The Florida Gulf Coast is known for its white-sand beaches, year-round summer weather, and tons of fun things to do. It’s a great place to live if you love being outside and you want to be close to the beach.
With its laid-back vibe and year-round warm weather, the Gulf Coast is a great place to live. The region offers an array of fun-filled cities, coastal towns, and seaside villages. But which are the best?
There are many factors to consider when choosing a new city to call home on the gulf coast of Florida. The overall cost of living, housing costs, weather, crime rate, and quality of schools are all important considerations.
We’ve taken all these factors into account and created a list of the top places in the Gulf Coast region of Florida.
If you are relocating here for work or just looking for a new place to call home then you need a way to decide which city will be the best place for you. The following cities are ranked highest on our list of the top best places to live on the Gulf Coast of Florida.
10. Venice, Florida
Venice is one of the best places to live on the Gulf Coast of Florida, with great weather all year round, Venice Beach is a perfect vacation spot. This beautiful city offers something for everyone.
Venice has a large selection of rental homes and condos right on the beach with access to swimming, fishing, and boating. If you are an outdoors kind of person then this is the place to be.
Venice is a very conducive environment for families and children with plenty of activities for all ages. You will find shopping centers, restaurants, grocery stores, and movie theaters within minutes from your home in Venice Florida.
Venice has great schools, affordable housing, a fun downtown area, and easy access to beautiful beaches. There are plenty of things to do and see in this small city that draws visitors from across the country and around the world.
Housing in Venice is relatively affordable and the city does not have an income tax. One reason for the low cost of living is that there are no high-rise buildings or luxury condos in Venice.
The historic homes and condominiums that line the scenic canals offer something different from what you can find in other cities along Florida’s Gulf Coast.
9. Cape Coral, Florida
Cost of Living Index:117.3
Median Home Value:$358,440
Crime Rate: 46% lower than the national average
Unemployment Rate: 4.8%
Cape Coral is one of the best places to live on the Gulf Coast of Florida because it has so much to offer all year round. You can come here, relax, swim and fish in our beautiful ocean and bays, enjoy your family in our state-of-the-art parks and playgrounds, or shop along our quaint streets with our world-class boutiques and restaurants.
Cape Coral is an extremely diverse city when it comes to education. There are plenty of schools in the area, including charter schools and private schools, so your children will have plenty of choices when it comes to going to school.
The public school system is excellent, and there are also several colleges within a short distance from the city. If you are interested in attending a university, then you should check out some of the options available in nearby Sarasota.
It is common for people who have worked hard all their lives to retire on Florida’s Gulf Coast. Cape Coral has a lot of home options for retirees looking for some great weather, a low cost of living, and plenty of activities to keep them busy throughout their retirement years.
If you’ve worked hard all your life and now it’s time to kick back and enjoy yourself, then you should consider moving to Cape Coral.
8. Dunedin, Florida
Cost of Living Index: 105
Median Home Value: $399,900
Crime Rate: 48% lower than the national average
Unemployment Rate: 3.9%
Dunedin is an amazing city located on Tampa Bay just north of Clearwater. It is famous for being a great place to raise a family. Dunedin has some of the best schools in the state, and it is also very safe for families with children.
There are plenty of parks, and there is even an aquarium where you can spend time with your kids or grandkids by taking them there for exciting educational experiences.
If you want to enjoy the beach without worrying about dangerous undertows or rip currents, then you need to choose Dunedin as your home in Florida.
This city is home to over 35,000 residents and is located in Pinellas County. Dunedin is also a major tourist destination because it has so much to offer.
Tampa has great weather, but Dunedin is only about 25 minutes away from the big city. It’s not too far away for people who work in Tampa or St. Petersburg, but it’s just far enough that the commute isn’t bad if you live there. It’s also close to Clearwater and all its attractions.
In addition to being a great place to live, Dunedin is a wonderful place to visit as well. It has great restaurants, nice beaches, and beautiful homes.
If you’d like to live in Florida but don’t want to pay high prices for rent or property taxes, then consider moving to Dunedin.
7. Naples, Florida
Cost of Living Index: 111.9
Median Home Value: $376,822
Crime Rate: 36% lower than the national average
Unemployment Rate: 4%
Situated between Tampa Bay and the Gulf of Mexico, Naples is a playground for the rich and famous. Nicknamed “The Emerald Coast” for its glistening emerald waters, Naples boasts more than 12 miles of white sand beaches.
People come from all over the world to experience this paradise city where everything is seemingly perfect. If you have $1 million or more in your pocket, you can rent a luxury condo overlooking some of the most beautiful views in the world.
But if your budget doesn’t allow for such extravagance, then don’t worry. There are plenty of places to live in Naples at prices that fit almost any budget. Many reasonably priced neighborhoods are just as nice as some of those luxury communities.
6. Fort Myers, Florida
Cost of Living Index: 96.2
Median Home Value: $269,700
Crime Rate: 18% lower than the national average
Unemployment Rate: 5.3%
Fort Myers is one of the best places to live on the Gulf Coast of Florida. The city has over 50 miles of beaches, including beautiful sugar-white beaches and some of the best surfing around.
There are many different types of housing available in Fort Myers, with some neighborhoods having a more coastal feel, while others have a more tropical look. Some neighborhoods are upscale and elegant, while others are more rural and natural.
For people who prefer an outdoor lifestyle, there is no shortage of activities in Fort Myers. From fishing to boating to swimming, there is always something fun to do on the water.
Sports enthusiasts will find that this city has lots to offer when it comes to golfing and tennis as well. Several museums offer historical insight into this region’s past.
Fort Myers residents enjoy a moderate climate year-round, with temperatures in the 70s during summer months and between 60 and 80 degrees during winter months. It barely ever dips below freezing here in the wintertime, making it one of the warmer areas in Florida.
5. Pensacola, Florida
Cost of Living Index:87.3
Median Home Value: $280,000
Crime Rate: 9% lower than the national average
Unemployment Rate: 3.8%
Pensacola, Florida is a great place to live. It has a lot of wonderful things to offer its residents. If you are looking for a place to live on the Gulf Coast, Pensacola is one of the best places to look.
It has beautiful weather and gorgeous beaches to enjoy. There are also plenty of attractions around Pensacola.
There are plenty of outdoor activities that you can do in Pensacola such as kayaking, fishing, or golfing. There are also plenty of entertainment opportunities.
Pensacola is home to many great restaurants with delicious food options. You can also find a variety of shopping venues that offer unique items.
You can visit Fort Pickens and see the beautiful views of Santa Rosa Island. You can also visit Pensacola Beach and enjoy the sounds of the water and the relaxing sand under your feet.
There are many great places to stay in Pensacola, including hotels and condos. There are also plenty of restaurants in Pensacola, so you will never have to worry about going hungry when you visit this beautiful city.
4. Bonita Springs, Florida
Cost of Living Index: 113.8
Median Home Value: $489,310
Crime Rate: 63% lower than the national average
Unemployment Rate: 4.3%
Bonita Springs is another great place to live on the Gulf Coast of Florida. The city has a lot to offer and a nice location. It is a great place for families because it’s family-friendly and also has businesses that cater to the needs of both young and old alike.
Tampa is only 20 miles away, yet Bonita Springs retains its small-town charm. You can enjoy swimming in the Gulf of Mexico, boating, fishing, or relaxing on beautiful beaches.
There are plenty of activities for everyone with enough room for children to play and parents to relax without worrying about them.
The community offers a picturesque setting, affordable homes, and a great location for your family. There are several different neighborhoods in Bonita Springs.
There are several different parks and recreational activities available for residents of Harbour Hills. Children have access to tennis courts, basketball courts, and a playground.
Bonita Springs has a variety of shopping centers for residents to enjoy, including The Shops at Matlacha which features over 20 shops and restaurants that include an ice cream shop, hair salon, and candle store
Whether you’re looking for a small-town atmosphere or the amenities and attractions of a larger city, Bonita Springs can offer the best of both worlds.
Related: The 12 Wealthiest Cities in Florida
3. Tampa – St. Petersburg, Florida
Cost of Living Index: 100.1
Median Home Value: $370,000
Crime Rate: 23% lower than the national average
Unemployment Rate: 3.6%
Tampa St. Petersburg is one of the best places to live on the Gulf Coast of Florida. It has so much to offer from beautiful beaches with amazing sunsets to great restaurants, museums, and shopping. People are very friendly in this city and it is so easy to get around.
Tampa St. Petersburg has a mix of urban and suburban living with a beautiful waterfront district full of shops and restaurants, along with excellent schools. This city also has great golf courses!
There are many things to do in Tampa St. Petersburg and plenty of outdoor activities to be enjoyed including fishing, kayaking, paddle boarding, biking, and hiking.
Many beautiful parks offer playgrounds, picnic areas, basketball courts, tennis courts, and volleyball nets for people who want to enjoy themselves or take their kids out for a day of fun.
The downtown business district features several shopping malls, sidewalk cafes, and bars that are always hopping with activity at night. The St. Pete Beach area is also a popular tourist attraction with white sandy beaches stretching for miles along the Gulf Coast.
2. Sarasota, Florida
Cost of Living Index:102.7
Median Home Value: $459,000
Crime Rate: 8% lower than the national average
Unemployment Rate: 4.5%
For many, Sarasota is one of the best places to live on the Gulf Coast of Florida, with its white-sand beaches and beautiful sunsets. Yet this city has much more to offer than just sandy shores: it’s a culturally diverse community in which to live, work and play.
Sarasota is a gateway to the islands of the Gulf of Mexico, including the world-renowned barrier islands of Siesta Key and Lido Key.
With their gently sloping beaches and warm, clear waters, they are among the most sought-after destinations in Florida. Siesta Key was recently named one of America’s Best Beaches by TripAdvisor!
Whether you’re planning a weekend getaway or looking for an extended vacation, Sarasota offers all the conveniences you need at your fingertips.
From world-class shopping and dining to outdoor recreation that stretches from kayaking to hiking to golfing, Sarasota has something for everyone.
If you’re looking for an action-packed adventure or a relaxing escape from the busyness of life, Sarasota is where it’s at!
1. Tallahassee, Florida
Cost of Living Index: 93.8
Median Home Value: $220,100
Crime Rate: 7% lower than the national average
Unemployment Rate: 5%
Tallahassee is the capital of Florida and the largest city in the region. The city is located on a hill, so it has a great view of the surrounding areas.
The city has a population of around 190,000 people and it is growing rapidly. Tallahassee has a lot of natural beauty, which makes it one of the best places to live on the Gulf Coast of Florida.
The city also has some beautiful architecture that reflects the Spanish Colonial Revival style that was popular during its early days. Even today there are many buildings in this style that can be seen all over town.
One building that stands out today is The Governor’s Mansion, which was built in 1921 and remains Tallahassee’s official residence of Florida’s Governor today.
The weather in Tallahassee is like the rest of Florida. The summers are very hot and humid, while the winters are milder than in other parts of Florida.
Some parts of Tallahassee can get cold during their winter months, but for the most part, temperatures never dip below 30 degrees Fahrenheit.
In addition to a rich history, Tallahassee offers many activities for people to enjoy. There are museums like the Thomas Center for Contemporary Art and Natural History Museum of North Florida, which allows visitors to explore both its natural environment as well as its culture and history through exhibits and programs.