Which Florida Coast Should You Move To?
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.
Which Coast Are More People Moving To?
When you’re deciding which Florida coast to move to, one measure you may want to consider is how often other people move to Florida and where exactly they’re going. Over the last decade, Florida has been one of the fastest-growing states. WalletHub conducted a study comparing 515 cities to determine which had the most rapidly growing local economies. They weighed factors such as population growth, job growth, median household income growth, and others. Out of those 515 cities, 40 of them are in Florida. Of the top 100, 15 are in Florida.
The fastest-growing, west-coast Florida cities include (of the top 100):
- Fort Myers (1)
- Town ‘n’ Country (7)
- Cape Coral (14)
- Lehigh Acres (21)
- Spring Hill (36)
- Tampa (65)
The fastest-growing, east-coast Florida cities include (of the top 100):
- Port Saint Lucie (15)
- Boynton Beach (27)
- Miami (40)
- Palm Coast (49)
- Kendall (96)
- Davie (97)
Altogether, eleven cities on Florida’s west coast made the list of 515, and twenty-five east coast cities made the list. The three central Florida cities ranked are Orlando (43), Deltona (95), and Gainesville (251).
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.
Florida’s Space Coast, about an hour east of Orlando, attracts tourists for its obvious affiliation with space travel. But it also attracts homebuyers for several reasons. Brevard County is ranked third in Florida for education. It’s ranked first in Florida for the most concentrated high-tech economy and ninth in the nation. There aren’t many places in the world where you can find such a convergence of beach living and a high-tech economy.
The Treasure Coast, spanning south from the Space Coast to Palm Beach County, is named after a Spanish Treasure Fleet lost in a 1715 hurricane. People have been diving and finding treasure along this coast for over 200 years. Residents of this area enjoy close proximity to cultural hotspots like Miami and the Palm Beaches while retaining a smalltown atmosphere. In addition, cities like Port St. Lucie, Jensen Beach, and Stuart offer residents a relaxing lifestyle.
Further south sits the cities of West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale, and Miami. These areas are constantly growing, even during the coronavirus pandemic. When you move to West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, or Fort Lauderdale, you’ll get a selection of urban and suburban living, with plenty of barrier islands and beachfront property.
Miami is a city that we can’t sum up in a few sentences. Floridians don’t even claim Miami as their own. It might as well be a different country. There’s always something to do, and it remains one of the top travel destinations in the world. It’s big enough to accommodate lifestyles of all sorts, so it’s no wonder people want to move to Miami. Whether you want a beachfront property, luxury condo, or a simple suburban home, you can find it in Miami and its surrounding suburban towns.
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.
Book Your Move To Florida Today!
No matter which side of the state you decide to move to, Safebound Moving & Storage can get you there. We’re a professional, licensed moving company that puts your peace of mind first. We provide stress-free local and long-distance moves to residential and commercial clients. So give us a call or contact us today for a free moving quote!