If you could live anywhere in Florida, where would it be? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 38 Old 03-22-2011, 08:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hey mamas!  My family and I have been considering a move south for a year or so.  We've grown so tired of winters in the Northeast! 

So, I'm hoping you can offer some advice... if you could choose to live anywhere in Florida, where would it be and why?  We homeschool and my husband works from home so we have a lot of flexibilty.  Here's what our "ideal" would be... a fair amount of land for homesteading, a supportive crunchy/natural community, somewhat like-minded secular homeschoolers, open/rural space but within a couple hours drive of a city with museums and fun places to visit.  Any suggestions?  Any areas to definitely avoid looking?  Thanks so much!! :)

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#2 of 38 Old 03-22-2011, 08:44 PM
 
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Though expensive.. Seaside or Grayton are the only little spots I'd live.
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#3 of 38 Old 03-23-2011, 10:43 AM
 
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As far as a supportive crunchy/natural community, I would look into the Clearwater/Dunedin area, on the west coast. There are also many things to do in Tampa, which is not too far from Clearwater - an aquarium, zoo, Busch Gardens, the Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI), to name a few. The west coast also has very nice beaches.
 

 

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#4 of 38 Old 03-24-2011, 01:11 PM
 
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I live in Tallahassee and I really like it here.  There is a big crunchy community, homeschooling groups, plenty of land nearby, etc.  Tally itself has a few museums so there isn't much that way, Jacksonville is about two hours away.  I get the feeling that Gainesville has a lot to offer as well, so I would check that out as well.

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#5 of 38 Old 03-25-2011, 08:20 AM
 
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I was coming here to post the same question.  

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#6 of 38 Old 03-25-2011, 05:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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thanks so much for the replies!  :)  dunedin is looking like a really cool location... of course we may have to shift to more urban homesteading but i really like the area (at least what i've seen online... can't wait to visit irl).  :)

can i ask a silly question for those of you on the coast.... are the hurricanes really scary or do they just become part of life like our snowstorms here in the northeast?

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#7 of 38 Old 03-25-2011, 07:14 PM
 
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You're welcome! smile.gif

 

Not a silly question at all! The hurricanes have the potential to be scary. Having lived on one of the coasts for most of my life, I have seen a few major ones come through. In my lifetime there were a few major ones in the early to mid-90s, and then in 2004 there were a few that were somewhat major that seemed to happen one right after the other.

 

In the recent years, we have been quite blessed with not having severe ones come through (though there was some severe flooding with Tropical Storm Fay in 2008). Hurricane warnings are what you need to take seriously. In the event of a hurricane warning, it is important to watch the news. They will instruct you on where to evacuate and what preparations you will need to make. Overall, it is not too too bad. smile.gif

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by earthymato2 View Post

thanks so much for the replies!  :)  dunedin is looking like a really cool location... of course we may have to shift to more urban homesteading but i really like the area (at least what i've seen online... can't wait to visit irl).  :)

can i ask a silly question for those of you on the coast.... are the hurricanes really scary or do they just become part of life like our snowstorms here in the northeast?



 

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#8 of 38 Old 03-27-2011, 04:12 PM
 
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 Hi there. I lived in New England for the first 30 year of my life. We got sick of the weather and cost of living up north so we moved to Florida. We HATED it. We lived in Kissimmee and it was over crowded. No crunchy types to speak of. Before we left I found that Winter Haven, Lakeland, and Plant City were some places that were more in line with what we were looking for. Also the area up near Ocala forest. Whatever you do avoid Kissimmee like the plague ;)

 

Ps...we ended up moving to East central/north Alabama. Lots of open land, less crowding, better cost of living, and more moderate weather than either Florida or New England. ********** and Hunstsville seem to have some more crunchy momma types, not so much where I live.


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#9 of 38 Old 03-29-2011, 02:27 AM
 
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sounds like you would like Gainesville and ALachua County: inland, 90 mins to St Augustine, the closest beach, great parks, libraries, camping, wildlife, plus world famous springs and a cool urban creek system, UF and it's museums, farmers markets, homeschoolers and hippies.

 

 


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#10 of 38 Old 03-30-2011, 05:21 PM
 
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The keys are expensive but awesome. My second choice would be central florida like me.;) I could use some more mommy buddies, even if online, when I cease to work at the end of the school year. I live in Winter Springs, Seminole county north of Orlando, and we are 45 min from New Smyrna Beach which is a really really nice low key town. Plus we are close to 2 zoos, 2 hr from Tampa, near disney etc. Just my opinion.;)

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#11 of 38 Old 04-04-2011, 10:36 AM
 
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My family and I just moved here to Florida in Sept 2010. So far I really like it. We live 5 minutes or so north of Fort Lauderdale.  We havent dealt with a hurricane yet but personally, for now anyways, would rather go through a hurricane then unpredicted earthquakes.


 

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#12 of 38 Old 04-07-2011, 04:24 AM
 
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I live in Gainesville. We moved here 1.5 years ago from the midwest, though we are both originally from the northeast. Gainesville really sounds like it would fit your criteria perfectly. The cost of living is very reasonable, especially compared to south florida. There is lots of land for sale within driving distance from the city. Though we have all the activities/amenities of a college town, if you drive 10 minutes in any direction it feels rural. We are 2 minutes outside the city limits and have cows within a mile of our house. The city of Gainesville is quite liberal, with some very crunchy people around. Since University of Florida is here (and dominates everything about the town), there are museums and tons of activities for kids. We also have farmer's markets. We don't homeschool, but I know there are homeschoolers here. There is a very active AP group. They are called Gainesville Attachment Parenting (GAP). My kids are a bit older and I am now working full time, so I did not work hard to get connected to them, but I think that would be a key way to find likeminded folks. I think their active Yahoo group is the reason there's not much of a Gainesville presence on this board. 

 

 Be warned that the rest of north florida is not liberal at all, and really does feel like the deep south. Another downside is that we are as far from the beach as you can get in FL. Our closest nice beach is 1.5 hours away. After spending the previous 4 years in a landlocked state, this still seems awesome to me, but some folks here complain about it. The summers are long and BRUTAL, but we have as close to seasons as you get down here. We even had a couple trees change color this year! It does freeze, and we have about 4-6 weeks that feel like a mild winter. 

 

Let me know if you have any other questions!

 

 


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#13 of 38 Old 04-08-2011, 12:29 PM
 
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  I was just going to post this same question- so decided to join in if its okay. We are thinking of moving to Florida in a year( or 2). We live at a beach in New England now. I honestly think I need to be somewhere near water- beach? Somewhere else to swim and hang out?...but, have no idea where to start. We need a gay friendly, homeschooling community- Thanks in advance!

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#14 of 38 Old 04-17-2011, 11:44 AM
 
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LOL @ the folks wanting to move to Florida!!  A real REPUBLICAN of a governor, Rick Scott, AKA Tricky Ricky AKA "The Ayatollah of Florida" got elected a few months ago and many grants for cultural projects and important funding for stuff like the DOC is going BUH-BYE.  Plus the cost of living continues to go up.  

 

If you're going to always compare what living here is like to "back home & up north" you really might want to reconsider moving to the Sunny South.


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#15 of 38 Old 04-17-2011, 12:55 PM
 
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FloridaBorn... gently I say... we aren't supposed to use the "r" word anymore.

But yes. I get you. I used to live in the south.. was born and raised there and northerners can be the worst about saying "this is not the way other folks do x". Well, if you loved x so much.. why did you leave?
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#16 of 38 Old 04-17-2011, 03:35 PM
 
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Originally Posted by philomom View Post

FloridaBorn... gently I say... we aren't supposed to use the "r" word anymore.

But yes. I get you. I used to live in the south.. was born and raised there and northerners can be the worst about saying "this is not the way other folks do x". Well, if you loved x so much.. why did you leave?


Ooops!!  You're right.  I'm sorry.  I changed it to another R word. Peace.gif


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#17 of 38 Old 04-17-2011, 06:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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wow, really... no need to be rude about us "northerners."  i hope the folks i meet irl are a bit more welcoming.  we're also not strangers up here to crappy politicians either- my state's new governor has opened up the flood gates for an abundance of unregulated natural gas drilling.  fun stuff.

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#18 of 38 Old 05-17-2011, 03:38 PM
 
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The Keys! 

We moved here 6 months ago and love it!  It's like another world.  It's super laid-back and the people are really friendly.  It's very small town like, almost like living in the country but with the conveniences of everything you need (although not always everything you want, but we have Amazon for that!)  We have a small, but great, homeschool group with a mix of secular and religious homeschoolers... but like everything else in the Keys it doesn't matter, everyone is super tolerant and accepting.  The lower Keys are 10 - 45 minutes from Key West and 2 and 3 hours from Florida City/Homestead and Miami/Fort Lauderdale/West Palm Beach and 6-7 hours from Orlando.  It's more expensive here than on the mainland, but you are living on an island.  Outdoor and ocean activities are huge here, which is what attracted us.  We don't have any Naturopaths or homebirth attending midwifes, so it would be best if you are really healthy and into hospital births or unassisted births, or don't mind driving up to Miami. 

So it is far from ideal for most, but, it's laid-back and small town friendly and safe, and an awesome place to live and raise kids if it's what you are looking for! 

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#19 of 38 Old 05-22-2011, 07:00 AM
 
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We are from South Florida and vacation in the Keys every year. We just got back and are actually thinking about moving back down there, to either the Keys, Florida City or Homestead. SunandOcean, I may want more info in the future about that homeschooling group you are a part of. wink1.gif 

To answer your question, OP, if I was going to move back down, I would go to my afore mentioned places, or perhaps to Gainesville or Jacksonville. I grew up in Miami and lived in Orlando for 5 years, and there is no way I would raise my kids in either place.


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#20 of 38 Old 07-05-2011, 01:00 PM
 
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i lived in florida all my life, have been all over the state in my travels, and have lived in s & n fl... best i can add is tallahassee and gainesville would be your best bets, mainly because they are surrounded by a lot of open rural land and are college town (tally, of course, also being the state capitol). i grew up in western palm beach county and highly recommend that area as well, especially since real estate prices have dropped back down to where they should be. however, stay away from jacksonville.


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#21 of 38 Old 07-08-2011, 05:14 AM
 
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Our family just moved to the Ocala area this year.  I've been trying to find some crunchy cons since arriving.  Anyone from Ocala here?

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#22 of 38 Old 07-08-2011, 10:43 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AtomHeartMother View Post

i lived in florida all my life, have been all over the state in my travels, and have lived in s & n fl... best i can add is tallahassee and gainesville would be your best bets, mainly because they are surrounded by a lot of open rural land and are college town (tally, of course, also being the state capitol). i grew up in western palm beach county and highly recommend that area as well, especially since real estate prices have dropped back down to where they should be. however, stay away from jacksonville.



Dare I ask why to stay away from Jacksonville?  It's a possibility for us - and we don't have many options right now. 

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#23 of 38 Old 07-08-2011, 06:33 PM
 
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Dare I ask why to stay away from Jacksonville?  It's a possibility for us - and we don't have many options right now. 

 


Nothing wrong with Jacksonville.  I've got got cousins who live up there and are working professionals.  Jax is known for some "bad" areas.  There are some rural communities around Jacksonville which might be worth looking into.  

 


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#24 of 38 Old 07-08-2011, 06:57 PM
 
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The Tampa Bay Area is great!! I LOVE Clearwater/Dunedin/Safety Harbor.... easy access to Tampa/St. Petersburg, BEAUTIFUL beaches....

When we moved here from New England 6 years ago, it felt like home immediately.

 

You may not necessarily be able to get as much land in the cities I mentioned, but If you go a little farther north, or even down to Manatee/Sarasota counties (south of St. Petersburg), you may be able to get more.


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#25 of 38 Old 07-10-2011, 03:10 PM
 
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I came here to ask info about moving to Florida too!

 

MamaPisces, just curious why you wouldn't raise kids in Orlando or Miami?

 

What do you mean about summers being brutal? I mean, how hot does it get?


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#26 of 38 Old 07-11-2011, 10:49 AM
 
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i currently live in jacksonville, and have for a few years now (minus a year-long stint back in south florida) and i can't wait to leave. if you're looking for a place to make a home that offers a lot of cultural and out-of-school learning activities, jax is not the place you want to be. with two art museums, a medocre performing arts community, and schools that one could simply define as "meh", i wouldn't recommend a family to move here, considering the other options available within the state of florida. this is a city where the college educated seem to leave because of the lack of jobs outside of call center and logistics work. as a young single woman, this city was pretty decent to me, but career wise it hasn't treated me so well, but that's neither here nor there. maybe i'm homesick, but i truly miss the cultural availabilities i was afford in south florida. now with a child on the way, i want him to have those same opportunities for development that i did. we're on a two-year plan to move, with orlando, tampa, west palm beach, and tallahassee (i have a gov't background) being on the short list.

 

but, that's my 2¢. :)


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#27 of 38 Old 07-11-2011, 12:10 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BeachLove View Post

The Tampa Bay Area is great!! I LOVE Clearwater/Dunedin/Safety Harbor.... easy access to Tampa/St. Petersburg, BEAUTIFUL beaches....

When we moved here from New England 6 years ago, it felt like home immediately.

 

You may not necessarily be able to get as much land in the cities I mentioned, but If you go a little farther north, or even down to Manatee/Sarasota counties (south of St. Petersburg), you may be able to get more.

This is the area I want to live in.  *sigh*  Jealous!  Tell me everything? :D  Have you been to the Sarasota Children's Garden?  It looks amazing! 

http://www.sarasotachildrensgarden.com/index.html
 

 

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#28 of 38 Old 07-12-2011, 06:45 PM
 
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This is the area I want to live in.  *sigh*  Jealous!  Tell me everything? :D  Have you been to the Sarasota Children's Garden?  It looks amazing! 

http://www.sarasotachildrensgarden.com/index.html
 

 

I have not been there, but it looks really cool! I haven't done too much down in Sarasota, actually.

 

I am seriously in love with where we live though. The views when you drive over any of the bridges are postcard-perfect. The sunsets are really vivid. The weather is amazing. Just everything!!

 

We go to the gulf beaches every chance we get. The water is like bathwater at this time of year and usually very calm. The beaches are white sand, and there is usually a nice little sea breeze to keep the temperature perfect.

Tampa has the Lowry Park Zoo which is really great, lots of rides and things in addition to a great "collection" of animals.

We love taking walks along the bay in downtown St. Petersburg or Safety Harbor, and the gulf/harbor in downtown Clearwater. There is also a really cool nature park in St. Petersburg (Sawgrass Lake Park) where you can walk along boardwalks and see alligators.

 

...And that is just off the top of my head :)
 

 


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#29 of 38 Old 07-17-2011, 06:35 PM
 
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I Would Look Into Orlando.

More HomeSchooling Groups, Urban, DisneyWorldbiggrinbounce.gif.

I've Moved To Florida From California And Have Only Been Here For A Little Over Two Years.

I'm In Brevard County And Hate It Here To Me It's The Country Lol.

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#30 of 38 Old 07-17-2011, 06:41 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mama*pisces View PostI grew up in Miami and lived in Orlando for 5 years, and there is no way I would raise my kids in either place.



I'm Curious Too.

Why Wouldn't You Raise Your Children In Orlando Or Miami?

What Was/Were/Is Wrong With These Two Cities?

These Are My First Two Picks If I Don't Relocate Out Of The Country.

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