WHERE DO YOU WANT TO LIVE IN THE SUNSHINE STATE?
Sun Kind of Living is no stranger to the Sunshine State and all it has to offer, but we are here to narrow it down to our Top 5 Best Places to Live in Florida for Seniors, Seashells and Serenity. It’s hard not to love Florida with its consistent sunny weather year round, warm breezes that seem to float off of the ocean, white sandy beaches and endless amounts of activities. Florida is an attraction for all walks of life. Oh, and let’s not forget to mention another huge perk about living in this sun-shiny state. There is no state income tax! We can thank Florida’s tourists for that added bonus. Now let’s dive into our Top 5 Favs for the Best Places to Live in Florida for Seniors.
#5 TAMPA, FL.
DO YOU LIKE RIVERWALKS, SPORTING EVENTS and P… P… P… PIRATES?
Coming in at #5 on our list of The Top 5 Best Places to Live in Florida for Seniors, Seashells and Serenity is Tampa, Florida. Tampa is the third largest city in the state of Florida and is one of the fastest growing metropolitan areas in the country. It is also ranked 6th in The Best Places to Retire in 2021-2022 according to U.S. News and World Report.
If you are a senior who enjoys the perks of big city amenities and great weather, Tampa might just be the perfect location for you. Tampa is located right on the ocean and is known for its metro vibe but still maintains its carefree, beach-loving, roots. The area includes Clearwater, St. Petersburg, and Brandon. Tampa ranks on our Top 5 Places to Live for Seniors because of its ability to create a lifestyle where seniors can stay active, have fun and socialize with friends in a city environment where events are just blocks away.
Tampa has endless amounts of outstanding shops and delicious dining options. Make sure to take a stroll down Tampa’s Riverwalk which spans 2.4 miles along the stunning Hillsborough River. Tampa is also home to Busch Gardens and the Florida Aquarium as well as Zoo Tampa at Lowry Park. If you are a sports enthusiast, Tampa is sure to get you cheering loudly in the stands. It is home to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Rays, and the Lightning. For all of the beach goers out there, both Clearwater and St. Pete’s beaches have routinely made Best Beaches in the US for years. Saving Sun Kind of Living’s favorite event for last, Tampa has PIRATES! Yes, every single year Tampa proudly hosts Gasparilla which is a pirate festival that is loaded with pirates, parades, and fun for aspiring pirates of all ages. Gasparilla has taken place since 1904 and it is a must see event to help reactivate some of that youthful energy and excitement you might have been storing away since childhood.
If all of this has helped you want to take the next step into living a city lifestyle full of consistent sunshine and entertainment then you might want to check out Valencia Del Sol. Valencia Del Sol is a 55+ friendly, adult community that caters to seniors who are looking to maintain an active lifestyle. Some perks of this facility are its sport courts, resort-style pool, 25,000 sq. foot clubhouse and I can’t forget the grand social hall. Did I mention they even have a dog park? Too many options and choices to choose from? Just make a call to Valencia Del Sol’s full-time lifestyle director and get active by joining one of the numerous clubs and activities that this beautiful establishment has to offer. The Tampa lifestyle is a lifestyle for seniors who love living the big city life but still keep the beach close to their heart.
#4 Pensacola, FL.
DOES FISHING, FESTIVALS AND THE BLUE ANGELS SUIT YOUR FANCY?
Up next is a location that is found in the Florida panhandle. Pensacola rates #4 on our list of the Top 5 Best Places to Live in Florida for Seniors, Seashells, and Serenity. Pensacola has a small, beach town feel and its ability to reside farther away from the hustle and bustle of Florida’s main hot spots makes Pensacola an attractive location for seniors. Pensacola stays clear of tourist traps and in turn is able to keep the cost of living down. This is always a good perk when looking to relocate and purchase a new abode.
Pensacola has the most incredible white quartz sand (also known as sugar sand) that manages to stay at a cooler temperature even in the hot, Florida sun. It also is home to crystal clear waters and has its fair share of wildlife. If you are a nature lover, Sun Kind of Living highly recommends checking out the Eco-Trail on Pensacola Beach and exploring the diverse ecosystem that exists in this beautiful area. According to U.S. News and World Report, Pensacola ranked 12th out of the 25 most desirable places to live in the U.S. in 2021-2022 and ranked 10th in Best Places to Retire, scoring high marks in house affordability according to their statistics.
Pensacola houses a plethora of activities to maintain an active lifestyle. From a lively downtown area lined with boutiques, art galleries and restaurants to fishing in the Gulf waters or attending one of the many festivals, Pensacola has something for everyone. If you are a history buff or aviation aficionado visiting the Historic Pensacola Village District which includes a historic lighthouse with arguably the best view in town and a maritime museum is for you. The National Aviation Museum is also a must. Pensacola is home to the U.S. Navy Blue Angels which is a precision flying team that flies F-18’s. They perform in a meticulously choreographed airshow each year. Sun Kind of Living highly recommends pulling out your favorite beach blanket and enjoying the breathtaking show on the award-winning white, sand beaches as the blue and yellow combat jets whiz through the sky in an array of twists and turns at 700mph.
Does great healthcare happen to be on your list of top priorities? Pensacola’s West Florida Hospital has been named one of the nation’s 100 Top Hospitals for three years in a row by Truven Health Analytics.
Is Pensacola feeling like home to you? Consider taking a look at University Pines. University Pines is an award-winning facility that features a friendly environment for seniors with three meals prepared daily, special events, convenient transportation options, maintenance-free living and so much more. Pensacola is truly an ideal destination for seniors who are looking for affordable living options, maintaining an active lifestyle, and soaking up some endless sunshine on pristine white, sandy beaches.
#3 Melbourne, FL.
ANY INTEREST IN ROCKETS, OUTDOOR RECREATION, OR GREAT RANKINGS?
Give a warm welcome to Melbourne, Florida, ranked #3 on our list of the Top Places to Live in Florida for Seniors, Seashells and Serenity. Melbourne comes in strong on top rankings by U.S. News and World Report. The cozy location was rated #3 for Best Places to live in Florida, #4 for Best Places to Retire and #18 for Best Places to Live. That is quite a group of convincing statistics for seniors considering Melbourne for their new home.
Southeast of Orlando and bordering the Atlantic Ocean, Melbourne is considered to be part of Florida’s Space Coast. For any aeronautics enthusiasts out there, that means great opportunities for you to see some of the best views of satellite and rocket launches from your very own windows. No tickets, hidden fees or valet parking are necessary. Home prices are lower than the national average here thanks to our good friend named, No Income Tax.
Affordable living is not the only exciting thing this location has to offer. If you love saving turtles as much as Sun Kind of Living does, you are actually able to volunteer to help save and protect both green sea turtles and loggerheads at Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge. Think about how rewarding the opportunity to rescue sea turtles could be. If helping out at a 900 acre refuge is a little too much for you, we suggest trying a less hands-on animal activity like taking a stroll through Brevard Zoo which houses and protects over 195 species of animals or visiting Viera Wetlands to do some bird watching and hiking.
Want something a little more calm? Take a trip to Melbourne Beach which has 33 miles of beautiful beaches and sparkling, emerald water. Enjoy a stroll through soft sand and search for some seashells or head to a different beach to try something a little more daring. Cocoa Beach is ranked as one of the Top 10 Beach Towns in Florida and is sure to not disappoint. It is known for its 70 miles of soft, sandy beaches but it is also known for its spectacular surfing. Yep, surfing! Here’s an opportunity to check one off of your bucket list of accomplishments. Brave those waves and get out there and try something new! Just ummm…watch out for sharks!
There are more recreational opportunities at Ballard Park and Port Canaveral where deep sea fishing, kayaking, and boating are big attractions. Interested in museums and art galleries? Mosey down to the Eau Gallie Arts District. Then head to Historic Downtown for a bite to eat, a great cocktail and some shopping.
Interested in making this rocket launching, turtle rescuing, location your home? Consider touring The Fountains of Melbourne. This resort-style living facility offers a variety of services and amenities and even features a 24 hour coffee shop. With an exceptional staff that is helping to continuously build a sense of community, countless activities, and an ideal location, The Fountains are definitely a place to consider if moving to Melbourne.
#2 Sarasota, FL.
HOW DOES QUARTZ SAND, GLOWING WATER, AND BEST-SELLING MASTER-PLANNED COMMUNITIES SOUND TO YOU?
Ranked #2 on our Top 5 Places to Live for Seniors, Seashells and Serenity is Sarasota, Florida. Sarasota was founded in the 1800’s and still carries with it a vibrant, historic, old-world vibe and culture. Tucked along the Gulf Coast, Sarasota has miles of stunning beaches and warm waters. With an average temperature of 73 degrees, Sarasota is a year-round playground for all ages. The city is located an hour South of Tampa, two hours from Orlando, and two hours North of Fort Myers making it a convenient and affordable location compared to many other major cities. Sarasota was ranked #1 by U.S. News and World Report in 2021-2022 as the Best Places to Retire and 9th for Best Places to Live. Statistics that were considered while doing the rankings were the happiness of residents, affordability, tax rates and healthcare.
Let’s talk about activities for a moment. Conveniently located along Sarasota’s coastline are Siesta Key, Lido Key, and Crescent Beach. These stunning beaches have a lot to offer local residents and tourists. Siesta Key Beach is absolutely gorgeous! It ranked 11th in the entire world and was rated Top Beach in America by Trip Advisor in 2020. We think maybe the quartz, sugar-sand has something to do with it.
Want to do something out of the ordinary? Try signing up for a kayaking tour at night in Sarasota Bay in its bioluminescent waters which hosts glowing plankton. You will not regret it. Looking for a kayaking excursion during the day? Join an eco-tour and observe some of Florida’s gentle giants, the manatees up close. Guides on these tours usually find all kinds of other little creatures to observe such as starfish, sea cucumbers, and sea urchins. After exploring the waters around Sarasota, try out one of the numerous hiking and biking trails in the area or even visit the jaw dropping Ringling Art Museum. The grounds themselves are just incredible!
If you’re a senior who never wants to stop exploring, consider Lakewood Ranch in Sarasota. It is an extremely fast selling community that was ranked #1 Best Selling Master-Planned Community in 2021 in the U.S. The Ranch covers 50 sq. miles and offers endless shopping, dining, amenities, and events to suit every lifestyle. Sarasota truly stuns with its endless excursion opportunities, white sandy beaches, and lively culture.
#1 Naples, Florida
ENTHUSIASTIC ABOUT FINE DINING, LUXURY HOMES, OR CHAMPIONSHIP GOLF COURSES?
Coming in hot at our #1 pick for our Top 5 Best Places to Live for Seniors, Seashells, and Serenity is Naples, Florida. Located about 2 hours from Miami and Tampa, this Southwest Florida community that resides near the Gulf of Mexico lives up to its name, The West Coast Jewel. With 30 miles of white sandy beaches, a low crime rate and luxurious homes, many seniors have felt a magnetic attraction to Naples. It was ranked #2 for Best Places to Retire in the U.S. according to U.S. News and World Report 2021 and came in 7th for Best Places to Live.
Looking for activities besides beach combing and swimming? Naples is the self proclaimed Golf Capital of the World with numerous championship level golf courses. How about some retail therapy? Historic Downtown Naples has a plethora of shops and boutiques as well as fine restaurants, cafes and art galleries. Take a stroll down the Historic Naples Pier to do some sightseeing, people watching and enjoy the sunset. If you are a nature lover like us, Everglades National Park is a short drive away and contains a 1.5 million acre wetlands preserve. Want to expand your artistic horizons? Make sure to attend the Naples National Arts Show. It is consistently voted one of the top art shows in the country.
Does living this sophisticated lifestyle tempt you to begin looking for properties in Naples? We suggest you tour Valencia Trails. This 55+ senior community features a resort type lifestyle complete with a massive clubhouse, pristine pool, restaurant, social hall and numerous activities to suit every lifestyle including miles and miles of trails for biking, jogging, or taking your morning walk. There’s no doubt about it, Naples is a high-end shopping, extravagant dining, golfer’s paradise and it is no surprise that many people choose to call this jewel home.
YOU CAN CALL FLORIDA HOME.
Sun Kind of Living shared with you our Top 5 Best Places to Live for Seniors, Seashells, and Serenity but now it is up to you to choose the location that has the lifestyle you desire. With Florida’s year-round activities, natural attractions, award-winning white sand beaches and abundance of sunshine, finding the perfect place to call home in The Sunshine State simply is a matter of deciding your preferences and setting a plan into action. Here’s to being one step closer to achieving the ‘sun kind of living’ lifestyle. Cheers!