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Here are the best places to live in Florida.
If you were to ask anyone in the United States where the best places are to vacation in Florida, they could fire off a handful of locations immediately. But, if you were to ask them what the best places to live in Florida are… well you’d probably get nothing but crickets.
Nearly everyone has vacationed in Florida at least once in their lifetimes –– bouncing around from places like Destin, Tampa and Orlando. In fact, over 65.5 million people visited the sunshine state in the first half of 2018 alone. It’s an extremely popular vacation spot… but after doing some research we realized the places people tend to visit when vacationing in Florida aren’t necessarily the places you’d want to live.
Fortunately, for you, we’ve compiled a list of the very best places to live in Florida. We’ve got everything from big cities, to small lesser-known beach towns. So, no matter what you’re looking for, you’ll find it on this list (oh, and by way of introduction, we’re Bellhop —movers in Florida and specifically Jacksonville movers, Orlando movers, Tampa movers, St. Petersburg movers, Miami movers, Fort Lauderdale movers, and West Palm Beach movers).
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If you’ve never heard of Vero Beach, you’re not alone. We had no idea it even existed until we started doing a little digging.
It turns out, we aren’t the only ones to take a liking to it. Coastal Living named Vero Beach one of the best beach towns and The Street listed Vero Beach as one of the best cities to live in all of Florida.
But, what’s all the hype about?
Vero Beach is a tiny gem located on Florida’s east coast. With a tiny population of just 16,000-ish people both blue collar workers and billionaires coexist there happily, sharing a deep passion for the city’s miles and miles of untouched coastline, biking paths and protected wildlife refuges.
Unlike so many Florida beach towns that have transformed into overly crowded tourist traps, Vero Beach has remained adamant about maintaining it’s authenticity and beauty by forcing developers to abide by very strict rules like not building any structure over four stories tall.
It’s an eco-friendly city that feels nothing like commercial Florida all of us are so used to seeing. If you’re someone that loves nature and having access to incredible wildlife and beaches that are completely unscathed, then Vero Beach is your spot.
In addition, Vero Beach is also known for having a bustling art scene. The city holds monthly art galleries, an annual wine & film festival, an art museum, and an opera.
With that said, Vero Beach isn’t for everyone. With it being a smaller city, the job market is obviously smaller too. And, real estate is on the pricier side there, especially if you want to live near the beach.
But, if you’re looking to rent, it appears that averages are reasonable for a small city where you’ll be within in pretty close proximity to the ocean. The average rent goes for $647 a month.
However, if you’re a big city guy or girl, you might want to take a closer look at the next name on our list…
While Vero Beach has a tiny population of just 16,000 people, the city of Miami has around 500,000 residents and the greater Miami area has a mind-boggling 5 million. So, if Vero Beach wasn’t big enough for you, we think Miami certainly will be.
There’s a lot to love about Miami. South Beach, obviously. But, also it’s rich Latin American and Cuban heritage that gives the city an ethnically diverse culture and some really really good food.
In addition, those escaping the work-centric cultures in cities like New York and Chicago, find that Miami is a breath of fresh air. While the folks there certainly work hard, they do a great job separating work from play. Something that isn’t too difficult to do with world-renowned clubs and beaches at their fingertips.
In Miami, there is a neighborhood for just about everyone. Miami’s downtown neighborhoods like Wynwood, Midtown and Brickell are ideal for young professionals looking to be in the heart of the city. But, it’ll cost you around $1,200 a month for rent. The suburbs of Miami are also worth checking out.
And, despite all the partying, there are also neighborhoods in Miami that are great places to raise a family, too. Coconut Grove is the oldest neighborhood in all of Miami and today is rated as one of the safest.
In addition, behind Miami’s cultures, there is something brewing under the water… tech. Recently, it was reported that Miami was ranked #8 in the nation for VC-backed startups.
We think Miami is an ideal city for young professionals and not too bad of an option for families looking for warmer weather. And for the young professional, there are several up-and-coming Miami neighborhoods worth checking out.
For more info about Miami and everything it has to offer, check out our guide on moving to Miami.
When most people think of Florida, they don’t think of Jacksonville, which is ironic considering the city is quite large from both a population and size standpoint. 1.3 million people live in the greater Jacksonville area and it can take as long as 45 minutes to drive all the way across the city. That’s big.
But, besides size, Jacksonville has some beautiful things about it. For one, if you’re a football fan, the sport is a religion there. If you move anywhere in Florida, most especially Jacksonville, you’re going to have to pick a side –– the Florida Gators or the Florida State Seminoles.
But besides the sports, there’s plenty of culture there too. Jacksonville boasts Florida’s youngest population and, apparently, the hippest. It was voted by Expedia as one of the nations coolest populations. And, while we can’t say for certain if truly the hippest/coolest people live in Jacksonville, we do know some ahem, interesting, musicians are from the city –– Limp Bizkit and Lynyrd Skynyrd.
Anyway, if you’re looking to make a jump over to Jacksonville, rent won’t cost you an arm and a leg like most Florida cities. You can get a studio for $600 and a two bedroom for $1,000. Not too shabby considering the job market is pretty good in Jacksonville too, ranking in the top 15% for cities in Florida.
Do a little time traveling in St. Augustine.
USA Today rated St. Augustine as one of the best places to live in Florida for the sole fact that it’s the oldest continually occupied city in the United States. Founded in 1565, St. Augustine is filled with endless history that still shines through today in the city’s stunning architecture.
Enjoy all the lovely pastel in Seaside.
In addition to Vero Beach, Coastal Living also named Seaside as one of the best beach towns in all of Florida. We’ve had members from the Bellhop team actually vacation in Seaside and they can’t seem to get the pretty picturesque pastel beach homes out of their heads. While Seaside might not be the ideal place for a young professional looking for a ton going on at all hours of the day, it’s wonderful for those looking for a slower pace. Everything in the town is a short walk or bike ride away.
Live among the rich and famous in Palm Beach Florida.
We will go ahead and preface by saying that Palm Beach might be one of the more expensive places on our list, with a studio apartment costing right around a whopping $1,300. Today, Palm Beach is a common vacation spot for wealthy celebrities… a tradition that has continued for decades. The Rockefellers and the Kennedys actually held their winter homes in Palm Beach. It has so many beaches it’d be hard to visit all of them if you lived there for years. Palm Beach sports over 47 miles of coastline.
Other honorable mentions
There are a few other cities we just couldn’t leave out here. Tampa, Orlando, and St. Petersburg to be specific.
There you have it: the best places to live in Florida.
And just like that, our work here is done. If you’re still looking for more information, check out our guide on moving to Florida. And, of course, if you are planning on making the move to the Sunshine State, don’t hesitate to reach out.
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