The Best Places to Live in Florida

Todays post is about some of the best places to live in FL.  We actually put this list together from the website  

Livability explores what makes small-to-medium sized cities great places to live. They do studies and examine topics related to community amenities, education, sustainability, transportation, housing and the economy. Livability puts out an annual Top 100 Best Places to Live, this one is from 2019 so we will be keeping our eyes posted for their 2020 list.

How do they come up with their list?

They said that they came up with the list by examining more than 1,000 cities based on thousands of data points measuring economics, housing, amenities, infrastructure, demographics, social and civic capital, education and health care.

They asked 1,000 millennials across the country, what matters most to you when you’re deciding where to live?

The #1 answer by far was affordability!

So you will notice a theme here, one of the topics in each city we will talk about is the current median home price.  They are all pretty close, ranging from around $250,000 to $280,000.  Livability says they only included cities with a median home price $250,000 or less.  Some of these cities are coming in higher than that, but we can attribute that to two things.

First this list was made in 2019 and home values have definitely appreciated since then.

Second, our numbers were pulled from the Florida Realtors association.  The number we are going to use is the average sales price for single family homes in the month of March 2020.

To give you some idea of a comparison, the statewide median for  sales price for March 2020 was $275,000 and according to as of March 2020, the U.S. median home price was $320,000.

To our surprise we saw most if not all our major cities on this list.

On the 2019 list, there were 7 Florida cities, so lets check those out.


Jacksonville , FL

Population: 903,889

Median Sale Price as of March 2020:  $265,000

Jacksonville is the most populous city in the state of Florida, while is is only the fourth most populated metropolitan area in the state.  This is because the city’s borders are wide reaching, making it the largest city by area in the contiguous United States.  The majority of the Jacksonville metropolitan area’s population lives within the city limits.

Jacksonville is located in the northeast corner of Florida.  Like the rest of Florida, it will have warm balmy summers.   Of course, you can always catch a breeze on the city’s 22 miles of beaches.  Winters can get a bit cooler than most of the other towns on the list as this is one of the northernmost towns we will discuss today.

Jacksonville is home to two Navy bases, which are major employers in the city.

In addition to the miles and miles of beaches, the Saint Johns river runs right through town so Jacksonville makes a great spot for water lovers.

The town is also home to their beloved Jacksonville Jaguars.  A popular chant of “Duval!” can be heard throughout the city on game day in honor of Duval county, which the majority of the city of Jacksonville falls into.


Gainesville, FL

Population: 133,857

Median Sale Price as of March 2020: $274,338

Located pretty much where the Panhandle of FL meets the Peninsula, Gainesville is known as the home of the University of Florida Gators, the fifth-largest university campus by enrollment in the United States.

The University of Florida is the top employer in the city, followed by the university affiliated UF Health which has 2 hospitals in Gainesville.  These two employers have over 40,000 employees between them.

The sports drink Gatorade was invented in Gainesville in the sixties for the UF football team.  Although Gatorade is now owned by PepsiCo, the university still receives a share of the profits from the beverage.


West Palm Beach, FL

Population:  111,398

Median Sale Price as of March 2020 $380,000

Part of the Miami Dade Metro area, West Palm Beach is located North of Boca Raton.  This metorpolitan area is the largest in Florida and boasts a population of nearly 7 million people.  It’s important to note that the median sale price above is for the entire metro area, which includes Miami and some of the most expensive real estate in Florida. West Palm Beach’s median price alone would likely fall in line close to the others on this list.

West Palm Beach is the oldest incorporated municipality in south Florida.  It was incorporated as a city two years before Miami in November 1894. West Palm Beach is located approximately 68 miles north of Downtown Miami.  If an affordable yet blossoming beach town on the outer rim of a large metro area sounds like your cup of tea, then West Palm Beach may be a fit for you!


Tallahassee, FL

Population: 187,024

Median Sale Price as of March 2020: $240,000

Tallahassee is the State Capital of FL and is home to Florida State University.

Tallahassee’s terrain is hilly compared to the rest of Florida, with gentle rolling hills.

As expected, the State of Florida is the top employer in the city with nearly 20,000 employees. Florida State University is a close second with nearly 15,000 employees.


Clearwater, FL

Population: 116,381

Median Sale Price as of March 2020: $255,000

Part of the Tampa Metro area, Clearwater is located north of Tampa Bay.  Clearwater is the smallest of the three primary cities in the Tampa–St. Petersburg–Clearwater metropolitan area, which is most commonly referred to as the Tampa Bay Area.

Clearwater is a nice little beach town which is known for its, get this, clear waters!  Clearwaters beaches are consistently ranked as some of the most beautiful beaches in the county.  If the beach is your thing, Clearwater is definitely worth checking out!


Orlando, FL

Population: 285,713

Median Sale Price as of March 2020: $287,990

Orlando may be known for Disney World, but it has so much more to offer!  Disney World is actually not located in Orlando proper, but in a city to the south of Orlando called Kissimmee.  Orlando is home to other theme parks as well, including Universal Studios and SeaWorld.

Theme parks are huge employers in the Orlando metro area, employing over 100,000 people combined.

The University of Central Florida is home to more than 60,000 students, the second largest public university campus by enrollment

Orlando is targeting the biotechnology and life sciences industries, with major new projects clustering in the Lake Nona Medical City


Tampa, FL

Population: 335,709

Median Sale Price as of March 2020: $255,000

The city of Tampa is located on the west coast of Florida and the northern shores of Tampa Bay.  Tampa is the largest city in the Tampa Bay area.  The metropolitan Tampa Bay Area is the second most populous metro in Florida with over 4 million residents.  Located on the shores of the bay, life in Tampa is based around the water, plus there are beautiful beaches a short drive away.

Tampa is also home to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers football team.  The sound of cannon fire can be heard throughout the stadium when the Bucs score.


Tampa is also home to the annual Gasparilla Festival.  Gasparilla is held in January or February every year and is a pirate celebration with music and parades, plus a real life pirate ship which sails into Tampa Bay.

Tampa tops this list with their affordable housing, access to tons of outdoor activities, proximity to the beach, and more.


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You can find the complete list at the following link: