With each new census Florida’s population grows by about 3 million, and there are many good reasons why. Florida is one of the most diverse States in the U.S. and opportunities abound for all who call Florida home. Read on to find out why.
Northern Florida/the Panhandle features miles of graceful pine forests and sugar white sandy beaches and azure blue waters. This part of Florida has a temperate climate for the entire year featuring all four seasons. Both fall and spring are delightful, while summers can be warm, but seldom higher than the mid-90s unlike many climes to the north, and the winters are generally mild and pleasant. Snow is almost unknown. Most non-aquatic activities outdoor activities are available year-round. Fresh seafood is abundant in the panhandle, much of it with a decided Cajun or creole influence. The culture is mostly aligned with the gracious, warm, and friendly culture for which the south is known, and football is king when it comes to sports. Northern Florida is home to multiple military bases and Pensacola is home to the spectacular National Naval Aviation Museum. Several picturesque lighthouses line the white sandy northern Gulf coast. Major cities include Pensacola far to the west and Jacksonville and Saint Augustine (America’s oldest city) far to the east on the Atlantic Coast, with Tallahassee, the State’s capital city, in the middle along with Fort Walton, Destin, Panama City and numerous smaller resort communities and fishing villages along the Gulf Coast. The University of West Florida is located in Pensacola and Florida State University and Florida A&M are found in Tallahassee. Jacksonville is home the Jacksonville Jaguars NFL franchise, the Mayport Naval Base, and the University of North Florida.
The peninsula could be divided into two key areas, Central and South Florida. Central Florida is home to the politically important I-4 corridor that runs from Tampa in the west to Daytona in the East with metropolitan Orlando directly in the middle. Other key towns include Clearwater, Saint Petersburg, Bradenton, Sarasota and Port Charlotte on the west coast; Gainesville and Ocala in middle; and Cape Canaveral (home to the Kennedy Space Center), Melbourne, Merritt Island, Titusville, Jupiter, Fort Pierce and Port Saint Lucie on the east coast. Tampa has grown into a powerful business center in the south while retaining much of the charm and culture of its flourishing Cuban community, while once sleepy Orlando, now comprised of many cities, has become the number one tourist destination in the world boasting the Walt Disney World resort, Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure, SeaWorld, the Holy Land Experience, the Orlando Eye, International Drive, nearby LEGOLAND, Orlando City professional soccer franchise, and the Orlando Magic professional NBA team. Many of the surrounding communities have become home to multiple stars and professional athletes because of their exclusivity and extensive lakefront property. The east coast is home to many of the world’s most popular and well-known beaches, the space center, the Daytona 500 race, and the nationally known Daytona Bike Week frequented by motorcycle enthusiasts nationwide. The climate of central Florida is temperate during the fall, winter and spring months with mild temperatures and low humidity and subtropical during the summer months with temperatures moderated by cool ocean breezes and daily brief afternoon thunder showers which also hold temperatures down. During this period the highs seldom go above 89-90 degrees along the coasts with the center of the peninsula rising to no more than the mid-90s. Freezes are rare during the winter with average lows only around 50 degrees. The coasts gleam with beachfront condominiums and other beachfront properties while the center of the state features horse and cattle ranches and includes many of the nation’s premier fruit and vegetable farms including citrus, strawberries, tomatoes, melons, blueberries, and much more. Major universities found in the central section include the University of Florida in Gainesville, University of South Florida and Tampa University in Tampa, Florida Southern College (with its relationship to Frank Lloyd Wright), and the University of Central Florida in Orlando, while scores of other universities fill the central section of the State. Tampa is home to the Tampa bay Buccaneers and the Florida Orchestra and Saint Petersburg is home to the Tampa Bay Rays MLB franchise, while Sarasota is home to the famous Ringling Circus Museum and Ringling Museum of Art. Central Florida is dotted with many fresh water springs giving birth To Weeki Wachee found in Hernando County north of Tampa and Silver Springs in Ocala. Central Florida is also home to the majority of MLB’s Spring training facilities and the major cruise terminals in Tampa and Port Canaveral.
The south of Florida is flourishing on three coasts from the glitz of Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, and Miami including the world famous South Beach on the east, to the charm of Cape Coral, Fort Myers and Naples on the west, and the casual and laid back island culture of the Florida Keys and Key West. This area is home to the University of Miami, the Florida marlins professional MLB franchise. The west side is a favorite destination for vacationers during both the summer and winter months particularly popular among visitors from the north of the U.S. and from Canada. The east is the playground of the world with South Beach, and world-class hotels and renowned restaurants. It is also the cruise capital of the world. The keys feature the most beautiful drive in America with island after island that play hosts to the best deep sea fishing and diving venues anywhere in the world. Key West with its own unique lifestyle is home to President Harry S. Truman’s southern “Whitehouse” and the Earnest Hemmingway Home, not to mention its world famous Key Lime Pie. It is also the southernmost point of the U.S. just 90 north of Cuba.
Florida is also home to the Ocala National Forest, Everglades National Park, Timucuan Ecological National Preserve, Canaveral National Seashore, Big Cypress National Preserve, Biscayne National Park, Dry Tortugas National Park as well as numerous very important sea ports, and bays and estuaries essential for many of the nation’s fish and bird populations.
Florida is home to many of the nation’s top colleges and universities as well as nationally recognized elementary, middle, and high schools. Some of the nation’s finest medical facilities and doctors call Florida home including the new flagship VA hospital being completed now in the Orlando area. Florida real estate which took the same hit in 2008 as the rest of the nation has recovered much better than much of the nation while its average home cost of $156,700 remains lower than much of the nation. Many people think of Florida as the retirement capital of the country, but in fact the largest demographic block include ages 25-64 with an average age of around 41.
Florida also features a generally low cost of living, no state income tax, no state inheritance or estate tax, over 600 miles of public beaches along the Gulf and Atlantic coasts contained in its 1,800 miles of coastline, over 11,000 miles of rivers streams and waterways, 11 national parks, 161 state parks, more than 1,250 golf courses thousands of school and youth league sports complexes operating year-round, 14 deep water ports, 12 international airports, over 400, museums, ballet, opera, and orchestra groups, many historical sites, forts, and over 50 botanical gardens. Its unemployment rate of 5.3% places it well below the national average.
All combined this makes Florida one of the best States in the U.S. to call home. If you are considering making Florida your home let Mike Horton and the dream team at Wendy Morris Realty let you find the home of your dreams in the place where dreams come true today.