Florida has the longest coastline of any state in the contiguous United States. The state’s Atlantic coast is to the east, while the Gulf of Mexico coastline is to the west. Both coasts have some amazing locations that can offer an enjoyable and fulfilling lifestyle. If your preference is to live on Florida’s Gulf coast, then here are the 10 best places to live on the West Coast of Florida.
10. Bonita Springs
Along the Gulf Coast of Florida, Bonita Springs sits between Naples and Fort Myers. The beaches are breathtaking, and it is home to Barefoot Beach Preserve State Park. Although it has a slightly upscale beach town vibe with an abundance of charm, it is reasonably affordable, and the cost of living is only slightly above the state average. Some other positive features of this location are plentiful employment opportunities, above-average schools, and plenty of shops and restaurants. The only downside to Bonita Springs is that crime rates are a little high.
Apalachicola is located east of Panama City and southwest of Tallahassee. It is one of the best places to live on the west coast of Florida for those who want to get away from everything and enjoy a peaceful life. It is only a small town, and it has old-world Floridian charm and a friendly community. Not only is it one of the most affordable places to live on the coast of Florida, but it is also one of the safest. The one downside to living in Apalachicola is that it does not have a good job market, which may mean you need to commute to work. However, this is not an issue for retirees who just want a safe and affordable place to live along the coast.
8. Siesta Key
Siesta Key is located just across the bridge from Sarasota, and it is also close to both Tampa and St. Petersburg. Therefore, the residents of Siesta Key benefit from the employment markets of these major cities, says State of Florida Living. The sandy beaches mean that residents can take a coastal walk, relax on the beach, or enjoy watersports. A further reason that Siesta Key is a great place to live is that both violent and property crimes are low compared to the average crime rates in Florida.
Pensacola is the westernmost city in Florida, and it is home to 481,964 people. Not only is it a beautiful place to live, but US News says that the cost of living is low because it is away from cities that are tourist hotspots. The house prices are relatively low, and the median household income is high compared to the state average.
6. Fort Myers
Although the beaches at Fort Myers are one of its best features, there are many other reasons why it is one of the best places to live on the west coast of Florida. Fort Myers is home to many retirees due to the general livability of the city, although there are features to suit people of all ages. It has an international airport, fantastic shopping options, many eating establishments, top golf courses, and a charming downtown. The cost of living is also low, and the median house price is just $146,800.
5. St. Petersburg
Two of the main reasons that people are attracted to St. Petersburg is that there is high-quality healthcare and an affordable cost of living. The city is home to many attractions, including theater companies, arts districts, museums, and restaurants. It also has vibrant nightlife, and St. Petersburg hosts multiple events and festivals throughout the year.
Naples is home to 20,600 people, and it is known for its golf courses and high-end shopping options. Although it has a reputation as a millionaire’s playground, both buying property and renting is surprisingly affordable. It is a walkable city with pedestrian-only areas, and the city is lined by a peaceful white-sand beach. There is plenty for residents to enjoy in their free time, and other positive features of the city and highly-rated schools and low crime rates.
The Crazy Tourist lists Sarasota as one of the top destinations to call home on the west coast of Florida. It has a beautiful stretch of coastline with white-sand beaches, so residents have a stunning outdoor space to enjoy in their free time. Sarasota also has a buzzing art scene and a growing culinary food scene. It is also known for its award-winning craft beers. The lifestyle on offer is not enough to make you consider this area, then take into consideration that both renting and buying a property in Sarasota is more affordable than in many coastal cities.
2. Cape Coral
Cape Coral is one of the safest places to live in Florida, and this is a feature that many people find appealing. It also offers employment opportunities across a range of sectors, and it is an affordable option. Although there is something to suit all ages in this city, it is a great choice for retirement as there is a high senior population. The only negative feature of Cape Coral is that educational achievement is low compared to the state’s average.
According to Bank Rate, the best place to live on the west coast of Florida is Tampa. There are many reasons why this is a great city, but two of the key factors are the low crime rates and the low housing costs. A further reason that people should consider this location as an option is the strong employment market, as there are job opportunities across many industries. It is also a city that offers a vast array of leisure options to suit all tastes and ages. Furthermore, it is a welcoming city with community diversity.