The Best Places to Live in Coastal Florida

The Best Places to Live in Coastal Florida

If you’re considering moving to Coastal Florida, then you may have a problem: deciding which gorgeous destination to choose as your home. The Sunshine State is literally full of fantastic seaside places to build a nest. Whether you’re into the beaches of the Gulf of Mexico or those on the Atlantic side, you really can’t go wrong by setting up shop in Florida.

Boca Raton

Located on the Atlantic Ocean, Boca Raton ticks a lot of boxes that are important to most people looking for high-quality living. For example, take economic growth. Over the next 10 years, Boca Raton is expected to see a 43.8 percent increase in job availability, which is significantly higher than the 33.5 percent predicted for the United States as a whole.

Another important box for many people is the quality and diversity of neighborhoods. In Boca, you’ve got a diverse selection of neighborhoods that cater to a variety of different tastes. You can choose to live in an area with high-rise condos along the sands or decide to inhabit a mid-century home set off from the beach.

Another great thing about Boca is the outdoor living. It’s warm throughout the year, so you’ll have plenty of chances to take advantage of the beaches and the 46 parks in the area, which consist of about 16,000 acres of land and trails.

And when it’s time for some culture, you won’t be lacking in Boca. Noteworthy is the annual Festival of Arts held each March, which brings artists and tourists together from around the globe for the enjoyment of music, cinema, writing, jazz, dance and a whole lot more.

Naples

If you have heard of Naples, Italy, and the fantastic things to do there, then you should know that there is another Naples much closer, and it’s got its own thing going on. This city is located in Florida and situated right on the Gulf of Mexico and Naples Bay, making it a location where water defines much of the town’s existence. With water on both sides of most of the city, Naples offers attractive seaside and bayside sites from restaurants and shops to parks and sanctuaries.

If you’ve got any interest in water sports, then you’ll be in heaven in Naples. Swimming, surfing, kayaking and other water activities abound here. What also defines Naples is its high cost and standard of living. It’s usually listed among the top 10 cities in the USA for per-capita income and millionaires per capita. That being said, according to Mansion Global, Naples has the third-lowest property tax rate in all of Florida. Another thing that’s great about Naples is the nearby world-famous destinations, such as Everglades National Park and Miami, where you can spend hours and days enjoying what these places have to offer.

Pensacola

Pensacola is right on Pensacola Bay, which opens up into the expansive Gulf of Mexico. If you like beauty and white sand with your beaches, then Pensacola is a great option. In 2018, USA Today rated Pensacola Beach as the number one beach in the state. Thanks to its color (or lack of), the sand in Pensacola stays cooler on the hot days than brown sand, meaning your feet won’t burn as you stroll the beach during the day.

But the beach is not the only reason to move here. The local cuisine and restaurant options are varied with many of them ranking as world-class eateries. Additionally, the city has top-rated health care options available for people of all ages with award-winning hospitals, such as Pensacola’s West Florida Hospital, leading the way.

If you’re a fan of the great outdoors, then you’ll be pleased to know that Pensacola features miles of trails and paths that provide you with a unique way of taking in the natural wonders of the area, according to Florida Hikes. The 8.5-mile Eco-Trail is a popular option to really see what Pensacola’s nature and wildlife are all about. Naturally, the city’s economy will be on your mind if you’re contemplating a move to the area. Well, you can rest assured because the city has an unemployment rate that is below the national average.

Daytona Beach

Daytona Beach is known as the world’s most famous beach, and for good reason. According to Rothberger Travel, Daytona boasts 23 miles of gorgeous white-sand coastline that is visited by almost 10 million tourists every year. It’s got a vibrant economy and an employment market that has diverse jobs spanning a few different industries, including work in the racing industry with NASCAR and the Great American Road Association.

If you’re wondering if there are quality educational opportunities in and around Daytona, the answer is a resounding yes. In addition to multiple great K-12 options, there is a large selection of trade schools in Daytona that offer a variety of disciplines to study. There are also top-notch four-year universities in the area, such as the University of Central Florida’s Daytona Beach Campus and Bethune-Cookman University.

When it’s time for some rest and/or relaxation, Daytona Beach is brimming with all kinds of things to do, such as taking in a race or driving a stock car at the Daytona International Speedway. You can also engage in watersports on the Halifax River and in the Atlantic, or you can head inland to hike, bike or camp in the Tiger Bay State Forest.

Key West

There’s a lot to love about Key West besides the spectacular year-round warm weather. For instance, Key West boasts some of the most beautiful scenery in the entire country with palm trees, forever sunsets and a sea that provides endless visual delight. According to Bascom Grooms, Key West contains six public beaches that are mostly free throughout the day, so you won’t have to ever worry about spending money just to enjoy the ocean.

As far as real estate is concerned, the Key West property market is one of the hottest in all of Florida. Getting in at the right time and with the right property can prove to be very advantageous. With the professional services of an experienced local real estate company, you can find a gorgeous dream property that’s also a very valuable asset and close to Key West’s six public beaches.

For the fishing enthusiasts, Key West offers seemingly endless opportunities to cast your line into the Gulf-Atlantic region, which touts an impressive array of fish to be caught from tuna and snapper to sailfish.

Sarasota

Sarasota is home to a few beaches, one of which (Siesta Key) was recently rated as America’s number one beach by multiple top-tier publications, such as Condé Nast Traveler and Trip Advisor. Other fine beaches include Nokomis Beach, where seashells abound, and Lido Beach, where you’ll find soft white sands and a turquoise-colored sea. The average year-round temperature sits at 73 degrees, so you’ll have plenty of nice days to enjoy the coast here.

Dining options in Sarasota are varied and delicious. You can choose from 5-star restaurants serving a wide selection of dishes or locally owned brew houses that craft their own beer and tasty meals. Fortunately, for those who enjoy places with lots of entertainment options, Sarasota has got loads going on. There’s at least one big film festival each year, a jazz festival, the Offshore Grand Prix, the Holiday Boat Parade of Lights and an unforgettable 4th of July fireworks show. Sarasota is such a great place to move to that it boasts the second best-selling community in the country, Lakewood Ranch, which is a 48-square mile part of the city with enviable housing, shopping, entertainment and dining.

St. Augustine

Each of the selections on this list has beaches, but not all have 43 miles of them like St. Augustine does. You can explore them at your leisure, and many are conveniently located near restaurants, bars and resorts. However, if you want a little seclusion with your beach time, you can have that as well.

In any case, when it is time to eat out in St. Augustine, you might have trouble choosing from the vast array of food choices throughout the city. From pizza to the state’s finest dining, you can eat something different every day of the week in St. Augustine.

Additionally, you can also always find something to do in this city on the sea. The beaches and downtown area provide hours of time-killing things to do. There are also many museums that are worth at least a couple of visits, such as Potter’s Wax Museum and Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Did you know that, according to St. Francis Inn, St. Augustine is known as the Twinkliest Town? It’s called this because every November, the city gets decorated in white Christmas lights.

Jacksonville

Jacksonville is situated right where the St Johns River and the Atlantic Ocean meet. It’s a hub city where business, entertainment and culture are rich and vibrant. The place is growing fast, especially economically, and is constantly producing new jobs and business opportunities for entrepreneurs.

Whether you’re old or young, single or part of a family, Jacksonville has a lot to offer. Its low cost of living makes it an attractive place to retire or start a family, and it’s nightlife and vibrant events make it the perfect place for young and not-so-young singles (and couples) to have a good time.

For anyone into Mother Nature, there are quite a few beaches in Jacksonville. Each offers its own little slice of Jacksonville history, such as Neptune Beach. Neptune was once a part of Jacksonville Beach but is now its own little, quaint community that occupies about a mile of seafront. Although many of the beaches in Jacksonville do draw crowds, you can still find places that are peaceful and secluded, such as nearby Fernandina Beach.

Jacksonville is on the list of the top 25 arts destinations in the country. While here, expect to be treated to all manner of creative and moving arts displays and shows, including jazz festivals, film festivals, art walks, concerts and the like.

Venice

Venice is a great option for relocation, particularly for families and retirees. The city is extremely safe, especially when compared to other places in Florida. In fact, its crime statistics put it at or near the top of a few different safest-city lists. Real estate in Venice is not expensive, and you are almost assured of at least a decent return on any real estate investment you make.

You’ll love the delightful beaches in Venice, where you can kayak, paddleboard, surf or just relax. Thanks to the many medical professionals and institutions in the area, such as Venice Regional Bayfront Health (Venice’s primary hospital) and the Gulf Coast Medical Group, you can count on the availability of top-of-the-line health care in Venice.

If warm weather is important to you, then you won’t be disappointed in Venice. The average year-round temperature sits at a warm 73 degrees, and the number of sunny days per year reaches 252. The job market in this seaside city is vibrant, and the unemployment rate (under 4 percent) is well below the national average. Industries that thrive in the area include hospitality and tourism, health care, education and skilled trades.

When you’re looking for some entertainment in Venice, you’ll be treated to outdoor festivals; theatrical performances; concerts; art; bars; and yearly Venice community events, such as Art Classic, Christmas Walk, the Art Festival and more.

West Palm Beach

West Palm Beach is located on the coast in the southwestern part of the state. With the word “beach” in its name, you would expect it to have some great coastline, and it does. With about 47 miles of waterfront, you’ve almost got too many beaches to count, such as Juno Beach, which gives you prime oceanfront relaxation without a big crowd of people. For outdoor delights besides beaches, you’ll find plenty of options, like the award-winning Riverbend Park, where you can ride bikes or horses or go paddling around the Loxahatchee River.

Over the next decade, West Palm Beach’s job market is forecast to grow a whopping 39.4 percent, which is more than the job growth prediction for the U.S. as a whole. Although a bigger city, West Palm Beach often feels more like a big town, especially when it comes to your pocketbook. It’s only a couple of percentage points above the national cost-of-living average.

There’s always something happening in this big seaside town. Festivals galore are held in WPB annually, such as Florida’s most famous music festival known as Sunfest, where acts such as Pitbull, Sublime and Billy Idol have wowed audiences from around the globe. As far as the weather is concerned, West Palm Beach is known for having some of the best weather in all of Florida thanks to its location right in the middle of the Gulf Stream.

Each place listed above has its own draw, yet they all share a few things in common: great food, amazing beaches and many entertainment choices. You’ll also find fantastic homes for rent and sale at each of these locations, and they all have economies and real estate markets that are growing. No matter which of the options you choose, you’ll be happy to know that you won’t be paying one penny of state income tax.

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