What part of Florida is the nicest?
Cheapest Places to Live in Florida
Florida is a massive state, and many people flock to towns like Orlando or Boca Raton when moving there. These cities can be expensive. However, there are plenty of affordable places to live in Florida that offer the safety and amenities of a more expensive location. Read on to discover the ten cheapest places to live in Florida.
10 Cheapest Places to Live in Florida in 2023
- Cape Coral
- Dade City
- Homosassa Springs
The cheapest place to live in Flordia is Jacksonville. It’s also one of the largest cities in the United States. Jacksonville is located right at the top of the state, close to the border between Florida and Georgia. But unlike most other large cities, Jacksonville is one of the most affordable places to live if you love Florida.
The median cost of a home in Jacksonville is about $260,000, which is $60,000 below the national average. A one-bedroom apartment runs the average person around $975. You can expect prices lower than most places in the United States here. You can live a comfortable life for around $1,900 a month here, making Jacksonville the cheapest city in Florida.
Jacksonville has a low unemployment rate and offers many homes to choose from, making the job hunt simple enough. It’s close to other big cities if you need to commute for work. It has one of the largest total areas of any city in the United States.
In Jacksonville, you can rest on the beach or watch a movie. It’s a family-friendly city with a zoo, excellent museums, and even a state park. Jacksonville is affordable and packed with everything you could imagine. You can hang out in the city or on the outskirts at the beach.
The second cheapest place to live in Florida is Cape Coral, a city located in the southwestern part of the state. It’s easily one of the most affordable places to live in Florida. It’s also one of the safest cities in Florida, with one of the lowest crime rates in the state.
The median cost in Cape Coral is about $290,700, below the Florida and US averages. A one-bedroom apartment will cost about $1300. There are fewer taxes in this area, so you can hang onto more of your funds. It’s an ideal location for retirees.
Cape Coral’s expenses lie in their transportation and groceries. Still, you can expect to pay less here than in most Florida towns. It’s an excellent place to live, especially if you want a chance to be right on the water.
Cape Coral is known as the “Waterfront Wonderland” thanks to its intricate system of canals, so you can be by the water whenever you want. Cape Coral is close to Disney, and there are tons of places to eat and stroll right in the city. You can even spend your days fishing if that’s something you enjoy.
Gainesville is an affordable city in the northern central part of Florida. It’s home to two schools — the University of Florida and Santa Fe College and is one of the larger cities in Central Florida. You can reside in a big town while accessing the cost of something smaller.
The median cost in Gainesville is about $210,000, which falls below the Florida and national averages. A one-bedroom apartment here is about $1,100. The only expensive thing in Gainesville is the cost of utilities.
The best thing about living in Gainesville right now is its job market. It’s on an exponential rise, especially within the college system. You can expect to find employment easily if you’re on the hunt for a job in the Gainesville area.
There are plenty of things to do in Gainesville. You can visit hiking trails, public parks, and lakes. Gainesville has a museum you can spend your day exploring.
Dade City is another one of the cheapest places to live in Florida. It’s close to Tampa, making the commute simple if you work in the city. Dade City is possibly the most affordable place to live in Florida.
The median cost in Dade City is about $179,500, which falls well below Florida and the national average. You can expect to pay about $1,372 for a one-bedroom apartment in the city. It’s a spacious and safe place to live.
There are plenty of employers in Dade City, simplifying the job hunt. It’s located by several large universities for access to careers and further education.
There is plenty to do in Dade City. It’s close enough to commute to Orlando, and there are many national parks and trails to enjoy the outdoors. Dade City has many museums and places to eat if you want to explore the world beyond.
The unique town of Dunedin is also one of the most affordable places to live in Florida. Those seeking a laid-back lifestyle will adore the charming feel this city provides for its residents. It has excellent schools and a low crime rate any family will enjoy.
The median cost of a home in Dunedin is about $340,000 at the moment, but the market is constantly changing. Many homes sell for around $245,000. You can expect to pay about $1,100 for a one-bedroom in Dunedin.
This town offers excellent transportation and utility costs. Almost everything here is below the Florida average, making it one of the most affordable places to live in the state.
There are plenty of things to do in Dunedin. From the white sand beaches to the extensive golf clubs, anyone can find relaxation in this idyllic town. They even have an annual Scottish Highland Games for thrill-seekers and kids.
Kissimmee is another one of the cheapest places to live in Florida, and it’s also very close to the state’s theme park hub, a stone’s throw from both Universal Studios and Disneyworld. You can enjoy living close to the Orlando attractions without stressing about pushing through Orlando traffic on a daily basis.
The median cost of a home in Kissimmee is about $265,000. You can expect to pay about $1,050 for a one-bedroom apartment here, which is affordable for the proximity to other destinations.
If you need to work in the city, Kissimmee is an excellent place to live for commuting from work. It’s a combination of affordability and value.
There are plenty of things to do in Kissimmee. You can drive to the Orlando attractions, but you can also enjoy the fun right in this town. It’s close to the beach, and there are delicious places to grab food and enjoy a night on the town with friends or family.
Bartow lies close to central Florida, within about fifty miles of Orlando and Tampa. It’s a quiet location conveniently situated in Polk County, making it simple to commute to work if you have a job outside Bartow.
The median cost of a home in Bartow is about $240,000. You can expect to pay about $900 for a one-bedroom apartment in Bartow, significantly below the national and Florida average. It’s even close to the airport for easy access to travel.
Most people own their homes in Bartow, and there’s an extensive job market thanks to the commutability. Bartow provides quality living for the average person.
There are lots of exciting things to see and do in Bartow. It has many historical locations filled with gorgeous architecture for those who want to appreciate beauty. It’s also close to state parks, themed places, and museums for a day of fun with the family.
8. Homosassa Springs
Homosassa Springs is a town located just north of Tampa Bay. It’s one of the more rural selections on this list, but it’s still an excellent and affordable place to live for those who prefer a little solitude in their lives.
The median cost of a home in Homosassa Springs is about $265,000. For a one-bedroom apartment, you can expect to pay about $975, lower than the US and national average on the market. It’s an affordable place to call home.
The proximity to other towns and the quiet nature of Homosassa Springs makes it one of the best affordable places to live in Florida.
There’s plenty to do for fun in Homosassa Springs. You can snorkel with gorgeous manatees or travel to Weeki Wachee Springs State Park for a world-famous mermaid show. It’s an excellent location that runs on tourism.
Melbourne is right on the Atlantic coast, close to Cape Canaveral. It has a solid mix of annual tourists and a group of locals that resides there year-round. It generally has an older population, but younger groups have moved in over the years.
The median cost of a home in Melbourne is about $335,000. You can expect to pay about $1,300, which is relatively low for Florida. It’s a thriving location at the bottom of Florida.
There are both younger and older areas in Melbourne, so you have access to multiple groups your age. It’s one of the most versatile places in Florida, on the rise in popularity.
There are lots of things to do in Melbourne. You can visit the zoo, have fun in a theme park, or take a kayak tour on the water. You’ll never run out of things to do if you decide to live in Melbourne.
Last up is the city of Edgewater, located on the eastern coast of Florida. It’s close to Daytona Beach and Cape Canaveral. Edgewater is a quaint town that also happens to be one of the cheapest places to live in Florida.
The median cost in Edgewater is about $310,000, though many homes sold for around $270,000. You can expect to pay about $820, one of the cheapest rental fees in both the state and the country.
Edgewater is a convenient location for commuting to work. It has a low violent crime rate and offers plenty of job opportunities for those seeking work. It also has excellent public transportation for those who need help getting to and from locations.
Edgewater has a lot to do, whether you’re a single person or a family of five. Orlando is only an hour away, and you’ll be very close to the beach here. Edgewater is by some of the best campsites in Florida for extra fun.
Cheapest Places to Live in Florida Methodology
To come up with our list of the cheapest places to live in Florida, we looked at housing costs as well as other living costs, including groceries, utilities, transportation, and healthcare. For housing costs, we looked at median prices of sold homes between January 1, 2022, and January 1, 2023, and median rents between January 1, 2022, and January 31, 2023.
10 Best Places to Visit in Florida
When most people think of Florida, they think of sunshine, theme parks, orange juice and alligators. But this former Spanish colony, which became the 27th state to enter the Union, is much more than that.
Bordered by the Atlantic Ocean on one side and the Gulf of Mexico on the other, it has mile upon mile of white sand beaches. This is the US state where you’ll find Miami and its immediate neighbor Miami Beach – both famous for their Art Deco architecture, Cuban culture, and beaches, of course.
More sun, sea, and sand can be had in the south, where the Florida Keys fling themselves for around 120 miles along the Florida Straits. Come here for more beaches, scuba diving, snorkeling, and the potential for one of the most picturesque road trips ever, thanks to the feat of engineering that is the Overseas Highway.
There’s also Cape Canaveral, home of NASA, but then again there’s Orlando, too – famous for its sheer amount of amusement parks, including Disney World. Here’s a look at the best places to visit in Florida:
10. Panama City Beach [SEE MAP]
Karsun / Flickr
Panama City Beach on the Florida panhandle offers 27 miles (43 km) of white sand beaches on the Emerald Coast. The beach is a popular destination for residents of the southern United States as well as tens of thousands of high school and college students on spring break.
Besides having fun in the sun in the emerald green waters, this town of just over 12,000 permanent residents offers sports fishing on the gulf, plenty of golfing, marine parks including one for alligators, amusement and water parks …in short, something for everyone in the family.
9. Naples [SEE MAP]
bk1bennett / Flickr
Naples may have had rustic beginnings, but today this Gulf of Mexico city is one of the wealthiest cities in the United States, with houses selling for more than $40 million. As on Sanibel and Captiva Islands, development along the shoreline has been kept residential.
It got its name because the bay it’s located on was said to be prettier than the Bay of Naples in Italy. Besides its beautiful city beach, the nearby wildlife refuges make it a popular tourist destination.
These include Everglades National Park, Florida Panther National Wildlife Reserve and Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary that has a 2.5-mile long boardwalk meandering through it. Naples also has vibrant arts and shopping districts.
8. Sanibel Island [SEE MAP]
paparutzi / Flickr
Sanibel Island is located just off Fort Myers in the Gulf of Mexico. It is connected to the mainland by a causeway. It is known as a quiet, natural travel destination, well-suited for families.
Wildlife refuges take up more than half of this long narrow island, whose beaches are also popular as places to hunt for shells. This island of less than 7,000 permanent residents may have harbored pirates in the days of yore, if local legends are to be believed.
Aside from beachcombing and looking for wildlife, attractions include a highly-rated historical museum, a botanical garden, a lighthouse and an arts center.
7. Fort Lauderdale [SEE MAP]
Phillip Pessar / Flickr
No longer the Spring Break destination of popular imagination, Fort Lauderdale is today a sophisticated cultural center with an increasingly upmarket social scene. Located on the Atlantic Ocean about 23 miles (37 km) north of Miami Beach it is also known as the “Venice of America” due to its expansive canal system.
The city has an impressive tourist infrastructure with plenty of hotels, golf courses, marinas and museums. The city’s Port Everglades is one of the busiest cruise-ship ports in the world, with megaships departing daily for the Caribbean, Mexico and beyond.
The most popular section of the city beach is called “The Strip” with eating and drinking establishments that run along the land side of the beach road.
6. Clearwater Beach [SEE MAP]
WalterPro4755 / Flickr
Boasting miles of white sandy beaches, Clearwater Beach is separated by the city of Clearwater by the Intracoastal Waterway. USA Today readers in 2013 named it Florida’s Best Beach Town. Besides laying in the white sand and swimming in the clear water there are also many activities offered such as fishing, sailing, kayaking, and dolphin tours. A lot of people get married on the beaches here.
A spot popular with visitors is Pier 60, a long fishing pier that hosts a playground, snack bar and day-long entertainers. At night, you can buy crafts from local artisans.
Stroll along Beach Walk where you’ll find drinking fountains and showers to wash the sand off you. If you come alive when the sun goes down, Clearwater Beach has a lively night scene.
5. Everglades [SEE MAP]
Brian Evans / Flickr
One of the country’s best natural treasures, the Everglades feature a unique combination of ecosystems that include swamps, sub-tropical jungles, saw-grass prairies and the largest mangrove complex in the Western Hemisphere.
Located in South Florida, much of the Everglades are protected within the Everglades National Park and provide shelter to a wide variety of birds, fish, animals and reptiles, including endangered species like the West Indian manatee, the American crocodile and the Florida panther.
One of the largest national parks in the USA, the Everglades National Park features four different visitor centers that provide education about the Everglades as well as a variety of tours and outstanding experiences.
Among the most popular of these is the Shark Valley Visitor Center, which in addition to educational displays, offers tram tours with opportunities to spot wildlife such as alligators, turtles, deer and herons. Also located at Shark Valley is an observation tower that presents fantastic views.
From the Gulf Coast Visitor Center, visitors can arrange boat tours to the Ten Thousand Islands, a labyrinth of mangrove islands, viewing manatees, dolphins and pelicans along the way. Also from the Gulf Coast Visitor Center, visitors can rent canoes and kayaks to explore the Everglades on self-guided tours.
The visitor centers of Ernest Coe and Flamingo also offer ranger-led tours and programs. An air boat tour is one of the most exciting ways to experience the Everglades. What’s more, numerous hiking trails, biking trails and fishing are also available within the national park.
4. Tampa Bay Area [SEE MAP]
CityofStPete / Flickr
The Tampa Bay area, on the Gulf of Mexico, includes Tampa Bay, a large natural harbor and several popular cities, including Tampa and St. Petersburg. Tampa is home to the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Family-oriented activities include Busch Gardens, a theme park said to have Florida’s best roller coaster rides as well as a zoo dedicated to animals from Africa’s Serengeti Plain.
As for beachcombing, St. Pete Beach can’t be beat. It was named the best beach in the United States and fifth in the world by TripAdvisor readers in 2012 because of its white sand beaches and clear water.
3. Orlando [SEE MAP]
Orlando is theme-park city, having more theme parks than any place else in the world. There’s Walt Disney World, Epcot Center, Universal Studios, SeaWorld and Gator Park, to name a few, all of which bring 51 million visitors a year to this central Florida city of 2 million people.
This Sunbelt city doesn’t get hit by hurricanes as much as other parts of the state, which makes it a popular place to visit in Florida. One of American’s most visited cities, Orlando is also home to the University of Central Florida, which has the second largest college enrollment in the United States.
2. Miami [SEE MAP]
One of the most vibrant cities in the USA, Miami is best known for its Latin culture and sizzling nightlife. Located in southeastern Florida off the coast of the Atlantic Ocean, Miami is also a major port city managing the world’s largest number of passenger cruise ships.
Attracting tourists from all over the planet, Miami is a melting pot of ethnic cultures with a wide array of exciting attractions and activities. One of Miami’s main draws is its sunny beaches that range from family friendly to party scenes. Across the bay from Miami on a barrier island is Miami Beach, known for its Art Deco architecture and glamorous South Beach.
1. Florida Keys [SEE MAP]
Wonderful_World / Flickr
The Florida Keys are a 120 mile long chain of tropical islands curving around the base of the Florida peninsula, connected to the mainland by a series of bridges. The most spectacular bridge, the Seven Mile Bridge in the Lower Keys, has been frequently used as a location for films including True Lies and Fast 2 Furious.
US Highway 1, the “Overseas Highway” runs from Key Largo, Islamadora, Marathon, Lower Keys and finally to Key West, the most distant and most famous of the Florida Keys. The waters surrounding the archipelago are protected by a marine sanctuary and contain many aquatic species and coral reef.
The islands are categorized in groups of Upper, Middle and Lower Keys. Beginning at Key Largo, the Upper Keys are where tourists will find a wider variety of accommodation, shopping, dining and nightlife. The Middle Keys and Lower Keys feature a more quiet and remote atmosphere.
Key Largo is the first Key reached on the Overseas Highway and is home to the underwater Christ of the Abyss statue, which can be observed by divers and snorkelers. Another of the larger Keys, Big Pine is where tourists can see the knee-high whitetail deer.
Islamorada Key is touted as the “Sport Fishing Capital of the World” as well as a popular diving spot. Located on Vaca Key, Marathon is popular for its tourist amenities and facilities as well as the Seven-Mile Bridge. At the southernmost point of the United States is Key West, which features the former home of author, Ernest Hemingway.
Map of Florida
© OpenStreetMap © MapTiler © Touropia
15 Best Cities to Visit in Florida
‘The Sunshine State,’ as it is known, certainly lives up to its name. Each year, millions of people descend on Florida’s cities to revel in all they have to offer. Bordered by beautiful beaches and boasting raucous nightlife and lively cultural scenes, the best cities in Florida have everything that you could ever want in a holiday destination.
Whether it is for spring break, to visit Disney World, or simply to soak up the sun, Florida is the place to be.
Map of cities in Florida
© OpenStreetMap © MapTiler © Touropia
15. Daytona Beach
© Sean Pavone / Dreamstime
This city is where NASCAR began and the Daytona 500 is held. As a result, every year motor-heads throng to the city in droves for the various motorbike festivals that take place here throughout the year.
Although primarily known for its motor racing scene, Daytona Beach is slowly changing into a more family-friendly holiday destination, and the lovely white beach is still its main draw. While grim high-rises detract slightly from its attractiveness, the Oceanfront Boardwalk is still nice to amble along; at times you can even see sea turtles nesting nearby.
© Sandshack33 / Dreamstime
With much of the city divided up by the various highways that run through it, Kissimmee is primarily visited by tourists looking to visit Disney World. As such, it is a popular destination, although most people simply head to the theme parks rather than the city itself.
The historic part of town is quite attractive and has a few cafes and bars. Other than that, it is nothing more than a convenient place to stay. In addition to the theme parks, there are some lovely nature parks nearby for people to explore.
© Kevin Winkler / Dreamstime
Located on the Atlantic coast of Florida, Jacksonville is remarkably the largest city in the States in terms of the area it covers. Its endless sprawl crosses three rivers, with numerous bridges linking the different parts of the city together. Amidst the urban jungle, there are some great museums to discover, and its historic neighborhoods are delightful to walk around – San Marco and Five Points being the nicest of the lot.
With their own distinctive vibes, these districts have numerous bars and boutiques for visitors to enjoy. After trawling around the city, head to Jacksonville’s beaches to soak up the sun and relax.
© Peter Titmuss / Dreamstime
Despite being the capital of Florida and having two large universities in the city, Tallahassee is laid-back, with a slow pace of life that mirrors that of the Deep South. Thankfully, the student population give it a vibrant arts and cultural scene, and there are also a few museums for visitors to check out.
Although Tallahassee remains distinctly unexciting, its setting between roving hills means the surrounding area has some nice nature spots for people looking to get out of the city.
11. Panama City Beach
Located between Tallahassee and Pensacola, Panama City Beach caters to a diverse crowd; retirees move here, families come for a cheap holiday, and college students go wild on its beaches during spring break.
Quite a tacky place, rampant development means that drab high-rises line the beachfront and arcades and dive bars dot the streets. It does undoubtedly have gorgeous beaches – if that´s what you´re after, you can´t go wrong with this city.
10. St. Petersburg
© Typhoonski / Dreamstime
Situated at the tip of the Tampa Bay peninsula, St Petersburg was once solely known as a popular spring break town, although it has greatly changed its image in recent years. Now there are some lovely street art murals dotted about town and the historic center is an energetic and trendy place.
You will discover boutique stores and little galleries, as well as farmer’s markets and atmospheric restaurants. With a fantastic Dali museum, St Petersburg’s lively cultural scene and beautiful beaches make it well worth a visit.
9. West Palm Beach
© Ryan Jones / Dreamstime
Located in Palm Beach County, West Palm Beach is a lively place that attracts people from all around, due to its array of restaurants and cinemas, live music scene, and bustling nightlife. With a welcoming population and a large gay community, it is a friendly place to stop by. A delightful waterway runs through the city and there are lots of great beaches in the area for visitors to choose from.
© Steven Frame / Dreamstime
Due to its proximity to Alabama, Pensacola has a southern charm and delightful laid-back vibe, making it a welcoming place to visit. Surrounded by water, the city is in the panhandle, and there is a heavy military presence due to the various bases.
Ruled by five different nations at various points in history, there are some interesting historical sights around town to check out. Most people, however, come for the fantastic beaches, delicious seafood and cheap bars, with Pensacola being a popular spring break destination.
© Ruth Peterkin / Dreamstime
Lying very near to Tampa, Clearwater is a slightly drab city that seems to be stuck in the past due to its dated downtown area. It is now home to the Church of Scientology headquarters. As such, many visitors head straight to Clearwater Beach, which is located across a bay on a barrier island.
Here, there are loads of lovely beaches and peaceful parks, with a variety of watersports available. As the home of Hooters, Clearwater is also a moderately popular spring break option for college students.
A popular place among holiday-makers, Sarasota has a vibrant cultural and arts scene, with numerous interesting and educational museums throughout the city – some of which pay homage to the prominent circus that used to be based here.
Located on the southwest coast of Florida, the city has lots of great restaurants and shopping malls to attract visitors, as well as some beautiful beaches, with Siesta Bay Beach considered one of the best in Florida.
5. Fort Lauderdale
Formerly a popular destination with college students during spring break, Fort Lauderdale now caters for a slightly different crowd, who come to enjoy its jazz concerts and cocktail bars. It’s a lively place, with lots going on, and there are still some great bars and clubs for partygoers to revel in.
The coastal part of the city is lovely – it has fantastic beaches and some peaceful meandering waterways, as well as great restaurants. The busy port is constantly teeming with cruise ships ferrying tourists to the Caribbean and beyond.
4. Miami Beach
© Kmiragaya / Dreamstime
Although visitors to Miami often think that Miami Beach is part of the city, it is in fact another municipality, and is situated on a barrier island across the Biscayne Bay. One of the most popular beach resorts in the States, Miami Beach is idyllic to visit, with some lovely art-deco architecture and world-famous beaches.
South Beach is the most popular; at night, its bars, restaurants and clubs are filled with people looking for a good time. With a vibrant cultural scene, sun-kissed Miami Beach is a dream to visit.
Christopher Hollis / Wikipedia
A sprawling city, there is much to like about Tampa, although it is often overlooked by tourists, who head to Miami and Orlando instead. At times scenic, at others a bustling city, a lovely spot to stop by is the banks of the Hillsborough River which runs into Tampa Bay. Here, enclaves of trees rear up amidst the modern architecture, making for a pretty view and nice walk.
With lots of interesting museums, as well as a zoo, an aquarium and some theme parks on offer, it is a great family destination with lots of restaurants to choose from. In the evening, Ybor City is the place to head to for lively nightlife and teeming bars and clubs.
Tobias Scheck / Flickr
With its palm-tree-lined beaches and plethora of lovely art deco buildings, Miami is an enticing and attractive city that is a fun and festive place to visit. Its sunny climate is home to the largest Hispanic population in the States. It is possibly due to this that Miami has such a vibrant cultural scene, as is demonstrated in its fantastic museums showcasing some cutting-edge art and design.
Among the iconic buildings with their pastel tones, there are some world-class restaurants for you to discover, as Miami again pushes the limits of what is possible. While the city is bathed in sunshine during the day, at night a myriad of dance halls, clubs and rooftop bars fill up. There are many great places where you can have a drink and look out over the glittering city.
In addition to all this, Miami has loads of lovely nature spots to enjoy; you can be swimming with manatees one minute, before wandering through Oleta River National Park or be lounging on the beach the next.
© Mehmet Guvenc / Dreamstime
The most popular tourist destination in Florida, every year millions of visitors descend upon the city for the magical theme parks that lie all around it. While Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando are rightly the main draws, Orlando itself, although often overlooked, is worth spending time in, and is a lot more relaxing than the plethora of parks. Here, you can wander through the lovely gardens and parks that give way to tree-lined avenues.
There are also several great museums and fantastic restaurants to check out. There is a lively performing arts scene, some gigantic shopping malls, and if you still have energy after a theme-park filled day, there a few good spots with raucous nightlife.