If you are considering moving to Florida, you are not alone. Nearly 1,000 people are added to our population every day. But there’s a lot to consider before picking a place along our sunkissed shores and calling it home. To help discover your piece of paradise, we are presenting 8 things you should know before moving to Florida.
1. Florida is diverse and widespread
Drive from the north to the south and you’ll discover a state that is as varied as it is long. North Florida, ironically, has more of a “Southern” influence, with countryside settings and a strong love for college football thanks to the University of Florida and Florida State University. South Florida brings with it more ethnic variety and influences from Latin America and the Caribbean as well as a number of larger cities and exciting nightlife. Southwest Florida offers a laidback lifestyle that is brimming with amenities and arts and culture.
2. Florida is politically divided
With a wide range in people and places, Florida is consistently a “swing state” where elections may run red or blue. As such, our state gets a lot of attention and is often the talk of the nation every four years in the race for president.
3. A seasonal state
Tourism is a big industry in Florida and, like the birds that fly south for the winter, most of our visitors make the journey south between October and April. They are drawn to our beaches, mild temperatures, and many attractions like Walt Disney World, Kennedy Space Center, art deco architecture in Miami, Everglades National Park, Daytona 500 International Speedway, Busch Gardens, and the Ringling. Our roadways and restaurants grow more populated during the season, but we certainly appreciate the business!
4. Low taxes
Only seven states in the nation offer no income tax and fortunately for us, Florida is one of them. Florida also does not assess an estate tax, or inheritance tax, meaning no portion of what is willed to an individual goes to the state.
5. Nature goes way beyond the beach
While the beaches here get a lot of attention, Florida offers much to do, see, and visit in the way of the great outdoors. There are a wealth of parks, preserves, and attractions where nature-lovers are never disappointed. Locally, people enjoy kayaking along mangroves, hiking through state parks, or doing the canopy walk at Myakka River State Park. Also, it should be noted that many locals never even make it to the beach, as there are plenty of distractions on the mainland! (Theatre anyone?)
6. Baseball is a big thing
For nearly a century beginning in late February through early April, Major League teams have gathered from across the United States for spring training. Within our region alone, you’ll discover the Pittsburgh Pirates at LECOM Park in Bradenton, the Baltimore Orioles at McKechnie Stadium in Sarasota, the Tampa Bay Rays at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, and very soon the Atlanta Braves will be descending upon the new spring training stadium in North Port. Go Brave Oriole-Pirate Rays!
7. Gone Golfin’
For those who love to spend time hitting the links, Florida is a haven of golf courses all across the state. From public courses to exquisite country club offerings, no matter where you live, you aren’t too far from emerald greens. Sarasota was in fact home to one of the first golf courses in the United States, a legacy of Colonel J. Hamilton Gillespie.
8. A Day at Disney
With Walt Disney World just a short drive away (approximately 2-3 hours from our region), Florida residents love making day trips and even long weekend jaunts to Orlando where the Disney parks and Universal Studios offer plenty to see and do. Florida residents are offered special deals and packages, and yes, we do take advantage of them…especially when we have a craving for nightly fireworks or butterbeer!