Is florida a good place to raise a family?.

If you’re thinking about moving to Florida, you might be wondering if it’s an ideal place to raise your family. After all, everyone has their own unique vision of what’s best for their loved ones.

As Florida residents and a team who has sold millions in real estate to Florida families, we have a good idea of which type of family Florida is best for.

And to be honest, Florida isn’t for every family. In fact, we have recommended other states to prospective families after moving through their pros and cons list.

So is Florida right for your family?

Let’s dive in and see if the sunshine state is ideal home for you.

Is Florida a good place to live for families who are looking for fun activities?

While we are Florida residents, and it seems like we’d be biased towards Florida, we can honestly say that Florida is a wonderful place to raise a family.

Let’s start with the obvious big items for family fun.

Theme Parks are Awesome for Families

When people think about traveling to Florida, most often they are thinking about Disney World.

And while you might be reading this thinking, “I love beaches, not Mickey,” we get it, but there is a reason nearly 74 million people visit Orlando each year.

In fact, Orlando is the most visited city in the United States.

Theme park capital this is the largest us travel and tourism destination.
Orlando is the largest us travel and tourism destination.

But Florida is so much more than Disney World. There are many attractions in cities all over the state.

Major attractions in Miami, Tampa, Orlando, and Jacksonville


  • Walt Disney World Resort
  • Universal Orlando Resort
  • SeaWorld Orlando
  • LEGOLAND Florida Resort
  • Gatorland
  • Old Town (Located in Kissimmee but close to Orlando)


  • Busch Gardens Tampa Bay
  • Adventure Island
  • ZooTampa at Lowry Park
  • MOSI (Museum of Science & Industry)
  • Dinosaur World


  • Jungle Island
  • Miami Seaquarium
  • Santa’s Enchanted Forest (Seasonal)
  • Crandon Park Amusement Center (Seasonal)
  • Xtreme Action Park


  • Adventure Landing Jacksonville Beach
  • Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens
  • Catty Shack Ranch Wildlife Sanctuary
  • MOSH! The Museum of Science & History
  • iFLY Indoor Skydiving

Honorable Mentions:

  • Kennedy Space Center (Space Coast)
  • Everglades National Park (Homestead)
  • Key West (Key West)
  • South Beach (Miami)
  • St. Augustine Historic District (St. Augustine)
  • The Ringling (Sarasota)
  • Bok Tower Gardens (Lake Wales)
  • Dry Tortugas National Park (Key West)

Living in Orlando, we can confidently say that we make the most of our theme park experiences. And, we get to go whenever we want.

It never gets old seeing the kids’ smiles like this.

A man is holding a little girl in front of a crowd at disney world.
A couple of kids at Disney

Florida Beaches are Amazing for Families

Florida is renowned for its family-friendly beaches that offer ample space, safety, and convenience.

The state’s pristine shorelines provide a picturesque setting for families to build sandcastles, swim in the calm waters, and create cherished memories.

The presence of well-maintained restrooms and expansive beach spaces ensures a comfortable and enjoyable beach day for families with children of all ages.

Beach NameBathroomsBeach SpaceSafety Features
Siesta Key BeachYesExpansiveLifeguards, Calm Waters
Clearwater BeachYesSpaciousLifeguards, Well-patrolled
Destin BeachYesWideLifeguards, Safe Swimming Areas
Naples BeachYesExpansiveLifeguards, Gentle Waves
Fort Lauderdale BeachYesSpaciousLifeguards, Family-friendly Amenities

Each of these beaches offers a unique blend of space, safety, and amenities to guarantee a delightful visit for families.

We absolutely love visiting Treasure Island just outside of Tampa for the incredible annual sand sculpting competition known as Sanding Ovations.

A sand castle on the beach with a castle in the background.
Sand Castle at Sanding Ovations Treasure Island, FL

While it may not be practical flying in from out of town for, it’s certainly an event that we’re willing to drive an hour for. The local experience is truly incredible!

Florida is an Outdoor Haven for Families

Florida offers a rich array of natural features perfect for families to explore and enjoy.

From the refreshing springs in the central region to the mesmerizing coral reefs in the south, the state ensures a delightful natural escape for every family member.

State and national parks facilitate a host of activities including hiking, biking, and wildlife viewing, allowing families to connect with nature while having fun.

The extensive network of biking trails across the state offers an adventurous outing for biking enthusiasts of all ages.

Feature TypeNameLocationHighlights
National ParkEverglades National ParkSouthern FloridaBird watching, hiking, boat tours
State ParkBlue Spring State ParkCentral FloridaManatee viewing, swimming, hiking
Biking TrailShark Valley TrailEvergladesWildlife viewing, cycling
Coral ReefJohn Pennekamp Coral Reef State ParkKey LargoSnorkeling, glass-bottom boat tours
SpringsIchetucknee Springs State ParkFort WhiteTubing, snorkeling, kayaking

These natural spots in Florida offer families a unique opportunity to bond while exploring the beauty and diversity of Florida’s landscapes.

Let’s not forget about Florida’s extensive trail system for family bike rides and walks.

Florida has a very extensive network of trails covering thousands of miles.

The exact number can fluctuate based on trail maintenance, new trail creations, and various other factors.

The Florida Trail, which is one of the notable trails in the state, alone offers over 1,500 miles of hiking opportunities.

We specifically chose Florida for its outdoor experience. In fact, we chose one of the best cities for outdoor enthusiasts—Clermont, FL.

With hills reaching over 300 feet, 11 pristine lakes, dozens of trails, a State Park for hiking, and our amazing lakefront beach.

Parks, Lakes, and Family Fun

We are conveniently located between the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico (90 minutes in either direction), making it easy to reach world-class beaches within a short drive.

How is the education in Florida for my family?

When considering a move to the sunny state of Florida, especially with family in tow, education is a pivotal factor.

Florida prides itself on a robust education system, and recent rankings from U.S. News reiterate its standing in the nation.

A screen shot of the education page on a website.
U.S. News Florida Education Ranking

Higher Education: A Cut Above the Rest

Florida boasts the #1 spot in higher education across the United States, a testimony to its remarkable colleges and universities.

This top-notch ranking is not just a feather in Florida’s cap but an assurance for parents envisaging a bright future for their children right in their backyard.

In fact, our daughter-in-law recently graduated from the University of Central Florida outside of Orlando with zero debt and chose to go to school here instead of her hometown in the midwest due to affordability.

Moreover, students graduating from institutions in Florida have a lesser debt burden, averaging at $24,454, compared to the national average of $29,300, which speaks volumes about the state’s affordability paired with quality education.

Additionally, the state provides tons of educational assistance to our veterans with programs such as tuition waivers for Purple Heart recipients and other combat-related disabled veterans.

Florida also supports veterans through housing initiatives, job assistance programs, and offering preference for state employment, helping them transition smoothly to civilian life.

Pre-K to 12 Education: Consistently Good

While the higher education institutions are grabbing the top spot, the Pre-K to 12 education holds a respectable 14th position nationally.

This ranking is an indicator of the consistent quality maintained in Florida’s elementary, middle, and high schools.

With a high school graduation rate of 90.2%, significantly above the national average of 86.5%, Florida ensures a majority of its young residents are well-prepared to take the next big step in their educational journey.

And once they are graduated, as we mentioned above, they’ll have plenty of options for affordable higher education.

The NAEP math scores for the state stand at 271, a close competitor to the national score of 274, showcasing the competencies developed in Florida’s students in foundational subjects, paving the way for a brighter future.

Can I afford to raise my family in Florida?

We’ve written extensively about the cost of the sunshine state and found that Florida is a very affordable place to live.

While it’s not the cheapest state, you can certainly raise a family here without breaking the bank.

Tax Benefits

First and foremost, let’s talk taxes, a significant factor that plays into the affordability of any place.

In Florida, we are blessed with no state income tax, meaning you get to hold onto a larger portion of your hard-earned money compared to many other states.

We moved from Chicago which had an annual income tax of 5%—that’s thousands of dollars each year we gave to Uncle Sam.

Our corporate tax rate stands at a mere 5.5%, fostering business growth and economic development.

Add to that a reasonable property tax rate averaging at 0.83% and a sales tax rate of 7.01%, and you find yourself in a state that genuinely cares for your financial well-being.

Real Estate

When it comes to real estate, Florida offers a spectrum of options to suit different preferences and budgets.

While big cities like Miami, Tampa, and yes, our vibrant Orlando, offer loads of amenities and job opportunities, they come with a higher price tag in real estate.

But wait, didn’t you say Florida was affordable? Yes, and with Florida being an enormous state, you’ll have tons of cities to choose from to fit your budget.

If you venture into smaller towns like Palatka and Sebring, you’ll find pocket-friendly housing options without compromising on the Floridian lifestyle AND you’ll be fairly close to neighboring cities with plenty of job opportunities.

We chose Clermont for our home – a place that is both picturesque and affordable, nestled among stunning lakes and rolling hills.

It not only offers safety from storms but also boasts a strong community vibe, providing all the amenities we desired in proximity.

Clermont Voted Best Lake Town in American

It’s indeed a hidden gem that checked all the boxes in our home search criteria.


Even though Florida stands slightly above the national average when it comes to utility costs, with the average electricity bill around $126.75, internet at about $60.04, and water around $40.18, let us tell you, the slightly higher costs come with unparalleled benefits.

We don’t mind having to run the air conditioner throughout the year because we get year-round sunshine.

Imagine living in a place where the sun is always shining, the beaches are just a drive away, and you are surrounded by tropical waters — we believe it is a small price to pay for paradise!

Is it safe in Florida for my family?

We understand that safety is one of the biggest concerns a family can have when packing up and moving to a new city or state.

Crime in Florida

It is our job to ensure you have all the facts in hand while making the significant decision of moving homes.

One critical aspect we all weigh heavily is safety. We all want to know that the city, neighborhood, and schools we sent our children to will be safe.

We have recently come across some intriguing data about the violent crime rates in a top 20 most violent crime U.S. cities list.

Spoiler alert: Florida doesn’t feature any city on this list!

20 most violent cities in the U.s.

To give you a clear picture, we have broken down the data into a visual aid.

Rather than listing out the cities with the highest crime rates, let’s focus on a more positive note – what this data reveals about the potential safety in Florida cities:

  • Florida doesn’t have a city in the top 20 most dangerous cities in the US
  • Florida is the 3rd largest state by population, yet it doesn’t have a single city in the top 20 most dangerous.

Let’s go one step further—Florida barely cracks the top 100 unsafest cities.

When we look across FBI data for the top 100 most dangerous cities in the US, we find something interesting about Florida: it’s really safe.

Florida doesn’t appear on the list until #56 with Riviera Beach FL and three Florida cities are ranked 76th or higher.

In addition, no major Florida metropolitan made the list (e.g., Orlando, Miami, Tampa, Jacksonville, etc.) make the list.

Only five Florida cities make the top 100 most dangerous cities:

  • Riviera Beach (#56)
  • Palm Springs (#62)
  • Daytona Beach (#76)
  • Panama City (#92)
  • Lake Worth (#97)

When relocating to Florida, it is essential to bear in mind that weather, in addition to crime, plays a significant role.

What about the hurricane risk in Florida?

When considering a move to the sunshine state, it is natural to consider the implications of hurricane seasons and how different regions are impacted.

Thankfully, the vast geographical diversity of Florida ensures that there are areas with relatively lower hurricane risks, making them ideal choices for setting up a home.

Now, we aren’t foolish enough to try and convince you living in Florida is without hurricane risk—far from it.

However, we can help you navigate this decision delicately.

If you don’t want to worry much about hurricanes

Central Florida emerges as a beacon of safety with cities such as Orlando, Gainesville, and Tampa boasting fewer hurricane landfalls historically.

In particular, Orlando’s central location not only shields it from the brunt of most hurricanes, but it also offers a rich blend of cultures, vibrant art scenes, and diverse culinary landscapes, ensuring a lively and safe living experience.

Furthermore, Orlando has been fortunate not to have witnessed hurricanes exceeding a Category 2 in its recorded history, providing a sense of security and peace of mind for potential residents.

This, combined with the city’s developed infrastructure and community preparedness programs, ensures a resilient response to storms, fostering a safe and harmonious living environment.

Gainesville, with its untouched record by Category 3 hurricanes and above, stands as another promising option.

Coupled with its verdant surroundings and a strong sense of community, it offers a blend of safety and a high quality of life.

I want to live near the ocean but minimize my risk for hurricanes.

Tampa’s geographical location has historically shielded it from the most severe hurricanes, providing a safer harbor while offering a bustling city life dotted with beautiful beaches and vibrant neighborhoods.

In fact, Tampa is an anomaly when it comes to Florida coastal cities.

Despite being located in the Gulf of Mexico, which is widely known for its frequent hurricane activity, this place has remarkably avoided significant hurricane damage for almost a century.

A newspaper article about a hurricane that has hit tampa over 100 years.
New York Times Paper Shows Tampa’s Incredible 100 Year Hurricane Record

Advancements in weather forecasting technology and early warning systems have added a layer of safety, ensuring residents have ample time to prepare and secure their homes during adverse weather conditions.

These developments have drastically reduced the risks associated with hurricanes, offering a safer environment for Florida’s residents.

Moreover, Florida’s building codes are among the strictest in the nation, ensuring new constructions are designed to withstand hurricane-force winds, offering an additional peace of mind.

Why did we choose Orlando for safety?

We believe that Orlando is an amazing place to live and love our decision.

First, we knew that Orlando was a big city with a ton of amenities to enjoy—that was important to us.

But, we wanted to be safe.

Orlando is known for its great suburban communities, and we fell in love with Clermont because of its hills, lakes, and safety.

Now, Clermont wasn’t the only city we considered. We compared Clermont to Tampa and Winter Garden, and either would have been a great choice.

In addition, Orlando is known for its hurricane safety record.

It’s far enough inland to slow down hurricanes and north enough to give residents ample time to leave should they need to.

We’ve gone through multiple large hurricanes here in Florida and haven’t needed to repair our home or leave the area.

Tell me about the healthcare for a family in Florida

Okay, this is an area Florida could use some improvement.

We try our best to write about topics in Florida with balance.

And, just like we wouldn’t tell someone worried about hurricanes to move to Fort Meyers or someone worried about crime to Lake City, FL—we also have to say that Florida’s healthcare system can use improvements.

The story isn’t all bad, but we need balance and an unbiased understanding of the healthcare environment.

For this, we are using the Commonwealth Fund health data.

The Commonwealth Fund is a private U.S. foundation focused on improving healthcare access, quality, and efficiency, especially for vulnerable populations. Established in 1918, it conducts independent research and grants funds to shape health policy and practice.

So what did the Commonwealth Fund find when analyzing thousands of data points in Florida healthcare?

Florida Healthcare Pros

  • Improvement in Affordability: Florida decreased in the percentage of adults who went without care due to costs (from 17% in 2016 to 14% in 2020).
  • Advancements in Prevention and Treatment: Noticeable improvements in cancer screening and hospital 30-day mortality rates from years prior to 2020.
  • Better Management of Hospital Use & Cost: Improvements seen in avoidable emergency department visits for Medicare beneficiaries aged 65 and older, and reduced hospital readmissions rates.
  • Protecting the Vulnerable: The state achieved a rank of 6 in reducing deaths among nursing home residents during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Florida Healthcare Cons

  • Limited Access to Healthcare: High percentage of uninsured adults and children, with no improvements seen from 2016 to 2020.
  • High Out-of-Pocket Costs: Employees face higher potential out-of-pocket medical costs compared to other states.
  • Inadequate Mental Health Care for Children: A significant number of children did not receive necessary mental health care, showing a deterioration over time.
  • Low Vaccination Rates: Florida had the lowest ranking state for adults receiving flu and pneumonia vaccines in 2020.
  • Increase in Avoidable Hospital Visits: Rise in potentially avoidable emergency department visits for employer-insured individuals aged 18-64.
  • Escalating Drug Overdose Deaths: Increase in drug overdose deaths from 24 per 100,000 population in 2016 to 35 in 2020.
  • Healthcare Disparities: Pronounced healthcare disparities with low-income individuals facing worse health outcomes and an increasing trend of adverse disparities in most indicators.
  • COVID-19 Management Struggles: Florida faced challenges in managing the COVID-19 pandemic, evidenced by prolonged ICU stress days and lower vaccination rates compared to the national average.

**Healthcare data is analyzed over a two year period. The data was reported in 2022 and was compiled during 2020.

While Florida has witnessed improvements in individual health care indicators, a holistic approach that focuses on augmenting accessibility, affordability, and prevention can propel the state to offer a healthcare system that ensures equity and fosters healthy lives for all its residents.


Is Florida a good place for kids sports?

Florida is an incredible place for youths sports.

This is evident by the huge youth participation in sports, year round weather access, and elite training facilities across the state.

In Florida, there was a total of 291,504 youth participants in athletics, split between 162,376 boys and 129,128 girls.

To give a more detailed understanding, let’s see how Florida stands in terms of sports participation compared to other states:

Florida’s Youth Sports Participation

Here is the highlight understanding for someone considering moving:

  • Florida ranks 7th in the nation in terms of total youth sports participation with a substantial number of youths engaged in athletics.
  • Participation for boys (162,376) and girls (129,128) in Florida is amazing.
  • Florida offers a vibrant sports culture for youth, and there would be numerous opportunities for young people to engage in athletics, given its high ranking nationally.

If someone is thinking of moving and considers youth sports participation as an important factor, Florida presents itself as a state with a high level of engagement in youth sports, offering a broad range of opportunities for youth to participate in various athletic activities.

It stands out compared to the national landscape. While it may not have quite the level of offerings from states like Texas or California, we believe Florida will fit most family needs nicely.

Does Florida have professional sports?

Oh yes. The sports culture is amazing for families who love professional sports.

Florida is a hotspot for sports enthusiasts of all ages, with a rich culture that is as vibrant as it is diverse.

In the world of football, we house NFL great teams like the Miami Dolphins, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Jacksonville Jaguars. With the recent resurgence of Dolphins and recent championships of the Buccaneers, there is a lot to be excited about.

Basketball fans? Nothing matches the excitement of a Miami Heat playoff environment. Let’s not forget about the Orlando Magic and their young new crew of future all-stars.

But the buzz doesn’t stop there; the soccer landscape has been revolutionized with the arrival of the global icon, Lionel Messi, to the Inter Miami FC, guaranteeing action-packed matches that are perfect for family outings.

Add to that, affordable ticket prices and stadiums conveniently located near major metros, attending these thrilling games with your family has never been easier.

What is the best family friendly city in Florida?

We believe Clermont, FL is an amazing family-friendly city.

While we can’t say there is a “best family city,” we can offer our personal suggestion.

Clermont, FL is 25 mins east of downtown Orlando, extremely safe, rated one of the top lake-towns in the country, has the National Training Center for Olympians, the future site for “Olympus” a planned 250-acre mixed-use development sports facilities designed to create a comprehensive training environment, and is known for beautiful 300 foot rolling hills nestled amongst 11 pristine lakes.

We could go on and on, but it’s an awesome place.

Should I be worried about hurricanes for my family?

So, you’ve heard about the hurricanes in Florida and are feeling a bit worried, right? Well, we totally get that, but we’re here to share some info that might just put your mind at ease!

First off, yes, there are hurricanes, but guess what? Almost all states in the US face some kind of natural events like these, be it earthquakes, wildfires, or even droughts.

Now when we talk about Florida and hurricanes, not all cities have equal risk.

Central Florida, where you find cities like Orlando, is kind of like a safety shield against hurricanes because of its location far from the coast.

This means storms usually lose a lot of their strength by the time they get there. Plus, if there’s a need to hit the road during a hurricane alert, living in Orlando makes it pretty easy to reach both the east and west coasts for safety.

Notice Central Florida has the slower/less impactful storms (green/yellow)
Notice Central Florida has the slower/less impactful storms (green/yellow)

Now, living near the coast in Florida will have much more risk. It makes sense—hurricanes pick up speed in the water and cause storm surge damage to cities on the coast.

But, there are some cities that have fared better than others.

Cities like Tampa and Melbourne have been lucky stars, facing fewer hurricane troubles compared to other coastal cities in Florida like Miami, and Fort Meyers.

If you are worried, be careful of homes in Broward, Miami-Dade, and Palm Beach Counties.

And here’s a little geography nugget for you: cities by the Gulf Coast usually see more hurricanes than the ones along the Atlantic coast.

The Gulf Coast tends to experience more hurricanes than the Atlantic Coast because the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico fuel hurricane development and growth, providing the ideal conditions for hurricanes to form and intensify.

It’s just something to keep in mind when choosing your perfect spot in Florida.