10 Best Places to Live in Florida for Families

By PropertyClub Team
May 24th 2024
The best places to live in Florida for families are Niceville, Port Saint Lucie, Naples, and Tampa. Florida has always been a popular choice for American families because of its beautiful weather, incredible beaches, and low taxes. This list of the top ten best places to raise a family in Florida will help you decide where you and your family should call home.

From the serene beaches of Niceville to the bustling streets of Tampa, each location on this list provides a unique blend of safety, education, and recreational opportunities. Make sure to also check out our list of the most dangerous cities in Florida so that you can pick the best locations for you and your family.

hash-mark10 Best Places to Live in Florida for Families (2024)

  1. Niceville
  2. Port Saint Lucie
  3. Naples
  4. Tampa
  5. Ponte Vedra Beach
  6. Pensacola
  7. Ocala
  8. Melbourne
  9. Fort Myers
  10. Sarasota

hash-mark1. Niceville

The best place for a family to live in Florida is Niceville. This small city is located along the Florida panhandle in Okaloosa County, a section affectionately known as the Emerald Coast. Niceville offers residents pristine beaches, turquoise waters, and peaceful living, making it a perfect spot for both families and retirees. Ultimately, Niceville’s unique combination of natural amenities, friendly atmosphere, low crime rates, acclaimed school systems, and affordable housing make it the best place to raise a family in Florida.

hash-mark2. Port Saint Lucie

Port Saint Lucie is also one of the best places to raise a family in Florida. This city is located on the state’s eastern coast and is situated between Orlando and Miami. An excellent area for nature lovers, Port Saint Lucie, has an abundance of environmental preserves, hiking trails, rivers, and beaches. Port Saint Lucie is also one of the safest cities in Florida

Sports fans will also appreciate the city for its various golf courses and may even catch a glimpse of the New York Mets practicing on their spring training field. Additionally, crime rates in Port Saint Lucie are some of the lowest in the state, making it a safe area for local families.

hash-mark3. Naples

Naples is located on the Gulf of Mexico and is another first-rate choice for raising a family on Florida’s southwestern coast. Infamous for its sugar-sand beaches, incredible weather, and gently lapping waters, Naples is perfect for those looking for classic Florida essence. This city is also known for its collection of high-end retailers, fine dining, boutique shopping, and sophisticated culture.

Home prices and monthly rents in Naples are among the highest on this list as the city is one of the wealthiest cities in Florida. However, if you can afford living here, you'll enjoy a high quality of life and plenty of amenities including the city’s stunning state parks, dolphin-viewing venues, and abundance of other family-fun activities are well worth the cost. Ultimately, Naples is certain to have something for everyone in the family. 

hash-mark4. Tampa

Tampa is another one of the best places to live in Florida for families. Located only a short distance from the Gulf of Mexico and Busch Gardens, residents of this community can find both quiet beach living and family-friendly entertainment. Other local amenities include the Florida Aquarium and plenty of local parks, museums, first-class eateries, and walkable streets. Additionally, Tampa’s home prices and rental rates are some of the best in the state, making it a highly affordable area for families considering Florida’s southwestern coast.

hash-mark5. Ponte Vedra Beach

Ponte Vedra Beach is one of the best places for upper-income Florida families. Located just outside of Jacksonville on the state’s eastern coast, this upscale city is known for being one of the wealthiest neighborhoods in the state. Residents of Ponte Vedra can enjoy a quiet life with a long list of luxury amenities, including oceanfront views, world-class resorts, stunning custom architecture, and nature reserves. With its beautiful assortment of local beaches, golf courses, temperate weather, and phenomenal school systems, Ponte Vedra is perfect for those who prefer a more extravagant lifestyle. 

hash-mark6. Pensacola

Located in Florida’s northwestern corner, Pensacola is another one of the state’s best areas for families. Lovingly nicknamed the “Cradle of Naval Aviation,” Pensacola possesses a proud military heritage and is home to the Naval Air Station and the U.S. Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron. But, in addition to its military service, Pensacola also has beautiful white-sand beaches, emerald-green waters, and some of the best fishing spots in all of Florida. Locals can also take advantage of the area’s low home prices and rental rates, making Pensacola an affordable part of the Gulf Coast. 

hash-mark7. Ocala

Ocala is another one of the best places to live in Florida for families. Located in north central Florida, this city provides residents with a small-town feel while maintaining access to big-city amenities. Locals can enjoy the beautiful tree-lined streets while on their way to attractions such as the Ocala National Forest and the Appleton Museum of Art. And, for those who are interested in equestrian pursuits, Ocala has the best selection of horse farms and events in the state. With some of the finest home prices and rental rates on this list, Ocala is perfect for those interested in an affordable area with high potential.

hash-mark8. Melbourne

Located on the east side of Florida, Melbourne is a great place for families interested in a front-row seat to NASA’s space expeditions. This area is part of the state’s “Space Coast,” a 72-mile stretch of land which includes other cities like Cocoa Beach, Palm Bay, and Port Canaveral. Melbourne is known for its easy access to the Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, where NASA has launched all of its manned space flights.

The city also benefits from a school district ranked in Florida’s top 30 percentile and affordable home prices. In fact, Melbourne is one of the most affordable beach towns in FloridaThe area is sure to impress families of science lovers and future astronauts alike.

hash-mark9. Fort Meyers

Fort Meyers is another one of the best places in Florida to raise a family due to its central location, affordable cost of living, and ample opportunity for outdoor recreation. Located along the Caloosahatchee River in southwestern Florida, Fort Meyers is about 2 hours south of Tampa and 2.5 hours northwest of Miami. It's great for those who like hiking and water sports, with easy access to beaches, marinas, yacht clubs, parks, and nature preserves. It is also a clean, safe city with a violent crime rate 14% lower than the national average. Plus, with a median home price of $405,000, it's more affordable than nearby cities like Tampa or Miami.

hash-mark10. Sarasota

Sarasota is also a good place to raise a family in Florida. With sandy beaches, fantastic weather, and cultural attractions, Sarasota often ranks among the best places to live in Florida for growing families and retirees. It's a small beach city with a population of about 55,000 residents, located on the west coast of Florida, about 60 miles or an hour's drive south of Tampa. Home to notable attractions such as the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art and the Mary Selby Botanical Gardens, you'll always find fun things to do in Sarasota with kids. Plus, the city features quality schools, top-rated hospitals, and other essentials like grocery stores, pharmacies, and restaurants, making it a beach paradise with all your essentials nearby.

hash-markBest Places to Live in Florida Bottom Line

Florida offers many great options for families. For nature lovers, Port Saint Lucie and Pensacola stand out with their low crime rates and abundance of outdoor activities, including nature preserves and beautiful beaches. For those seeking luxury and high-end amenities, Naples and Ponte Vedra Beach are ideal, with their upscale shopping, dining, and excellent schools, though they come with higher housing costs.

Tampa and Fort Myers offer a balance of affordable housing and family-friendly attractions, including parks, museums, and easy access to beaches. They provide a mix of urban and outdoor activities suitable for various family interests. Meanwhile, Ocala and Melbourne cater to those looking for a small-town feel with unique features such as the Ocala National Forest and NASA's Kennedy Space Center.