Orlando, Florida, during the night overlay
Posted in City Guides on December 1, 2023
Madison Rogers

Born and raised in Houston Madison is a content writer who loves traveling. She has lived in different states and is always eager to share her knowledge with others.

Top 5 Best Cities to Raise a Family in Florida – 2024 Edition

If you’ve ever dreamed of palm trees swaying in your backyard, sun-kissed beach trips just minutes away, and neighborhoods bustling with family-friendly activities, then you’re in the right place! Dive into our list of the best cities to raise a family in Florida and get ready to pack your bags. And hey, maybe even hire those white glove movers to make the transition as smooth as the Florida beaches.

So, what are the best places to live in Florida for families? Our first recommendation is Tampa Bay, which beckons with top-tier schools and kid-friendly waterfronts. Then, consider Tallahassee, where the fusion of education meets family fun in its sprawling parks. Pensacola offers the magical blend of historical education and beach outings that kiddos adore. Jacksonville isn’t just vast in size – it’s massive in opportunities, from diverse communities to outdoor family activities. Lastly, Melbourne provides a stellar balance of Space Coast education and serene beach life, perfect for curious young minds.

Why Families Are Moving to Florida

Ever wondered why do people move to the Sunshine State? Well, it’s the call of Florida’s unique blend of sun, surf, and family-centric communities! Recent US Census data reveals that Florida leads the nation in net migration, showcasing a notable gap between newcomers and those departing. Between July 2021 and July 2022, Florida welcomed close to 444,500 new residents, solidifying its allure as a top destination. With its statewide appeal and inviting ambiance, it’s no wonder when families plan to move to another state, they set their sights on Florida’s sunny shores.

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Quality of Life

One of the top reasons to move to Florida is undoubtedly its unbeatable quality of life. Picture this – sunrises over beautiful beaches, lazy afternoons in sprawling parks, and year-round recreational activities that keep the family active and connected.

Whether it’s a spontaneous beach volleyball game or a leisurely weekend picnic, Florida’s natural beauty ensures there’s always something for everyone. And if you’re considering making the leap, hiring long-distance movers might be a worthwhile investment to effortlessly transition into this dreamy lifestyle.

Career Opportunities are Abundant

Florida isn’t just about sun and fun – it’s a powerhouse of diverse job markets. Whether you’re looking to move for a job in burgeoning tech industries, tourism, aerospace, or finance, this state offers a broad spectrum of opportunities.

Fresh grads looking to find a job after college will discover a state teeming with potential, from startups in Miami to established corporations in Tampa. With a dynamic economy and a state that prioritizes growth, your career can soar as high as Florida’s palm trees.

Improving Education System

Florida’s commitment to excellence in education is evident in its significant progress. The state has made significant improvements in public education, with tangible results that speak for themselves. Ranking No. 7 in achievement for K-12 grades, it’s evident that Florida’s dedication to fostering a robust learning environment is paying off.

Furthermore, Florida students have showcased better test scores in eighth-grade and fourth-grade reading. And the advancements don’t stop there. Advanced Placement test scores have seen a positive uptrend. Most crucially, even as standards have been toughened, high school graduation rates in the state have steadily risen. These accomplishments highlight Florida’s ongoing mission to elevate educational standards.

Kids in a classroom
Florida's impressive education improvements are promising

Top 5 Best Cities to Raise a Family in Florida

Considering moving to a new city in the Sunshine State? You’re in luck! Florida boasts a tapestry of cities perfect for families looking for the ideal blend of fun, education, and opportunity. If you’ve been feeling that it’s time to move and offer your family a fresh start, our list of the top 5 cities will guide you to the next dream destination.

Tampa – The Gem of Florida’s Gulf Coast

Tampa shines not just for its radiant sunsets over the Gulf but also for its commitment to nurturing young minds with a great education system. This vibrant city boasts a community vibe that seamlessly blends tradition with modernity, fostering a sense of belonging among residents.

As for job seekers, Tampa presents a plethora of employment opportunities across various sectors, ensuring a promising professional landscape. When it comes to safety, AreaVibes highlights that Tampa’s crime rates stand at 1,885, reflecting a reassuring 12% dip compared to the state’s average.

Moreover, the city offers an economic advantage, as both housing prices and living costs fall below the national median, making Tampa an enticing destination for those looking to move safely without breaking the bank.

Tallahassee – A Blend of Heritage, Education, and Southern Charm

Dive into Tallahassee, and you’ll quickly uncover its rich heritage seamlessly woven with modernity. The job market here is vibrant and diverse, catering to professionals from various sectors. Education stands as one of its shining pillars, with the city notably ranking 35th among the 150 largest metro areas in the US for high school students’ college preparedness.

However, while there are numerous benefits of moving to this capital city, potential residents should be aware of the cost implications. Housing expenses in Tallahassee consume about 26.24% of the median household income, making the cost of living a point to consider. Still, with its Southern charm and emphasis on safety, Tallahassee continues to be a magnet for many seeking a balanced lifestyle.

View of Tallahassee, FL
Tallahassee can be a great place to relocate the whole family

Pensacola – Coastal Living With Affordability and Safety at Its Core

Pensacola is more than just a picturesque coastal town. It’s a haven for those seeking a safe and economical living experience. This city impressively stands at 17th among the top 150 metro areas for its commendably low instances of:

  • Property crime,
  • Violent offenses,
  • Homicides.

On top of this, Pensacola boasts a cost of living that is not only 5% below the US average but also beats the state by being 6% lower. These savings resonate across various daily expenses – transportation costs dip by 9%, grocery prices are trimmed by 2%, and housing expenses fall 9% beneath the national median.

It’s essential to note that utility prices are marginally higher, at 17% above the national figure. For those looking to prepare a home for sale and relocate, Pensacola emerges as an enticing option, blending coastal charm with affordability and heightened safety.

Jacksonville – A Fusion of Cultural Richness and Seaside Splendor

When families decide where to live, Jacksonville stands out as a top choice, offering a delightful mix of thriving job opportunities and cultural depth. The city’s employment scene is robust, significantly bolstered by the Naval Air Station and prominent names in the health and banking sectors.

Giants that have a presence in the area are:

  • Bank of America,
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield,
  • Citi Bank,
  • Baptist Health.

But Jacksonville isn’t all business. Its historical tapestry is rich and varied, marked by discoveries like the region’s ancient pottery remnants. This northeastern gem offers a diverse palette of activities for families, from sun-soaked beach days to wildlife exploration.

With its blend of professional prospects and leisurely pursuits, Jacksonville encapsulates the ideal environment for families seeking both cultural richness and seaside splendor.

View of downtown Jacksonville
Jacksonville might be a good place to seek for a steady job

Melbourne – Enjoy Sun-Kissed Shores and a Modern Metropolis

For families grappling with anxiety about moving out and seeking an ideal city that balances career and community, Melbourne, FL, shines brightly. Renowned for its job market, Melbourne boasts the top rank among metro areas in the state when assessing average annual salaries and unemployment rates, ranking impressively at 42nd out of 150 metro regions.

Though the typical yearly salary, at around $51,740, remains a tad below the national benchmark of $56,310, the benefits of living here extend beyond paychecks. Melbourne exudes a family-centric aura, with over 70% of its inhabitants being wedded and a commendable 71% having children below 18.

With its golden beaches juxtaposed against a bustling metropolis vibe, Melbourne emerges as a prime destination for families seeking the perfect relocation spot.

Here’s a sneak peek of this alluring place.

YouTube video

Factors to Consider When Moving

Choosing the right city to move to is no small feat, especially when a family’s well-being and future are at stake. From weighing job prospects to assessing the community’s spirit, there’s much to ponder. As you delve into this quest, leaning on moving interstate tips can be invaluable, ensuring you prioritize factors that truly matter.

Think About the Cost of Living

When zeroing in on a new city, it’s vital to get a clear grasp of the cost of living, a crucial metric that can influence the family’s quality of life. Research local housing markets, understanding both rental and buying prices.

It’s also worth noting that sometimes moving to a smaller home in a more upscale or convenient location might yield better value for your money. Scrutinizing grocery costs, utility bills, and transportation expenses can also shed light on the city’s affordability.

Proximity to Work

Relocating often means grappling with a new daily commute. For families, the balance between proximity to work and home life becomes paramount. Learn about local commute times, the efficiency of public transport options, and the feasibility of driving daily.

If your job remains distant from potential residential areas, look into options to transport a car or flexible working arrangements that might offset longer travel times.

Neighborhood Vibes Can Mean a Lot

A city’s general vibe can be dissected further when you zoom into its neighborhoods. Look for areas that foster community involvement, boast an array of amenities, and exude a sense of friendliness.

Websites like AreaVibes, Niche, and NeighborhoodScout can be instrumental in providing insights into different localities, aiding families in finding neighborhoods that resonate with their values and lifestyle preferences.

A woman smiling and looking at a laptop
Make sure to do thorough research on the best neighborhoods

Tips for Making the Move Easier

Embarking on a move can be challenging, especially when relocating with children, but a few strategic measures can simplify the process. Start by decluttering the home and discarding or donating items you no longer need. Secure quality packing materials in advance, and label boxes by room for easy unpacking.

Remember to notify important parties of the address change, from bank to subscriptions, and ensure valuable items are packed separately and safely.

For a Smooth Relocation, Start Planning Ahead

The essence of a smooth move lies in meticulous planning. Organizing and preparing well in advance can make the difference between a chaotic move and a seamless one. For example, you can create a moving binder to keep track of important documents, inventory lists, and schedules.

This centralized resource can be a lifesaver, ensuring you have all pertinent information and tasks at hand. Remember, a well-laid plan can mitigate much of the stress associated with moving.

Long-distance movers loading a truck
Reliable movers are needed for an efficient move

Choosing the Right Moving Company

Relocating is more than just transferring items from one place to another. It’s about ensuring the safety and security of all cherished possessions. This is where the significance of making a wise decision comes into play when you choose a moving company.

The right mover doesn’t just transport belongings – they provide peace of mind. Opting for a company that offers comprehensive services such as long-distance moving services, storage services, and packing services can be a game-changer.

It ensures that every aspect of your relocation is handled with professionalism and care, from the initial packing to the final unloading in your new space. So, invest time in research and reviews, and remember, the right moving company can indeed make all the difference.

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Choose a City and Leave the Rest to White Glove Moving Company

Deciding on the perfect city to raise a family in the Sunshine State is no small feat. With factors like job opportunities, quality of life, and education playing pivotal roles, the decision can be hard. However, once that choice is made, don’t let the logistics of the move add to the stress. At Long Distance Movers, we pride ourselves on offering premium white glove moving services tailored to fit your needs.

From safely packing your cherished possessions to ensuring their prompt delivery, our team is committed to making your relocation seamless. So, as you take the next big step in the journey, remember—you choose the city, and we’ll handle the rest. Contact us today and let our experts turn your relocation dream into a reality.


What Is the Average Cost of Living in the Best Cities to Raise a Family in Florida?

The average cost of living in top locales for family raising tends to vary, with some being more affordable than the national average. For instance, the estimated cost per month for a family of four in Tampa Bay is 4,500$, whereas in Jacksonville, it’s 3,900$.

How Do the School Districts Compare in These Top Cities?

In all these top spots, school districts often boast high ratings, reflecting improvements in educational outcomes and student readiness.

What Types of Homes Are Available in These Cities?

A diverse range of homes, from apartments to spacious suburban houses, can be found in these favored neighborhoods. Research AreaVibes and NeighborhoodScout to find out more about neighborhoods in a particular city.

How Family-Friendly Are Public Transportation Options?

Public transportation options in these areas cater to families, ensuring convenience and safety. For instance, Tallahassee has the most urban public transportation system that underwent significant improvements recently and earned an American Planning Association award.

What Recreational Activities Are Available for Children?

Kids have a plethora of recreational options spanning from the sun-kissed shores of Pensacola and Melbourne to the vibrant parks of Jacksonville and Tampa. In Tallahassee, cultural events and museums provide enriching experiences, while coastal locales offer water-based activities.

What Are the Steps to Prepare for a Move to One of These Cities?

To prepare for a relocation, it’s essential to research, plan in advance, and perhaps consult with moving companies for a smooth transition.

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