The Funshine State
If you're considering moving to Florida, these four reasons might help you make your decision. If you are already living in Florida, these reasons might help you appreciate it more. I know sometimes I grumble about the heat, but the truth is, as soon as it gets so hot I think I can't stand it anymore, it cools down just enough that I quit complaining!
1. You will never be bored in Florida.
The Sunshine state, or the Funshine state as I like to call it, has so much to offer tourists and residents alike. With a variety of bigger cities like Miami, Orlando, and Jacksonville sprinkled amidst a wide variety of smaller, homestyle-feeling towns, there is truly something for everyone. You can always find events and festivals, like around Christmas time in Mount Dora, Florida every year. Just 40 minutes from Orlando, this little city has a small town feel with vintage flair. The citizens there string up lights so beautifully, so majestically that the town just twinkles for all to see. What a great way to get into the holiday spirit. Gasparilla over in the Tampa area is another great festival that Florida has to offer. Florida could be home for you if you enjoy:
- Fishing. Towns like Cedar Key, Steinhatchee, Fort Myers, and Titusville are some cities and towns in Florida where fishing is a favorite pastime.
- Shopping. Orlando, with it's sprawl of outlet malls and indoor malls, is a haven for bargain hunters. It is a must-see destination for travelers from all over the world. Get designer clothes and products for a fraction of the retail value. There are unbelievable deals just waiting to be uncovered!
- Antiqueing. Florida is home to a plethora of flea markets and antique-friendly towns. Lakeland, Lake Wales, Webster, Mount Dora, Micanopee, Winter Park, and many other areas throughout the state offer a wide variety of antiques available to suit your taste.
- Relaxing. A haven for snowbirds, Florida has long been popular among retirees and those looking for a good blend of fun and relaxation. Fort Myers, Sarasota, and Naples over on the Gulf coast of Florida are hot spots for retirees.
- Learning. With several large state universities, Florida is a prime location for students seeking a solid education. Orlando's University of Central Florida, Tallahassee's Florida State University, and the University of Florida in Gainesville are three reputable higher education institutions that offer excellent degree programs in a wide variety of topics. As a graduate of the University of Central Florida myself, I know firsthand that UCF is a quality place to gain knowledge.
- Thrill. From Orlando's Universal Studio Islands of Adventure to Tampa's Busch Gardens, Central Florida is speckled with theme parks and other attractions! These theme parks offer rides, food, games, and fun for the whole family. As a Central Florida resident, I certainly like the fact that I don't need to make major travel plans in order to enjoy the theme parks. They're right in my backyard.
2. It is Cheap to Live in Florida
Although it may not be the absolute cheapest place to live, it certainly is not expensive.
In addition, the sales tax rate is low--here in Orlando, the sales tax is 6.5%. We also do not pay local or state income tax, and I can't complain about that.
Plus, since our winters are relatively mild, we don't spend a lot of money on winter clothes and shoes, and it doesn't take as much energy to heat our houses since they're well insulated to ward off the sweltering summer.
3. Florida Weather is Incredible
We go to the beach in December! It is amazing. I did live in Germany for a year while in college, and the worst part was having to spend 10 minutes just getting ready to go outside. Long underwear, huge jacket, socks, shoes (no flip-flops!), gloves, a hat... the whole bit. Not in Florida! Throw on a tank top, shorts, flip-flops and maybe some sunglasses and you're just about ready to go!
Winters have gotten steadily milder, and hurricanes have been very, er, gentle since 2005. We're keeping our fingers crossed that it stays that way. Living in Orlando, we usually don't get the worst of the hurricanes, anyway. I feel exceptionally safe here.
4. You're never more than 45 minutes away from the beach.
It's true! No matter where you are in the entire state of Florida -- Miami, Orlando, Alachua, Winter Park, Pensacola-- you are never more than approximately 45 minutes from a beach. It's glorious. And because there are so many beaches, Florida is also home to not 1, 2, 3, 4, but FIVE cruise ports -- Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, Port Canaveral, Tampa, and Jacksonville. If you love cruising, you can save a lot of money on airfare if you live in Florida.
So there you have it. These are reasons I believe living in Florida is wonderful and they are the same reasons that will keep me here most likely forever. The neighborhood we live in is peaceful, and I really hate packing up and moving, too!
Florida is pretty much a paradise. You can be who you want to be, go where you want to go very easily, enjoy life to the fullest, and almost never have to wear a turtleneck. Whether you're a student, newlywed, a family, or you just want to enjoy retirement, you only live life once, and Florida is a great place to spend it!