The Best Places to Live in Florida, According to a Financial Website

L. Cane

While many people agree that Florida is a desirable place to live, not everyone agrees where in Florida is best to settle down. Thankfully, there are plenty of options. While one person might prefer to live on one of the coasts, another might choose to live inland. However, it seems that many people have options as to which places are best for them.

The financial website Forbes recently pondered the best places to live in Florida and made its determination based on the following criteria:

What did Forbes Consider?: Forbes analyzed data that looked at an area’s "median home price, personal income per capita, and the unemployment and crime rates."

Here were Forbes' picks, from lowest to highest:

#10 Pensacola: With an unemployment rate of only 2.7%, there are many opportunities in this city in the panhandle, but one of the most commonplace is the military, since there's a naval base in town. The city enjoys beautiful beaches and is not too far away from Alabama or New Orleans.

#9 Tallahassee: This city is also in the north, but doesn't have as easy access to the beaches as Pensacola. Still, it does have cheaper housing, as the median home price is around $312,000. This city serves as Florida's capital but is also home to both Florida State and Florida Agricultural and Mechanical Universities.

#8 Sarasota: This city in central Florida has access to some of the most beautiful beaches in the state - Lido Beach and Siesta Key. It boasts a low crime rate, and has a focus on culture, with a ballet and opera.

#7 Melbourne: This city is part of Florida's "space coast" so it's no wonder that many job opportunities are in the aerospace industry. It borders the Atlantic Ocean, so there are plenty of beach opportunities. Orlando is an hour away for anyone wanting a theme park fix.

#6 Miami: This city admittedly has a higher cost of living than some of the others on the list. It's also one of the largest cities in Florida, so it is heavily populated. Plus, its southern location means that it can be humid. But Forbes felt that Miami's rich cultural opportunities and gorgeous beaches make up for any minuses.

#5: Orlando: Admittedly, Orlando isn't on the coast, so you won't have immediate access to beaches, but you will have access to many fun attractions like theme parks and the many activities you can find on International Drive. The city has a strong emphasis on the arts, and if you want to go to the beach, Daytona Beach is only an hour away.

#4: Cape Coral: This medium-sized city is situated on the Gulf of Mexico and has over 400 miles of canals, more than anywhere else in the world - even Venice, Italy. Needless to say, there are plenty of opportunities for water activities. Additionally, Cape Coral has one of the lowest crime rates of any city on this list.

#3 Gainesville: Forbes liked this choice because it has a very low cost of living, yet still offers state parks, cultural activities, and college sports since the UF Florida Gators play here. It's a smaller city, but Jacksonville and Orlando are both only about an hour and a half away.

#2 Jacksonville: This city technically spans 750 miles, but it has fewer residents per square mile than cities like Miami or Tampa. It also has access to beaches, being located on the Atlantic Ocean, and is not quite as expensive as Miami or Tampa. It also has a Mayo Clinic. If you like sports, you'd have access to the Jacksonville Jaguars.

#1 Tampa: This city on Tampa Bay has access to the beaches of nearby Clearwater and St. Petersburg. It has an active seaport and is a hub of business and industry. It's also known to be quite family-friendly and even has a theme park (Busch Gardens) and the Lowry Park Zoo. Tampa gives one access to no less than three professional sports teams - the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Tampa Bay Lightning, and the Tampa Bay Rays.

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