Best Florida Islands to Live On
Vacation is one of the best activities you can enjoy in your lifetime. People enjoy different destinations, but one of the most popular vacation spots is the beach. There’s nothing like enjoying warm weather, sinking your toes in the sand and gazing out at the gorgeous ocean. Florida is home to some of the country’s best beaches and beach towns. These locations host travelers like you every year and entice you to pack up all of your belongings and call this place home. So, why not make the move to one of Florida’s best beaches?
Get ready to call one of the many picturesque Florida beaches your new home. You’ll have plenty of locations to choose from, so you must consider all of your options before making offers on a home. Read on to learn about the best places to live in Florida near the beach and how to find the perfect beach house for you.
Where Are the Best Beach Cities to Live in Florida?
Florida has an outstanding 825 miles of sandy beaches along its coastline. The beaches in the Sunshine State are both popular tourist destinations and areas that residents call home. All of Florida’s beach towns are diverse. From Gulf Coast beaches to Atlantic beaches, each location has different offerings that attract new residents. If Florida has been your go-to vacation spot and you’re ready to make the move, check out this list of all of the best Florida beach towns to live in to help you make your decision!
1. Sanibel Island and Captiva Island
If you’re searching for a serene island with white sand and tranquil water, welcome to Sanibel Island. This Florida beach location is a lovely place to call home and one of the best places to live on the water in Florida. Sanibel Island offers family-friendly living for residents. This island includes can’t-miss beach spots like Lighthouse Beach Park, Bowman’s Beach and Blind Pass Beach.
Shelling is a favorite activity among residents and visitors on the island. You’ll find an array of unique and colorful seashells along the beach to begin an extensive collection. Other popular activities include fishing, boating, biking, and kayaking.
Another great location to call home right next to Sanibel Island is Captiva Island, also referred to as Sanibel’s Little Sister. This island offers plenty of outdoor activities, like sailing, bird watching, and biking. Captiva also offers plenty of kid-friendly programs, from sailing lessons to beach day camps.
Both locations are wonderful places to live if you’re looking for a beautiful, quiet, and quaint Florida beach town.
2. Anna Maria Island
Located in the Tampa Bay area, Anna Maria Island is a charming beach town about 50 miles south of Tampa. This location claims to be one of the best beach towns in Florida to live in because of the Old Florida charm it exudes in all aspects of the island. You’ll find colorful homes, local restaurants, cute shops and beautiful beaches.
Anna Maria Island is free from high rises, so it’s a great location if you’re searching for a quaint beach community. Residents love Anna Maria Island because it’s one of the best places on the Gulf Coast to watch the sunset.
3. Fort Myers Beach
A spunky, fun-loving town in Southwest Florida is Fort Myers Beach. Fort Myers Beach is a wonderful location to visit on vacation or move full-time. With fun shopping areas, great restaurants, and a beautiful beach, Fort Myers Beach is worth considering for your move to the Sunshine State.
Just a short distance away, the City of Fort Myers is home to historical attractions like the winter homes of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford, which are now museums. Fort Myers is located just between Tampa and Naples, so you’ll have plenty of traveling opportunities and places to explore when you live here.
Are you looking for an upscale area that offers incredible shopping, beautiful beaches and more golf courses than you can imagine? If so, Naples is an excellent place to move to in Florida. As one of the best places to live on the Florida west coast, Naples offers many amenities and attractions that appeal to residents. Residents can enjoy Gulf Coast beaches and canals that run through the city.
This beach city is perfect for residents who love to enjoy outdoor water activities like fishing, swimming, sailing and more. Living in Naples, you’ll have access to popular destinations like Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park, Vanderbilt Beach, Naples Municipal Beach and more sandy shorelines.
A popular beach destination in Florida that doubles as a great place to live is Clearwater. This city in the Tampa Bay area is a great place to live in Florida near the beach. Clearwater Beach offers well-kept sands, the beautiful Pier 60 and an abundance of dining and shopping options.
Residents of Clearwater can enjoy waterfront property in Clearwater Beach, or reside in one of the many neighborhoods close to the beach. Clearwater is an excellent place for families, young couples and beach lovers alike.
6. Longboat Key
Another one of the best Florida islands to move to is Longboat Key. This lovely beach town in Sarasota County is 12 miles long and is the perfect place to live if you’re craving a slice of modern paradise. Residents can enjoy golf courses, tennis clubs, shopping and excellent restaurants on Longboat Key.
Living in Longboat Key means you gain access to downtown Sarasota, which is full of theaters, art galleries and popular restaurants. You’ll also enjoy all of the other beaches in Sarasota and Manatee Counties when you live in Longboat Key.
7. Siesta Key
Another beach town on the Gulf Coast that is perfect for families and couples is Siesta Key. This beach town is considered one of the best beaches to live on in Florida because it offers beautiful blue water and white sand, great dining options, stores and boutiques, and fun nighttime entertainment. It was actually voted the #1 beach in the USA!
This small beach town is a great place to move to in Florida if you’re looking for an active and lively beach town. You can spend your days relaxing on the beach and your nights enjoying the amenities and entertainment Siesta Key offers.
8. St. Petersburg
St. Petersburg, Florida, is a large city that offers all of the excitement of city living along with the calming lifestyle of living by the beach. One of the best beaches in America is St. Pete Beach, and rightfully so. This location has pristine beaches with diverse restaurants and shopping centers while being minutes away from the bustling atmosphere of Downtown St. Petersburg.
Living in St. Petersburg gives you access to plenty of shorelines, including Pass-a-Grille Beach, Fort de Soto Beach, Treasure Island Beach and more award-winning beaches. This location in the Tampa Bay area is a popular residence for people of all ages.
9. Hutchinson Island
If you’re looking for island-living on the East coast of Florida, check out Hutchinson Island. Hutchinson Island is just off the coast from Port St. Lucie and Fort Pierce. This island is known for its excellent beaches, parks and nature preserves.
Hutchinson Island is a popular place for people to live and visit because it is home to one of the most important nesting locations in the world for loggerhead turtles. The turtle nests are carefully monitored and offer quite the spectacle to watch as they make their way back to the ocean.
Hutchinson Island is a Florida gem that offers spacious beaches and plenty of outdoor activities. It’s a great location to live in if you’re looking for a quiet town with beautiful views.
10. Santa Rosa Beach
Santa Rosa Beach is one of the up-and-coming Florida beach towns you should consider when moving to the Sunshine State. This beach neighborhood is located on Florida’s Emerald Coast and offers plenty of activities for its residents.
Residents appreciate that the town has ordinances in place to protect their natural surroundings and preserve the area’s charm. There are plenty of outdoor areas to enjoy bike rides, go for a walk, or relax on the beach. Santa Rosa Beach is an ideal residence for those who enjoy boating or partake in other fun water activities.
11. Marco Island
Located off the coast of Naples, Florida is the beautiful Marco Island. If you’re looking for one of the best places to live on the beach in Florida, Marco Island is worth checking out. This island offers picturesque beaches with calm waves and plenty of seashells to collect.
Along with beach access, residents can enjoy community parks, boating activities and delicious seafood restaurants on the island. Marco Island is a great community for couples and families to enjoy the amenities while working or going to school. You’re a quick drive away from Naples and can indulge in everything the upscale city has to offer as a resident of Marco Island.
The Florida Keys are some of the most beautiful islands in the Sunshine State and make you feel like you’ve been transported to a Caribbean Island. One of the Keys’ you should consider moving to is Islamorada. Islamorada comprises six islands that complete this tropical paradise.
This Florida town is known as a top-notch fishing location with plenty of fishing charters and excellent fly-fishing conditions around the islands. The keys are also very popular spots for scuba diving and snorkeling. Islamorada is a fantastic place to live in Florida if you’re looking for a beach town that offers relaxation and outdoor recreation.
13. Fort Walton Beach
Located on the Florida Panhandle is Fort Walton Beach. This beach town is an excellent choice if you want to move to a location that’s close to the beach and near other popular Florida beach cities. It’s a popular location to move to on Florida’s Emerald Coast because of the cost of living and its proximity to places like Pensacola, Panama City Beach, Destin and Miramar Beach.
A part of Fort Walton Beach is Okaloosa Island, which is a beautiful beach where you can enjoy typical beach activities like walking on a boardwalk, fishing from the pier and viewing the Gulf of Mexico.
14. St. George Island
Another Florida Panhandle beach town that is a great location to live in Florida is St. George Island. This barrier island is south of Tallahassee, Florida, and is a tranquil beach town. Residents love their home on the island because it’s small, quiet, and offers gorgeous views of the Gulf.
You can enjoy St. George Island State Park, which has numerous hiking trails, a great fishing location, and excellent bird-watching spots. St. George Island offers plenty of protected natural areas, so residents can enjoy nature while living on a beautiful Florida Island.
15. Panama City Beach
One of the most popular and best beach towns to live in Florida in is Panama City Beach. While it’s a popular travel destination, Panama City Beach is also home to many residents who love the beach town and everything it has to offer.
With 27 miles of shorelines that look out at the Gulf of Mexico, residents always enjoy beautiful sunsets in Panama City Beach. If you’re looking for great fishing and water activities, places like Camp Helen State Park and St. Andrews State Park are perfect locations to cast your line or look for wildlife in this Florida beach town.
16. Amelia Island
If you’re looking for a unique Florida beach town to live in, check out Amelia Island. This beach town is located north of Jacksonville and is the northernmost barrier island on Florida’s Atlantic Coast. Amelia Island has activities for everyone, like golf courses, state parks and gorgeous beaches.
This beach is a popular choice for people who want to live in a beach town with plenty of outdoor activities. This island is known for its beautiful Spanish moss oak trees and other distinct wildlife, thanks to its location between salt marshes and the ocean.
17. Key West
If you want to go all-in on the island lifestyle in Florida, look no further than Key West. This carefree island is located at the southernmost point of the United States. If you’re looking to live off the mainland and want a lively beach town to live in, Key West has much to offer.
This tiny island offers various beaches to relax on, the famous Duval Street to party on, great eateries and stunning views of the ocean. You can explore historical state parks like Fort Zachary Taylor to check out the Civil War-era structure and enjoy activities like swimming, snorkeling and more. This unique town is a great place to call home if you’re looking for a Florida beach that’s quaint but offers all the excitement of city life.
How to Choose What Florida Beach to Move To
This list of beach towns is only a snippet of shoreline communities that Florida offers. Need help deciding if you want to live at an up-and-coming Florida beach town or a quaint island? Find the perfect beach destination to call home by considering these questions:
- Does it offer solitude? Some people prefer living in quiet areas with a small community. If you want to live in a beach city in Florida, consider if you want to live in a quiet, small community, or a big community that attracts more tourists.
- Are you looking for fun nightlife? While some beach towns are quaint and calm, others are known for their lively atmosphere and are a popular destination because of their nightlife. It’s important to research this factor when looking for your new beach town so you can find a location that matches your lifestyle.
- Is it family-friendly? Many Florida beach cities are great for families. If you want to find the town that will work best for your family, research school districts in the area and look into family-friendly activities in the community.
- Will it be good for couples? Are you looking for romantic beach towns that offer much to do for couples? When choosing the best places to live on the Florida West Coast, consider the local area, like restaurants and attractions, to find the right couple-friendly location for you.
Interested in Sanibel and Captiva? We Can Help
If you’re looking for the best Florida Island to move to, Sanibel and Captiva Islands are some of the best in the Sunshine State. These beautiful residential islands are a great place to call home and experience beach living. Make your search for real estate on Sanibel and Captiva Island simple by contacting McCallion & McCallion Realty. View our listings of homes in Sanibel and Captiva, or view other listings in Southwest Florida today!