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24 of the Best Places to Retire in Florida

Retirement is such a wonderful stage of life. You’ve done your duty all those years by earning a living, possibly raising a family, and now you get to enjoy the fruits of that labor. It’s a much sought-after and highly deserved reward.

That makes wringing every drop of fun and enjoyment out of your retirement a vital goal. And a huge part of that is choosing where you’ll retire.

Sure, you can retire in your current location, maybe even in your current home. But wouldn’t you rather be in Florida?

Of course you would! The only research that remains now is to find the best towns to retire in Florida.

Is Florida One of the Best Places to Live in for Retirees?

Florida has been one of the most popular retirement destinations for decades. And for good reason! Actually, three good reasons: sun, sand, and a low cost of living. If you want more, add affordable home or retirement community prices, friendly people, beautiful sites, plenty of opportunity for adventure, great cuisine, and culture, would famous amusement parks, no snow — need we go on?

Many make the decision when they retire to never have to shovel or drive in snow ever again. Or really feel cold at all. And just about every day is a beach day when you live in Florida (there’s a reason they call it the Sunshine State, after all!), making it perfect for anyone who enjoys spending time outdoors, even when they want a break from the beach.

Another major reason Florida is one of the best places to live in for retirees is that your retirement income goes much farther there than in many other states. This bears repeating: not only is Florida a beautiful and wonderful place to live, it’s also more affordable than most other states in the union.

The Sunshine State has absolutely zero income tax, so any taxable income you have, whether it’s Social Security or anything else, is not going to be subject to state taxes. Cost of living is entirely reasonable as well.

All this adds up to: yes, Florida is a good place for retirement! Here are just a few of the best places to retire in Florida if you’re thinking of heading to the Sunshine State:

Best Places to Retire in Florida Without Hurricanes

While Florida is known for its vulnerability to hurricanes, there are areas within the state that are less prone to them. Here are some of the best places to retire in Florida that are generally considered to be less susceptible to hurricanes:


Located inland, Gainesville is less likely to be directly impacted by hurricanes. This vibrant college town boasts a relaxed atmosphere thanks to the presence of the University of Florida. Beyond its academic charm, Gainesville offers a rich cultural tapestry with theaters, museums, art galleries, parks, and nature reserves that cater to the diverse interests of retirees.


A bit more inland than most Florida cities, Ocala offers a quieter, more rural setting. Ocala has one big draw that sets it apart from beachfront property in that it’s the absolute epicenter of the state’s equestrian culture. More than a few award-winning thoroughbreds have been raised in Ocala. Plus, the lush greenery of the nearby Ocala National Forest means you can enjoy the great outdoors as well!


Situated in the heart of Central Florida, Sebring is one of the best places to retire in Florida without hurricanes. Renowned for its picturesque lakes and serene ambiance, Sebring invites retirees to explore recreational activities like theaters and galleries. It is also home to the Sebring International Raceway, adding an exciting dimension for sports enthusiasts. Please note that while Sebring and others on this list are less likely to face severe hurricanes, no location is guaranteed to never face one.

Lake City

Nestled in the northern part of the state, Lake City presents a favorable option for retirees seeking a hurricane-resistant locale. Beyond its geographical advantage, the city stands out as an affordable living destination compared to coastal areas. Retirees in Lake City can immerse themselves in local events, museums, community gatherings, and parks, offering an active and engaging lifestyle.


Dubbed the “Seaplane City,” Tavares beckons retirees with its tranquil inland setting, providing a peaceful escape from coastal concerns. This charming city is nestled near pristine lakes and natural wonders, offering scenic beauty in addition to its boating and lakeside recreational opportunities.


Another inland option, Leesburg is one of the best places to retire in Florida without hurricanes because of its historic downtown area lined with quaint shops and charming architecture. Leesburg is also close to lakes, offering retirees opportunities for boating, fishing, and relaxation.


Best Beach Towns in Florida to Retire

Florida boasts numerous beach towns that are popular choices for retirees, offering a perfect blend of sun, sand, and a relaxed lifestyle. Here are some of the best beach towns in Florida for retirees:

Boca Raton

Starting with the most obvious choice, as Boca has always been known as one of the best beach towns in Florida to retire. The weather in this city is almost always delightful, it’s got one of the lowest crime rates anywhere, and the medical care available in this Atlantic coast city is second to none. It’s also not quite as expensive to live in Boca as it would be in nearby Fort Lauderdale or Miami, so you may find yourself with more cash to spend at the famous mall. Bonus: as this area is one of the best places to live in Florida for retirees, there is an abundance of top-notch retirement communities.   


The very western tip of the Florida panhandle offers fantastic Gulf Coast living like none other, and the jewel in the crown is Pensacola. Plus, it’s just a stone’s throw from other great places on the coast, with New Orleans close enough to make for a great weekend getaway.

Vero Beach

If you love historical sites, Vero Beach may be the best town to retire in Florida for you. This coastal beauty boasts dozens of places to explore, many of them on the U.S. National Registry of Historic Buildings. If you get tired of that, there’s an unprecedented 26 miles of beaches to enjoy some downtime on, in addition to their museums, shopping, dining, and a burgeoning arts and entertainment scene.


Known for its upscale atmosphere, Naples on the Gulf of Mexico features pristine beaches, cultural amenities, and a sophisticated dining scene. The city’s tropical climate and upscale communities are especially appealing to retirees seeking natural beauty and cultural richness.


Situated on Florida’s west coast, Sarasota combines its beautiful beaches with a thriving cultural scene. Retirees can enjoy arts and theater performances along with the stunning Siesta Key Beach known for its powdery white sand.


Nestled along Florida’s Gulf Coast, Venice is a charming and laid-back town celebrated for its blend of natural beauty and historical charm. Renowned for its tranquil beaches, the soft sands and warm Gulf waters are a serene backdrop for retirees. Venice’s distinctive character is enhanced by its network of canals, earning it the nickname “Venice of America.”

Fort Myers Beach 

Along the shores of Estero Island, Fort Myers Beach has a laid-back coastal charm where retirees can unwind on soft sandy beaches. Fort Myers Beach is a popular destination in Florida thanks to its lively Times Square area, providing a vibrant hub for entertainment, dining, and socializing.

Delray Beach

This beautiful beach town takes pride in its diverse cultural landscape. The lively downtown scene in Delray Beach offers a plethora of festivals and events to foster a vibrant social atmosphere. The iconic Atlantic Avenue strip is a focal point for retirees, lined with boutiques, cafes, and restaurants.


In the picturesque landscape of Palm Beach County, Jupiter’s charm lies not only in its pristine coastal setting but also the diverse array of outdoor activities it offers. Retirees in Jupiter enjoy leisurely rounds of golf, strolling through lush local parks, and savoring culinary delights at beautiful waterfront restaurants.


Best Small Towns in Florida to Retire 

Florida is home to many small towns that offer a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere, making them attractive options for retirees. Here are some of the best small towns to consider for retirement in Florida:

Mount Dora

Located along Lake Dora, this charming small town’s scenic lakeside setting is especially appealing for retirees. Mount Dora is also known for its downtown area and antique shops. Throughout the year, the town comes alive with a variety of annual festivals.


On Florida’s Gulf Coast, Dunedin is a gem of a small coastal town with distinctive features including a vibrant arts scene, charming downtown, and community events. Ideal for beer enthusiasts, Dunedin also offers several local breweries, and nature lovers will appreciate the proximity of Honeymoon Island State Park.

Safety Harbor

Safety Harbor is often referred to as a hidden gem for retirees due to its combination of natural beauty and wellness offerings. The town takes advantage of its waterfront location along Tampa Bay with picturesque parks and is renowned for its spa resorts that offer a haven for relaxation and rejuvenation.

Cedar Key

The proximity of small islands near Cedar Key allows for accessible island hopping for retirees who like to explore. Cedar Key is celebrated for its unspoiled natural beauty, artistic community, and laid-back lifestyle. Fishing enthusiasts and seafood lovers flock to this small town particularly for its clams and oysters.


Sebastian’s proximity to the Indian River Lagoon and Sebastian Inlet State Park provides the community with access to a range of water activities like boating, fishing, kayaking, and observing local wildlife. Residents enjoy the small-town atmosphere that fosters a sense of community making it an appealing destination for those seeking a relaxed lifestyle.


Best Cities to Retire in Florida 

Choosing the best city to retire to in Florida depends on individual preferences, lifestyle priorities, and specific needs. These cities are often considered popular choices for retirement in Florida, each offering unique attributes.


The largest city in Florida, Jacksonville is one of the best places to retire in Florida thanks in part to its affordability. Located in the northern part of the state and sitting right on the Atlantic coast, it’s extremely popular with anyone who loves pristine white beaches and enjoys unwinding with a few rounds of golf. Plus, the area hospitals are very well-respected, with the Mayo Clinic-Jacksonville leading the charge.


They weren’t kidding when they named this neighborhood. There are 38 scenic lakes in this region of the Sunshine State, and because it’s directly between Orlando and Tampa, you’re close to big cities without being in a cramped urban environment. Great for catching your breath after a long day.


Looking for a place that your grandkids will beg to visit? Orlando has it all – especially family-friendly entertainment in the form of countless theme parks! Also, the local University of Central Florida offers plenty of continuing education opportunities for anyone who wants to learn something new.

Port St. Lucie

Affordable Atlantic coast living can be yours in this quaint seaside town in southern Florida. Nearby botanical gardens and state parks offer great opportunities for nature lovers, and baseball fans will surely get a kick out of watching the Mets when they come into town every year for spring training!


Should You Consider a Retirement Community in Florida?

Once you’ve made the decision to move to Florida, you don’t want to have to deal with a house.

Lawn care, home maintenance, property taxes — forget it. Move to a community with an HOA. Or better yet, move to a retirement community.

Modern retirement communities consist of charming neighborhoods and convenient apartment complexes. They offer state-of-the-art amenities, luxury living, fine dining, non-stop activities, and so much more. They are in essence a cruise without the ocean (though since you’re in Florida, you’re still right near the ocean).

They are the perfect way to enjoy Florida retirement.

While you’re considering one of the best places to retire in Florida, think about a Florida continuing care retirement community, sometimes called a life plan community. CCRCs up the ante on retirement communities, providing the same abundance of amenities and activities, but with the added luxury of included healthcare.

What does this mean? It means that, should you ever need a higher level of health support such as assisted living or even skilled nursing, it’s already included within your existing fees, and will occur on the same campus. This gives you incredible peace of mind that you never have to worry about paying for your future.

Acts Retirement-Life Communities is at the forefront of CCRCs. We offer five incredible communities throughout Florida. For more information and a free community info kit to learn more, explore our retirement communities in Florida today!

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