20 Things to Know BEFORE Moving to Florida | Living in Florida

November 28th, 2023

20 Things to Know BEFORE Moving to Florida | Living in Florida

Living in Florida

Are you moving to Florida? Everyone seems to be relocating to the Sunshine State. Here is why people love living in Florida!

Florida is the third most populated state in the United States, with a population of over 22 million people. Florida is bordered by the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean in the southeastern United States. Relying on tourism, transportation, and agriculture, the state has the fourth-largest economy in the country. Known for its gorgeous beaches, warm weather, and popular destination for retirees, there are many reasons to love living in Florida.

Florida has many cities and towns to choose from, like Sarasota or Palm Coast. While moving to a new state like Florida can be scary, we are here to help by providing all the information you need to make your move as stress-free as possible and the best places to live in Florida.

With that being said, let's dive in.

20 Things to Know BEFORE Moving to Florida

Florida Has a Rich History

Spanish explorer Ponce De Leon landed on the peninsula in the year 1513, naming it La Florida after the lush landscape of the region. Spain established multiple settlements in Florida, including St. Augustine's settlement. When the British came to the region, the English and Spanish decided to split the area into two territories.

East Florida was under the rule of Spain, while the English governed West Florida. Years later, the region soon became a destination for escaped slaves. Americans from England, Scotland, and Ireland started moving to northern Florida. During this time, Florida was still under the control of Spain. But once the territory started to become a burden to Spain instead of an asset, East and West Florida were merged to become one on March 30, 1822.

Today, Florida is the most populated state in the southeastern United States. Over the past few years, the state has continued to grow due to the number of out-of-state movers coming to the area.

Relocating to Florida - Here is what to expect living in the sunshine State

The Warm Weather in Florida

One of the top reasons to move to Florida is for the gorgeous warm weather and sunny days. With an average daily temperature of 70 degrees, it is the warmest state in the United States. No wonder many people flock here, especially during the winter months. While the summers may get hot and humid, it is a tropical lover's paradise. You'll love living in Florida during the winter when the rest of the country is stuck inside due to the cold weather. Southern Florida rarely gets below-freezing temperatures, so residents here normally never have to worry about wearing heavy jackets.

Out of the 365 days in a year, 200 of those days are sunny in the state of Florida. There is a reason why it is called "The Sunshine State." Thanks to the warm and sunny climate, be prepared to get your daily dose of Vitamin D. If you want to enjoy the beach and pool all year long, Florida is the state for you. Make sure to slather on plenty of sunscreens, and do not forget to bring your hat and sunglasses when spending the day outside.

While it may be warm and sunny, severe weather is common since the state is surrounded by water on both sides. The state of Florida has one of the highest average precipitation levels in the country. Central Florida is also known as the “Lightning Capital of the United States." Be prepared for severe thunderstorms to pop out of nowhere. It is also important to keep hurricane season in mind, which is from the months of June to November. Remember always to bring a rain jacket or umbrella because you never know when you need it. The water is one of the biggest reasons people are moving to Florida; everyone wants to live near the beach.

Beautiful Beaches in Florida - A big Reason People Love Living in Florida

Beautiful Beaches in Florida

What sounds better than soaking up the hot summer sun on a white sand beach in Florida? Nothing. Home to miles of coastline, Florida has no shortage of beaches. Featuring some of the most beautiful and stunning beaches in the country, set up your beach chair and stay for a while. While living in Florida, you can access some of the country's best beaches.

Check out some of these top Florida beaches:

Sanibel Island: Located on the west coast, search for seashells and wade in the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico on this relaxing beach.

Siesta Key: Prized for its beautiful quartz sand and turquoise waters, Siesta Key has been named one of the top beaches in the country and is a must-visit Island paradise.

South Beach: This popular beach in Miami is an international destination for its nightlife and high-end shopping scene.

Clearwater Beach: One of the best white sand beaches in America. The calm water brings in thousands of visitors year-round for parasailing and paddleboarding.

Naples: Enjoy stunning sunsets, amazing fishing, top-notch golf courses, and abundant wildlife.

The beaches are a big reason why people are moving to Florida.

The Florida Keys and Key West

The perfect Island paradise and dream vacation destination. The Florida Keys and Key West are a 125-mile chain of islands just south of Miami. Key West, The Lower Keys, Marathon, Islamorada, and Key Largo are driveable from the mainland of Florida. Key West is the southernmost populated Island in the Florida Keys and is only 90 miles North of Cuba.

Home of literary author Ernest Hemmingway and the Southernmost Point of the United States, Key West is adorned with pastel-hued houses. The best time to visit Key West is during the spring months between March and May. Check out the world-famous Duval Street, home to forty-three bars and outdoor cafes. For those living in the Florida Keys, they know what it feels like to live in paradise.

The Dry Tortugas

Take a little trip and head to the Dry Tortugas National Park in the Gulf of Mexico, just west of Key West. Consisting of seven islands with coral reefs, discover picturesque blue waters and marine life. The Dry Tortugas is home to the world-renowned Fort Jefferson. This remote Civil War 19th-century fort is only accessible by boat or seaplane and is a massive fortress built to protect the Gulf Coast. Fort Jefferson was unfinished and fortunately never attacked, but it still stands today as the "Guardian of the Gulf." It is a great getaway trip for those living in Florida and an awesome experience for anyone relocating.

Theme Parks Give Job Opportunity for People Moving to Florida

Theme Parks

Two words: Disney World. One of the most famous and iconic attractions in the whole world resides in Orlando, Florida. Being only a short distance from this theme park is super cool if you have children or are a child at heart. Not to mention, having access to the park easily during the off-season means fewer crowds and shorter lines. Spontaneously decide to spend the day in Epcot or Magic Kingdom without the fuss of trip planning months in advance. Or have dinner and shop in Disney Springs on a weeknight. Florida residents are also able to enjoy the perks of reduced ticket prices. If you love Disney World, living close to the magic is exciting.

Universal Orlando and Seaworld are also located in Florida. Having this much fun in your own backyard is worth it. Check out the Wizarding World of Harry Potter or Volcano Bay! Get your daily fix of roller coasters and enjoy the experiences of a lifetime living near these beloved theme parks.

The theme parks in Florida are one of the state's biggest attractions. It's not necessarily one of the reasons people are moving to Florida. However, the theme parks offer great job opportunities in Florida! Check out how affordable Orlando real estate is.

Moving to Florida for a Job - Enjoy the City, Beach, and Palm Trees

No State Income Tax in Florida

Did you know that Florida is one of the only states with no state income tax? It's true. This lack of state income tax is one of the many reasons to move to Florida. Living in a state with no income tax can be a huge advantage for individuals and businesses because it allows high earners to save more money. Since residents can save more money, they can spend it elsewhere. Use the money saved to experience all Florida offers, or buy your dream beach house. The fact that Florida has no state income tax is one of the biggest reasons people are relocating to Florida and why people love living in the Sunshine State.

The Cost of Living in Florida

Florida is one of the top vacation destinations in the country, but it can also be affordable. If you are wondering how expensive it is to live in Florida, the cost of living in Florida is 3% higher than the national average, according to Bankrate. But since the state is so big, it depends on the city that you choose to live in. Some cities in Florida can rank lower or higher than the national average.

Considering this, it is important to compare the cheapest places to live in Florida when choosing a place to live. When you decide to move, make sure to budget enough so that you have enough money to move to Florida. For example, if you are moving from New York, budget at least $1,700 to $3,000. Many folks moving to Florida travel long distances to escape the cold and high living costs in the North.

Cost of Living Item  % Compared to the National Average 
Overall  3% higher 
Groceries  2.8% higher 
Healthcare  2.3% higher 
Transportation  12.6% higher 
Utilities  1.3% higher 

*Data Sourced from Bankrate

Florida Real Estate + Homes for Sale

Real Estate in Florida

To get the most bang for your buck, check out real estate in Kissimmee, Boca Raton, Palm Coast, Cape Coral, Palm Bay, Lakeland, or Gainesville. These six cities are considered some of the most affordable cities in Florida and are a big reason people are moving. Buying real estate in Florida can be a good investment for many reasons. Since Florida is such a populous state, many people mean there is a lot of demand for housing. In southern Florida, housing prices are slightly higher than in the rest of the state.

There are many architectural styles to fit your needs, meaning there is a house for everyone. Buy a Spanish-style mansion on the beach or a modest condo next to a marina. Since Florida is a top destination for retirement, there are, in turn, a large number of gated communities and retirement homes. There is a place for everyone, and we are here to help you find your dream home in this tropical oasis.

Home in Florida is some of the country's most beautiful, often surrounded by water, and many homes have a pool. If you're living in Florida, you will surely appreciate having access to water to cool off during the summer months.

A Sports Fan Paradise

If you love sports, Florida is home to professional and collegiate teams. There is a team for everyone to route for. Since the state is so big, there are even multiple professional teams for multiple sports! If you are a hockey fan, the Florida Panthers and the Tampa Bay Lightning play for the NHL. The Tampa Bay Lightning were the winners of the Stanley Cup in 2020 and 2021. The state's NFL teams are the Jacksonville Jaguars, Miami Dolphins, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. If you are more of a basketball fan, support the Miami Heat or Orlando Magic. Meanwhile, baseball fanatics will be happy to know that the Florida Marlins and Tampa Bay Devil Rays play here.

If collegiate sports are more of your thing, embrace the rivalry between the University of Florida and Florida State University. The state is also home to multiple popular minor league teams that bring in a massive fan base. If you love NASCAR, the Daytona 500 races at the Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida. This 500-mile-long motor race is well attended and held every year. It is safe to say that when you move to Florida, there will be no shortage of sports teams to watch and support. Florida is truly a sports fan paradise.

If you want to live near some of these sports teams, check out homes for sale in Jacksonville, Miami, Tampa, and Orlando on our website.

Education in Florida - Many Florida Colleges and Universities

Great Education

If you have kids in school or are attending college, you will be happy to know that Florida has amazing school districts with some of the best top-rated universities in the nation. The educational system in Florida is made up of both public schools and private institutions. Over three million students are enrolled in the state's 4,269 public and private schools.

Florida was ranked number 2 in the country for improving high school graduation rates, a huge achievement. The top school district in the state is St. Johns County in St. Augustine. If you have school-age children and will be enrolling them in a school district, research the school districts beforehand when thinking about your move.

The Florida College System has 28 community and state colleges for students searching for higher education. The University of Central Florida had over 64,000 students enrolled in 2017, making it the largest university in enrollment. Popular state universities in Florida include Florida A&M University, Florida Atlantic University, Florida Gulf Coast University, Florida International University, Florida Polytechnic University, Florida State University, New College of Florida, University of Central Florida, the University of Florida, the University of North Florida, the University of South Florida, and the University of West Florida.

West Coast Vs East Coast

The east coast of Florida is very different from the west coast, and you will find out very quickly when moving to Florida. You will want to check out both sides of the state! The east coast borders the Atlantic Ocean, while the west coast borders the Gulf of Mexico. Migration patterns show that northeasterners end up on the east coast near Palm Coast or Miami. Meanwhile, those from the south or midwest of the United States tend to head towards the west coast. Each coast offers a different vibe and allure, which should be considered when deciding which coast you want to end up on.

The west coast of Florida is known for its warm Gulf waters and white sandy beaches. Clearwater Beach perfectly exemplifies this with its turquoise water and quartz sand. The west coast often has less traffic, fewer people, and wide-open beaches to explore. Beach towns are relaxed and have family-oriented atmospheres. Naples, Tampa, Sarasota, and Sanibel Island are all on the west coast and are luxurious areas.

On the other hand, the east coast of Florida has more of a big-city vibe. There is always something to do and some event going on. Miami is the beacon of the East Coast, with something going on every minute of every day. Enjoy the sunshine, beaches, sporting events, festivals, water sports, high-class entertainment, and amazing shopping experiences. This area is lined with high-rise apartments and is bustling with international residents and visitors.

North Florida Vs. South Florida

If you thought the East and West Coast were different, the North and South of Florida could be two different states. Southern Florida is warmer and has noticeable Latin American and Caribbean influence. Since this part of the state has many residents from South America, the culture here is very diverse. There is also a huge nightlife scene in southern Florida, prominently in the Miami area, which we will discuss in our next section. Those living in South Florida know what we are talking about!

On the other hand, North Florida is not as warm year-round and can experience snow occasionally. If you are moving to this part of the state, pack your sweaters and jackets. The state capital, Tallahassee, and Florida State University reside here. The further North you go, the more you can experience Southern influence, as seen through barbeque and country music. Jacksonville is a popular place to move to since it doesn't stay nearly as hot as cities to the south like Miami. When moving to Florida, you will want to decide if living in the North or South part of the state is the right place for you.

Golf Courses in Florida - Living on the golf course in Florida

Golf Courses Galore

There is so much golf in the state of Florida that it honestly is the golf capital of the world. So golf lovers unite, this is your state. With over 1,250 golf courses, never play a course more than once. Palm Beach County, in particular, has over 160 golf courses alone. The golf courses here are unbelievable and the perfect place for a golf trip. Golf tournaments are hosted here all throughout the year.

The Honda Classic plays at the PGA National Resort, home to five of the top golf courses in Florida. No wonder retirees love to play golf in Florida; golf courses are everywhere. So hop on your golf cart and grab your favorite golf club because it is time to book a tee time.

Amazing Restaurants

While tourism remains the leading industry in Florida, agriculture follows closely behind. When one thinks of Florida, citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons, and grapefruit probably come to mind. Florida produces more than 80% of citrus fruits in America. So, the next time you eat an orange, it most likely comes from this warm state. While citrus fruits are prized here, there is more to Florida cuisine than just oranges.

There is no question that foodies dream about Florida. Southern flavor mixes with Latin and Caribbean flavors to create a masterpiece. Access to fresh, locally caught seafood, citrus, and organic produce creates the tastiest foods. Feast on old Florida classics and international cuisine at local favorite restaurants all over the state. The food is so good here that cities host food and wine festivals to celebrate the strong flavors. Since there are so many travelers and visitors to the state year-round, residents get to enjoy Restaurant Week and have access to frequent new dishes. Those of you moving to Florida will soon have your favorite spots.

In Florida, there are some foods and drinks you must try. Here are a few:

Florida Stone Crab: Make sure to try Florida Stone Crab! Florida Stone Crab is not only fresh but sustainable. Head to Joe's Stone Crab in South Beach, Miami, to dine on this Florida staple.

Key Lime Pie: A staple of Key West and a must-eat on the Island. Head to Kermit's Key West Key Lime Shoppe for a slice.

Cuban Sandwich: Cuban food can be found all over Tampa, Miami, and Key West. This sandwich could arguably be one of the best sandwiches ever invented. Dine at Columbia in Tampa to try this authentic sandwich.

Conch Fritters: Another Key West favorite, this Caribbean classic is fried bites of conch and is a must-try. Originally from the Bahamas and great paired with a creamy dipping sauce, try them at Key Largo Conch House.

Gator Tail: In Florida, it is imperative to eat some gator. People claim it tastes like chicken, and everyone should taste it at least once. Head to Gator Grill for some gator tail.

Gulf Oysters: Enjoy oysters from the Gulf at Indian Pass Raw Bar. Pulled fresh every morning, shuck yourself a large oyster with a sweet and salty flavor.

Florida Orange Juice: Squeeze some vitamin C straight from the orange fields. Check out Sun Harvest Citrus in Fort Myers, Florida, for your fix of citrus fruits.

A Cultural Hub

Florida is an international destination, which means it has a diverse range of cultural influences. People from Europe, Latin America, and the Caribbean all play a part in the cultural hub that Florida is today. Enjoy this culture in the food, community events, museums, art galleries, and attractions.

Check out some of these cultural attractions when moving to Florida:

Salvador Dali Museum: Located in downtown St. Petersburg, admire this Spanish painter’s largest collection. This gallery houses over 2,000 pieces of his art.

Ernest Hemmingway Museum: Visit the Key West home of Ernest Hemingway and celebrate one of America's favorite classic authors.

Kennedy Space Center: View exhibits and displays at this NASA center and have the chance to watch rockets blast off.

St. Augustine Pirate and Treasure Museum: Originally in Key West, this museum was moved to St. Augustine and is the perfect place to learn about pirates and view pirate artifacts up close and personal.

Gasparilla Festival of the Arts: This annual festival in March turns the city of Tampa into an outdoor museum to honor and showcase art in all forms.

Florida Activities + Outdoor Adventures - Boating in Florida

Outdoor Adventures

While being close to the beach might be one of the biggest draws to living in Florida, many outdoor things involve more than just tanning. Florida offers residents and visitors unique landscapes to explore and discover. Spot ginormous alligators in the Everglades on a fan boat or dip in one of the state's freshwater springs. Take a kayak out in the mangroves, learn how to paddleboard, go boating, ziplining, hiking, or take a hot air balloon around for a birds-eye view of the sunshine state.

Check out these Florida Adventures:

Madison Blue Springs: Found east of Tallahassee, this magical spring is full of crystal-clear water and provides an otherworldly experience to visitors. This translucent spring runs over limestone and even has underwater caves. There are steps and a platform for swimmers.

Everglades Swamp Tours: Have you always wanted to see an alligator up close? Now is the perfect time for this swamp tour. Board an airboat for a private tour to view wildlife in their natural habitat. Travel deep into the swamps at 35 miles per hour.

Adventures in Paradise: Experience the tranquil and peaceful beauty of Sanibel and Captiva Island. Board a boat for the Sunset Dolphin and Wildlife Cruise.

Amelia Island Horseback Riding: Ride a horse on the beach at Amelia Island. Close to Jacksonville, this is an amazing experience and worth the money. Take a sunrise, sunset, or day cruise. This is a perfect idea for a date or special occasion.

Admire the Wildlife

Florida loves its alligators. The University of Florida even has an alligator as its mascot. While Florida gators may get all of the love, the state is home to an abundance of many other unique species of wildlife. The news constantly broadcasts scary run-ins with snakes, alligators, and sharks. Other dangerous animals in Florida include wild boars, Florida panthers, jellyfish, and fire ants. Pay attention to your surroundings, especially when swimming in the ocean or near water. Alligators tend to make an appearance in the ponds of Florida golf courses.

Bears, raccoons, bobcats, otters, beavers, bats, foxes, deer, and manatees are just some of the many mammals that can be found in the state. The manatee is Florida's most popular mammal. These sea cows are massive, gentle, slow-moving, peaceful giants. Manatees are known to be friendly and can be seen feasting on seagrass and algae. When kayaking through the mangroves, prepare to see at least one manatee swim up to say hi.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is an agency that regulates the state's fish and wildlife. If you go fishing or boating in the water, purchase the correct license from the Fish and Wildlife Commission. This guarantees not only a safe and fun fishing experience but also works to protect the fish and wildlife of Florida. Respect and admire the animals while exploring the Florida ecosystems.

Living in Florida - Experience the Florida Nightlife!


As a Florida resident, take part in the endless party that is the nightlife of Florida. Orlando and Miami are infamous for having some of the most famous nightlife scenes. Dance the night away in a club, drink a cocktail in a lounge, or dine at a five-star restaurant owned by celebrities. Fort Lauderdale has 57 bars and 38 clubs alone. Join these cities that never sleep and embrace living in Florida. When moving to Florida, you will have the opportunity to experience some of the country's best nightlife.

If you are a beer lover, spend your night at one of the 200 Florida breweries for a tasting. There are so many craft breweries to choose from, who knows which one will be your new favorite? Approximately 25 craft distilleries are also located in Florida. Learn about the distillation process and try a new cocktail.

Have a drink at:

Key West First Legal Rum Distillery: Offering tours, tastings, and mojito classes, visit the first rum distillery in the Florida Keys. Tours here are free.

Red Coconut Club Orlando: This Orlando hotspot is a two-story lounge with DJs, live music, and a party atmosphere.

SLS Pool Party: The biggest pool party in South Beach, located in Miami, every Sunday with every drink you can think of.

Proof Brewing Company: This Tallahassee craft brewery is in an old Coca-Cola bottling company. Try the Eight-five-O American Pale Ale or the Mango Wit from organically grown mangos.

As you can see, many reasons exist to move to gorgeous Florida. Relax at one of the many beaches and explore the coasts. Try some key lime pie while sipping on a local craft beer. Kayak the waters and befriend a manatee. Florida is waiting for you; our team is here to help you find your new home. 

Pros and Cons 


  • Warm and sunny weather 
  • Plenty of beaches 
  • Fun things to do
  • Affordable cost of living overall 
  • Beautiful real estate 
  • Delicious restaurants 


  • Natural disasters 
  • High heat and humidity 
  • Lots of bugs and pests 
  • Tons of tourists 
  • Residents will need a car 

Is Moving to Florida right for you?

If you're moving to Florida, you'll soon find out what makes the Sunshine State a great place to live. If you'd like more information about relocating to Florida or anywhere in the state, please let us know, as we work with the best Realtors in every city. Contact us, and we will be able to connect you with the top local Realtors in the area of your choice.

While moving can be stressful, it does not have to be. Hopefully, with this article on the 20 Things to Know before moving to Florida, you're growing excited about living here.

If you're relocating to Florida, please feel free to connect with us — We work with the best Local Realtors in every city in Florida and are here to answer any questions you may have.

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Ryan Fitzgerald

Ryan Fitzgerald

Hi there! My name is Ryan Fitzgerald, and I am a REALTOR®. My goal is to help you learn more about real estate through our Real Estate Blog! Hopefully, you enjoyed the above blog post and it found a way to provide help or value to you. When you're ready to buy or sell a home of your own let us know here. Please feel free to join the conversation by dropping us a comment below.

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