Top 7 Best places to live in Florida with the Best quality of life – 2024

Moving to Floridaopens the door to a world of possibilities. Whether you are looking for a quiet place to raise a family, retire, or seeking your own slice of paradise in its warm weather, Florida has it all. From the metropolitan Tampa Bay to the family-friendly charm of Central Florida, and the coastal beauty of Daytona Beach, to the scenic landscapes of Fort Myers and Port St. Lucie. Every day feels like a vacation in the United States’ sunniest state. 

In this list, you’ll discover the best places to live in Florida tailored to your preferences, taking into account factors such as cost of living, home prices, and overall quality of life. We’ve got you covered! Read on to explore the top 7 best places to live in Florida with the best quality of life.

Top 7 Best places to live in Florida in 2024

Methodology

Based on “Best” being a subjective word, below is our methodology to compile the best places.

Using our existing ranking of the safest and cheapest places to live in Florida, we based our ranking on 3 criteria: safety, affordability and quality of life. 

Our ranking methodology is based on a careful analysis of crime rates derived from FBI Crime Data in 2019. The crimes are consisted of violent crimes, murder and nonnegligent manslaughter, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, property crime, burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson. To ensure accuracy, we calculated the average number of various crimes per 1000 people.

Affordability takes into account the prices of housing and renting. Statistics come from Rockethomes’s median pricing for December 2023 and Zillow’s 1-bedroom median cost for January 2024.

The “Best quality of life” aspect is measured based on feedback from real people who have moved to this area in our database or real people from trusted online forums. More specifically, we look for positive feedback on job opportunities, quality of education, quality of healthcare, feeling of safety, public transportation, the environment (cleanliness), as well as the availability of recreational facilities and parks.

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1. South Palm Beach

Apartments in South Palm Beach
  • Population: 1,462
  • Crimes: 4.10 crimes per 1000 people
  • Median 1-bed apt rent: $3,950
  • Median property buying cost: $450,000

South Palm Beach, renowned for its pleasant climate and proximity to serene Atlantic beaches and Intracoastal waterways, stands out as one of the best places to live in Florida. Predominantly composed of condos, oceanfront luxury units, and a few beachfront houses, the town offers a median rent of $3,950 for a 1-bedroom apartment and a median property price of $450,000 as of January 2024.

With a small population of 1,462 residents, mostly seniors aged mid-55s to late 70s, the community fosters a close-knit atmosphere in a tranquil setting, with a low crime rate of 4.10 per 1,000 people. Residents value the town’s prime location, a quick 20-minute drive to PBI Airport, sandy beaches, walkable amenities, and easy access to Florida’s top golf courses.

South Palm Beach (Jan 2024), Local Logic (Jan 2024), Zillow (Jan 2024) & Rocket Homes (Jan 2024)

South Palm Beach, FL

2. Marco Island

Apartments in Marco Island
  • Population: 16,172
  • Crimes: 11.13 crimes per 1000 people
  • Median 1-bed apt rent: $4,500
  • Median property buying cost: $1,098,333

Marco Island, situated in southwest Florida in the Gulf of Mexico, is renowned for its beautiful beaches, luxury condominiums, and elegant homes. As of January 2024, the median rent for a 1-bedroom apartment is $4,500, and the median property price is $1,098,333.

With a household composition primarily consisting of couples and a population typically in their 60s to mid-80s, residents enjoy a peaceful atmosphere, engaging in activities such as kayaking and fishing at Tigertail and South Marco Beach. The low crime rate of 11.13 crimes per 1,000 people reflects a strong sense of safety in the community. Moreover, Marco Island offers excellent shopping and convenient access to groceries; however, it is a car-dependent neighborhood.

City of Marco Island (Jan 2024), Local Logic (Jan 2024), Zillow (Jan 2024) & Rocket Homes (Jan 2024)

Marco Island, FL

3. Sebastian

Apartments in Sebastian
  • Population: 26,364
  • Crimes: 23.97 crimes per 1000 people
  • Median 1-bed apt rent: $2,400
  • Median property buying cost: $355,000

The coastal city of Sebastian, along the Indian River Lagoon, offers pristine waterways and natural beauty. Ideal for outdoor enthusiasts with activities like surfing and fishing, it’s also a haven for eco-lovers, featuring Pelican Island for birdwatching. Housing consists mainly of reasonably priced single-detached houses and large apartments. As of January 2024, the median property price is $355,000, and the rent for a 1-bedroom apartment is $2,400.

Sebastian, FL connects seamlessly to vibrant cities like Melbourne (a 29-minute drive) and Vero Beach (a 23-minute drive) via Dixie Hwy, offering diverse dining and entertainment options. Described by residents as peaceful and secure with a small-town vibe, Sebastian has a reported crime rate of 23.97 crimes per 1,000 people.

City of Sebastian (Dec 2023), Local Logic (Jan 2024), Zillow (Jan 2024) & Rocket Homes (Jan 2024)

Sebastian, FL

4. Key Biscayne

Apartments in Key Biscayne
  • Population: 14,487
  • Crimes: 24.84 crimes per 1000 people
  • Median 1-bed apt rent: $3,000
  • Median property buying cost: $1,472,500

Key Biscayne is conveniently situated between two major parks: Crandon Park to the north and Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park to the south, surrounded by beautiful beaches. It is an ideal city for families to enjoy nature, boating, and water sports in Biscayne Bay, and it’s just a 15-minute drive to Downtown Miami.

Residents claim Key Biscayne as a safe community, ideal for raising kids, with the highest quality of life in South Florida. It has a reported a low crime rate of 24.84 crimes per 1,000 people, offering a peaceful escape from the city’s bustle and South Beach’s party vibe. This luxury area features primarily large apartments and houses, with a median property price of $1,472,500, and a 1-bedroom apartment rents for $3,000, as of January 2024.

Key Biscayne Gov (Dec 2023), Local Logic (Jan 2024), Zillow (Jan 2024) & Rocket Homes (Jan 2024)

Key Biscayne, FL

5. Lynn Haven

Apartments in Lynn Haven
  • Population: 20,044
  • Crimes: 33.82 crimes per 1000 people
  • Median 1-bed apt rent: $1,850
  • Median property buying cost: $345,375

Located just north of Panama City, Lynn Haven stands out as one of the best places to live in Florida for families, offering a secure and family-friendly community with a reported crime rate of 33.82 crimes per 1,000 people. Along the shores of North Bay, it features single-detached houses that provide stunning waterfront views. As of January 2024, the median property price is $345,375, and the median rent for a 1-bedroom apartment is $1,850.

With easy freeway access, Lynn Haven is a quick 20-minute drive to Panama City Beach, offering beach relaxation and water activities. The city’s sunny weather and numerous trails, ideal for biking and jogging, make it family-friendly. Additionally, it is home to six public schools and two charter schools, and it is near the top-ranked Rising Leaders Academy, Florida’s number 1 public high school.

City of Flynn Haven (Dec 2023), Local Logic (Jan 2024), Zillow (Jan 2024) & Rocket Homes (Jan 2024)

Lynn Haven, FL

6. Palm Bay

Apartments in Palm Bay
  • Population: 129,234
  • Crimes: 36.82 crimes per 1000 people
  • Median 1-bed apt rent: $1,969
  • Median property buying cost: $330,175

Palm Bay, located on Florida’s east-central coast along the Indian River Lagoon, offers residents scenic waterfront views and outdoor activities, including 29 city parks, golf courses, off-road cycling, and beaches. Moreover, they also enjoy nature in The Turkey Creek Sanctuary’s 130-acre preserve area with jogging trails, all within a peaceful countryside setting and benefiting from a low crime rate of 36.82 crimes per 1,000 people.

Residents also have easy access to malls and entertainment venues, such as Palm Bay Center and Bayside Lakes Shopping Center. Housing in Palm Bay is more affordable than in many other Florida cities, providing options from single-family homes to apartments and condominiums. As of January 2024, the median rent for a 1-bedroom apartment is $1,969, and the median property price is $330,175.

Palm Bay Florida (Jan 2024), Local Logic (Jan 2024), Zillow (Jan 2024) & Rocket Homes (Jan 2024)

Palm Bay, FL

7. Bartow

Apartments in Barlow
  • Population: 19,888
  • Crimes: 69.48 crimes per 1000 people
  • Median 1-bed apt rent: $1,745
  • Median property buying cost: $269,000

If you value small-town charm and a friendly community spirit, Bartow is an ideal place to call home. The city not only offers a rich Southern history with landmarks like the Old Polk County Courthouse, but it also provides access to shops and dining within its historic downtown district. Additionally, pharmacies and medical centers, such as Bartow Regional Medical Center, are all within minutes.

Its strategic location between Tampa and Orlando, near Lakeland and Winter Haven, facilitates easy commuting. Newcomers are welcomed by the friendly community that enjoys the quiet environment with a low crime rate of 69.48 crimes per 1,000 people. And housing is affordable, with a median property price of $269,000 and a $1,745 median rent for a 1-bedroom apartment as of January 2024.

City of Bartow (Jan 2024), Local Logic (Jan 2024), Zillow (Jan 2024) & Rocket Homes (Jan 2024)

Bartow, FL

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Conclusion

Moving to the Sunshine State requires careful consideration of the cost of living, home prices, job opportunities, state income tax, and many other factors. Weighing these against your personal priorities will guide you to identify the best places to live in Florida

Be sure to carefully review this list before making your final decision. Planning a move to Florida soon? Discover the best moving companies in Miami and Orlando for a smooth moving experience.

Last year’s ranking (2023)

  1. Oviedo
  2. Satellite Beach
  3. Sebastian
  4. Fort Myers
  5. Melbourne
  6. Palm Bay
  7. Sarasota
  8. Naples
  9. Gainesville
  10. Pensacola

 

Our rankings are meticulously curated, considering affordability and quality of life. It’s important to highlight that certain places were excluded from last year’s lists due to insufficient rental data. Moreover, entries with higher average housing prices in the previous year were excluded from the current rankings. We encourage readers to weigh these rankings in light of their individual needs and preferences for a more informed decision-making process.

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Ann Nacario

The author

Meet Ann – our head writer with a knack for making moving and city living a breeze. From the many details of moving to picking the perfect moving company, she’s your guide. Ann has a friendly yet detailed approach to ensure your move goes off without a hitch. When she’s not writing about relocation, it will always be on her mind, but you’ll catch her spending time with her three furry friends.

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