The 10 Best Places to Live in Northern Florida

florida fort myers beach estero island gulf of mexico picture
Image Credit: Getty Images

In search of the best places to live in Northern Florida? Whether you’re looking to move there permanently or just want to spend the weekend on the beach, this list should help you get started on your search.

The Sunshine State has many great places to live, and Northern Florida is one of the best areas in the state!

From small towns with friendly people and gorgeous beaches to larger cities with world-class entertainment options, there are plenty of great spots in this part of the state.

We’ve ranked them according to their low crime rate, strong local economy, and low cost of living—that way, no matter what your preferences are, there’s a place in northern Florida that’s right for you—as long as you know where to look!


Related: The 12 Wealthiest Cities in Florida


Choosing The Best Place To Live In Northern Florida

Florida is home to a great number of cities and towns, many of which are wonderful places to live. If you’re moving to northern Florida (which generally refers to Florida north of Tampa), it can be difficult to choose among all these options.

For you to make an informed decision about where you want your new life and family, consider factors like safety, weather, cost of living, and so on.

You should also visit each place that catches your eye; nothing will sway your opinion like seeing a city in person!

If you’re choosing a place to live, it’s important to consider the pros and cons of each location.

Be sure to consider all the costs of living in a certain area, such as rent or mortgage payments, taxes, and utility costs.

Another thing to think about is how close you’ll be to amenities like grocery stores and other kinds of shopping. Being able to walk or bike to these places will save money on transportation costs, but having them within driving distance will still be convenient.

You should also think about the quality of schools if you have children, or plan on having children in the future. It’s also a good idea to find out about the crime rate in an area before moving there if you’re worried about safety.

If you’re choosing between two apartments that are similar in price, one thing to look for is a unit on an upper floor versus one on a lower floor. This can make a big difference when it comes to noise from neighbors and from people walking by outside.

One last consideration is whether you’d prefer a more urban or rural area. If you want to live close to restaurants, bars and other entertainment venues, then you’ll probably want to choose somewhere with a high population density.

Best Places to Live in Northern Florida

For those looking to move to Northern Florida, the region has plenty of great places to live with plenty of benefits to offer you, your family, and your business if you’re planning on starting one up! Here are our top 10 best places to live in Northern Florida

10. Neptune Beach

If you’re looking for a little Southern charm mixed with sunny Florida weather, Neptune Beach is an amazing place to call home.

For one thing, it boasts some of the lowest crime rates in all of northern Florida. Additionally, its picturesque coastal location makes it a prime choice for beachgoers, and its proximity to Jacksonville allows residents easy access to fun restaurants and cultural activities.

All things considered, Neptune Beach earns its spot on our list as one of the top places to live in northern Florida. It’s no wonder so many people consider it one of their favorite spots!


Related: The 15 Best Places to Live in Florida


9. Fernandina Beach

In Fernandina Beach, with a population of just over 14,963, you’ll find a strong sense of community. Residents enjoy its low crime rate and proximity to several beautiful beaches.

The city is also near Jacksonville, making it an easy commute for working professionals. To top it off, there are plenty of local activities such as festivals and marathons that bring residents together from all across northern Florida.

Whether you’re looking for a beach town or want to live in a larger city nearby like Jacksonville, Fernandina Beach is one of the best places to live in northern Florida.

8. Destin

With a population of around 14,859 people, Destin sits on 30 miles of pristine beaches and crystal clear waters. Destin residents enjoy low crime rates and proximity to some of America’s top tourist destinations, like Disney World, Universal Studios, and SeaWorld.

Home values are often well below their Miami or Naples counterparts as well—making real estate one of Destin’s most affordable options.

The city even boasts a few universities within its limits as well, including Northwest Florida State College and Choctawhatchee Valley Community


Related: The 10 Most Expensive Cities to Live in Florida


7. Tallahassee

Notable for its very low crime rate, Tallahassee is home to a highly educated population and has a high quality of life.

The arts are thriving here and there’s always something interesting going on around town. Sure, it can get hot in Tallahassee during summer, but that makes air conditioning more of a necessity than an amenity.

It’s also one of those cities where people stay put; homes tend to hold their value well here because people don’t want to leave. If you move here, you probably won’t have any reason to for years.

6. Live Oak

This charming, low-crime town located right on I-10 is known for its historic downtown district and art museum.

It’s also a great place to get outdoors and enjoy nearby parks like Wakulla Springs State Park. Or, if you love hunting and fishing, nearby Thomasville has plenty of places for both.

Once you move here, don’t be surprised if your relatives start moving here too—people who live here are happy with their decision!

5. Daytona Beach

While Fort Lauderdale is Florida’s ultimate party town, Daytona Beach serves as a laid-back alternative for those looking for a break from South Beach.

With an average yearly temperature of 75 degrees and beautiful beaches on both sides of town, it’s no wonder thousands flock here each year.

The city has more than 400 restaurants and bars alone—so if you can’t decide what to eat or drink, you won’t have trouble finding something delicious.

And while there are some high-rise hotels along Main Street in downtown Daytona Beach, most of its 33 neighborhoods were built during the ‘50s and ‘60s when low-rise homes were all the rage.


Related: Why Is Florida so Expensive to Live In?


4. Jacksonville

Jacksonville is consistently ranked as one of America’s most affordable places to live. With a low crime rate, short commute times, and four distinct seasons, it’s easy to see why Jacksonville might be your ideal place for a new life.

Jacksonville has 20 parks and green spaces where residents can go for family-friendly fun. Plus, residents benefit from generous amounts of sunshine year-round; with more than 300 days of sun annually, there’s plenty of time for outdoor recreation.

If you’re looking for a suburban area that still offers big city convenience and culture, then Jacksonville may be just what you’re looking for.

3. Pensacola

With access to beautiful beaches, year-round sunshine, and a warm Southern welcome, Pensacola is sure to top your list.

Originally founded as a military outpost for Spanish soldiers and later used as an American Civil War prison, Pensacola has grown into one of northern Florida’s most popular tourist destinations.

If you love playing on white-sand beaches or taking strolls along bustling downtown streets then you’ll want to set up shop in Pensacola.

Despite being one of northern Florida’s largest cities, Pensacola has retained its small-town charm by creating a tight-knit community where residents get involved and create events that bring people together.

2. Gainesville

Located on a plateau between two rivers, Gainesville is sunny and green year-round. It also has relatively low crime rates and boasts high-quality health care facilities as well as a strong economy.

The biggest drawback of living here is that it’s somewhat isolated—few major highways are going through town, which makes commuting more difficult than in some other Florida cities.

Still, if you live near campus (University of Florida), you might not mind a little distance from downtown or your job. Luckily, public transportation includes options like buses and trolleys.

1. St. Augustine

The nation’s oldest city and its historic Spanish Quarter are a tourist mecca. Nearby beaches, including St. Augustine Beach, are also favorites with residents and tourists alike.

St. Augustine is the oldest part of the city and features many historic buildings, tourist destinations, and unique shops. The area is home to Flagler College, making it a popular choice for college students. Homes in the downtown area tend to be more expensive because of the location and historic value.

St. Augustine offers a variety of housing options for all budgets. It’s just minutes from downtown and has convenient access to Interstate 95, making it ideal for commuters or those who want easy access to Jacksonville or Daytona Beach.

Avatar photo

Hi, my name is Flavian Johnny, the founder of Most Expensively. I enjoy writing about luxury and expensive things because I believe that everyone deserves a chance to experience the best that life has to offer.

Leave a Comment