7 Best Places To Live In Northern Florida

Looking for the perfect place to call home in Northern Florida? Look no further! From vibrant cities to charming coastal towns, Northern Florida offers a plethora of options for those seeking an ideal living environment.

Whether you crave the bustling energy of city life or the serene beauty of nature, Northern Florida has something for everyone. With this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the top-rated neighborhoods, amenities, and attractions, ensuring you find the best place to live in Northern Florida that perfectly suits your lifestyle and preferences. Let’s dive into the diverse and enticing communities this region has to offer!

Best places to live in Northern Florida

If you’ve already decided to move to Northern Florida you must keep an eye on the moving to Florida checklist and living cost of Northern Florida.

From exotic beaches to classic hotels and beautiful walking streets, we’ve got you covered in each and everything that you would like to venture about Northern Florida. We will also cover the best places and things for your checklist alongside its education, crime rate, job opportunity, population, and affordability.

So that next time you visit Northern Florida you might be aware of these things in mind.

Best Places to Live in Northern Florida

For people who are planning to move to Northern Florida, this beautiful place has many things to offer them. From permanent residence to forming startups you can do many things in Northern Places.

1. Neptune Beach

  • Population: 7101
  • Cost of living index: 108.6
  • Median Home Value: $557000
  • Crime rates/1000 residents: 18.71
  • Unemployment rates: 4.8%

One of the best places to live in Northern Florida is Neptune Beach. It is situated on the east side of Jacksonville Beach. People who want to move to Northern Florida love sunshine. We guess so do you! Then Neptune Beach would be an ideal place for you. This area has many fun activities to offer to tourists and its people.

World-class educational institutes are there in the Neptune Beach region.

  • Neptune Beach Elementary School
  • Duncan U. Fletcher High School

As you can see its crime rate and unemployment rates are too low. That‘s one of the reasons Neptune beach has a rank in our list of best places to live in Northern Florida.

Pros and Cons of Living in Neptune Beach:

  • Very minimal cost of living
  • Exotic beachfront
  • A little bit crowdy of tourists
  • Crime rate is higher for crowed

Best Places near Neptune Beach:


BrewHound is the best place to go if you have a few hours to kill in Neptune Beach and want to spend time with dogs and beer.

Jarboe Park:

Jarboe Park is a great area for a morning or afternoon walk, located north of Florida Boulevard and west of Route A1A, a few blocks away from the mainland and the beach. The park is located within walking distance of several prominent downtown hotels and contains a small pond with fish, turtles, and birds frequenting the area.

Neptune Beach locality

St. Augustine

  • Population:15,000
  • Cost of living index: 95
  • Median Home Value: $320,000
  • Crime rates/1000 residents: 35
  • Unemployment rates: 4%

St. Augustine, Florida, the oldest city in the United States, is a historic gem nestled along the northeast coast. With its rich history, picturesque downtown, and stunning beaches, St. Augustine offers residents an unparalleled living experience.

Explore cobblestone streets lined with centuries-old architecture, visit landmarks like the Castillo de San Marcos and the Lightner Museum, or relax on pristine beaches along the Atlantic Ocean.

Whether strolling through the charming historic district or enjoying outdoor activities like fishing and boating, St. Augustine provides endless opportunities for recreation and relaxation. With a thriving arts scene, diverse dining options, and a welcoming community, it’s no wonder St.

Augustine is a top choice for those seeking a unique and vibrant place to call home in Northern Florida. Experience the magic of St. Augustine and discover why it’s one of the best places to live in the Sunshine State.

READ NEXT:  10 Best Nude Beaches in Florida (With Dos and Don'ts)

Pros and Cons of Living in St. Augustine

  • St. Augustine’s rich history, with landmarks such as the Castillo de San Marcos and the Lightner Museum, offers residents a unique cultural experience.
  • Situated along the northeast coast of Florida, St. Augustine boasts beautiful beaches and opportunities for water-based activities like fishing, surfing, and boating.
  • The city’s picturesque downtown area is filled with charming shops, restaurants, art galleries, and entertainment venues, providing residents with a lively and dynamic urban environment.
  • With access to parks, nature preserves, and outdoor trails, St. Augustine offers ample opportunities for hiking, biking, kayaking, and enjoying the natural beauty of the surrounding area.

2. Tallahassee

  • Population:196169
  • Cost of living index: 93.8
  • Median Home Value: $243,894
  • Crime rates/1000 residents: 44.7
  • Unemployment rates: 4%

Tallahassee is one of the most important economical cities in Florida. And considered as one of the best places to live in Northern Florida. As it is the capital of Florida it has many opportunities for young adults. Tallahassee defies the assumptions most people have about Florida, with its undulating hills and moss-draped oak-lined lanes.

The Capital City has a rich history and culture to offer, as well as plenty of fun and authenticity. The city is defined by a blend of global flair with Southern charm.

Tallahassee is located in Florida’s Panhandle along the I-10 corridor. This is a place where college meets history, politics meets culture, and natural experiences abound.

Tallahassee, the state capital, is located in the Florida Panhandle and is becoming a more popular entrance point for travelers to the state.

Northern Florida is frequently overlooked in favor of Miami’s beach lifestyle and Central Florida’s amusement parks, but the region has a lot to offer, including distinct historical monuments, natural beauty, and cultural attractions.

Best Places near Tallahassee:


The Apalachicola National Forest, which extends between the town and Tallahassee, is an excellent place to explore native woodlands, take tranquil hikes, and observe some of the local species.

While in town, you may also learn about the history of the Florida lumber industry and relax in the parks that border the shore and offer spectacular views of the Gulf.

Defuniak Springs:

DeFuniak Springs is historically significant and a great town to live in Florida’s panhandle. This is an excellent spot to see some Old Florida-style architecture and learn about the rich history and culture of America.

During the Victorian era, the DeFuniak Springs resort was a guarded campus that hosted presidents, musicians, and performers. The region has since been conserved, and structures on the US National Register of Historic Places can be found there.

Pros and Cons of Living in Tallahassee:

  • A well-developed educational system
  • There are numerous outdoor activities available.
  • Low commuting hours and light traffic
  • Costs of housing are increasing.
  • The location is remote from popular beaches.
Best Places To Live In Northern Florida_Tallahassee

Learn More: 11 Best Places to Live in Central Florida

3. Gainesville

  • Population: 141,085
  • Cost of living index: 89.9
  • Median Home Value: $257,624
  • Crime rates/1000 residents: 7.46
  • Unemployment rates: 4.4%

Gainesville lies in the heart of northern Florida, strategically situated between many of the state’s major cities. Jacksonville, Orlando, and the Atlantic Ocean’s gorgeous beaches can all be reached in approximately 2 hours. This is one of the best places to live with your family in Northern Florida.

The University of Florida is located in Gainesville, which has all of the charm and activities of a youthful college town. Many activities are available at the campus, such as attending a match of the Florida Gators.

There are, however, a few drawbacks to consider. Gainesville experiences hot and humid weather for virtually the whole year. After all, it’s known as “The Swamp,” so expect a lot of rain and humidity.

Finally, while there are excellent work opportunities at the university and in the healthcare system, Gainesville does not have many huge corporations. However, in recent years, it has emerged as a hotbed for tech startups and research organizations, suggesting that job growth may continue in the future.

That’s why Gainesville is on the list of the best places in Northern Florida to live. If you’re planning to move to this city then let me tell you, this decision may thank your wallet too, as this city is inexpensive compared to other cities in Northern Florida.

Best Places near Gainesville:

Butterfly Rainforest:

Hundreds of free-flying butterflies, generally more than 50 species at any given time, birds from around the world, and a variety of other creatures, including turtles and fish, are on display in this live show.

Skilled interpretive professionals are on hand to answer questions and create a personal and engaging experience for guests.

Operation City Quest scavenger:

Complete the Operation City Quest scavenger hunt while walking around Gainesville! Use an app to find a list of objects in any order you like across the city and complete exciting challenges for points. Check out our other post on the best travel apps to find nearby sights and attractions. Collect points and compare your results to those of others across the country.

READ NEXT:  16 Beaches With Clearest Water In Florida: Clear as Crystal

If you are a beer lover, Gainesville has some of the best breweries that you should not miss.

Pros and Cons of Living in Gainesville:

  • The excitement and activities of a college town
  • Low living costs
  • The setting is ideal.
  • Housing market geared toward students
  • The weather is hot and humid.

4. Live Oak

  • Population: 6,890
  • Cost of living index: 82.6
  • Median Home Value: $380,021
  • Crime rates/1000 residents: 1.71
  • Unemployment rates: 1.71%

With only 6,890 residents, Live Oak is the smallest community on our list of the finest and safest places to live in northern Florida and is a wonderful choice for families.

It’s an hour’s drive from both Tallahassee and Gainesville, and it’s a little town with tree-lined streets where everyone knows and watches out for one another.

The best thing about Live Oak is how inexpensive it is. The cost of living in Live Oak is nearly 18% lower than the national average. This makes Live Oak one of the most affordable places to live in Florida.

Meanwhile, according to Zillow, the average home price is under $140,000, making it highly accessible for both young families and seniors on a fixed income.

There are also many community events to keep you connected to society and retain the town’s close-knit atmosphere. In and around Live Oak, there are also numerous green spots for hiking and riding.

Heritage Park and Gardens, as well as Woods Ferry Conservation Area and Twins Rivers State Forest, are both located in the heart of town.

However, you may find that there aren’t many work prospects in the city, and you’ll have to commute a little further.

Best Places to Visit near Live Oak:

Suwannee River State Park:

The river begins in the Okefenokee Swamp and winds its way through the Florida panhandle. Stephen Foster wrote the song “Old Folks at Home” in 1851, in which he refers to the river Suwannee. It is still the state song of Florida.

The 171-mile Suwannee River Wilderness Trail runs from White Springs to the Gulf of Mexico. Campgrounds and state parks can be found along the river.

Read Also: 10 Amazing Campgrounds in Florida

Heritage Park and Gardens:

This renowned Live Oak green park has 90 acres of gorgeous gardens. Visitors and residents alike may enjoy a wide range of outdoor activities thanks to the expansive terrain. On-site amenities include various walking routes, a disc golf course, a picnic area, and a playground.

Throughout the year, several events are held, such as a Civil War Re-enactment.

Wes Skiles Peacock Springs State Park:

The Wes Skiles Peacock Springs State Park has two mainsprings, a spring stream, and six sinkholes in excellent shape. If you’ve never cave-dived before, you probably don’t know what that entails.

Certified divers will teach you how to do underwater caving. their certification allows them to dive into the continent’s longest underwater cave system. These breathtaking underwater caverns are available in only a few places in the world.

Related Post: 12 Epic Natural Springs to Visit in Florida

Pros and Cons of Living in Live Oak:

  • Low living costs
  • Families will love it.
  • Green places are important.
  • Job opportunities are scarce.
  • For young professionals, it’s too quiet.
Suwannee River State Park
Suwannee River State Park

5. Jacksonville

  • Population: 949,611
  • Cost of living index: 94.2
  • Median Home Value: $273,730
  • Crime rates/1000 residents: 6.79
  • Unemployment rates: 4.5%

Jacksonville is the largest city on our list, as well as the state’s economic and financial hub. It boasts a lively downtown area as well as several calm residential areas in the surrounding area.

There is also simple access to the outdoors, as it is one of the best metropolitan cities in the United States for outdoor activities.

It’s simple to see why, given the abundance of parks in the area and the proximity of multiple state forests. There’s also the famous Florida coastline and dog-friendly beaches, which are only a 30-minute drive from downtown Jacksonville.

The best places to live in nearby Jacksonville are Atlantic Beach, Neptune Beach, and Jacksonville Beach all within driving distance and offer miles of unbroken splendor.

Jacksonville is considered one of the romantic places in Northern Florida as this place is surrounded by many exotic beaches.

During the fall, you may watch the Jacksonville Jaguars play football or sample the delicious food scene. Let’s check some places you can go to nearby.

Best places near Jacksonville:

Lofton Creek:

Lofton Creek is the most popular and scenic tour in the area. Paddlers of all ability levels will appreciate this excursion year-round because of the abundance of plants and wildlife. Paddlers can confidently paddle as far as they like before returning to the boat launch because there is no way to get lost. Lofton Creek is truly a hidden gem in northern Florida.

Lofton Creek is the only journey where you will not be affected by heavy wind. As this area is situated near seashore throughout the year you might find little windy breeze in this region. But this area is also sheltered by trees so you don’t need to worry about the wind.

READ NEXT:  10 Best Places to Retire in Florida in 2023

Jacksonville Scavenger Hunt:

Looking for small-group activities that take you beyond the confines of your neighborhood bar? Sign up for a Jacksonville scavenger hunt and do your best Nick Cage impression while searching for hidden national treasures.

Pros and Cons of Living in Jacksonville:

  • Living in such a big city is affordable.
  • There are a lot of things to see and do.
  • The job market is expanding.
  • Criminal activity is high in some areas
  • Longer commutes due to heavy traffic

6. Daytona Beach

  • Population: 67604
  • Cost of living index: 85.7
  • Median Home Value: $229,621
  • Crime rates/1000 residents: 9.99
  • Unemployment rates: 5.2%

Daytona Beach is the third greatest place to live in northern Florida with families, thanks to a combination of affordability and strong career prospects, all in a laid-back beach town atmosphere.

It is one of the most popular beaches in north Florida. It appeals to people of all ages, from young professionals looking to take advantage of its closeness to major cities such as Jacksonville and Orlando to retirees looking to simply relax on the beach.

The city itself has a lot to offer. The Daytona 500 NASCAR race takes place at the Daytona International Speedway. Daytona Lagoon, a massive waterpark with lots of slides, laser tag, go-karts, and mini-golf, is also nearby.

Of course, the iconic Daytona Boardwalk and Main Street Pier are located in the Surfside Historic District, which is directly on the beach. Daytona Beach is not only rich in culture but also one of the fastest-growing cities in Florida.

Best Places to Visit in Daytona

Tuscawilla Park:

Take the plunge and soar through the treetops on a Daytona Beach zipline adventure. Prepare for an aerial experience that includes many obstacles and ziplines in Tuscawilla Park. This adventure is perfect for friends, families, and couples looking for a fun way to spend time together in Daytona.

Daytona International Speedway:

On this guided half-day adventure, explore the seas off the shore of Daytona Beach. Keep an eye out for the manatees and dolphins that call the seas home while you paddle around on your stand-up paddleboard. Once you move to Daytona Beach you will never feel regret for your decision as this area is not that expensive for living in.

Pros and Cons of Living in Daytona Beach:

  • The cost of living is inexpensive,
  • The seashore has magnificent beauty.
  • Tourist influxes for its popularity
  • Some types of criminal activities are there due to heavy crowds.
Daytona Beach
Daytona Beach

7. Pensacola

  • Population: 52642
  • Cost of living index: 87.2
  • Median Home Value: $225,272
  • Crime rates/1000 residents: 35.2
  • Unemployment rates: 4.8%

It is the final large city in Florida before Alabama, located on the Florida Panhandle. This is one of the best places to live in the Florida Panhandle.

Pensacola is noted for its laid-back atmosphere and proximity to some of the world’s best beaches. Pensacola Beach is about 15 minutes from downtown Pensacola, and Destin, Florida’s (and oftentimes the world’s) #1 beach, is only an hour away. As Pensacola is warmer and pleasant that’s why it is one of the best places in Florida for retirees.

Pros and Cons of Living in Pensacola:

  • The educational system is excellent.
  • The job market is expanding.
  • Housing costs are low.
  • Some areas are crime hotspots

Despite all the pros and cons of living in Florida, people love Northern Florida more than the Sothern part.

Read Next:

FAQs – Best Places to Live in Northern Florida

1. What are the most progressive towns in Northern Florida?

A: Gainesville, Broward, and Palm Beach, and Orange County are the most progressive towns in Northern Florida.

2. What are the best places to live in Jacksonville?

A: San Marco, Jacksonville, Southside, Riverside, and Five Point are the best places to live in Jacksonville.

3. Is Jacksonville a good place to live in?

A: Yes, Jacksonville is one of the best places to live in Northern Florida. This city is safe and you will find a lot of restaurants, parks, and lots of things to do. The most populous city in the state

4. Northern Florida or Southern Florida? Which one is better to live in?

A: Southern Florida is expensive compared to Northern Florida. People always Prefer Northern Florida for a livelihood.

5. Where should I not live in Northern Florida?

A: You may not like to be in a place where the crime rate is high. It is suggested to avoid the Daytona Beach area.  Many crime incidents have been noticed in this area. If you’re planning to move to Florida, try to avoid these dangerous Florida cities.

6. What city in Northern Florida has the lowest cost of living?

A: Quincy is a small city in Northern Florida where you can get a median home at $145000.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *