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Old 03-20-2012, 11:37 AM
 
Location: St Pete
480 posts, read 807,146 times
Reputation: 561

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Hi,
I am seriously considering a move to Fl. As I work out of my house, location is not important. I am also an empty nester so schools are not important eithor. I am looking for a place that is affordable and within 15 min from a beach. I am mid 40s with a low 6 figure income. I would rent for a year or so before buying as I already own a house in Atlanta that I can't sell.
I am wondering the main differences between NE Fl (jax or st augustine).
SW FL (Sarasote) or the Panhandle ( PC or Destin).
I have friends in Jax and have already been down there to check out the area. I do like Jax beach. I have heard though that SW FL (Sarasota area) has the best beaches. My wife and I both have family on the Panhandle (PC and Pensacola). What I remember about the gulf is that you could walk 300 yards into the water and it is only waist deep and no waves. I like swimming and body surfing so I would like waves. My main question is what are the main differences in lifestyle , types of beaches etc between these regions.

Thanks,
John
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Old 03-20-2012, 03:19 PM
 
21,208 posts, read 30,427,905 times
Reputation: 19657
The St Augustine/Jax and Sarasota areas draw similar comparisons and each has it's share of positive attributes. Overall the camp is divided between Atlantic coast and Gulf coast preferences. I think given your preference for waves the area from St Augustine northward would be a good fit for you. Some may say the Sarasota area may have a bit more of a cultural edge but that's when factoring in Tampa/St Pete which is less accessible than the comparison of proximity from St Augustine to Jacksonville, particularly since the lion's share of such amenities are on Jacksonville's south side which is quite close to St Augustine.
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Old 03-20-2012, 04:07 PM
 
4,158 posts, read 7,920,077 times
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The biggest difference, I think, is the weather. If you choose NE FL or the Panhandle you will probably have about 3 months less of swim-able weather. Sarasota southward, you really can swim from late March to about December (with the exception of this year, it was warm enough to swim all winter). But when you get as far north as Jax and the panhandle, from November to April it can be pretty cold (air and water temp).
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Old 03-21-2012, 08:07 AM
 
Location: Tampa, FL
1,389 posts, read 1,950,680 times
Reputation: 993
If you like waves, you can pretty much count the entire Gulf side out.
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Old 03-21-2012, 09:28 AM
 
15,214 posts, read 31,190,076 times
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I agree that is you must have waves, you should stick to the Atlantic side. The benefits to the Gulf side are awesome beaches with white sands and turquoise waters and beautiful sunsets. The beaches here are considered the best in the country. Sarasota is a great little city with a lot of arts and amenities usually only found in cities much larger. Sarasota will also have a much more "tropical" feel than Jax or St Augustine. But again, if you want the waves you will do better to stick to those areas.

Good luck!
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