Beachgoers play in the water on Naples beach. Naples came in at #2 on U.S. News and World Report's list of the best cities to live in in Florida.

It’s never been a secret that Florida is a great place to live. The U-Haul trucks are almost always heading south when you’re on I-95 in the northeast. Our beaches, sports teams, (formerly) lower cost of living, and outdoor recreation choices are second to none. So it should be no surprise that no less than 14 cities made the newest U.S. News & World Report list of the best 150 places to live in the U.S. for 2023-2024.

Tampa did NOT top the list. But only 4 Florida cities beat us. And with the number of incoming residents every week, maybe that’s a good thing. U.S. News came up with these rankings based on things like quality of life and value. That second one is tricky these days as real estate prices have soared in the past decade. Add to that skyrocketing home insurance rates, value is definitely a relative term.

Here are the 14 Florida cities that made list for Best Places To Live in the U.S. for 2023

  • #14: Miami

    Sure they may be home to South Beach and the Miami Heat and scored a 6.2 for quality of life. But our largest city in the state scored the lowest for value with a 3.6.

  • #13: Lakeland

    With 38 lakes and an infusion of “Old Florida history and natural beauty,” making this list is no shock to Polk County residents have seen a huge uptick in traffic and population.

  • #12: Fort Myers

    White sand beaches and countless outdoor activities have made this spot a favorite among retirees.

  • #11: Ocala

    The “Horse Capital of the World” landed at #67 nationwide. U.S. News loved Ocala’s rolling hills and green pastures. Ocala scored highest on this list in terms of value with a 7.2.

  • #10: Port St. Lucie

    With a relaxed atmosphere compared to the cities it rests between (Orlando and Miami), Port St. Lucie made the list with scenic waterways and lush green golf courses along with more affordable homes (relatively speaking).

  • #9: Tallahassee

    Tally is the only other city besides Tampa on this list where I’ve lived. I only lasted a year… it was too remote for me.  And when FSU students and the government workers were out of town, it felt like a ghost town.  But you can’t be the vibe on a Seminoles game day. U.S. News also liked the city’s southern heritage influences in its architecture and landscape.

  • #8: Orlando

    Lots to do when Disney, Universal, Sea World are all in your backyard. But that traffic!

  • #7: Daytona Beach

    Great fishing spots and proximity to Daytona International Speedway were the selling points writers loved.

  • #6: Pensacola

    Beautiful sunsets and emerald green waters helped the area land at #28 nationally.

  • #5: Tampa

    U.S. News loved our laid back beach lifestyle and our big city amenities like our successful sports teams, museums, and social scene.

  • #4: Jacksonville

    Nature trails for hiking and marshes to kayak along with a new art and music scene helped land Jacksonville in the #16 spot overall in the U.S.

  • #3: Melbourne

    Their Eau Gallie Arts District scored points as well as their historic downtown area’s museums and galleries.

  • #2: Naples

    Certainly not the most affordable area on this list, U.S. News loved the beaches, golf courses, dining and shopping choices. Naples scored the highest among these Florida cities for quality of life with a 7.1.

  • #1: Sarasota

    They loved Sarasota’s art scene, beaches and restaurants.  Sarasota came in #5 nationally behind Green Bay, Huntsville, Raleigh, and Boulder.  U.S. News researchers loved the opera house, rooftop bars and Siesta Key.

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