Florida is located in the southeast corner of the United States, has about 17 million people and is nicknamed the "Sunshine State." It's considered a great place to retire and is a hot spot for tourists of all ages. Although it retains its southern, republican roots, its population is comprised of folks from all over who have decided to call Florida home.
The Sunshine State inherited its name for a reason: sunshine year round. With a mild winter and long, hot summers, Florida is an excellent place to spend the year outdoors and in the water. Summers, however, can be scorching and the humidity will leave you longing for drier air. Hurricanes are also a recurring concern and drenching rains are common. But no matter where you live in Florida, you will have access to beautiful beaches. With the Atlantic Ocean on the east and the Gulf of Mexico on the west, it’s the perfect state to enjoy boating, scuba diving, snorkeling and swimming. It's also a great place to get a tan--just make sure you stay out of the swampy patches and keep an eye out for alligators.
Cost of Living
It will not break your bank to move to Florida. The cost of living is quite reasonable compared to other major states in the U.S. There are plenty of houses all over the state and many of them are new. Rent in 2009 is almost half of what other states are charging. In Florida, you can get an apartment for about $500 a month and it often comes with a great view. Gas is still below $3 a gallon and there is no state tax, plus Florida offers homestead exemptions.
Florida is home to Walt Disney world, MGM Studios and Sea World. There is an exciting nightlife, with shows year round. There are lots of golf courses, cruise ports, restaurants, biking trails and sporting events. With all of the activities, however, come lots of tourists. Be prepared to fight mobs of traffic, stand in long lines and listen to crying kids each time you leave the house.
Most cities in Florida can be reached in a 6-hour drive or less, making it an easy state to explore. Interesting cities within reach include: Jacksonville, Naples, Miami, Sarasota and Tampa. You can even vacation in your own state in Daytona Beach, New Smyrna Beach, St. Augustine Beach and the Florida Keys. You can hop a boat and arrive on Grand Bahama Island in no time. Florida airports are clean and plentiful, making it easy to escape if you want to vacation outside the Sunshine State.
It is hard to get stressed when living like a tourist. Living in pure sunshine is relaxing and keeps people friendly. The wildlife is beautiful and you may actually have time to take a day off and watch the birds fly because the cost of living is low. And with an hour more of sunshine everyday, you can run your errands and still catch the sun setting against a gorgeous sandy backdrop every evening.