Finding the right place to settle down when you have kids is never easy, your priorities are not the same, and you do not put your needs first. But if you have decided to search for a family-friendly community in the Sunshine State, you’ll be just fine. We found some of the best cities to raise a family in Florida, and we are going to introduce them to you, one by one.
Looking for That Small Town Charm
If you’re not into large crowds, traffic jams, and touristy spots, and you prefer raising your children in safe and quiet communities, you should pay attention to smaller towns across FL. Affordable cost of living is another advantage, so let’s take a closer look at some of them.
#1 Niceville, Is It Really That Nice?
Speaking of small communities, Niceville has around 15,000 citizens, and it is located in Okaloosa County, close to Montgomery. The name itself says a lot, but let’s see what the advantages of living in such a lovely town are. Rents are not expensive, and they correspond to the national average; most people live in their own homes, but there are still some nice properties to rent.
Niceville is a great location to raise kids and grow up, and a lot of young couples choose to settle down here. But surprisingly, there are not a lot of seniors living here, so it’s safe to say that it is a rather young community. Sandy beaches and crystal clear water are additional perks of residing in Niceville, so if you want to be in a kid-friendly environment close to water, don’t hesitate to relocate here.
#2 Maitland, a Small World Close to Disney World
With around 17,000 residents, Maitland is one of the smallest towns on our list. Unlike our other picks, half of the entire population here is renting a home, but keep in mind the rents are slightly higher than the national average. If you prefer a slow-paced lifestyle, quiet neighborhoods, proximity to Orlando, gardens, lakes, large parks, and excellent public schools, you’ll find all you need here. Plus, Disney World is rather close, so your kids will have something to look forward to.
Places That Take Family-Friendliness to Another Level
Although all places on our list are highly suitable for families, there are some that just stand out from the rest. Kids come first, right? If that’s your motto, then you have to take these places into consideration when narrowing down your options.
#3 Kissimmee, a City With a Suitable Motto
Many places across the US have a unique motto, but when it says: “A Community of Neighborhoods for Families!” then you know you stumbled upon something special. There’s no need to worry about how to adjust to a new town here, especially if you have kids. You will make new friends in no time.
Although it has almost 70,000 citizens, Kissimmee still preserves that small-town vibe and plenty of amenities for children. It has almost ten public parks, more than 30 miles of bike trails, and the fun part about it – it is close to both SeaWorld and Disney World. What’s better than that? Rents are close to the national average, which is why half of the citizens are renting their homes here in Kissimmee.
#4 Oviedo, One of the Best Cities to Raise a Family in Florida
With a high percentage of families with kids living here, Oviedo had to make it to the top of our list. This rather safe city located in Seminole County has almost 40,000 residents, and it is close to the University of Central Florida and the Central Florida Research Park.
If you are relocating from an urban metropolis to a small town, you should know that in downtown Oviedo, you can easily find chickens roaming the streets. They are like locals here, and everyone considers them as unofficial mascots of the place. If that is not too “wild” for you, the median rent here is around $1,500, but the majority of residents are homeowners. Oviedo has several annual festivals such as A Taste of Oviedo, Arts and Crafts Festival, and many more.
Suburbs of Fort Lauderdale and Orange County
If you want to stay close to some popular urban centers, but at the same time avoid paying expensive rents, exploring their suburbs might be a good idea. Here are some that you should keep your eye on.
#5 Suburban Living in Winter Park
If you are moving to Florida and Winter Park seems like the right choice, don’t worry about moving in cold weather because here in the Sunshine State’s Orange County, the sun is shining 238 days per year. In other words, prepare for moving to a warmer climate.
With a population of around 30,000 residents, of which two-thirds are homeowners, you can experience the real mix of urban and suburban living in Winter Park. Besides, if you are looking for tight communities with good blue-ribbon schools, this is the place to be. There are excellent high schools and as many as six colleges, so if you want to settle for good and spend your retirement here, you can rest assured that your kids will have the option to stay and pursue their education.
Another thing to keep in mind when talking about kid-friendliness is that around a quarter of all households are families with children. There are a lot of beaches nearby, parks, museums, galleries, shopping options, and it is close to Orlando. Plus, this city has its website where you can follow all the latest activities in the community and get up to speed on important information and events. Based on all that, this could easily be one of the best cities to raise a family in America.
#6 Cooper City, a Lovely Fort Lauderdale Suburb
This Broward County gem, a suburb of Fort Lauderdale with a population of around 35,000 residents rightly deserves a high spot on our list. If you are moving with children to Florida, you should keep in mind that this is one of the greatest places you will stumble upon. However, it comes with a slightly higher price. The median rent is around $1,900 because mostly because it’s hard to find a property to rent. More than 80% of locals are homeowners, so if you are looking to invest in a property, this is an excellent place to do it. Cooper City has a nickname: “Something Special,” and that already tells a lot. Plenty of excellent schools, families with kids, safety, and low crime rates are some of its main selling points.
Coastal Towns for Those Who Prefer Staying Close to the Water
Are you really living in FL if you’re not living close to the water? For some, this is one of the main criteria, and that’s why we decided to pick several towns that are not only highly suitable for children but close to the coast, as well.
#7 Rockledge, Perfect for Families on a Budget Looking for an Affordable Home by the Ocean
Rockledge is more affordable and, therefore, suitable for everyone who wants to live close to the water without breaking the bank. It also features plenty of kid-friendly activities such as the Independence Day picnic and the Holiday Parade. And if you ever get tired of the small-town lifestyle, you can go on a day trip to Orlando, which is only 50 miles away from Rockledge.
If you are moving out for the first time and you are on a budget, this could be the ideal location to settle. Make a checklist of moving expenses, and see if there is a way to save some extra money if you organize a garage sale or find free boxes and packing supplies.
#8 Ormond Beach, a Favorite Among Coastal Cities
If you prefer the small-town atmosphere, proximity to the water, and a slow-paced lifestyle, Ormond Beach should be high on your list. Located in Volusia County, north of Daytona, this used to be the home of John D. Rockefeller, which is open for visits.
The median rent goes around $1,000, which is pretty reasonable and well below the figure in Florida’s largest cities. It is also one of the places where the majority of residents are homeowners, which contributes to a greater sense of community in which neighbors know each other. With great parks, nature, and a relaxed atmosphere, this could easily be one of the best beach towns to relocate to.
Budget-Friendly Towns In FL
Let’s be honest, raising children is expensive, from toys to education, and the expenses are not getting any smaller as they grow. So for many parents who are looking to find a safe home in FL on a budget, we recommend these two communities.
#9 Port Orange, Not Your Average Coastal Town
With a bit more than 60,000 citizens, Port Orange is bigger than most other towns on the list, and it continues to grow and develop, offering many job opportunities that attract new people. The cost of housing is not high, with a median rent of around $1,100. The famous Daytona Beach is close, as well as the NASCAR track. For the youngest ones, there is the Sugar Mill Botanical Garden, where they can admire dinosaur statues and enjoy nature.
#10 Eustis, a Budget-Friendly Place
If you want to experience the beauty of suburban living in its purest form, Eustis might just be the right choice for you. If you are moving with pets and kids, you will find that country charm and low traffic, which is why many retirees prefer to relocate to this Lake County spot. Besides parks, there are also lakes where you can swim or go on a boat ride.
High-End Communities In FL
If you can afford to live in some of the more wealthy communities around FL, then we recommend you take a look at the following three. Although the cost of living is higher, residing in these places comes with numerous perks. A safe and clean environment and a good education system are only some of them.
#11 Naples, Florida’s Gem
Naples is a small, wealthy community with safe neighborhoods, excellent public schools, and loads of kid-friendly activities to choose from. Rents are higher, but only around 20% of citizens are actually renting here. There are a lot of seniors, with as many as half of all the residents being older than 65, making Naples a nice and quiet community. Neighborhoods that are close to the water are some of the cleanest and prettiest you will find. Keep in mind that Naples is really spread, so you should consider auto transport services because having a car can be a real lifesaver around here.
#12 Parkland, One of the Wealthiest Communities in FL
If you can afford to move here, be sure that the investment will pay off. Excellent quality of life, vibrant community, plenty of kids, highly paid jobs, top-notch education, and loads of sports activities are only some of the advantages of living in Parkland. The median household income is almost three times higher than the nation-wide figure, so don’t be too surprised when you see the correspondingly high consumer prices and rents. Despite that, the vast majority of people here are homeowners, 84% of them, according to Niche, because it is simply worth investing in a house here.
#13 Miami Lakes, a Place That Has Everything
Miami Lakes is an ideal location for people of all generations. Young professionals and families love living here because it has that mix of an urban and suburban lifestyle. This is an up-and-coming place that could easily be one of the best neighborhoods in Miami. There are plenty of job opportunities, highly rated public schools, parks, and when you consider how centrally located it is, the rents are not that expensive for the location you get. This could be an excellent option for everyone who’s moving to Miami on a budget and is concerned about the cost of living in Miami.
Bigger Towns That Are Also Kids-Friendly
Even though some parents prefer raising their offspring in smaller communities, that does not mean that staying in urban towns is not suitable for kids. In large urban centers, you can find more education options, leisure activities, and museums, so there are no reasons to avoid them.
#14 Tampa, a Tourist Mecca of Sunshine State
If you always wanted to live every day like you are on vacation, perhaps moving to Tampa, one of Florida’s most visited vacay destinations could help you find what you’re looking for. With more than 350,000 citizens, Tampa is certainly not small, but you can still find neighborhoods that are not noisy or crowded. Beautiful beaches, sunny weather, restaurants, diverse areas, parks, private and public schools – you name it, Tampa has it. Rents are not expensive, which is why here, approximately half of the citizens are renting their house. Every year thousands of people move here, especially young ones, so Tampa is growing and developing at a quick pace.
#15 Landing on Jupiter
Proximity to beaches, water sports, excellent public school system, a variety of neighborhoods, great restaurants and cafes are only some perks of living in this coastal city. Jupiter is located in Palm Beach County and has more than 60,000 citizens, including a lot of seniors and children. If you are a fan of the Miami Marlins or St. Louis Cardinals, you can cheer while they are practicing at their spring training base in Jupiter. The majority of people are homeowners here, but you can still find housing at a reasonable cost without breaking the bank.
Have You Found Your Favorite Among Our 15 Best Cities to Raise a Family in Florida?
Whether you are still planning, or you already have babies or teens, it is crucial to pick the right spot to settle down permanently. When relocating with kids, the fear of moving is probably more visible than ever; that is why you need to take care and find a Florida moving company that is reliable enough to handle all the packing and moving services. The Sunshine State has many beautiful places that are suitable for raising kids, and we hope our selection was helpful. Remember that safety, education opportunities, and community spirit should be your main criteria for choosing your future home.