If you’ve decided you want to move to Florida, you need to decide which coast you should move to. The east coast of the state is home to Miami, the Treasure Coast, and Jacksonville. The west coast is home to Tampa, St. Petersburg, and Fort Myers. The east coast is great for surfers on the Atlantic Ocean. The west coast sits on the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico. We broke down some of the details that could affect your decision when you decide to move to Florida.
West vs. East Coast Beaches
If you’re moving to Florida, it’s safe to assume that at least a little of the attraction lies in the beaches. However, the beaches are a bit different depending on which side of the state you’re going to. The west coast beaches on the Gulf of Mexico have fine white sand. During the summer, the sand on the west coast isn’t as hot as the sand on the east coast. The Gulf of Mexico stays relatively calm, which makes for excellent swimming conditions.
The Atlantic Ocean tends to be a bit choppier. Don’t get us wrong. People swim in the Atlantic nearly every day of the year in Florida without a problem. But if you’re into surfing, the east coast is where you want to be. Plus, you really can’t beat the sunrises over the Atlantic on Florida’s east coast. If you plan to spend most of your time at the beach, then you really should think about which Florida coast is best for you to move to.
Popular East Coast Areas To Move To
On the east coast of Florida, you have several different popular destinations for homebuyers. We’ll take a look at Jacksonville, Daytona Beach, the Treasure Coast, West Palm Beach, and Miami.
Jacksonville, the most populous city in Florida, is the largest city by size in the United States. Its cost of living is about 10% lower than the national average. For those with kids, you’ll be happy to hear that Jacksonville is home to five of the top high schools in Florida, as well as several state and private colleges. Floridians say that Jacksonville feels more southern than cities further south. This observation makes sense because South Florida really feels like a completely different region than the rest of the U.S.; Jacksonville is only 25 miles from George.
Daytona Beach, about an hour and a half south of Jacksonville, is most known for hosting the Daytona 500 Nascar competition. It’s a diverse area that brings together bikers, beachgoers, and artists. The barrier island is a hotspot for those seeking a laid-back lifestyle. The mainland offers affordable housing options that aren’t far from the beach.
Popular West Coast Areas To Move To
Florida has plenty of options if you’re looking for a second home in winter, a vacation home, or a new home to retire in. As a general rule of thumb, properties are more expensive on the east coast. The metro and island areas stretching from Miami to West Palm Beach have some of the most expensive properties in the state. On the other hand — or the other coast — Naples is home to the second-highest population of millionaires in the United States.
But you can still find affordable properties in this city of about 385,000. There are plenty of condo choices within a $100k budget in Naples. But if you’re looking for a large villa in a prestigious community, you need about half a million.
Sarasota, about an hour south of Tampa, is comparable to Fort Lauderdale. It’s full of culture and the housing market is very similar. One-bedroom condos run around $80k, and three-bedroom homes run around $250k.
St. Petersburg has been a focus on luxury developers in recent years. Luxury condos and mansions can run upwards of $10 million, but you can find modest 3-bedroom homes in the $500k range.
Cities on the west coast of Florida are typically less fast-paced than those on the southeast coast. It really depends on your budget and what kind of lifestyle you’re looking for. Tampa and the areas around Tampa Bay can get expensive fast, just like luxury areas in Naples. But you can also find affordable housing in relaxing suburbs.
Hurricanes are a yearly threat when you live in Florida. Unfortunately, it comes with the territory. Catastrophic storms have ravaged both coasts in the past. Hurricane Andrew, a category five monster, devastated the Florida Keys and the southern tip of Florida in 1992. Hurricane Charley made landfall near Fort Myers as a category 4 in 2004. Neither coast is safe from these disastrous storms.
Thankfully, most hurricanes aren’t nearly as destructive as the two previously mentioned. But, whichever Florida coast you move to, you’re going to have to learn how to deal with hurricanes. Most category one and category two hurricanes shut cities and towns down for two or three days. You may be without power for several hours or a few days. But, at least with hurricanes, you can plan and prepare. If you need to evacuate, you usually have a few days’ warning. And if you can’t evacuate, you can stock up on emergency supplies like water and non-perishable food.
The Tail Of Midwestern & New England Migrants
Florida legend states that the vibe of Florida’s east and west coasts are directly influenced by the two interstates that feed into Florida. Midwesterners traveled down I-75 on Florida’s west coast, and New Englanders traveled down I-95.
Although travel is a lot easier and quicker nowadays, this lore makes sense if you consider the atmosphere of Florida’s two coasts. The fast-paced atmosphere of Miami will feel very comfortable to someone who is used to living in New York. The relaxing beaches on the Gulf of Mexico will feel like a peaceful tropical home to someone from Ohio.