Ah, Florida, the land of retirees, cocaine, and in the spring, drunk college students. All over the country, millions of Americans believe that only the old and the mentally ill call Florida home. And to a certain extent, they’re right. But Florida isn’t that bad of a place to live. In fact, it’s a great place to live, if you know where to look!
From sleepy towns on the Gulf Coast such as Pensacola, to large urban cities like Jacksonville, and the tropical Manhattan of downtown Miami, there’s a place for everyone in Florida! And to top it all off, there’s NO STATE INCOME TAX in Florida!
While I do love going down to Miami to check out the beautiful beaches, the expensive cars, and eat the mind-bogglingly delicious Cuban food, the cost of living is ridiculously high, and according to the “experts” at WalletHub, it’s one of the worst places to raise children in America.
However, there is one city that’s often overlooked…
Yes. Jacksonville, Florida.
With a median home price of $132,000, and a cost of living in line with the national average, Jacksonville offers its residents an urban setting at a fraction of the cost of a place like New York City or San Francisco. And while Duval County, the largest school district in the country, has a bad reputation, the combination of hidden gems in the public school system and the numerous private schools gives your children a variety of educational options.
One drawback of living in Jacksonville is that you have to own a car, since it’s the largest city by geographic size in the continental US. However, you don’t have to deal with the intense traffic other major cities have, and you can make a trip from the west side of town to the beaches in 45 minutes. And if you live downtown, there’s a thriving nightlife and great restaurants to enjoy on foot.
I could tell you a lot more about Jacksonville and other cities and towns in Florida, but the main point of this article is to show you that the top 5 cities in the US aren’t the end-all, be-all of living an interesting life. If you’re willing to take the time to actually visit some out of the way places, you may find your own perfect slice of American life.