March 21, 2023
No Better Place to Play and Stay

Florida's top assets
Quality of Life

No Better Place to Play and Stay

| 11/9/2022

Most of us will not look back on 2020-21 with nostalgia. We were too busy juggling kids and jobs from home, hoarding hand sanitizer and navigating a worldwide pandemic. But here we are on the other side ... Things are looking up.

Florida’s tourist industry took a hit, but visitor numbers are surging again — up 55% over 2020 at 122 million. People are flocking to Florida and not just to vacation. According to Florida’s Office of Economic and Demographic Research, almost 330,000 people have moved here over the past year, and still they come — 61,728 New York drivers’ licenses were swapped for Florida plates in the first four months of 2022.

What are these new residents coming here to find? Here’s an overview:

America’s oldest city, St. Augustine, founded in 1565 with lots to see and do.

Eclectic galleries in Miami Beach, Bradenton, Naples and Key West; original works by Salvador Dali in St. Petersburg and Louis Comfort Tiffany in Winter Park; the Ringling’s fine art and circus memorabilia in Sarasota; and the world’s largest single-site collection of Frank Lloyd Wright architecture at Florida Southern College in Lakeland.

Tons of Fun
The world’s most visited theme parks, plus the Kennedy Space Center Complex; NASCAR; more than a dozen zoos; at least two dozen aquariums and a turtle hospital; USTA’s National Training Center in Orlando; 1,250+ golf courses to play; plus a full complement of pro sports franchises including these champs: MLB’s Tampa Bay Rays (awarded the 2020 American League pennant); NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Super Bowl LV winners, 2021); and NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning (back-to-back Stanley Cup winners in 2020, 2021 and almost 2022.

Sights that are Always Open
Florida’s natural beauty: the Western Hemisphere’s only natural coral reef; the Everglades; Lake Okeechobee; dozens of rivers with tongue-twisting names; and interesting natives — eagles and egrets, black bears, panthers, alligators, manatees, Key deer, dolphins and sea turtles. And to cap it off — a Key West sunset celebration. There’s nothing quite like it.

Almost Unchanging Forecast
Florida is called “The Sunshine State” for good reason. Coastal cities here average 240 sunny days per year, and the state’s average annual temperature is 75 degrees F (24 degrees C). And no matter where you settle, a sandy beach and saltwater are never more than 90 minutes away.

Best Beaches

Best in the U.S.: Siesta Key, Sarasota, No. 2

Best in the World: Siesta Key, Sarasota, No. 14

Plus 7 more Florida beaches among the top 25 nationwide - TripAdvisor's 2022 Top Beaches


2 National Seashores

3 National Parks

175 State Parks

663 Miles of Beaches

700 Natural Springs

1,350+ Miles of Coastline

1,711 Rivers and Streams

7,700 Lakes


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Thousands make the pilgrimage to Plant City during strawberry season to eat strawberry shortcakes piled high. From January to the end of March (and if the weather cooperates, April) they line up to taste at Parkesdale Farm Market — part garden center, part produce market and part ice cream shop.


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