Top 10 best cities for seniors in Florida
With Florida’s unique landscape and pleasant year-round weather, it’s very common for senior citizens to either move here permanently or become “snowbirds.” Many cities in Florida offer ideal places for seniors to live.
In addition to its warm climate, Florida offers beautiful beaches and natural preserves as well as high-quality dining and entertainment. With home values below the national median and #29 ranking as far as cost-of-living, it’s not surprising many retirees flock to Florida. But where are some of the best places to live in Florida for retirees?
#10 – Ocala area
Located in Northern Florida, Ocala offers many ideal options for seniors. The Villages, a nearby 55+ retirement community, has been rated one of the best places in Florida for retirees. There are a variety of neighborhoods to choose from, each with its own charm and personality. Many seniors within The Villages drive golf carts to get around, which can help eliminate stress for seniors who are no longer comfortable driving a car.
A U.S. News & World Report ranked Ocala 6th best place to retire in the U.S. thanks to high-quality healthcare and affordable housing. For seniors with relatives still living up north, Ocala is a shorter trip than popular South Florida cities for retirees, and is also home to an international airport, making visits even easier.
Ocala is a quick drive to bigger cities like Orlando and Gainesville but is far enough inland to offer a quieter lifestyle as well.
#9 Naples/Fort Myers
With its beautiful weather and Gulf of Mexico beaches, Naples and the entire Fort Myers area is one of the best places to live in Florida for retirees.
Naples is a quiet area, with many choices in active retirement communities. Naples has a higher cost of living than many Florida retirement cities; it ranks higher than the national average in healthcare, housing, goods & services, and transportation costs. But its proximity to the Gulf Coast and Miami makes it highly desirable for active seniors.
From golfing and fishing to shopping or dining out, there’s plenty to do in the Naples/Fort Myers region. It is only a 2.5-hour drive to Miami for those who want a weekend getaway.
Sebastian, Florida, situated next to the Indian River, offers a cool breeze all year long. With low property taxes and housing prices, many retirees settle in Sebastian to maintain their independence. Many 55+ gated communities with tennis courts, swimming pools, and activities give seniors their own space without the maintenance hassles and added costs of homeownership.
Sebastian is known as a laid-back city with a small-town feel. Bird watching is one of the most popular hobbies in this city, but more active seniors may enjoy snorkeling, hiking, or golf. Sebastian is home to Pelican Island, the first designated wildlife refuge in the U.S.
When the grandchildren come to visit, seniors may plan a river cruise or even a short stay at Capt. Hiram’s Resort, which includes a delicious riverfront seafood restaurant and live music in the SandBar.
Sarasota is home to the famous Siesta Key beach, one of the top three beaches in America. It is considered a laid-back, small town, but is close enough to the active nightlife of South Florida for those who want to take a day trip.
You don’t need to leave Sarasota for entertainment, though. The Sarasota Opera House is a cultural fixture in the town, while The Ringling offers rotating art exhibitions, shows, and cultural programming and classes for the whole family. The Ringling features a Museum of Art, the Circus Museum, and Bayfront Gardens.
#6 Greater Tampa area
Tampa, Clearwater, St Petersburg, and Sun City Center offer beautiful beaches, walkable communities, and bustling shopping centers. Like other cities in Florida, the warm year-round temperatures make this an ideal choice for senior living.
Enjoy golf, arts and culture, fine dining, and more. If you’re a baseball fan, you’ll enjoy taking in a Tampa Bay Rays Major League Baseball game at Tropicana Field or catching major league spring training in the area.
Ybor City is a National Historic Landmark northeast of downtown Tampa, offering lively nightlife, museums, and authentic Cuban and Latin American cuisine.
#5 West Palm Beach
Known as Florida’s golf capital, West Palm Beach thrives on seniors who love the sport. Although real estate is pricier in West Palm Beach than in other areas of Florida, the state’s overall lower cost of living and high-quality healthcare extends to Palm Beach.
From the beaches to the lively downtown, this spot is a great city for seniors to visit and one of the best cities to retire to. The public school district in Palm Beach offers an extensive array of adult education classes. Retirees will also find museums, gardens, and theaters.
#4 Greater Miami area
Miami is packed with culture and adventure. If you are an active senior and love live music, museums, sports, and festivals, this city will keep you busy.
Miami-Dade County sponsors an Active Older Adults program, which offers programs such as Zumba, sewing, adaptive aquatics, and fitness classes to residents age 54 and over. With multiple senior centers in and around the city, retirees are bound to connect with people who have similar lifestyles and interests.
From parks and zoos to shopping and restaurants, Miami has no shortage of things to do. Miami is also not a far drive from the Florida Keys if you’re seeking more adventure and fun in the sun.
#3 Port St. Lucie/Fort Pierce area
Situated roughly in between Orlando and Miami, Port St. Lucie ranked #3 in U.S. News & World Report’s “Five Best Places to Retire in America” the past two years. With affordable housing and high-quality healthcare, Port St. Lucie delivers what many retirees seek when they head south.
The gorgeous sunrises and sunsets on the beach are a huge plus for seniors who love the outdoors. The city is also known for its golf courses and is home to the New York Mets spring training camp. Port St. Lucie is also ranked as one of the safest and crime-free areas in the state.
#2 Vero Beach
Not far from Port St. Lucie and Sebastian, Vero Beach is located along Florida’s Treasure Coast, bordering the Indian River Lagoon.
Home to snorkeling, fishing, and nature tours, Vero Beach is not just a great place to visit and vacation; it’s a wonderful place to retire. This area also has the McKee Botanical Garden and the Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge for seniors who enjoy mother nature.
With its small population, Vero Beach has a small-town feel with little traffic and friendly locals.
#1 Punta Gorda
Nicknamed Florida’s Harborside Hometown, Punta Gorda is known for its relaxed lifestyle and friendly community surrounded by Charlotte Harbor.
Seniors can enjoy cycling, golf, tennis, water-sports, or birdwatching in the city’s vast network of parks and trails. The city even has a free bicycle lending program, which active seniors may enjoy.
One of the oldest cities in Florida, Punta Gorda retains a historic vibe. For some fabulous artwork, make sure to check out the Punta Gorda Historical Mural Society and the Florida Mural Trail.
Whether you enjoy walking, biking, hiking, or dining and shopping, you’ll find plenty of fun and fulfilling ways to spend your retirement in Punta Gorda.
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