Check out St. Augustine Beach, I think you may find what you are looking for there :)
In South (southeast) FL you'll likely find better availability of things that are crunchy, organic, etc. but where everything else is concerned it won't come so close to the kinds of towns you would find in CA, OR, etc. We're highly populated with unfriendly, high-strung people and not very bike friendly. Although to be fair, most of FL is not very bike friendly. Pockets where you may have the best chances for what you're looking for in SoFla might be Delray Beach, Deerfield Beach, Pompano Beach to Hollywood Beach.
The west coast of FL is more laid back, the water is warmer, and the beach sand is better for walking, but alas it won't be good for any kind of surfing.
Good luck! I definitely second the idea of doing a road trip to get a feel for the areas you're considering.
Hello! Have you found what you're looking for yet? Jacksonville/Amelia Island/St. Augustine is known for some surfing in Florida. Jacksonville has several beach enclave communities, and the Fruitful Vine Midwifery Practice may have some recommendations for help through their Facebook community. Look them up & ask to join!
I grew up in Florida but currently live outside of Atlanta. We're actually thinking about a move back and trying to decide where. I thought I'd chime in on the original question and then ask a few of my own since I think it will also benefit them.
As far as North Florida goes (St. Augustine/Jax) it's pretty but very non crunchy in my opinion. You are also very close to GA and with that will get more "southern" ways of thinking. You will be limited as far as shopping for natural stuff and while I'm sure there are crunchier types in the area, they will be spread out. But I feel like that goes for all of Florida. My husband is from Miami and S Florida is (as someone else mentioned) a whole other world. Every time I visit I'm amazed at how rushed and rude people are down there. You will find a larger selection of stores to shop at since they have Whole Foods and some farmers markets. I grew up in St Pete and it's more laid back there but it's also lacking in selection. All of that being said, I feel that if you look hard enough you will find what you need.
I think we would prefer the east coast and need to be in an area with good jobs and reasonable housing. Maybe within a hour or two of Miami? The closer to the beach the more expensive (obviously) so I don't really mind having a bit of a drive, maybe 30 mins max. A good Farmers Market is a must for me as well as decent schools. I think Florida is about the same educationally as Georgia and there are some decent pockets of schools around here. Any suggestions? We like West Palm but I'm not sure about quality of life there.
FloridaBorn, it's been probably a year or two since I've been to St. Pete but I still have family there. It's definitely changed since I lived there almost 20 yrs ago (yikes, that makes me feel so old!!). I also stick to the beaches when visiting and don't get into Tampa much. I think I am also spoiled from living in the Atlanta area. It's by no means super progressive here but we have such an amazing selection of CSA's & local farmers, an amazing Farmers Market, Whole Foods and Trader Joe's everywhere that it's going to be hard to lose all of that. I think they are opening a Trader Joe's in Sarasota but that's a long drive.
I agree that WPB can be snobby as can all of South Florida. I feel like being there you are somewhat removed from the craziness of Miami though. Where do you live in Florida?
There's a Trader Joe's in Sarasota now :)
Just curious if you decided to move and where?