Florida is more than Disney World, oranges, or a place to spend spring break. The Sunshine State has a lot to offer its residents, which is why an estimated 1,000 people move to Florida every day.
Relocating to Florida can be a good idea if you love nature, low taxes, and outdoor recreation. But the hurricanes, high humidity, and tourists may be enough to keep you away.
Let’s put on our snorkel gear and dive into what moving to Florida means for you.
Know Before You Go: Living in Florida
In 1845, Florida became a part of the United States as the 27th state. Throughout Florida, there are 76 counties and about 21.3 million people. Florida has 12 international airports and 19 commercial airports. There are over 1,200 miles of sand beaches and 1,800 miles of coastline.
Florida in the third-biggest U.S. state. It’s fourth in population, with California, Texas, and New York ahead of it.
Many people assume life in Florida means beach-weather all day, every day. That can be true, but it depends where you live. Tallahassee, Florida’s capital, is located in Northern Florida. Summer Tallahassee temperatures stay around 92 degrees Farhenheit while winters drop to the 40s. Northern Florida cities can even get snow, with the lowest recorded temperature in Tallahassee reaching -2 degrees Farhenheit.
Southern Florida cities are 400 miles closer to the tropics. That makes Southern Florida one of the warmest winter regions in America. Some of the warmest cities of Florida are Miami, West Palm Beach, and Key West.
Florida has a strong economy, which makes relocating to Florida a good idea. Its strong points are international trade, tourism, agriculture, and the space industry.
The Pros of Moving to Florida
Why move to Florida? There’s always a reason to go outside, there are low taxes, and tons of exotic wildlife. Let’s explore the top advantages Florida has to offer.
1. Plenty of Outdoor Activities
Floridians always have a reason to go outside. Florida has 175 state parks and nine state trails that equal over 800,000 acres of land. There are over 700 campgrounds, which explains why six million Floridians go camping every year.
There are beautiful beaches and coastlines to walk along throughout Florida. Ginnie Springs, along the Santa Fe River, has the clearest water in the state. People enjoy snorkeling and tubing through the calm waters. Blue Springs State Park in Orange City is a popular manatee-sighting and kayaking spot.
2. Exotic Wildlife
Of course, you can’t move to Florida without considering its natural wildlife. Florida is home to over 700 vertebrates, 30,000 invertebrates, and 98 different types of mammals.
A large portion of Florida is swampland, creating the perfect home for Florida’s 1.2 million alligators. The American alligator is the official state reptile of Florida. Every year, Everglades National Park brings in over $100 million for the Florida economy.
In Southern Florida, especially throughout the Florida Keys, you can find a variety of sea turtles. Loggerheads are the most common and are known for their large, block-shaped heads. While on the coast, you may also spot a West Indian Manatee feeding on aquatic plants. While both manatees and sea turtles are found throughout Florida’s warm waters, the species are threatened due to boating and habitat loss.
3. Great for Sports-Lovers
Golfers love Florida because the state hosts over 1,250 golf courses. Florida has the most golf courses of any US state, and Palm Beach County has more courses than any other county in America.
Baseball fans flock to Florida for annual spring training events. Floridians get to enjoy major league and minor league players strut their stuff in Central and Southern Florida. Don’t forget to catch Florida’s own baseball teams, the Miami Marlins, and the Tampa Bay Rays, playing throughout the summer.
If baseball and golf aren’t enough motivation to move to Florida, then the Daytona 500 should do the trick. This 500-mile-long NASCAR Cup Series is held every year at Daytona International Speedway. It’s the most prestigious and important race for NASCAR enthusiasts.
4. Low Taxes
If the great outdoors and awesome sports aren’t enough to encourage you to move to Florida, then the Sunshine State’s low tax rate should be.
Florida is known to have one of the lowest tax burdens in America. This is largely due to Florida not having a personal income tax. According to Investopedia, Florida ranks 35th in its affordability and has an overall tax burden of 6.56%.
The Cons of Moving to Florida
Should I move to Florida? Before taking the plunge, educate yourself on some of the drawbacks of the Sunshine State. Hurricanes, tourists, and high humidity can be enough to make you reconsider your move.
The biggest drawback of living in Florida is its hurricanes. Florida’s hurricane season starts on June 1st and lasts until November. Storms are most common in August and September.
Hurricanes are dangerous and create expensive damages. That’s why hurricane insurance is a must for all Florida residents. Floridians must prepare their homes and have an emergency hurricane plan in place.
The last major hurricane to devastate Florida was Hurricane Irma in 2017. The storm flooded Southeastern Florida cities and left 5.6 million people without power. Hurricane Dorian narrowly missed Florida in 2019 and devastated the Bahamas instead.
Aside from hurricanes, Florida also experiences tropical depressions, tropical storms, and tornadoes. Researchers are already predicting strong storms for 2020. This article contains more information on how you can prepare for 2020’s hurricane season.
2. Lots of Tourists
Depending on where you reside in Florida, you’re going to encounter tourists during Flordia’s peak seasons. Tourism is one of the strongest sectors of Florida’s economy. In 2018, Florida hit record numbers with over 68.9 million tourists visiting the Sunshine State between January and June.
Of course, not every city in Florida is a hot spot for tourists and spring breakers. Miami, Orlando, Key West, and Fort Lauderdale bring in the most visitors. If you’re moving to Tampa, there are plenty of small communities that don’t see the types of tourist traffic other areas do.
3. Wet, Humid, and Flat Land
If you love to hike in the mountains, Florida is not the place for you. Florida is one of the flattest states in America. The highest point in Florida is only 345 feet above sea level.
While Florida is full of sunshine and warm temperatures, it is also very humid. Florida is the most humid state in America. Northern Florida experiences dew point averages between 55 and 60, while Southern Florida’s dew point is frequently over 60.
Keep in mind that with humidity comes rain. You can expect 40 to 60 inches of rain every year in Florida.
Moving to Florida has its pros and cons. Before making a move, research and learn everything there is to know about your potential new home. An informed-decision can prevent you from making a big mistake.
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