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Old 08-27-2007, 01:26 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
142 posts, read 955,885 times
Reputation: 105

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I am looking to move back to Florida in the near future (I moved away from Miami about 5 years ago) and would like to find a nice city much smaller than Miami, but still large enough to have some energy, nightlife and economic opportunities. Right now, which smaller Florida cities are generally the best places to live? I am a water & nature lover, so cities that have lots to offer involving those things get bonus points!!
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Old 08-27-2007, 02:04 PM
 
387 posts, read 1,442,993 times
Reputation: 112
Gainesville
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Old 08-27-2007, 02:06 PM
 
15,208 posts, read 31,172,185 times
Reputation: 18380
Quote:
Originally Posted by acs.1979 View Post
I am looking to move back to Florida in the near future (I moved away from Miami about 5 years ago) and would like to find a nice city much smaller than Miami, but still large enough to have some energy, nightlife and economic opportunities. Right now, which smaller Florida cities are generally the best places to live? I am a water & nature lover, so cities that have lots to offer involving those things get bonus points!!
Lakeland! Perfect size - lots of parks and loads of lakes for all kinds of water activities. This town has it all!
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Old 08-27-2007, 02:18 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
142 posts, read 955,885 times
Reputation: 105
Thanks guys....I actually thought about Gainesville, but I hear that employment opportunities there are quite limited because it is a small town and the university brings lots of competition for the jobs that are actually available... Is that true or just a myth? Also, what are the home prices like there?

Lakeland...I have actually never looked into it. I will have to do some research!
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Old 08-27-2007, 02:35 PM
 
387 posts, read 1,442,993 times
Reputation: 112
I have not looked into the Gainesville professional job market... YET. My perception is that there ARE professional jobs there, but like I said, I don't know. Houses are not bad. There are some very low cost crappy houses, then there are your million dollar houses around Haile Plantation - I'm sure you can find a happy median.

Personally, I'd take the lower wages (vs. South Florida) to live in G'Ville. Where others see a place that would get boring, I actually loved it there. It was perfect for me... close to the beach (considering I now live in Atlanta), very close to the gorgeous outdoors - so many springs and swimming holes around G'Ville. Also, the atmosphere is amazing - of course I was a student, but I worked closely with "real" people who had families there, jobs there, etc. The consensus I got was that they loved being close to the massive education wheel. The fact that UF is constantly changing how we live - through medical breakthroughs, engineering, etc. gave these people a sense of pride just to be living near it all.

I think there are many young professionals living there that are not students, they just get overlooked because of the obvious large student body.

That said, there are parts of G'Ville that are severely economically depressed.
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Old 08-27-2007, 02:45 PM
 
Location: Tampa
3,981 posts, read 9,432,583 times
Reputation: 1171
Daytona or Melbourne.
Jax
Tampa Area (maybe)
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Old 08-27-2007, 03:01 PM
 
Location: Living in Paradise
5,702 posts, read 22,265,877 times
Reputation: 2987
Try Northwest Florida, Panama City, Destin, Fort Walton, or Pcola. Might be the perfect location for you.
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Old 08-27-2007, 03:29 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
142 posts, read 955,885 times
Reputation: 105
Thanks again all...MG80...great comments on Gainesville...maybe I will check into it a bit more before writing it off....Crystalblue...thanks...I love the Tampa Bay area...it is definitely one of my top choices...as for Jax...sounds interesting...however, it might be too far north for me to grow certain plants like Mango / Avocado....damn....I need to check if Tampa is even too far north for that!
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Old 08-27-2007, 04:24 PM
 
Location: Gainesville
3 posts, read 9,783 times
Reputation: 10
Gainesville Good employment opportunities if you have a degree even though there are plenty of jobs for everybody. Pay is lower than most cities and housing prices are better than other cities. lots of activities and a beautiful place because of all the trees. Biggest negative are property taxes and lack of main roads to go around town but once you live here you figure out when to get around town the easiest. Lots of young people from all kinds of backgrounds.
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Old 08-28-2007, 08:46 AM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
142 posts, read 955,885 times
Reputation: 105
Does anyone have any comments on nice smaller cities in South Florida?
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