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May 04, 2024

Escape the Ordinary: Top 5 Cities to Live in Florida

Tired of the ordinary? Florida beckons with sunshine, beaches, and vibrant cities! This guide unveils the top 5 places to live in Florida, each offering unique charm. From Tampa's mix of city life and beach vibes to Orlando's theme parks and cultural scene, discover the perfect blend of leisure, career, and lifestyle for you. Explore quality of life factors, attractions, and economic opportunities in each city to find your dream Florida home.

This blog is for educational purposes only, not an offer of credit or advertisement for current loan terms. It does not provide legal advice. Refer to our loan web pages or consult professional advisors for specific information.

Florida's charm lies not just in its sunny beaches and warm climate but also in the diverse and vibrant communities that call this state home. With so many options, finding the best cities to live in Florida is a tall order.

You can choose from bustling urban centers to tranquil seaside towns. No matter how you look at it, Florida offers a myriad of living experiences tailored to a wide range of lifestyles and preferences.

Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer or not, you must weigh various factors to find your perfect Florida home, including:

  • Lifestyle aspirations
  • Employment prospects
  • The kind of community you wish to join

Here’s our guide to the five best cities to live in Florida.

Start your application with MIDFLORIDA Credit Union.

How to decide where to live in Florida

Selecting from the best cities in Florida involves a comprehensive look at several key factors that impact daily living and long-term satisfaction, such as:

  • Quality of life: Overall well-being, happiness, and satisfaction among residents, considering factors such as health services, climate, and community engagement.
  • Employment opportunities: Availability of jobs across various sectors and the city's economic stability.
  • Education and school districts: Quality of local schools and educational institutions, including public, private, and higher education options.
  • Safety and crime rates: Examines the safety of the community and the prevalence of crime.
  • Cost of living: Includes housing affordability, taxes, and general living expenses compared to average income levels.
  • Recreation and entertainment: Availability of leisure activities, cultural events, parks, and other amenities that contribute to an enjoyable lifestyle.

Criteria like this can serve as a foundation for comparing and contrasting the diverse cities Florida has to offer.

Our Top 5 cities to live in Florida

1. Tampa

Nestled on the Gulf Coast, Tampa offers a blend of modern city life, historic charm, and beachside appeal. 

It caters to a wide range of lifestyles with its vibrant arts scene, bustling business district, and family-friendly attractions.

Unique features and attractions

Tampa is home to Busch Gardens, the Tampa Riverwalk, and historic Ybor City, offering endless entertainment, dining, and cultural experiences.

Quality of life aspects

With a growing job market, particularly in technology and healthcare, combined with affordable living costs compared to other major cities, Tampa residents enjoy a balanced and fulfilling lifestyle.

2. Orlando

Famous worldwide for its theme parks, including Disney World and Universal Studios, Orlando is more than a tourist destination; it's a dynamic city with a diverse population and a robust economy.

Unique features and attractions

Besides its theme parks, Orlando boasts a thriving downtown area, beautiful parks, and a rich arts scene.

Quality of life aspects

The city's strong tourism industry fuels job opportunities, while its educational institutions and healthcare services make it a great place for families and professionals alike.

3. Sarasota

Sarasota is a cultural hub located on the Gulf Coast, known for its art galleries, performance venues, and beautiful beaches.

Unique features and attractions

Highlights of Sarasota include the Ringling Museum of Art, Sarasota Opera House, and Siesta Key Beach.

Quality of life aspects

Sarasota offers a high quality of life with its focus on culture, education, and environmental beauty.

Tourism, healthcare, and education bolster the city's economy, making it attractive for both retirees and working professionals.

4. Naples

Naples is a small, affluent city on the Gulf of Mexico, with lots of high-end shopping, dining, and white sand beaches to choose from. It's a popular destination for golf enthusiasts and those seeking a luxurious lifestyle.

Unique features and attractions

The Naples Pier, upscale Fifth Avenue South, and numerous golf courses are key attractions.

Quality of life aspects

With one of the highest per capita incomes in Florida, Naples offers an upscale lifestyle with excellent healthcare, low crime rates, and top-notch schools, ideal for families and retirees.

5. Gainesville

Home to the University of Florida, Gainesville is a lively college town with a strong sense of community, ample green spaces, and a thriving arts scene.

Unique features and attractions

The Florida Museum of Natural History, Harn Museum of Art, and Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park.

Quality of life aspects

The presence of the university injects Gainesville with youthful energy and contributes to its diverse culture and economy.

Affordable housing, combined with a focus on education and innovation, makes Gainesville an attractive city for students, academics, and professionals.

The Florida city that works best for you and your family

Each of these cities offers its unique charm and advantages, from Tampa's bustling economy to Naples' luxurious lifestyle and Gainesville's vibrant academic community.

When considering a move, it's essential to weigh these factors against personal preferences and needs to find the perfect Florida city for you.

How to choose the right Florida city for you

Choosing the right Florida city for your home involves aligning your priorities with what each city offers.

Consider living factors such as:

  • Amenities that fit your lifestyle preferences
  • Opportunities that match your career path now and in the future
  • Educational standards for your family
  • The type of community you want to be a part of

Whether you're seeking a vibrant urban environment, a tranquil beachside community, or a family-friendly suburb, Florida's diverse cities cater to a wide range of desires and needs.

How to buy your home in the best cities in Florida

The right city in Florida can make a significant difference in your quality of life, offering a perfect blend of leisure, career, and educational opportunities tailored to your lifestyle.

With its rich diversity, from bustling metros to serene beach towns, Florida invites you to explore and find your ideal place to call home.

However, choosing the city is only part of the home-buying process. Purchasing the Florida home of your preference is the next and biggest step.

Make MIDFLORIDA Your Homebuying Choice

Discover the best of Florida living with MIDFLORIDA. Let us help you with financing in your favorite city in the Sunshine State.

Whether you're drawn to the cultural richness of Sarasota, the bustling streets of Tampa, or the serene beaches of Naples, MIDFLORIDA is here to help you secure financing for your dream home.

Begin your homebuying journey by filling out our application.