Best Places to Live in Florida
Florida, known as the Sunshine State, has been attracting people almost every year since World War II due to its warm weather, world-class entertainment, beautiful beaches and recreation areas, and proximity to both North and South America as well as the Caribbean. Although many people think of Miami or Orlando when considering moving to Florida, there are many smaller communities that are attractive and still close to those major areas. In this article, we’ll explore why these Florida retirement communities should be considered for anyone wanting to move to a small town in Florida.
1. Naples, FL – with the first people moving to what is now know as Naples, FL arriving in the 1860’s, Naples has always been noted for it’s mild climate and plethora of fish and other game. Socialites have always called this place home back to the time of Thomas Edison and Greta Garbo.
Why would someone want to live in an area known for celebrities? With one quarter of the population older than 65, this area is very retiree friendly as well as having beautiful beaches. With many cultural amenities like museums and parks, there are plenty of indoor and outdoor amenities to enjoy as well. Some museums to check out include the Collier County Museum, highlighting local history through the centuries, and the Von Liebig Art Center, which showcases art after 1950 and in the local style. Parks to enjoy include the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary , which was the first national preserve in the US Parks System and is great for birdwatching, canoeing, and kayaking, and Fakahatchee Strand State Park which is full of endangered species including the Florida Panther. It also has a 2,000 foot boardwalk to look at the natural setting. If you’re daring, you can even get a guide tour of the swamp!
Overall, Naples is full of shopping as well. Fifth Avenue South is the heart of this shopping. There are lots of little cafes and restaurants in this area. Whether you like natural stuff like parks or shopping,
2. Clearwater, FL– named one of the “Ten Best Beaches From Maine to Hawaii” by USA Today, Clearwater, FL is one of the nation’s top vacation destinations. However, with a great climate and white sand beaches, it’s also an ideal place to relocate due to a laid back lifestyle.
Located just west of Tampa, FL, Clearwater has 28 miles of beaches and is a stereotypical beach town with small roads, people hauling coolers, and lots of boats. However, it has a diverse economy with manufacturing, education, and tourism making it an easy place for people to find jobs. Being close to St. Petersburg International and Tampa International Airports also makes traveling and having friends visit easy as well.
With marinas, beaches, and an aquarium, Clearwater’s location on the beach means there’s lots of water sports and fishing. As home to the biggest fishing boat fleet on the Gulf Coast of Florida, there are many opportunities to go deep-sea fishing, dolphin watching, and just leisurely sailing the clear waters.
3. Winter Park, FL– this little community is located just north of downtown Orlando and is probably one of the first “wealthy” areas of Orlando. There is a lot of history here with professionals from Orlando’s early years residing here.
Home to Rollins College, Winter Park is a small community that has kept its roots as a vacation resort to the rich in times past to now becoming a bedroom community of Orlando. In many parts of this small town, you can walk by various shops with a farmers market every Sunday just west of the main park north of Rollins College.
Although a bit pricey for homes due to the highly-educated and highly-paid workforce, Winter Park makes up for it in cute brick paved streets and low speed limits which makes it quiet for people living here.
Winter Park is a great community to consider living in for those who want a tight knit, classy town that has all the amenities of a small town while being a few minutes from downtown entertainment and work space.
Overall, living in Florida has its pros and cons. Even though it’s extremely hot in the summer months, the proximity to the beach, mild temperature outside of the summer months, and slow pace of life make Florida a great relocation destination for those who want a simple life that doesn’t involve winter weather. Naples, Clearwater, and Winter Park are all communities that a person should consider when looking at Florida 55+ homes for sale.
Originally posted 2010-09-09 06:45:00.