Moving to Florida: Everything You Need to Know

Considering moving to Florida? While the idea of moving to a brand-new state may be daunting, our team at McKinley wants you to know that we’re not just here to provide housing— we’re here to offer knowledge! We want to give you all the information you need to make an informed decision about whether moving to Florida is right for you. Plus, we want you to know how to make the best out of your move once you do decide to move to Florida!

From facts about the state to reasons you should live there, from great cities to consider to activities you’ll love as a Florida native, we’ve got all the info you need when moving to Florida. So without further ado, let’s dive in!

Florida Facts

Want to learn some basics before moving to Florida? Here are some of the basics you may want to hear about.

One of Florida’s top industries is tourism, and as a result the state employs over a million people in the tourism and hospitality industries. Agriculture is also a major part of Florida culture thanks to its sunny and warm climate that’s perfect for growing oranges, tomatoes, and more. Plus, thanks to its many colleges and universities, Florida also has a bustling collegiate culture many residents love.

While the cost of living in Florida is slightly higher than the national average, there are many communities where the cost of living is lower than the average— including many beachfront towns and villages within the state.

Meanwhile, the people of Florida come from a wide range of backgrounds, cultures, ethnicities, and walks of life, making it an incredibly diverse melting pot that many residents and visitors to Florida love. Will you be next? Here are some of the reasons you may want to consider living in Florida.

Reasons to Live in Florida

Everyone comes to Florida for their own personal reasons— maybe you just landed a great new job here, or you’re just trying to get a bit closer to the equator and away from those cold Midwestern winters. Whatever your reasoning, moving to Florida has never been a better option. And while everyone is unique, there are some specific reasons that make moving to Florida right now the perfect choice. Here are some of our favorite reasons why you should consider living in Florida, according to the people who actually live here and call its beautiful beaches and landscapes home.

Sunny, Warm Climate

Did you know that out of the 365 days each year, 200 of them are sunny in Florida? The warm and pleasant year-round weather is one of the biggest draws of the Sunshine State, and it’s not hard to see why. In fact, people who live in southern Florida will go the entire year without needing to put on so much as a sweater. Doesn’t that sound like a place you’d like to live? And thanks to the warm climate, Florida residents spend more time outside in the sunshine— a proven way to boost both mental health and physical health thanks to Vitamin D from the sun. That settles it— moving to Florida is just what the doctor ordered.

Diverse Cultural Landscape

When it comes to people from all backgrounds and walks of life, there’s nowhere in the U.S. quite like Florida. While there are plenty of people who are born and raised in Florida and decide to stay thanks to everything the state has to offer, there are plenty more who come from all around the country and the world to enjoy the state’s bounteous beauty. In addition to other cultures, Florida has one of the largest Latinx populations in the country, which imbues the state with a distinct flavor in everything from its music to its cuisines and everything in between.

Whatever brings people to Florida from wherever they started, once they arrive here, they tend to stay.

No State Income Tax

You read that right— Florida is one of the only states in the entire country that does not charge any state income tax. That’s right. 0%. That lack of income tax at the state level is a huge draw for many individuals and businesses in Florida, as it means that your monthly salary goes a lot farther than it might somewhere else in the country. That also helps make up for Florida’s slightly higher cost of living when compared to the national average. And no state income tax means more money to spend on all of the adventures Florida has to offer, from beaches to theme parks and city thrills.

Beautiful Beaches

Oh, have you heard about Florida’s beaches? Chances are they’re one of the things you’re most excited about when you consider moving to Florida, and for good reason. Florida features some of the best and most visually stunning beaches throughout its coastline. In fact, certain beaches within the state have even won awards— Sarasota Siesta Public Beach was named the best beach in the entire country recently according to a survey by TripAdvisor. But it’s not the only beachfront spot worth setting up a chair on— other famous beaches in Florida include Clearwater, Delray, Panama City, Miami Beach, and many, many more. If spending time soaking up the sun and enjoying the relaxing sound of the ocean waves is what you’re looking for in your day-to-day life, moving to Florida is the right move for you.

Sports Fandoms Galore

Sports fans who move to Florida will certainly have no shortage of teams to root for each season. In fact, you should only consider moving to Florida if you’re willing to get really into the local teams— and we mean really into them. Florida has not one, not two, but three NFL teams (Miami Dolphins, Jacksonville Jaguars, Tampa Bay Buccaneers), two NBA teams (Orlando Magic, Miami Heat), and two MLB baseball teams (Tampa Bay Rays, Miami Marlins). If collegiate sports are more your scene, you can take your pick in the bitter rivalry between the University of Florida and Florida State University athletic squads that do battle each year on the field and court. One thing’s for sure— moving to Florida will mean you’ve moved to one of the sports capitals of the entire nation.

Best Places to Live in Florida

Now that we’ve touched on some of the things that make Florida great, let’s talk about some of the places that make Florida such a great place to live. But first, a disclaimer— Florida is a large state, and there is something for everyone across its beautiful landscape. From more rural areas to suburban, up-and-coming neighborhoods, there is plenty to find and love outside of the urban centers. That said, we’re going to focus on just a few of the most popular spots in the state— the cities that help make Florida such an icon. Here are four of the best cities to live in when it comes to moving to Florida.

Orlando

Orlando offers some of the best of Florida, from its surprisingly affordable cost of living to offering many of the state’s most beloved attractions. In fact, Orlando is often referred to as the Theme Park Capital of the World, and it’s not hard to see why. Disney World. SeaWorld. Universal Orlando Resort. The list goes on and on.

Meanwhile, unemployment rates are low, the public education system is rock solid, and public transportation throughout the city is extremely accessible. The hardest part of living in Orlando? Choosing which of the many local sports teams you’ll support.

Plus, did you know that you can rent McKinley apartments in Orlando when you finally make the move? Check out all of the options and locations we have available for your big move.

Tampa

With over 350,000 residents, Tampa is one of the biggest cities in Florida. But it doesn’t always seem that way. Tampa is considered great for families and singles alike, thanks to high-performing schools, great healthcare infrastructure, and lots of major companies setting up shop within the city. In fact, Tampa is the leading city for job growth in Florida, while cost of living remains low. Plus, just one look at the gorgeous clear blue waters surrounding the city and you’ll be hooked.

McKinley also offers a range of apartments in Tampa, so check out our listings to find the perfect home for you when you decide you’re moving to Florida.

Tallahassee

The state capital of Florida might not get the attention of Miami or Orlando, but it really should. This major college town is home to Florida State University and Florida A&M University, with roughly 190,000 residents enjoying the city’s low cost of living and rent prices. Meanwhile, public transportation is a local favorite, and there’s lots to do on an average weeknight or weekend— from museums and beautiful local parks to annual festivals, delicious restaurants serving a range of cuisines, and much more. Don’t overlook Tallahassee as a potential destination when you’re moving to Florida.

Miami

Have you always dreamed of being able to hit up South Beach on any night out you wanted to? That’s a large part of the allure of living in Miami, but it’s not the only reason to live in this vibrant, thrilling city. Over 430,000 people call the city home, with a total of nearly 3 million when you count the surrounding county. Miami’s culture is energetic, colorful, and diverse, bringing together influences from all over the world for an incredible mix of cuisines, entertainment options, and backgrounds that residents and visitors alike seem to love. Miami also brings all of the benefits of much of Florida— beautiful, pristine beaches, warm weather year-round, and more.

Cost of Living in Florida

You might have heard that the cost of living in Florida is higher than the national average, but the truth is that it’s only negligibly higher. The average U.S. cost of living is listed as 100. Florida, meanwhile, has a cost of living of 102.8. That’s only a 2% increase. While that certainly is worth addressing, in real terms it doesn’t account for a dramatic difference. For example, the average median home cost in the U.S. is $231,200 while the median home cost in Florida is $237,000.

So, if you’re worried about cost of living in Florida, here’s what we have to say— it’s worth considering, but certainly shouldn’t be a dealbreaker when it comes to deciding whether moving to Florida is right for you.

Things to Do in Florida

Wondering how you’ll spend time in Florida as a full-time resident? Here are some of the best things to do in Florida.

Hit the Beach

We’ve already talked about Florida’s absolutely incredible beaches, and it’s worth mentioning just how much variety there is when it comes to oceanfront activities. All across the state, you’re never too far from a dozen different beaches, each one with its own unique charm and beauty. And because the weather is warm and delightful year-round, you’ll never find yourself longing for the sand and surf but unable to enjoy it. Even the rainy season usually only brings brief 30-minute spurts of rain before clearing up and becoming beautiful again.

Enjoy the Nightlife

Cities like Orlando and Miami have become famous for their nightlife, and as a Florida resident you can now take part in that excitement. Dozens of clubs, world-class restaurants run by celebrity chefs, and some of the country’s best entertainment venues are all open to you once you decide you’re moving to Florida. The only question will be, where do you start?

Explore Gorgeous, Unique Landscapes (and Seascapes)

One of our favorite things about Florida is just how many different unique environments you can experience. Consider the Everglades, a land that seems to be leftover from the dinosaurs, where massive alligators can be seen from fanboats. Then there are the Florida Keys, a long and otherworldly stretch of islands that extends out into the sea. Lush, green forests to white sand beaches and everything in-between— that’s what’s waiting for you in Florida.

Enjoy the World’s Best Theme Parks

You know their names. Disney World. SeaWorld. Universal Orlando Resort. These theme parks are famous for a reason— they’re the best in the world. And when you’re moving to Florida, you’re relocating to a spot that’s in close proximity to all of them. Having that level of fun and entertainment in your own backyard is definitely nothing to sniff at.

Find Apartments to Live in Florida

Are you convinced that moving to Florida is the right move for you? If you are, you’re probably wondering about your next step— Where am I going to live? McKinley has you covered there, too. We own a range of high-quality, affordable properties to help you find apartments for rent in Florida. Browse our listings, search based on the area where you want to live, and find your next home without the stress of a long apartment-shopping process! At McKinley, we make it all simple and straightforward from front to finish. Plus, you can reach out to us directly anytime for questions, or to learn more about a specific property or unit.

After all, living the laid-back life of a Florida native shouldn’t have to wait until you actually move here. We want to simplify your experience from the moment you decide that moving to Florida is right for you. Contact our team at McKinley today to learn more about this amazing state and our quality apartments for rent in Florida.