Living in the Sunshine State, as Florida is nicknamed, is a popular choice among retirees and families. The state boasts year-round warm weather, beautiful beaches, and many opportunities for recreation and entertainment perfect for anyone. From the bustling city life of Miami to the laid-back atmosphere of the Gulf Coast, there’s something for everyone in Florida. While Florida has much to offer, it does have some drawbacks.
Pros of living in Florida
1. The state experiences beautiful weather all year round
The weather in Florida is one of the biggest benefits for people looking to relocate. The state has a tropical climate, which means you can enjoy warm weather. In the winter months, temperatures rarely dip below 50 degrees Fahrenheit, and in the summer, they often soar to an average of 88-91 degrees Fahrenheit. This makes Florida a great place to live if you’re looking to escape the cold winters in the northern states.
“One of the fantastic pros of living in Florida, especially South Florida, is the year-round sunshine and overall beautiful weather we enjoy.” Says Michele, a local Floridian from #SoooBoca® a local travel blog. “One of my favorite things to do is to head out to our local beaches here in Boca Raton to chill, watch the surfers, enjoy a picnic with my family and take in the gorgeous blue waters of the Atlantic ocean.”
Florida is home to more than 1,200 golf courses, including the Golf Capital of the World, Naples. As you might expect, golf is a favorite year-round activity of thousands of residents especially because of the weather. The Club at Olde Cypress, a luxury golf community located in Naples’ north end near Bonita Springs, shares, “The late fall, winter and early spring months are peak golf season, but playing in the summer can be enjoyable if you start early in the morning, take a golf cart and stay hydrated.” Olde Cypress is home to resident-members from around the country, part of what makes Florida one of the nation’s great melting pots.
Photo courtesy of The Club at Olde Cypress
2. Locals receive discounts on many attractions
If you live in Florida, you’ll enjoy discounts at many of the state’s top attractions. For example, Florida residents receive a discount on admission to Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, and SeaWorld. You’ll also receive discounts on museums, state parks, and beaches.
Many restaurants and retail stores offer locals-only discounts to encourage them to support the state’s economy. You can often find dining, shopping, and lodging deals by simply presenting your ID or driver’s license.
3. You can easily explore The Everglades
Living in Miami, you’ll be close to one of Florida’s most unique features – the Everglades. A large wetland home to various plant and animal life, the Everglades is a popular destination for nature lovers and birdwatchers, and it’s one of the state’s top tourist attractions.
As a resident of Florida, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to explore the Everglades and see alligators, turtles, and a variety of birds up close. You can also take airboat tours or go hiking and camping in the Everglades National Park.
4. Residents have access to world-class beaches
With over 1350 miles of coastline, Florida is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. From the clear turquoise waters of the Gulf Coast to the Atlantic Ocean and the vast stretches of sand, there’s a beach to suit everyone’s taste.
Whether you’re looking for a place to relax and soak up the sun, or you’re looking for an adrenaline-pumping surf spot, you’ll find it on Florida beaches. Miami Beach is one of the famous beaches in Florida that attracts many people each year. Check out some of the most affordable Miami suburbs to live in so you can join in on the fun.
Many of the state’s beaches are also dog-friendly so enjoy a day at the beach with your furry friend. The beaches are well-maintained and offer plenty of public restrooms, showers, and picnic areas. You’ll find plenty of restaurants and shops nearby to grab a bite to eat or go shopping in between swims.
Samantha Lunsford, a local from Pensacola Beach Properties, a home rental company in Florida shares “Pensacola Beach is the best-kept secret of Florida panhandle. The beauty of this beach is the strong local presence creating a lively, yet relaxing, coastal escape that other crowded beaches aren’t able to offer. Strolling down the Pensacola Beach Boardwalk after a long day in the sun is a favorite of all who visit.”
5. Florida is the theme park capital of the world
Florida’s theme parks include Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, SeaWorld, Busch Gardens, and various smaller theme parks and attractions. These theme parks are not only great places to have fun and make memories, but they’re also major economic drivers for the state.
If you’re a fan of theme parks or are looking for a job in the theme park industry, Florida is the place to be. Many of the world’s top theme parks are headquartered in the state, and they’re always looking for talented and enthusiastic employees.
According to Alex, a local photographer of Picture Me Lovely says, “Orlando is the place to be when it comes to theme parks. I have been to Disney World so many times throughout my life, and recommend Space Mountain and The Haunted House.”
Cons of living in Florida
1. The state experiences extreme weather and natural disasters
Florida is no stranger to extreme weather and natural disasters. The sunshine state is located in the hurricane belt and is vulnerable to storms and hurricanes from June to November. In recent years, Florida has been hit by several major hurricanes, including Hurricane Irma in 2017 and Hurricane Michael in 2018. Because of Florida’s high flood risk, It is essential to storm proof your home to protect yourself during these disasters.
The state is also prone to tornadoes and sinkholes. Florida has the highest number of sinkholes per square mile than any other state in the U.S.
While extreme weather and natural disasters are a downside to living in Florida, the state has several programs and resources to help residents recover from these events.
2. You’ll need a car to get around
The state of Florida is large and sprawling. Public transportation options are limited. This is a downside for those who don’t want to deal with the hassle and expense of owning and maintaining a vehicle.
If you live in a major city like Miami with a walk score of 77, you can get by without a car, but you’ll still likely have to rely on ride-sharing services or taxis to get around. If you don’t live in a major city, you’ll need a car.
3. Heat and humidity can be a nuisance
Florida is known for its warm weather, but the heat and humidity are too much for some people. The summers are scorching and humid, and the winters warm and muggy. The high humidity is a problem for those with respiratory issues. It makes it difficult to breathe, and the heat exacerbates asthma and other respiratory illnesses.
4. Bugs and pests thrive here
Florida is home to bugs, including mosquitoes, cockroaches, and termites. These pests are a nuisance and cause damage to your home and health. Mosquitoes carry diseases like Zika and West Nile virus, while cockroaches trigger asthma attacks or allergies. Termites cause extensive damage to your home and other structures if left unchecked.
If you find yourself living with cockroaches, knowing how to get rid of roaches in your apartment is important. If you decide to live in Florida, you can do a few things to protect yourself from these pests. Use bug spray, keep your home clean and tidy, seal cracks or openings, and regularly treat your home for pests.
5. Parts of Floria are touristy
Florida is a popular tourist destination because of its many attractions. This is a downside for residents who have to deal with the influx of tourists, especially during the peak tourist seasons in winter and summer. The beaches, highways, and attractions are crowded during these seasons. It makes it difficult to find housing, parking spots, or a restaurant table. The touristy areas also come with an increased cost of living. Living in Orlando, you can expect a median home sale price of $361K up 23.3% YoY. Moving to Florida and want to steer clear of the people? There are many smaller towns located in Florida that can offer you amazing scenery, take Homosassa, FL as an example.
Pros and cons of living in Florida: Bottom line
You’ll need to weigh the pros and cons of living in Florida before deciding if it’s the right place for you. The state has a lot to offer, but it has its share of drawbacks. Consider your lifestyle and needs before deciding if Florida is the right place for you.
Median home sale price data was pulled from the US Housing Market resource during April 2022.