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Best Cities to Live in Florida

We’ve all heard a lot about living (and retiring) in Florida. And, there is definitely a reason for that! Some might stay away from the Sunshine State because of the extreme heat, tourists, alligators, and hurricanes. At the same time, tropical climate, stunning beaches, and laid-back lifestyle appeal to newcomers from all over the US and tourists alike. And, many choose this state for no state income tax and decent cost of living.

We’ve created a list of the best places to live in Florida for those who are ready to disregard some minor flaws and plan to move to Florida. Ready to choose your next home?

Best Place for Raising a Family: Melbourne

Median property value: $169,000
Population: 83,029
Median household income: $48,673

Melbourne is hands down one of the best cities in Florida, especially if you want to move here with kids. This small town with a cozy suburban feel boasts some of the best schools in the state. Also, children will never get bored in their free time thanks to places such as Paradise Beach & Park, Wickham Park, and Ballard Park. Here, you can go swimming, kayaking, fishing, playing golf, having picnics, and so much more! Last but not least, it takes just over an hour to get to Orlando and its theme parks — Universal Orlando Resort, Walt Disney World, LEGOLAND, and others.

As for their parents, Melbourne offers an affordable cost of living and some good work opportunities. In August 2021, the unemployment rate here was 4.3% compared to the national average of 5.2%.

Top City for Art and Culture Lovers: Miami

Median property value: $317,700
Population: 467,963
Median household income: $39,049

People have mixed feelings about this city, and, sure, it’s not as pristine as Naples or Sarasota. It has a higher crime rate, might feel overcrowded, and accommodation in Miami is pretty expensive, especially compared to other places in Florida. So, why do we even bring it up on our list?

There is a lot to love about Miami, especially if you’re a fan of large cities and want to find a place with vibrant and bustling energy but still enjoy all the perks Florida has to offer. It combines world-class entertainment, galleries, museums, and nightlife with some of the best beaches and endless outdoor activities. 

With the enormous influence of various Latin American and Caribbean cultures comes fantastic cuisine and a unique vibe. There is no city like Miami, and that’s why there is no way to talk about the best places to live in Florida without mentioning the Magic City.

Ideal Town for Beach Lovers: Fort Myers

Median property value: $238,700
Population: 87,103
Median household income: $46,409

At the beginning of 2021, Fort Myers was named the 8th fastest growing city in the US. As you know, everything happens for a reason, and those who relocate to Fort Myers know what they are doing. Wonder why this beach town is becoming increasingly popular?

Being a relatively small place to live, Fort Myers has everything you might possibly want or need for everyday life: restaurants and cafes, plenty of cute shops, excellent food, and good nightlife. And, if you need anything extra, Fort Myers is a couple of hours away from Orlando, Tampa, and St.Petersburg. 

Also, you cannot talk about living in Fort Myers without mentioning nearby beaches — eponymous Fort Myers Beach, Bunche Beach, Bonita Beach, the list can go on and on. If you love swimming and suntanning and searching for a perfect infrastructure to do this all year round, Fort Myers will be a number one choice. Plus, you can indulge in countless outdoor activities and water sports. 

Best Town for Those With Money: Naples

Median property value: $988,500
Population: 22,088
Median household income: $107,013

Are you looking to live in heaven on earth and don’t mind spending a small fortune on it? Take a look at Naples, situated in Southwest Florida — this town was ranked seventh best city to live in the entire country by US News. 

Imagine stunning white sand beaches, excellent golf courses, and fantastic weather. Naples is one of the safest and nicest places in the US, with an extremely high quality of life — no wonder it attracts wealthy people from all over the country, with many retiring here. But, this beautiful city has a lot to offer to younger people too, with its top-notch schools, growing job market, and plenty of outdoor activities. Also, it’s worth noting that it’s still possible to find reasonably priced homes for sale or rentals in Naples with a bit of luck.

Great City for Those on a Budget: Palm Bay

Median property value: $155,200
Population: 115,552
Median household income: $51,408

Honestly speaking, there are plenty of cheap places to choose from in Florida. From Fort Myers and the neighboring Cape Coral to Gainesville. But, if you’re looking for something super affordable, you can also take a look at Palm Bay, a part of the Palm Bay − Melbourne − Titusville metro area. In 2020, it was ranked #21 as one of the cities with the lowest cost of living in the US.

This charming and family-friendly city offers its residents very affordable housing options as well as a low cost of living. But, its affordability does not come with downsides you can expect from cheaper cities. The crime rate in Palm Bay is lower than average, there is a tight-knit sense of community, and overall it has a cozy and quiet atmosphere. Just like anywhere in Florida, you can expect a lot of outdoor activities, but Palm Bay will also provide you with everything a city dweller might need.

Top City for Young Professionals: St. Petersburg

Median property value: $205,000
Population: 265,351
Median household income: $56,982

Located on Florida’s Gulf Coast, St. Petersburg is a part of the Tampa Bay area. But, many locals admit that this city is slightly trendier and faster-growing than Tampa.

According to WalletHub, St. Pete was ranked number one place to find a job in the state of Florida at the beginning of 2021. Five of the most popular sectors to work in include manufacturing, financial services, marine sciences, data analytics, and creative arts. Plus, housing in St. Pete is relatively affordable with many rental options, and you can save some money on transportation, as it’s a very walkable city. 

Moving to St. Pete, you can expect flourishing nightlife, plenty of events happening in the downtown area, and a vibrant arts and culture scene. More and more young people come here, transform the city’s outlook and invest in its economy, so if you want to grow and develop (but also have fun) together with the city you live in, choose St. Petersburg.

One of the biggest downsides of Gainesville is a lack of beaches — not something you would expect from the city in Florida. But, any nature lover will be content with the number of state parks, gardens, and walking trails.

Best Place for Retirees: Sarasota

Median property value: $268,400
Population: 58,285
Median household income: $53,669

Sarasota should be the number one choice for those who look for a peaceful and idyllic place to retire in the Sunshine State. Sure, it will also be good for families with kids and those who relocate here because of the job —that’s what you can expect from Florida in general. 

But, here’s why it’s especially suitable for older people.

First of all, there are multiple retirement communities and assisted living facilities in the city to match any requirements. If living in Naples is a bit beyond your reach, but you have your heart set on moving to Florida, buying a home or renting in Sarasota might be your safest bet. Also, four city hospitals received the highest score for their overall quality, so healthcare here is on a first-class level.

Add to this regular perks of retiring in Florida, such as tax breaks, pleasant weather, and tons of outdoor things to do to stay active, and you have a perfect place for seniors!

Best City for Students and Young Adults: Gainesville

Median property value: $161,900
Population: 133,997
Median household income: $37,264

Gainesville is home to the University of Florida, which was ranked among the five best public universities throughout the US. So, prepare for a college town feel if you want to live here, as young people from all across the country flock to Gainesville. Living here comes with many various events, diverse culture, and a lively vibe; however, that’s not all Gainesville is about. 

It is a highly affordable city, and this applies to renting in Gainesville as well as grocery prices and transportation. This factor is another great perk for anyone who’s just starting their adult life and cannot afford a higher cost of living. Finally, there are plenty of job opportunities, especially in the medical and educational fields. 


As you can see, even though many cities in this state have similar qualities, there are places in Florida for anyone. Use Rentberry to find your next perfect home in Florida, and, hopefully, this article will help you to make the right choice!

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