The Best Places to Live in Florida

From walkable urban cities to small-town tight-knit communities, here are the best places to live in Florida.
Written by Abbey Orzech
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
Whether you’re looking for a family-oriented town, an exciting place to buy a home, or the most affordable spot you can find, these eight cities are among the best places to live in Florida
Florida is known and loved for its beautiful beaches, lively urban life, popular theme parks, and great golf courses, but Florida cities have quite a lot of variation between them. Choosing a place won’t be as easy as pointing a spot out on the map. 
If you’re considering living in Florida but are unsure about where to find what you’re looking for in a home, let
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What makes a good place to live? 

A lot can go into the description of a good place to live—maybe it's totally walkable, there are tons of outdoor recreation options, the bar and restaurant scene is great, or gas prices are really low. 
It could also come down to the climate and which seasons you like to experience or how many neighbors you want. 
Ultimately, what makes a place good to live in will depend on the factors that you prioritize. To help you sort through your home must-haves, we have gathered some important information on eight of the best places to live in Florida:
  • Harbor Island
  • Park Lake/Highland
  • Bowling Green
  • Frostproof
  • North Brooksville
  • Chuluota
  • Crawfordville
  • Palm Ceia West
We’ll be using the following metrics to make sure they’re up to standard:
  • Median household income
  • Median home price
  • Cost of living
  • Quality of schools 
  • Recreation
  • Walkability
  • Crime rates
  • Housing types
We’ll categorize these eight places into the best places for families, the most affordable places to live, and the best places to buy a house.

The best places for families to live in Florida

When families relocate, they are often searching for good schools, a sense of community, and low crime rates. When we consider these factors, it's no wonder these two Florida cities fall under this category.  

Harbor Island

Location: Hillsborough County
Population: 4,025
Median household income: $113,566
Median home price: $368,347
Harbor Island is a neighborhood in
, just a bridge or two (literally) away from downtown. This Florida neighborhood has some of the highest-rated public schools in the state, which is a plus for families with school-aged kids. 
Harbor Island is right on the water, but unlike the traditional island image, this neighborhood has an urban feel to it that allows residents to walk to find shopping, eateries, and entertainment. 
You can take advantage of a variety of housing types and a sense of community among the bustling streets and cool waterfronts of Harbor Island. 
Harbor Island is also a great choice for families because of its low crime rates! On a scale of 100, the violent crime rate of Harbour Island is only 9.4 and the property crime rate is 19.1—both well below the national average. 

Park Lake/Highland  

Location: Orange County
Population: 2,564
Median household income: $93,698
Median home price: $258,302
Park Lake/Highland is another best pick for families in Florida due to its above-average public schools, diverse community, and low crime rates
neighborhood, Park Lake/Highland is a walkable city with lots of restaurants, bars, cafes, and parks within reach. Commuting is easy enough, too—there is easy and plentiful access to major highways, so if your kiddos have dance class or soccer, you won’t spend forever trying to get them there. 
Crime rates here are lower than the national average too, so you and your family can sleep easier. 

The most affordable places to live in Florida

When you’re searching for a new home, the cost of living is always a major consideration. The overall cost of living in Florida is not significantly different from the national average, but costs will vary from city to city. 
If you’re on the house hunt with a budget (because who isn’t?), let’s go through a few of the most affordable places to live in Florida:

Bowling Green 

Location: Hardee County
Population: 2,893
Median household income: $37,208
Median home price: $54,900 
If you’re looking for relaxed, affordable living, Bowling Green might be your place. This town offers a feel of a suburban-rural mix populated with families. 
The overall cost of living in Bowling Green is significantly lower than the rest of Florida and the national average, so keep this town in mind! The average rent is only $688.
Bowling Green’s charm comes from its outdoor recreation spaces that lend to neighborly conversation and meeting with friends and family. It has three city parks complete with basketball courts, baseball fields, tennis courts, and pavilions for all kinds of outdoor fun. 


Location: Polk County
Population: 3,191
Median household income: $42,990
Median home price: $79,800
Frostproof is located in central Florida and draws in many retirees, but it is not solely for the retired! This town has tons of beautiful outdoor recreation options like fishing lakes, nature trails, golf courses, community campouts, and state parks. 
Residents can also come out to comedy shows, open mic nights, and theater music series this town puts on. 
The median rent in Frostproof is $636 and the cost of living is lower than the national average, but this town is not very walkable or bikeable, so keep personal vehicle costs in mind.  

North Brooksville

Location: Hernando County
Population: 3,161
Median household income: $51,713
Median home price: $117,900
Rounding out our most affordable places to live in Florida list is North Brooksville. This suburban town offers single-family homes and mobile homes and could be a great option for people on a limited budget.  
North Brooksville’s attractive downtown area has groceries, cafes, restaurants, and bars, and most residents get around by personal vehicle. 
The job growth here has been on the upswing recently, and the cost of living in North Brooksville is about 10% lower than the national average! 

Best places to buy a house in Florida

Buying a house is a big investment! When you make that move to really put down your roots, you won’t want to pick any old place. You’ll likely be looking for a place that matches your lifestyle and that has a good amount of real estate value.
If you’re trying to plant yourself in Florida, consider these places that are ranked among the best places to buy a house in The Sunshine State:  


Location: Seminole County 
Population: 2,629
Median household income: $78,158
Median home price: $198,900
Chuluota is a suburb of Orlando and a popular place to buy a house in Florida. There has been a lot of recent job growth in the area, the public schools are highly rated, and home appreciation has increased by 12.3% in the last year.
This town gives residents a rural feel that isn’t bombarded with endless traffic or long commute times. You’ll find a close-knit community and plenty of outdoor recreation and entertainment. 


Location: Wakulla County
Population: 5,164
Median household income: $77,896
Median home price: $159,300
Crawfordville’s median listing home price decreased in the beginning of 2022, making the area quite attractive for home buyers. 
This Florida town is just south of
and has tons of amazing natural spaces like state parks, national forests, wildlife refuges, and…wait for it…the sinkhole from The Creature of the Black Lagoon movie. 
Besides its natural beauty, Crawfordville has popular restaurants and shopping centers too. Hunters, fishers, shoppers, hikers, and foodies unite! The Crawfordville community has it all.  

Palma Ceia West

Location: Hillsborough County
Population: 2,314
Median household income: $107,655
Median home price: $390,088
A suburban area full of restaurants, cafes, and parks, Palma Ceia West is last on our list of best places to buy a home in Florida. 
The area is populated mostly by families and young professionals. Palma Ceia West does have a median rent of $1,406, which is higher than the national average, but there are more homes available than there is demand—making it a buyers market as of early 2022.
Ranked the 7th most walkable neighborhood in Tampa, you wouldn’t even have to rely on your car all the time if you choose to call Palma Ceia West home.  

How to find affordable homeowners and car insurance in Florida

Having the right insurance policies is crucial to keeping your car and home protected from the unexpected, especially in a natural-disaster-prone state like Florida.
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