Moving to Florida? A 2020 Moving Guide
During various points of the past, Florida was run by Spain and Great Britain. The first European contact was made in 1513 by Juan Ponce de León, a Spanish explorer. Florida was the 27th state and was admitted on March 3rd, 1845. Florida is the third-most populous state with a population of over 21 million Americans.
If you are considering moving to Florida, check out our moving guide below. We have everything you need to know before moving to the Sunshine State from the cost of living to nightlife and dining options. Let’s get started.
What’s it Like Living in Florida?
The ocean influences many aspects of Florida culture and the daily life of its citizens. Florida has the longest coastline in the U.S. that borders both the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean.
What’s the Cost of Living in Florida?
Florida’s cost of living is slightly higher than the national average. According to Best Places, the cost of living index is 102.8 This mostly due to housing, the median home price is $237,100, about 2.5% higher than the national average (231,200).
If you plan on renting in Florida, the average rent for a 1-bedroom apartment is $945, lower than the national average of $1,550 according to Apartment Guide. The average rent price of a 2-bedroom apartment is $1,174, which is lower than the national average according to Apartment Guide.
Nerd Wallets’ cost of living calculator is a great resource to help you get an idea of how to budget your expenses prior to moving.
The Florida Job Market Outlook
Few people are looking for a job in Florida. The unemployment rate is sitting at 3.4%, which is lower than the national average. If you are looking for a job, you will likely be able to find one in Florida. There are many large companies that employ a large number of people in Florida. Companies like, Publix, Jabil, Carnival, Bloomin’ Brands, Genesis, Royal Caribbean, and Sykes Enterprises.
The best cities to find a job in Florida are Tampa. Palm Bay, Naples, Jacksonville, Crestview, North Port, Orlando, Port St. Lucie, Gainesville, and Pensacola.
Crime in Florida
The crime rate in Florida is slightly lower than the national average for both violent and property crimes. Some of the safest cities in Florida include Marco Island, Weston, Key Biscane, Parkland, North Palm Beach, Winter Springs, Port St. Lucie, Lynn Haven, Oviedo, and Sebastian.
Transportation Around Florida
Florida’s transportation options vary greatly by the city. Long trips will require a car, plane, or train, whereas short trips can be made with a local bus, trolley, bike-sharing program, shuttle, or car.
Check out Visit Florida for more information on getting around the state.
Prepare Yourself for the Heat
Florida is one of only two states that have a tropical climate. It is mostly sunny in Florida, so be sure you are prepared for the heat! Their summer high is around 100 degrees and their winter low is roughly 40. Along with those sunny days, Florida also receives an average of 54 inches of rain each year.
Where to Live in Florida?
There are many things to consider when finding a place to live. Cities and neighborhoods are known for a variety of different things, but it is important to take affordability, culture, safety, the job market, and education into consideration when purchasing a home.
Port St. Lucie
Port St. Lucie is located on the southeast side of the state. Previously mentioned, Port St. Lucie is known for its safety. It is also a fairly affordable place to live with the median home value of $235,708 according to Zillow. This city offers a very relaxed environment with a variety of different things to do.
Jacksonville offers a well-educated community at a relatively low cost of living area. Jacksonville is home to Florida State College at Jacksonville and the University of North Florida. According to Zillow, the median home value in this area is $195,692. One of the only downsides to the area is the higher crime rate.
This is the perfect place to live if you’re into beaches, low crime rates, and a low cost of living. This Southwest Florida city offers watersports, boating, golf, canals, parks, and natural preserves. A downside to this area is the job market. Some may need to travel to get to work.
Fort Lauderdale has a lot to offer. Beaches, sunny days, nature, events, nightlife, and art. Outside of a good culture, this city also has a good education and many large employers. Some of these employers include American Express, Marriott International, Spirit Airlines, and Microsoft.
Things to do in Florida: Attractions, Dining, and Nightlife
There are endless things to do in Florida. Here’s a list of some of our favorite attractions, dining, and nightlife options around the area.
Walt Disney World
The famous entertainment and recreation center that features Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
The perfect resort destination for the family. Located in Winter Haven, FL, Legoland offers a theme park and waterpark.
The famous American theme park and entertainment resort-based out of Orlando, FL.
A theme park and marine zoological park located in Orlando, FL.
BOK Tower Gardens
One of America’s finest gardens and nature preserves that surrounds a 205-foot marble carillon tower.
Great for the family! Sea creatures, wildlife, and thrilling rides.
This is a 30-acre water park jam-packed with water-drenched fun. Located right across the street from Busch Gardens.
This is a great family adventure. 300 acres of attractions with a theme of exotic explorations around the world. The park consists of rides, over 12,000 animals, shows, restaurants, shops, and games.
Clearwater Marine Aquarium
A marine life rescue located in the heart of Clearwater at Clearwater beach. This is a unique nonprofit rescue organization that is dedicated to the rehabilitation and release of marine animals. It’s most famous residents are Winter and Hope – stars in the movie Dolphin Tale. This is a fun and educational experience for all members of your family!
Best Restaurants in Florida
Catch Twenty Three
A restaurant in the heart of Tampa that infuses Latin and Caribbean influences, offering steaks, sushi, and seafood. The restaurant has a casual upscale atmosphere.
Wright’s Gourmet House
A great spot for quick bites. They offer a variety of different soups, sandwiches, and snacks. They are also Vegetarian, Vegan, and Gluten-Free friendly.
Terra Gaucha Brazilian Steakhouse
Did someone say Brazilian Steakhouse? Stop by for lunch or dinner to satisfy your meat fix. But be sure to come hungry!
La Terrazza Restaurant
Great Italian food in the Tampa area! They offer outdoor seating and a wide range of wine and beer. A very cozy Italian restaurant that has a romantic and casual atmosphere. They also offer Vegetarian, Vegan, and Gluten-Free options.
Authentic Peruvian Fusion Cuisine at a restaurant that offers live music certain days of the week. They are known for their amazing service and yummy dishes.
House of Food Porn
Chef Frankie Blanco offers a unique and intimate culinary experience at this Miami restaurant.
Napa-influenced, a seasonal Italian restaurant located in Orlando.
A convivial bistro that serves sandwiches, small plates, and salads.
3711 Beach Side
Mediterranean-focused seafood and American restaurant with big windows and a greenery-line patio.
Caddy’s on the Beach
Located in St. Petersburg, it’s a great place for families and friends to gather and enjoy food, drinks, sand, and some great sunsets!
The Core in Jacksonville
A cluster of Florida nightclubs that are all within a short walk of each other.
Seville Quarter in Pensacola
For one cover charge, you can enjoy all seven bars and clubs.
Clematis Street and CityPlace in West Palm Beach
This is the place to be for a night out in West Palm Beach. There are about twelve bars and clubs in these areas.
Located in the historic Ybor City, Centro Ybor is where the entertainment happens! It is home to the AMC Classic Cinemas, the Tampa Improv, and GameTime Entertainment Center. You can also find over a dozen bars and restaurants within the area.
Cigar City Brewing
Joey Redner founded this brewery in 2009 with the goal of creating world-class beer that incorporates the flavors and history of the Tampa area.
Ciro’s Speakeasy & Supper Club
Located in the Soho district, this speakeasy and supper club was inspired by European trained bartenders. They use traditional techniques to mix their cocktails.
Coppertail Brewing Company
Coppertail is located at the crossroads of Ybor City and Downtown Tampa. This is a great spot for a happy hour or night out with your friends.
Cru Cellars offers more than 25 wines by the glass, 7 different wine flights, and over 30 craft beers. They also feature a menu full of a variety of different small plates that pair perfectly with their drinks.
The Pros and Cons of Living in Florida
Pros of Living in Florida
- No state income tax
- Endless Things to do
- Close to the water
Cons of Living in Florida
- Risk of Tropical Storms
- Lots of bugs
- The humidity
More Resources on Florida
State of Florida: Learn About Relocating to Florida
Visit Florida: Travel Guide for Tampa