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Moving to Florida? Why Locals Love Living in These Cities

March 5, 2024 | Moving

Florida’s picturesque Gulf Coast lifestyle attracts people from all over the country who, once they visit, fall in love with the idea of moving here. And who can blame them? Cities like Tampa, St. Petersburg, Naples, and Fort Myers are among the top moving destinations in Florida.

These cities are situated along Florida’s famed Gulf Coast, known for its stunning white sandy beaches, warm Gulf waters, and vibrant coastal communities. Additionally, it’s one of the few states that do not impose a state income tax—a significant advantage for anyone considering moving to Florida.

The Florida lifestyle celebrates a balance of leisure time outdoors combined with the state’s unique blend of natural wonders and urban sophistication. So continue reading to learn more about four of our favorite cities to add to your list of places to explore when planning your Florida move.


  • Population: 387,150
  • Zillow Tampa Home Values: 368,273
  • Fastest Growing Neighborhoods: Historic Hyde Park,v University of Tampa, North Hyde Park, Ridgewood Park, and Seminole Heights.

The Tampa Bay metropolitan area is spread across three distinct cities —Tampa, St. Petersburg, and Clearwater—each with a unique character. Tampa, which is located to the north of the bay, is Florida’s third-largest city. People move to Tampa for its exceptional healthcare facilities, cultural diversity, and subtropical climate.

There’s something for everyone in Tampa. Sports enthusiasts who love tailgating often favor moving to Tampa over Orlando because of its professional sports teams, including the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning, MLB’s Tampa Bay Rays, NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and USL’s Tampa Bay Rowdies. Nearby attractions like Tampa Bay and Adventure Island offer thrilling rides, water slides, and other outdoor activities for families and adrenaline-seekers alike.

Tampa is surrounded by several coastal destinations, including Clearwater Beach, St. Pete Beach, and Fort De Soto Park; beautiful beaches are known for their pristine sands, sky-blue waters, and scenic palm-lined shores that attract snowbirds, couples, and families from far and wide. 


  • Population: 19,618
  • Zillow Naple Home Values: 595,784
  • Fastest Growing Neighborhoods: Gulf Shore Boulevard North, Royal Harbor, Naples Park, and The Isles of Collier Preserve.

Located on the Gulf Coast of Florida, Naples is a metropolitan area situated an hour south of Fort Myers. Known for its tropical charm, Naples is a popular destination for visitors and seasonal residents who enjoy luxury shopping, fine dining options, and championship golf courses. Despite being relatively small, Naples has a vibrant cultural scene with art galleries, theaters, and museums.

Unsurprisingly, Naples, like Sarasota and Fort Myers, is recognized as among the state’s best retirement places. It’s nestled within Florida’s Paradise Coast region, which includes Marco Island and the Everglades. Naples has a higher cost of living than most other cities in Florida, particularly regarding housing.

Along with its idyllic coastal setting, Naples also offers convenient access to larger cities. Miami is approximately two hours away by car, and Tampa is reachable in under three hours. This accessibility enhances Naples’ appeal as a moving destination, allowing residents to explore diverse cultural and recreational activities beyond their beachside community.

Fort Myers

  • Population: 95,945
  • Zillow Fort Myers Home Values: $366,739
  • Fastest Growing Neighborhoods: Briar Ridge, Florimond Manor, The Rookery, Eastwood Village, Serena Park, Winkler North, and Brookshire Village.

Situated near the Caloosahatchee River, Fort Myers offers more affordable housing options. Its historical significance, mainly as the winter home of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford, is a fun fact to share with visiting friends and family. Besides a rich history, if Fort Myers is on your list of places to move to, get ready to embrace an active lifestyle.

Choose from fishing and golfing; there are endless opportunities for outdoor adventures, from deep sea fishing and paddle boarding to music festivals and farmers’ markets. Or enjoy a weekend kayaking and canoeing in scenic locations such as the Caloosahatchee National Wildlife Refuge, Powell Creek Preserve, and Estero Bay Aquatic Preserve.

Anyone who loves the sun and sand appreciates Fort Myers’s proximity to the gorgeous Captiva and Sanibel Islands, which are just an hour’s drive away and home to some of Florida’s hidden gem beaches, including Tarpon Bay Beach, Lighthouse Beach & Fishing Pier, and Bowman’s Beach.

St Petersburg

Located on Florida’s Gulf Coast, St. Petersburg is a highly desirable destination for anyone considering a move to Florida. As the fifth-largest city in the state, this oceanside city combines an urban lifestyle that meets coastal charm, making it an attractive choice for everyone from young families and couples to retirees. With its scenic waterfront setting along Tampa Bay, as a resident of St. Petersburg, you’ll be within arms’ reach of stunning beaches, vibrant cultural attractions, and a thriving arts scene.

St. Petersburg’s diverse neighborhoods offer a range of housing options, from historic bungalows in charming downtown districts to modern high-rise waterfront apartments overlooking the bay. Additionally, St. Petersburg enjoys a strong sense of community, with numerous local events, festivals, and farmers markets that bring residents together to celebrate the city’s unique charm.

Beyond its natural beauty and vibrant lifestyle, St. Petersburg is conveniently located near major metropolitan areas, including Tampa and Sarasota. So, there is never a shortage of things to do or places to go when you live in St. Petersburg. Whether you’re drawn to St. Petersburg for its coastal beauty, cultural vibrancy, or warm climate, this dynamic city offers something for everyone looking to make Florida their new home.

In Summary

You can have it all, regardless of the Florida lifestyle you’re looking for. House hunters will discover hidden gems in eclectic neighborhoods. Job seekers love networking at innovative startups, and everyone enjoys laid-back weekends with lots of sunshine and fresh air. In other words, the Florida lifestyle offers a perfect blend of work and play, creativity and relaxation.

Moving to Florida? Find a Metro Self Storage Near Your Neighborhood

We have been providing industry-leading storage solutions since 1973. So, whether starting your Florida house-hunting journey or packing up the moving truck, visit Metro Self Storage in Florida to read our great reviews and choose your storage solution.

Our modern storage facilities offer a range of features to make your moving experience as smooth as possible. Some of the state-of-the-art storage highlights include:

  • Rent online, in person, or over the phone.
  • Move in on the same day you rent your unit.
  • Climate-controlled and drive-up units.
  • Large, covered loading bays.
  • Well-lit spaces and 24-hour video security.
  • Online bill pay and flexible month-to-month leasing.

At Metro Self Storage, we understand that moving to a new home can be a stressful experience. Whether you’re moving to Florida from another state or just across town, our friendly and professionally trained storage teams are always ready to assist you with all of your questions.