The Funshine State
Although I wasn't born in Florida, I moved here (Orlando) with my family when I was one year old. Even though I at one point toyed with the idea of moving to some other state like New York or California (doesn't everyone?) now that I am married, I realized that I will most likely always be happy here.
If you're considering moving to Florida, these four reasons might help you make your decision. If you are already living in Florida, these reasons might help you appreciate it more. I know sometimes I grumble about the heat, but the truth is, as soon as it gets so hot I think I can't stand it anymore, it cools down just enough that I quit complaining!
1. You Will Never Be Bored in Florida
The Sunshine state, or the Funshine state as I like to call it, has so much to offer tourists and residents alike. With a variety of bigger cities like Miami, Orlando, and Jacksonville sprinkled amidst a wide variety of smaller, homestyle-feeling towns, there is truly something for everyone. You can always find events and festivals, like around Christmas time in Mount Dora, Florida every year. Just 40 minutes from Orlando, this little city has a small town feel with vintage flair. The citizens there string up lights so beautifully, so majestically that the town just twinkles for all to see. What a great way to get into the holiday spirit. Gasparilla over in the Tampa area is another great festival that Florida has to offer. Florida could be home for you if you enjoy:
- Fishing. Towns like Cedar Key, Steinhatchee, Fort Myers, and Titusville are some cities and towns in Florida where fishing is a favorite pastime.
- Shopping. Orlando, with it's sprawl of outlet malls and indoor malls, is a haven for bargain hunters. It is a must-see destination for travelers from all over the world. Get designer clothes and products for a fraction of the retail value. There are unbelievable deals just waiting to be uncovered!
- Antiqueing. Florida is home to a plethora of flea markets and antique-friendly towns. Lakeland, Lake Wales, Webster, Mount Dora, Micanopee, Winter Park, and many other areas throughout the state offer a wide variety of antiques available to suit your taste.
- Relaxing. A haven for snowbirds, Florida has long been popular among retirees and those looking for a good blend of fun and relaxation. Fort Myers, Sarasota, and Naples over on the Gulf coast of Florida are hot spots for retirees.
- Learning. With several large state universities, Florida is a prime location for students seeking a solid education. Orlando's University of Central Florida, Tallahassee's Florida State University, and the University of Florida in Gainesville are three reputable higher education institutions that offer excellent degree programs in a wide variety of topics. As a graduate of the University of Central Florida myself, I know firsthand that UCF is a quality place to gain knowledge.
- Thrill. From Orlando's Universal Studio Islands of Adventure to Tampa's Busch Gardens, Central Florida is speckled with theme parks and other attractions! These theme parks offer rides, food, games, and fun for the whole family. As a Central Florida resident, I certainly like the fact that I don't need to make major travel plans in order to enjoy the theme parks. They're right in my backyard.
2. It Is Cheap to Live in Florida
Although it may not be the absolute cheapest place to live, it certainly is not expensive. My husband and I bought our house for $85,000 and we live close to everything we could possibly need.
In addition, the sales tax rate is low--here in Orlando, the sales tax is 6.5%. We also do not pay local or state income tax, and I can't complain about that.
Plus, since our winters are relatively mild, we don't spend a lot of money on winter clothes and shoes, and it doesn't take as much energy to heat our houses since they're well insulated to ward off the sweltering summer.
3. Florida Weather Is Incredible
We go to the beach in December! It is amazing. I did live in Germany for a year while in college, and the worst part was having to spend 10 minutes just getting ready to go outside. Long underwear, huge jacket, socks, shoes (no flip-flops!), gloves, a hat... the whole bit. Not in Florida! Throw on a tank top, shorts, flip-flops and maybe some sunglasses and you're just about ready to go!
Winters have gotten steadily milder, and hurricanes have been very, er, gentle since 2005. We're keeping our fingers crossed that it stays that way. Living in Orlando, we usually don't get the worst of the hurricanes, anyway. I feel exceptionally safe here.
4. You're Never More Than 45 Minutes Away From the Beach
It's true! No matter where you are in the entire state of Florida—Miami, Orlando, Alachua, Winter Park, Pensacola—you are never more than approximately 45 minutes from a beach. It's glorious. And because there are so many beaches, Florida is also home to not 1, 2, 3, 4, but FIVE cruise ports—Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, Port Canaveral, Tampa, and Jacksonville. If you love cruising, you can save a lot of money on airfare if you live in Florida.
So there you have it. These are reasons I believe living in Florida is wonderful and they are the same reasons that will keep me here most likely forever. The neighborhood we live in is peaceful, and I really hate packing up and moving, too!
Florida is pretty much a paradise. You can be who you want to be, go where you want to go very easily, enjoy life to the fullest, and almost never have to wear a turtleneck. Whether you're a student, newlywed, a family, or you just want to enjoy retirement, you only live life once, and Florida is a great place to spend it!
Joe on January 31, 2018:
Hopefully one day we'll be their!!!
Jc on December 15, 2017:
Thanks for the article. I loved it.
jes327 on August 28, 2017:
I'm from New England, born there, raised there, I live there, I'll die there - I love New England for many reasons. However, I used to live in Florida! I had spent seven years living in SW Florida along the Gulf coast. Even with all the beautiful beaches I grew to hate Florida because of the:
* 90-degrees day after day w/ultra high humidity
* Insects that incessantly try to take-over your house
* Lizards and geckos that sneak-in under your door
* Large occasional cock-roaches same thing
* Snakes that hang around near the house and patio
* Mosquitos and no-see-um flies that bite
* Freakish, deadly lightning storms
* Too many people
* Too much traffic
* Crowded/overdeveloped land
* Tons of home/business foreclosures
* Too many homes/condos with structural issues
* Too many homes damaged by mold or termites
* Tap water not good/not safe to drink
* Total lack of good-tasting local spring water
* Too many scams
* High crime rates and murders
* Monster trucks on the roads
* Insane drivers
* Many homeless
* Sharks in these waters
* Small fish that nibble or try to eat you while you swim.
* Schools of devil rays that surprise you while you swim.
* High cost for home insurance
* The land is FLAT
* Roads and streets that all look alike
* Christmas in Florida sucks
Glen Theodore on March 18, 2017:
My wife and I plan to move to Florida by next winter. I just have grown to hate CT and its high cost of living with poor job outlook and a over abundance of Socialists. The summers are too short and the winter just sucks. Anyone looking for a nice Fisher plow for there truck? I'm ready to go boating all year long and spend more time outside where the weather suits my clothes. I have a need for Palm trees in my yard and go fishing.If I had enough money to go I would leave tomorrow! Saving and planning now.
Old Snow on October 07, 2016:
Sorry, can't stand the state look forward to going back to upstate NY when my wife retires in 7 years. The weather is horrible and I hate the $300 to $400 monthly electric bill just keep our home at a livable temperature. Can't even open the windows for a breeze even when it's windy because the humidity is so oppressive.
hailey on November 18, 2013:
South florida is such a wonderful place to live. I visit my sister and her family up there every other year. And they always take me to the best places to go see. If you are planning on moving to south florida check http://www.southfloridakwrealty.com
Jeff on October 30, 2013:
I moved to Orlando about two years ago, and I absolutely love it here. I laugh when I'm wearing a short-sleeve outside in January while my relatives in Kansas are shoveling snow. I also live 45-min. from both Disney World and the beach. And I get a choice of beaches to go to. Hmm...which one this weekend? There are so many communities just in the Orlando area that there's never a lack of things to do. And within a two-hour drive from me, I can to to the Gulf Coast, Dinosaur World, NASA, Universal Studios, Jacksonville, etc. The wildlife here is also spectacular, between the roaming manatees, wandering sandhill cranes, black bears, and alligators, there's always something to look at.
Mamirican on February 22, 2013:
What is the nicest and cheapest place to live in Florida? I'd really love to move but don't want to move to a very expensive area.
Laura on February 22, 2013:
Theresa-- I made a similar move back in September 2012--moving from NYC to Orlando. I was terrified as well on the job front, but it all worked out for me, and it will for you. Good luck!
Theresa on January 22, 2013:
We are planning to pack up and move in June/July. I am terrified. I am leaving a job that pays close to 100,000 to move. The thing that I am most anxious about is finding a job. I have been watching the jobs and have even apllied to many but I do not hear back. I am hoping it is because I do not yet reside in Florida. I am going on the faith that in one or two minths of living there, we will find work. We are moving to the central Florida. area, Wesley Chapel or Land O lakes. There seem to be a lot of jobs in Tampa. I hope it works out as I have never lived anywhere other than upstate NY. I like your article and I think we will be happy there. Thank you for posting it :-)
janice on January 10, 2013:
I have been to Florida a few times in my life. Now nearing retirement age it has always been my dream to live in Florida.It's unfortunate I am born & raised in the state of Illinois. Hopefully some day I will be there. It still sounds like a wonderful place to be.
CondoLux Rentals from North Myrtle Beach,South Carolina on December 14, 2012:
Although I currently reside in South Carolina, I lived in St. Augustine for a few years and I really miss it. I could definitely see myself living there again!
TEXAS on December 10, 2012:
Hello guys. I currently reside in Dallas, Texas and I'm moving to Florida this summer (2013). Besides Florida being so beautiful, what are the best schools (high schools) and neighborhoods? Also, my 13 year old is interested in modeling, are there recommended places to checkout?
Caitlin Pyle (author) from Orlando, FL on April 05, 2012:
Yay! What are your favorite places in Florida?
Mohan Kumar from UK on April 05, 2012:
Though I live in UK I have been vacationing in Florida several times and I love the place for all the reasons you have outlines so well here. We are coming back again this summer in July- can't wait! thanks for reminding me how nice Florida is!