The following article is the ultimate guide to the best places to live in Florida for families. The places were picked after evaluating the city’s luxuries, affordability, safety, things to do for all ages, median home value, median income, jobs, business opportunities, and so on.
The United States is the third most populous country in the world, with an actual population of 339 million. The U.S. has a very mixed population, meaning there are many different lifestyles and assertions. Many factors go into deciding where to live in America, including the cost of living and quality of life.
Florida is an attractive state to live in the United States for families. With its sandy beaches and year-round sunshine, Florida ranks among the more expensive states, yet living here is reasonably affordable.
Florida is more than just a popular tourist destination. Its diverse amenities also draw plenty of year-round residents, mainly families looking to relocate for a change of pace. Where you live in the state simulates the lifestyle you can afford.
If you are looking to relocate your family, Florida is the best state to live with your family. It has all great options with a variety of climates and cost of living ratios.
Florida offers a warm and sunny climate, fantastic beach resorts, and all-inclusive attractions like Miami Beach, Walt Disney World, and the Kennedy Space Center. However, the Sunshine State has cities with the most affordable living costs and the very best quality of life.
We done with research to find some insights on the best places to live in Florida for families. We are evaluating the quality of life and picking places that families want to live in instead of only focusing on price.
These cities were selected based on their quality of life, access to basic facilities, safety, schools, fun activities, and average house and apartment prices.
Now, let’s dig deeper into the top 10 best affordable places to live in Florida for families.
Best Places To Live In Florida For Families
1. Port St. Lucie
Located on Florida’s east coast, this town is a growing urban area that embodies the natural beauty of Florida.
Regarding safety, Port St. Lucie boasts a crime index of 7.7 out of 10, indicating a lower crime rate than liken metro areas.
From an educational perspective, the city provides its residents with access to 20 public elementary, middle, and high schools, as well as 30 private schools, with a student-to-teacher ratio of just 18 to 1.
When considering activities in Port St. Lucie, local family-friendly options include minor league baseball games, Fort Pierce Tours, the Sailfish Splash Water Park, the Children Museum of Treasure Coast, and the Manatee Center.
Port St. Lucie offers a relaxed environment characterized by quiet neighborhoods, clean streets, and scenic waterways, making it an ideal place for families to reside.
2. St. Petersburg
St. Petersburg sits between Tampa Bay and the Gulf Coast and is part of Pinellas County.
It is nicknamed the Sunshine City because it holds the longest stretch of sunshine in the country, per the Guinness World Record.
St. Petersburg has a population of 261,000, and it’s the second largest city in the Tampa Bay Area and very similar to Sarasota.
St. Petersburg has a thriving arts and theatre scene and is close to award-winning beaches, which include Saint Pete Beach, Upham Beach, and pass-a-grill Beach.
The downtown waterfront area is the heart and soul of St. Petersburg, and there is so much to do for all ages, especially for families with kids.
The downtown area is vibrant, with top-rated restaurants, bars, breweries, and cultural attractions. The young professionals are drawn to the site for the rich downtown amenities.
The closer you get to down St. Petersburg and the Bay, the more expensive the property is, and the further inland you go, so away from the Bay, the cheaper the property is.
3. Fort Myers
Located in southwest Florida along the Calusa Hatchee River, Fort Myers is a mid-sized metro area with a charming downtown giving it a small-town feel with city amenities.
Nearby are Fort Myers Beach, Sanibel Island, and Cape Coral, popular destinations for boaters, kayakers, and anglers.
From a safety perspective, the crime rate in Fort Myers is 6 .8 out of 10, with crime levels steadily decreasing over the previous six years.
With 27 public schools and 38 private institutions, Fort Myers has many education options to fit your family’s needs.
And finally, for recreation, a few activities to keep the kids entertained are the Butterfly Estates, the IMAG History and Science Center, or enjoy one of the many parks around town.
Pensacola, this beach town, is located in Florida’s Panhandle along the Escambia and Pensacola Bays. You’ll find white sandy beaches and emerald waves crashing on the shore here.
With 27 public schools, 32 private schools, and crime seeing a continual decline in the last six years, Pensacola could be a great spot to set up your family’s home base.
For family fun and entertainment, visit the National Naval Aviation Museum and the Pensacola Lighthouse and Maritime Museum, watch a minor league baseball game with the Blue Wahoo, or spend the day exploring Big Lagoon State Park.
Sarasota is for more than just retirees. It’s a beautiful city with a warm climate, white sand beaches, and a relaxed and safest lifestyle.
Sarasota is the heartiest destination for families and retirees alike. It is only 1 hour from Tampa and 2 hours from Orlando, making it a good location.
The city is also home to several art museums, theatres, and cultural attractions in its central area.
In 2019 Sarasota was recognized as the 18th best place to live in the entire United States with families, the 2nd best place to retiree, and the 13th best place for the best quality of life.
One reason families should settle down in Sarasota is the low crime rate. The crime index currently sits at 7.1 out of 10.
Sarasota is also the home of 27 public and 57 private schools, with a college readiness index of 7.8 out of 10.
Some pretty good universities are also in this area, including the new College of Florida, which is an exciting name for the college.
A public Liberal Arts College in Sarasota was founded in 1960 as a private institution known simply as a New College.
It spent several years merged with the University of South Florida, and in 2001, it became an autonomous college for coastal towns.
It is a relatively inexpensive place to live for families in Florida. Their cost of living is only 2% above the national average; that’s okay. Their home prices are reasonable. The median home price is $500,000 right now.
Tampa is another famous city, and the residents of Tampa have laid-back coastal vibes made with the conveniences of a large metro area, one of the largest cities.
This city is currently drawing in many generations but also millennials who can now work remotely and want to take advantage of extensive city amenities, a warm climate, and no income tax.
The safety of Tampa is super higher to the size of the population, and the crime index is 7.4 out of 10.
A bigger city has many options for your kids in terms of schools. Tampa is home to 100 high public schools and twice private schools.
They also have a readiness of high college index of 8.2 out of 10 and a student-teacher ratio of 16 to 1, which means your children are more likely to get more personalized attention in the classroom.
From things to do of perspective, Tampa is a city with a plethora of activities for all ages. Tampa is the most urban and for those that appreciate a faster-paced metropolitan city.
Tampa is a business hub with many top-ranking companies in the area, including IBM, Fisher Investments, and Cisco.
Also Read: Best places to start a business in Florida
The Tampa convention center is the host of big-name events and is in the heart of downtown with stunning water views of the Bay, nearby restaurants, and shopping places.
7. Palm Bay
The best place for the outdoorsy, with a population of 122,988, has an average monthly cost of living is $1564, an affordable accommodation.
Palm Bay is Central Florida’s hidden gem, packed with natural resources to explore. Palm Bay is located in Orlando’s southeast and East Central Florida, snuggling between Miami and Jacksonville.
Palm Bay lets residents have a great dining experience with scenic waterfront views and unique shopping experiences.
The Fred Poppy Regional Park was built in the 1990s and is the largest in the city. The average home value in Palm Bay is around $110,000, and for apartments, the average rent is around $950 per month.
Best place for educational and recreational facilities with a population of 15,984, and the average monthly living cost is $3250.
Niceville, a small city in Okaloosa County, Florida, is located near Eglin Force Base along the shores of Choctawhatchee Bay in Panhandle, Florida.
Niceville is the best place to live with family and raise kids in Florida because of its unmatched educational and recreational opportunities, like parks, sports centers, playgrounds, and religious chapels.
A low crime rate and an incredibly affordable standard of living are captivating people to relocate to Niceville.
Buying a family-oriented home in Niceville costs $204,600, and rent is relatively cheap, too, with an average rent of $980 monthly.
Orlando, Florida. This city is often recognized as home to seven of the world’s top theme parks and welcomes millions of travelers each year, making it a top-rated vacation destination.
Living in Orlando, you’ll find Canopied Oaks and 1920s Lakefront bungalows. It’s an attractive city for families because it combines business, recreation, and living.
From a safety perspective, some areas of town are safer than others. Still, overall the crime index is 6 .8 out of 10, indicating Orlando has a lower crime rate than similar-sized cities; it is also a great place to move for the schools.
Orlando has a college readiness index of 8 .5 out of 10 and 99 public schools and 214 private schools.
Furthermore, 21 of the high schools in Orlando are recognized on the U.S. News and World Report’s best high school rankings.
For recreation, the list of family-friendly activities in Orlando, Florida, is extensive. Still, a few highlights would be Discovery Cove, Harry P. Lou Gardens, Orlando Science Center, and Tree Trek Adventure Park.
Plus, must remember the two major theme parks, Disney World and Universal Studios.
Lakeland, Florida, is an excellent option for families because of its central location, Orlando and Tampa.
It’s a relatively small metro area where neighbors know one another, and it can be typical to run into friends while running errands. This beautiful city is a hidden gem.
Lakeland has gorgeous scenery, but it’s also safe, with a crime index of 7 .9 out of 10, so you can feel comfortable relocating your family here. For education options, Lakeland schools include 29 public and 44 private, with a 17 -to -1 student-teacher ratio.
And finally, for things to do with almost 40 parks, there are plenty of spots to picnic or explore with your family in the beautiful Florida sunshine. For indoor options, check out the Explorations Children’s Museum or catch a movie at the Historic Polk Theater.
11. Winter Springs
Winter Springs best place for family activities, with 38,405 of the population. The average monthly cost of living is $1,932.
The largest city in Seminole County, Winter Springs, Florida, is one of the best and most affordable places to live in Florida for families having kids to grow.
Different amusement parks are the beauty of Winter Springs, making it the best place for families to gather and enjoy adults and kids.
Winter Springs is adjacent to Universal Studios, Disney World, and many others. In Winter Springs, buying a home costs approximately $214,400, and renting an apartment in Winter Springs costs an average of $1,150 a month.
12. Temple Terrace
A suburb of Tampa and like a small town with luxurious amenities, Temple Terraces is getting ranked and multiplying its residents.
The population is 27,013. The average cost of monthly living is $1950. It is the 3rd largest incorporated city in Hillsboro. It is located in northeastern Hillsborough County, Florida, adjacent to Tampa.
Temple Terrace is famed for its rolling landscape, majestic Sand live Oak Trees, and Hillsborough river views.
Temple Terrace has to offer a small-town feel with luxuries for recreation; that’s why it is the best place to live in Florida with families. The quality of life is excellent, and the living costs back that claim.
A well structured and luxurious home in Temple Terrace costs $179,900. Opting for apartments, the average rent in Temple Terrace is $1,110 monthly.
The best place for a young family with a population of 35,958 people in the city has an average monthly living cost of $1,950.
Dunedin is the best town on Florida’s West Gulf Coast between Tarpon Springs and Clearwater.
Dunedin has a wooded setting with almost 4 miles of quaint Waterfront. The city provides a stress-free lifestyle for people of all ages, which makes Dunedin a truly entertaining place to live in Florida.
Dunedin is ranked as the 20 safest cities in Florida, United States.
14. Cape Coral
Cape Coral is the best place for a golfer family, with a population of 204,140 with an average monthly cost of living of $1973.
Cape Coral is in Lee County, Florida, on the Gulf of Mexico, and has a vibrant and friendly community.
It offers the true charm. The fabled Golf courses, Gulf Coast Beaches, and family attractions like Sun Splash family water park make the city the best place to live and have a family. The average rent in Cape Coral is around $1,095 per month.
Living in the cheap state of Florida for families is amazing! You can score affordable housing, keep your taxes low, and still have money left over for some lit activities.
Florida has a friendly vibe and a strong sense of community, making it a great place to live for families with a low-stress lifestyle.
And let’s not forget about the epic natural scenery – from mountains to beaches, theirs is something for everyone. Whether you are just looking to move to Florida with family or looking to retire, living in a cheap state in Florida is a dope way to live it up without draining your bank account.