertainment and some of the world’s best theme parks? Then you have to consider Orlando. This is the home of the Walt Disney World Resort, which includes the Magic Kingdom, Epcot Center, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. If you move here, you may just want to get an annual passport and consider it a cost of living in Orlando.

Disney is a major employer in the area, of course, and so is the Adventist Health System and Comcast. Unemployment is at about 3.7%.

Orlando itself has a population of about 260,000, but when you take into account the entire Orlando metro area, that population jumps to 2 million.

The median home price in the area is about $240,000. Orlando is also a great place to get a higher education, with institutions like the University of Central Florida and Mid Florida Tech.

Tampa

If you’re looking for a job in the financial or tech sectors, particularly in telecommunications, consider Tampa. This city is a major business hub, and the unemployment rate is at about 3.7%. The city has a population of about 360,000. The median housing cost is about $250,000.

Once you’re situated and working, you’ll find plenty to do, whether it’s going to a Tampa Bay Lightning game, visiting the Busch Gardens Tampa Bay theme park or the Florida Aquarium.

Colleges in town include the University of South Florida, the University of Tampa, Erwin Technical College, and others, so there are plenty of options for higher education.

Whatever your income, and whether you’re single or married, a student, in the middle of your career, or retired, there are great places to live in Florida. We hope you find the right one for you.