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Old 05-04-2015, 08:57 AM
 
4,988 posts, read 7,304,731 times
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I lived in San Diego for three years before moving to Miami for a job about 10 months ago.
They are nothing alike.

The people, the culture, the weather, the beaches, the lay-out, everything is different.

Let's start with the weather.
Miami is hot... not like california hot, but in your face tropical hot. By 10am it's at least 88 degrees, muggy and steamy hot. Night time lows are in the upper 70s and humid. Air conditioning is an absolute must for prob about 10 months out of the year.
What I found most annoying about Miami weatherwise when I first moved here was the almost constant "pop-up" showers. For example, I'll walk into Publix with no umbrella and spend maybe 20 minutes shopping for food, I walk outside and BOOM it's pouring outside. So, I either get soaked to the bone....or wait 20 to 30 minutes just standing there waiting for the rain to calm down. These rain showers are monsoons.. they are not little showers that lull u to sleep by the window sill, these are torrential downpours causing flash flooding.

The "dry season" is very pleasant. It's warmer than southern Cal in the winter time and does not rain nearly as much. Beginning around November til about May the weather is pretty nice in Miami. Many sunny days, mostly mild to warm. Not as humid.

The people:
Definitely more of an aggressive feel to Miami. People seem to be more shamelessly aggressive and impatient. I feel like the drivers in Miami are quite rude and a lot of people have an "I dont give an eff about you" mentality here. Not everyone, but it's noticeable.

The beaches and coastal ares of Miami are indeed gorgeous. However, the inland areas are bland and ugly IMO. Very cookie-cutter suburban feel to a lot of the inland areas with strip malls everywhere... nothing to really do as far as entertainment aside from shopping malls. Hialeah? like a vast swath of cheap looking apartment buildings and strip malls with single family homes mixed in. . Just meh... Kendall is more of a newer suburb, but it's still an utter bore. Completely flat and uninteresting. zero charm...

Places with charm include:
Coral Gables (gorgeous area)
Coconut Grove
Brickell has a va va voom vibe to it, very cosmo.
Miami Beach (South Beach)

Overall tho, I like soCal better. But Miami certainly isn't too shabby either. It's got it's pluses and minuses
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Old 05-04-2015, 09:38 AM
 
6,258 posts, read 3,451,115 times
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Originally Posted by Elbig View Post
I have lived in both as well and I agree with much of your analysis. The weather, natural beauty, etc is far better in SoCal. There are many transplants in both areas. I am not sure about the culture. I think the the far left has taken over the state and local governments and they not on a good track with out of control spending, kowtowing to unions especially teachers unions, crazy environmental regulations which exacerbate water shortage problems, etc.. However, the main cons to SoCal are cost of living (housing is outrageous), traffic, smog, high taxes and earthquakes (since they are not predictable yet and quite devastating or at least disconcerting).
I also agree with a lot of the statement, and yours. As the OP has a budget that prevents purchasing a home in SoCal, short of saving a lot more money their quality of life might never be as good in SoCal than elsewhere unless the qualities they are looking for are ONLY found in SoCal. This is really more of a "SoCal vs. elsewhere" comparison than vs Florida.

I find the comment of LA being "more walkable" rather laughable, as even 30 years ago a band said that "nobody walks in LA". Unless of course you're talking about driving to the Long Beach pier, parking and then walking around, and then driving home. Even if you live in one of the beach cities (which is extremely expensive although great) like Redondo, Hermosa or Manhattan you still ultimately need to drive somewhere else. This makes it no different than Florida. The only city that I think is truly walkable - meaning from home to shops to restaurants and back home - is Manhattan in NYC.

"In South Florida, it rains nearly every day for 9-10 months and the intense humidity lasts for 10-11 months"

The fact that it rains is indisputable. However, the rain is typically a big thunderstorm for an hour in the afternoon surrounded by 22-23 hours without rain. Of course, there are pop up showers at other times as well. But yes, different than SoCal where it's usually dry except for Jan/Feb. I don't know where 11 months of "intense humidity" comes from. Today in Naples it's currently 81 degrees, going up to 88, with 31% humidity. Summers are when the humidity really kicks in - late May through perhaps mid October, or around 4 months. Winters are beautiful. Again, not SoCal weather, but basically 6 months different than in the North/NE US where winters are cold and miserable when people stay inside - in Florida people seek AC in the summer and spend their winters outdoors.

"The nature and varied terrain of Southern California -- ocean, mountain, and desert vistas; canyons; forests; grasslands; wetlands; etc. -- is much more spectacular than the flat, uninspiring scrubland scenery of South Florida. FWIW, snow-capped mountain vistas aren't visible from the beach in South Florida, not that any type of mountain vistas exist in Florida to begin with."

This is an irrelevant comment which assumes that the OP knows nothing about geography. As they're from the UK they might say that the Scottish Highlands are much more scenic and much more spectacular than the scenery of much of England but they might not want to live there.

The comment about employment and the workforce can be true, but again these are generalities. If someone was in high tech they wouldn't really want to be in SoCal anyway, they'd be in SV. Many employers are leaving the NE and relocating to states like Texas and Florida which are more business friendly. California is the most business unfriendly state. It's not to say that due to the workforce and large economy that it's a barren wasteland (it's not) but for many middle class people it's hard to have a high quality of life when costs are so high.

Generally the recommendations about people moving to Florida (except from ebn78 who will say "don't move here" every time) are:

1) line up appropriate employment
2) know your housing budget
3) find the right environment (schools, nightlife, etc) to suit your family's needs
4) with #1-#3 narrow it down to an area
5) rent for a year if you can before buying to make sure it's right for you

I do agree that nobody should move to Florida purely based upon "it's sunny all the time" or "my kids loved Disney".

As far as another location to consider - if the drive isn't to oppressive a couple of days a week (depends on where in Miami) - Naples and surrounding Collier County. Easy drive down Alligator Alley, clean city, pleasant people, good schools, and very enjoyable outside of season. Downside is that it's more expensive and often crowded during season.

Last edited by markjames68; 05-04-2015 at 10:10 AM..
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Old 05-04-2015, 09:46 AM
 
6,258 posts, read 3,451,115 times
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Originally Posted by OptimusPrime69 View Post
What I found most annoying about Miami weatherwise when I first moved here was the almost constant "pop-up" showers. For example, I'll walk into Publix with no umbrella and spend maybe 20 minutes shopping for food, I walk outside and BOOM it's pouring outside. So, I either get soaked to the bone....or wait 20 to 30 minutes just standing there waiting for the rain to calm down. These rain showers are monsoons.. they are not little showers that lull u to sleep by the window sill, these are torrential downpours causing flash flooding.
Very true. Miami's weather is tropical so this is little different than in other tropical areas of the world. A good reason to always carry an umbrella

Another reason why drainage is so important here. A difference between most floods in FL vs. those in say NY's Long Island is that all of the accommodations for drainage (swales, raised house sites, etc.) help clear all that water out quickly. On LI you often get floods that soak the ground for days to the point it's saturated and finds a way into your home.

I do admit that San Diego's weather is very hard to beat from a year-round livability perspective. Plus margaritas in Old Town are very nice, especially with Cinco de Mayo being tomorrow...but with such a high COL you can only afford one drink.
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Old 05-04-2015, 11:45 PM
 
6,950 posts, read 3,857,584 times
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Originally Posted by 8to32characters View Post
Southern California is very different from South Florida.

Cities in Southern California such as Los Angeles, San Diego, and Long Beach are much older and more established than those in Florida, so they tend to be more urban, walkable, densely-populated, and cosmopolitan by comparison.

Public transportation utilization rates are higher in Southern California than in South Florida. There are also more collective efforts among legislators and citizens alike to expand public transportation infrastructure and increase utilization to reduce automobile dependency.

Southern California cities also have far more pre-WWII architecture compared to South Florida, the latter of which wasn't really developed until the advent of air conditioning in the mid-to-late 20th century. Thatís not to mention that, from the 1970ís onward, South Florida developers pretty much bulldozed what remained in terms of early-to-mid 20th century structures to make way for new development. Historical preservation is not one of Floridaís strong suits.

Southern California has much more pleasant weather than Florida -- much less humid and stormy; cooler, drier springs, summers, and autumns; significantly less potential for dangerous weather events such as thunderstorms, tornadoes, and hurricanes/tropical depressions; and less potential for severe flooding. Not to mention thereís far more climatic variation in Southern California.

In South Florida, it rains nearly every day for 9-10 months and the intense humidity lasts for 10-11 months, depending on the year. The "rainy season" in South Florida, which starts in early-to-mid May and lasts until late October, can be very gloomy. "Clear" days, at least by Southern California standards, are almost non-existent in South Florida, especially in the summertime.

The nature and varied terrain of Southern California -- ocean, mountain, and desert vistas; canyons; forests; grasslands; wetlands; etc. -- is much more spectacular than the flat, uninspiring scrubland scenery of South Florida. FWIW, snow-capped mountain vistas aren't visible from the beach in South Florida, not that any type of mountain vistas exist in Florida to begin with.

For those of you arguing that beaches are better in South Florida are "better" than those in Southern California, name a beach in South Florida that's more spectacular than Strands, Monarch, or Thousand Steps Beach or Abalone Cove. Ya, didn't think so.

The milder, less volatile weather and more varied terrain of coastal California encourage outdoor activity and recreation, helping California attain its status as one of the healthiest states in the country. Hiking, mountain biking, and surfing among other outdoor recreational activities are much more popular in Southern California. Although better than most Southern states in health metrics, Florida has higher incidences of smoking, obesity, and chronic illness such as diabetes and hypertension than California, partly due to more lower-income individuals and families and less emphasis on active, healthy lifestyles overall.

California has a stronger, more diversified economy than Florida. There's a larger corporate presence and more well-paying industry in California such as IT, biotech, nanotech, life sciences, and investment banking to name a few, so your average Californian tends to be higher earning and more gainfully employed than your average Floridian. Even low-wage, low-skill workers in the manufacturing, trade, and healthcare sectors in California enjoy higher comparative wages, more comprehensive non-wage benefits, and better state-level rights and protections than their counterparts in Florida, which is a RTW state with very limited union participation rates. Compared to California, Florida has a service-oriented economy with a strong hospitality/tourism orientation, a sector that is notorious for low wages, limited non-wage benefits, and non-existent upward economic mobility. Consistent with Arizona, the service-oriented economy of Florida neither breeds nor attracts highly ambitious youth, so a lot of younger people in Florida tend to be apathetic and complacent.

California is home to a much better educated, more talented workforce -- and general populace, for that matter -- than Florida, which is one of the reasons why so much modern innovation comes from California. In addition to a strong history of innovation, California has a more competitive ethos, entrepreneurial spirit, and intellectual vibe than Florida. This, of course, is due to a multitude of factors, but primarily the greater abundance of well-paying industry as well as more prestigious institutions of higher learning in California.

Because Florida is less educated and cosmopolitan than California in general, you'll encounter much more intolerance and small-mindedness in South Florida than in Southern California, not to mention much less support for progressive ideals and movements such as hybrid and electric cars, the "green" movement (i.e., recycling, curbing emissions, etc.), medical marijuana, same-sex marriage, organic eating and living, farmers markets and community-supported agriculture, smoking bans, caps on land development, and so forth. People are a lot more open, tolerant, and accepting in Southern California -- no cares what religion you are, where you're from, or who you sleep with. There's definitely more of a counterculture element in Southern California compared to just about anywhere in Florida -- more hippies, more nature-lovers, more spiritual folks, and so forth. There's also significantly less tolerance for shadiness and deviance. Overall, Southern California is a much more humane place than South Florida.

In reality, living in South Florida is like living in the South, but without the politeness, friendliness, and hospitality. The general lack of civility and common courtesy in the major cities is frightening and is due in large part to "six degrees of separation." People are friendlier and more pleasant in Southern California than in South Florida, hands down, which is a far less transient, anonymous society. Unlike Southern California, South Florida is loaded with miserable transplants from the Northeast, although mostly New York and New Jersey, who have that lousy "tough-guy" attitude that remains in place even after 20 years in Florida -- constantly striving to be rude, argumentative, combative, ghetto, shrewd, or some other variant of "tough" while trying to deceive or "put one over" on you in any way possible.

Then, you have to contend with the shady transient element -- everyone in Florida has a story, and most of the time, it's not pretty. Lots of people in Florida are running from something in their past -- a violent ex, a criminal record, an abusive childhood, a history of drug and/or alcohol abuse, a dysfunctional family of origin, a series of legal disputes, etc. People have a lot of "baggage" down there, for sure, which is why there's much more crime and many more drug and social issues in Florida than in California, generally speaking.

However, the worst part about South Florida, IMO, is the transplants who move down from the Tri-State area and into shiny new tract homes in gated communities, thinking they've "arrived" like the second coming of the Messiah. Before long, these people think they're rich and, in their minds, "rich" people are rude, even though most people with family and long-term wealth are quite down-to-earth (as anyone who has spent any time at all in California knows). So now, these people begin looking down their noses at people in service industry jobs, treating them like crap. While living in South Florida, I witnessed absolutely horrid behavior among transplants, especially older ones, when talking to store clerks or restaurant servers. I never witnessed anything even remotely comparable in Southern California.

Most of the people who live in Southern California were born in California, so there's a much stronger, more well-defined state culture, and civic pride and engagement levels tend to be higher. There's less in the way of voter apathy in California, and all of the professional sports teams have larger, more dedicated fan-bases than any team I can think of in Florida, where most sporting events draw larger away-team crowds than home-team crowds.

California is a lot less transient, too. In addition to many more natives -- and very proud, dyed-in-the-wool natives, I might add -- California is the type of place where people move to, assimilate to the local culture, and stay whereas Florida, OTOH, is more of a place where people come, complain, and go. People in California pledge their allegiance to California, even if they're from elsewhere originally, whereas people in Florida are more likely to pledge their allegiance to New York, Massachusetts, or Illinois. That alone should speak volumes to anyone deciding between the two states.

I've lived in both, and without a doubt, the weather, scenery, culture, people, and lifestyle among other facets of Southern California are vastly superior to that of South Florida. It's not even much of a contest, really.
Quite a treatise, but you left out the part where it is so easy in California to get such a broad brush.
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Old 05-05-2015, 02:15 AM
 
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Hi, I have lived in CA most my life growing up. I lived in San Diego and Santee. I retired from the Military and lived in Melbourne Beach, Florida on the beach for 1 1/2 years. Indian Harbour Beach, Florida is just up the road from Melbourne beach. Indian Harbour is a great place with great schools. It is a slow town except when people come from Orlando or other areas to play on the beach. The county is Brevard Country you can look up stats on the surrouning area. Brevard Country is a slo peaceful area and most pople go their to retire and be by the beach. It is about 3 hour drive to Miami.

Best Beaches are on the West Florida Side:
The brilliant white beaches of Siesta Key, located just off the coast of Sarasota, snagged the third place spot, while it's over on the Pacific Coast -- the Space Coast to be exact -- where you'll find the fourth place winner, Playalinda. Quirky Pass-a-Grille Beach finished in fifth position.

Cons: You do have the heat that is a killer along with the humidity. You also have the bugs that stick to your car and you have to keep washing your car or it will hurt the paint. Be careful of snakes and gators they find their way around your house. Gators if you live by a lake or river.

My overall experience was in Melbourne Beach, Indian Harbour area of Brevard Country. I enjoyed it but to dam hot and sticky being a california boy. The cost of living is especially cheapter in Brevard Country. I would recommend you find a place you want to explore and talk to a local realtor and check the local and state sales tax. Also, how they figure property tax.

I am currently living in Thailand Chiangmai trying to figure out my next move. I have lived in several states and I heard AZ and TX are the best for cost of living and weather compared to the rest of the US. So, my search is their. Kerrville, TX is a great small town only 65 miles from San Antonio which is in the hill country ie.. better weather. Kerrville and San Angelo (has Air Force Base) are both small towns that over good climate and great cost savings. Kerrville is closer to San Antonio and the Beach.
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Old 05-05-2015, 06:59 PM
 
Location: Fort Liquordale, Florida
242 posts, read 264,110 times
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Check out San Antonio (Texas) !!!!
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