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Hi daysysforme - I've lived in Florida most of my life, but recently visited Southern California and LOVED IT!
I know I only visited California as opposed to just living there, but I can tell you a few differences I noticed:
1. Florida is very diverse and some areas are old and dirty while other ones are very clean. I live in Central Florida (Orlando area) and overall is extremely clean compared to LA. I've never seen street signs with graffiti before until I visited California :-)
2. Again, Florida is very diverse and some areas like Brevard County (East of Orlando) were recently listed as having top air quality - and Tampa Bay (West of Orlando - Gulf of Mexico) has one of the worst.
3. People are friendlier in California (believe it or not). The further South you drive, the more rude they get. People in the Ft. Lauderdale area are the worst. I hate going there but love the shopping. But the store clerks are rude and treat customers like crap. That is usually not the case in Orlando.
4. People drive better in California. Be prepared to have other cars "pushing" you off the roads, road rage, driver's don't use signal lights to make turns or cut in front of you, tourists stop in the middle of the freeway and drive on reverse RIGHT ON THE FREEWAY if they skipped their exit (even though they can always take the next exit - go under the overpass and jump back at the freeway again). We are known as the "headless driver's State" :-)
5. Food at the grocery stores here is a lot cheaper. I stayed in Torrance and spend almost $70 in groceries for ONE meal for 4. I don't know how you guys can eat there! It was cheaper to eat out every day than cooking...
6. Florida is flat, isolated, not much to do but the same - no mountains, etc.
7. If you are not used to Humidity and bugs you will HEAT IT here
8. No personal income tax :-)
9. Lots of diversity - I mean it. Hispanics living here are not all from Mexico as opposed to California. They are from all over America! When I visited California I noticed most Hispanics where Mexican and I found it kind of weird because here in Florida is not like that at all.
10. Our beaches are AWESOME! I was very disappointed with Southern California beaches.
Which part of California are you from? What exactly are you looking for?
Wow, you really summed it up for me and thank you. Well, I have lived in Southern California for all my life. In a city called San Bernardino. Living here has changed a lot the air quality is worse the town looks shabby and dirty. The beaches are totally dirty. I was watching the Travel Channel on the 10 Best Beaches in Florida and all looked so beautiful no trash I could see. Are you sure the people in California drive better because from what we experience here we don't know how people get their license? The summers here get pretty hot and this year we did have a lot of humidity and lot of ugly bugs. I could say it was awful. Everything here is expensive to live we are going to see a big change?I really do hope find friendly people.
My husband got a promotion and is to be working in the Tampa Bay area. What should we know about Tampa? Thank you for the information.
Tampa is one our our oldest cities here in Florida, therefore, change is slower than other Florida areas. My daughter lives there and attends University of South Florida. She likes Tampa. I drive through Tampa at least twice a week for business purposes.
There is a huge Cuban-American population there (good food :-). I'm sorry to say that driving through the main freeways (275 and I-75) are two for the worst driving routes in Florida. Rush hour on 275 is worst that rush hour on 110 in LA - seriously. However, you don't have to live in Tampa. There are many wonderful small towns north of Tampa with very nice folks living there. Just read through these boards and you'll find tons of good information on these towns.
Beaches near Tampa, including Clearwater, are gorgeous! ah... and the Sunsets are spectacular - Moderator cut: no advertising please
The only drawback to the Gulf Coast is that "stinky" red tide we seem to be getting more often than we like. Is not dangerous to the human body - but - oh boy it stinks and you'll find dead fish all over the beach when it hits. But if you don't plan to live on the beach, don't worry about it.
We don't get as hot as the San Bernardino area in the summer, but it is humid, our rain season IS in the SUMMER with afternoon thunderstorms that can get scary.
Also, please be aware that Real Estate Insurance around that area has double or tripled since the hurricanes but homeownership is a lot cheaper than California including the taxes and insurance.
Tampa overall is not that bad once it grows on you, you'll like it. When are you moving?
I really don't know when the move is? My husband will be going to St. louis for training. Maybe then we will find out more. We have 3 children ages 13, 11, and 4 years old. Changing schools and moving to place where we know not much about. Is scary but also exciting. My family is really hurt about us leaving especially my mom. His company will making the move for us and will be flying us to florida to shop for homes with good schools. I really do appreciate your information. I don't like the sound of it smelling yucky. We did get the red tide here last year we had a lot of jelly fish. Thanks again kids are calling.
Florida's east coast has great water, the further south you travel the clearer the water. I have driven to Key West from Ft. Lauderdale about a 100 times and I never tire of the drive. Florida has a lot going for it and if you come to South Florida you will think you are in another country, literally!
Hi daisysforme. I moved to South FL from So Cal (Newport Beach) last May and love it. Personally, I woudl stay away from the "popular" cities such as Tampa, Ft. Lauderdale, Miami since they are heavily populated and not much different than So Cal except for the following.
Traffic is much better here. I do not miss the days of sitting on the I-91 going through Corona, or the 55 going to hte beach.
Weather here is like the OC currently, but summer gets as hot as San Bernardino, but the humidity is much, much higher.
Restaurants are much better in Ca. I have been unable to find any good / real Mexican food. Fruit and vegtibles are way too expensive in the supermarkets, as is meat. The remaining food items are less expensive.
You get much more for your housing dollar than So Cal.
People are very friendly. Unlike CA, where the population is relatively economically segregated, the population is diverse and everyone seems o talk to everyone. People are more friendly in FL.
The air is cleaner, highways nicer, the water warmer and cleaner, and beaches uncrowded.
we moved from sacramento and and san francisco california we are 7 families who sold owr houses we love it kids dont want to go back the weather is perfect the people is more thrustworthy and sociable the laws are more lean and flexible there is humanity and freedom, I can not say enough we all became whealtier contact me firstname.lastname@example.org
I was born in California, lived in Tracy, San Francisco, San Ramon but moved to St. Petersburg in 1990. Even with the changes and the rising real estate taxes, this place has California beat hands down. You and your kids will love it here, trust me. A much slower pace, less sarcasm, less cutthroat, nicer people by far! Your kids will spend as much time outdoors as in and will not grow up online. They will grow up healthy. This will be a wonderful move. Check out Riverview, FL if you get the chance. A friend of mine moved there to raise her family. Loves it.
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