Are you thinking of moving to Florida? In addition to copious amounts of sunshine, oranges, and happiness, you'll also enjoy low taxes and a low cost of living.
There's a reason that cities in Florida rank as the #1 family vacation destination the #2 best nightlife scene in America.
If you're considering becoming one of the 21.6 million Floridians living down south, there are a few things you should know. In this article, we're breaking down the seven must-know things you should be aware of before making the move.
Whether you're moving there to spend your golden years in the golden sunshine or eager to soak up the culture in Little Havana, you'll want to keep reading.
Grab your sunglasses and a glass of orange juice; we're getting started.
Before you pack your bags and head down to the sunshine state, let's go over some basic things you need to know.
If you're a golfer, you'll be happy to hear that Florida has the most golf courses than any other state--over 1,250 courses! It's time to grab your clubs and practice your swing.
Do you like to gamble? If so, Florida just became your new heaven. There are many different gambling options that are legal here. Good luck!
You didn't think we were going to forget to mention Disney World, did you? Florida is, of course, the home to the Disney Empire, which stretches over 47 square miles of land.
If you've got kids, grandkids, or are a big kid yourself, you'll want to take advantage of living in the same state as Disney World. Plus, it makes a good bribe to get people to visit you.
Each town in Florida is very different, offering everything from culture, food, activities, and environment. The vibe in Miami is certainly a lot different than that of The Villages.
There's a lot of variety to Florida. From canals, swamps, and lush forest, there's more than just beaches. Take a trip through St. Augustine, America's oldest city or spend time watching the Daytona 500.
But if you did come here for beaches, we've got plenty of those too.
The curse of living in such an incredible state with dreamy weather and picture-perfect beaches is that people are going to want to share it with you.
After all, you're making the move for likely the same reasons they want to visit. You can't blame them.
Thankfully you won't find yourself fighting off tourists in every city in Florida. You'll find them in the likely areas: Orlando, Miami, Key West, Fort Lauderdale, and Daytona.
Spring breakers flock to Florida in February, March, and April so you'll want to prepare for that if you're in popular locations like Panama City Beach or South Beach.
You should know that Florida is a swing state so your vote carries a lot of weight. Expect a lot of political ads, billboards, and campaigns everywhere you look when it's election time.
With 4.4 million Republicans and 4.6 million Democrats, it's a close call. But what makes this state a swing state is the 3 million registered independents, which politicians fight for.
Hurricanes, lightning, tornadoes, sinkholes, alligators...Florida's got them all.
If you're making a permanent move to Florida, you'll want to brush up on your hurricane and tornado preparedness skills. Always keep emergency supplies readily available and keep in mind the best places to take shelter, should an emergency occur.
Once in a while on the news, you'll hear a story about how a family found an alligator in their pool. It's not uncommon when you share the state with over one million of these scaley guys.
Alligators will often ignore humans unless they become frightened. If you're bitten make a lot of noise and poke the eyes.
Sinkholes are making the news more and more these days in Florida but if you're not from the area, you've likely never heard of such a thing.
A sinkhole occurs when water erodes bedrock causing the surface of the earth to collapse in on itself, leaving a gaping hole. This is most common in places with large amounts of limestone, like Florida.
Florida has the 2nd lowest taxes per capita, after Alaska. The Governor, Rick Scott, boasts that they've cut taxes 55 times!
This doesn't necessarily mean your taxes will be low (it's a result of many factors) but it's likely.
The cost of living in Florida is also generally lower than most states, especially if you stick to cities like Kissimmee, Palm Coast, and Cape Coral.
You've no doubt heard that Florida is the home for old people, after all, senior citizens do make up one-third of the population. Maybe you're a seasoned American yourself and looking to make the great migration.
The critical thing to know is, it's all about where you settle. Making Panama City Beach your home will be a very different experience to Ocala, for example.
Research and find your ideal environment first, then set up camp. We recommend you visit the area in every season before you move anywhere.
Still not convinced you want to move to Florida? Here are eight more reasons.
If you're moving to Florida and looking for the perfect place, let us help.
At McKenna Realtors, we've spent the last 30 years eagerly helping people like you find their dream home in southern Florida.
Take a look at our gorgeous homes and let's make you an official Floridian.
Are you contemplating packing up and moving? You aren't the only one. The average American moves more than 11 times during the course of their life.
People move for all sorts of reasons--new job opportunities, better cost of living, or simply for a change of scenery.
Are you thinking about making a move to Florida? Check out these 8 reasons why it is a good idea.
Alligators and the Everglades get a lot of attention in Florida. In fact, anyone with only a casual knowledge of Florida may not be able to tell you what other wildlife is plentiful in the area.
But there's far more to the wildlife scene in Florida than just alligators.
The state is home to very diverse ecosystems full of life. Keep your eyes peeled for Florida panthers, black bears, manatees, skunks, many species of bats, otters, dolphins and much more.
Beaches are abundant in Florida. It almost doesn't matter where you live, you'll have easy access to at least one, if not several, beaches. In addition to all that ocean wrapping around the state, there are 4,308 square miles of rivers and lakes to explore in the interior.
Enjoy spending some time in the sun on your day off. You can simply relax and work on your tan, or have fun joining in on the numerous water activities that are available.
Just like there's more to the wildlife than alligators, there's more to Florida's nature scene than just the beach. When you (eventually) get tired of lounging on the beach and gallivanting in the waves, be sure to check out the interior.
Of course, the most famous place to start is in the Everglades. Take a tour through the park for your chance to see alligators, pythons, iguanas, and many more animals.
The park itself is a testament to the diversity of nature in Florida. Inside you'll find not only see the famous estuaries but also prairies and forests. If you move close to the park it warrants more than one visit!
Of course, you're probably well aware that Disney World is in Florida. Even if you don't move close to the famous park, take a weekend trip to go and enjoy the magic.
But Disney World isn't the only fabulous theme park in Florida. Orlando also boasts fun places like Legoland, Universal Studios, Discovery Cove, and Wet N Wild. If you end up moving closer to Tampa, be sure to check out Busch Gardens and Adventure Island.
These are only a drop in the bucket. There is a myriad of other theme parks scattered throughout the state. You'll never have an excuse to say that you don't have anything to do on a given weekend!
If you're looking for a calmer sort of adventure, take some time to tour some historical sites. The state boasts the oldest city in America, St. Augustine. The Spanish first established the settlement back in 1565.
Entrepreneurs in St. Augustine have capitalized on the cities long and rich history. You'll find entertaining ghost tours on every corner in this historic spot. Needless to say, it is well worth your time to take a trip to St. Augustine.
Due to its geographical position, Florida has a long and colorful history of the highly romanticized pirate's life. Though being an actual pirate wasn't a comfortable life, joining in on the pirate festivals sure is a great way to have fun. So, dust off your eye patch, find a pet parrot, practice your "arrgh!" and head out to look for hidden treasure.
Are you a sports lover? Florida offers plenty of excitement in that department as well.
Spring is the time for baseball in Florida. You can check out the Grapefruit League baseball teams as they train. The best part is, the games are relatively affordable so you can enjoy quality sports without paying top dollar.
Baseball isn't your thing? That's okay, there's also plenty of football action in Florida. Choose your favorite team from the Jacksonville Jaguars, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and the Miami Dolphins.
If fast cars are more your speed, Florida has something for you too. The famous Daytona 500 is a state staple and something you should check out regardless of if you are a car racing fan or not. You might just become one after moving to Florida.
Florida's position has made it a uniquely diverse section of the country. Is it your dream to learn Spanish? Living in Florida will give you lots of opportunities to practice. In some parts of South Florida billboards and store signs are written in Spanish and the cashiers will even speak to you in Spanish.
Latin American cultures aren't the only ones you'll find in Florida. Other Caribbean cultures like Jamaica and Haiti are a strong presence in Florida. Plus, people move to Florida from all over the United States, bringing with them their own cultures and diverse ideas.
With all these different cultures mixing together, you can bet the food in Florida is pretty amazing. Enjoy a Cuban sandwich for lunch and have a spicy Jamaican dish for dinner. Or go for a "Floribbean" dish, the resulting mix of flavors coming together from a variety of cultures.
We can't mention food in Florida with mentioning the seafood. Fresh seafood abounds in the state and they certainly know how to make it delicious. Go on an adventure one day and search out a seafood place in a little beach town to discover the amazingness that is true Floridian seafood.
Has this list piqued your interest? Maybe it has sealed the deal and you've decided that it's time to move to Florida.
You're going to need a place to live once you get there so check out these amazing options!
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