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Old 01-27-2008, 06:30 PM
 
6 posts, read 18,569 times
Reputation: 15

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My family (husband and 3 boys 10, 7, 3) and I were planning on a move to Florida this year. We had been looking into the Cape Coral area. I started looking around on here for info and what I found was a whole bunch of reasons to not move to Florida. I'm feeling extremely torn now.

We currently live in SW Missouri. We live in a small town with pretty good public schools. Not a lot of activities for the kids to do other than sports (soccer, baseball, basketball). There isn't anything fun to introduce the kids to as far as the arts go. Not much to do for the kids as they get older either.

We are looking for an area that is close to the ocean, has good schools, warm year round and has fun activities for kids and adults. Florida is not a must, but it seems to be the warmest place to live and that was farely important to us. Our kids education is more important though.

Any advice I could get on great places to raise kids in Florida would be appreciated. The closer to the ocean the better. Thanks!!
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Old 01-27-2008, 06:48 PM
 
Location: Palm Island and North Port
7,484 posts, read 19,375,955 times
Reputation: 2780
The ocean would actually be on the east coast of Florida. The gulf is SW Florida.

I live in North Port in SW FL and love it. It's just north of Cape Coral, the average age is 38. I have three kids and two of them go to Pine View in Osprey, which is the #6 rated school in the US. The housing is reasonably priced and the schools, for the most part, are very good in Sarasota county.

North Port is about 20-25 minutes to the closest beach-Englewood or Venice beach.
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Old 01-27-2008, 07:35 PM
 
3,842 posts, read 9,245,562 times
Reputation: 3177
SWFL is for some while it is not for others. We had to move there due to job circumstances. We did the research prior to the move & saw what we were getting into. Due to the fact we felt the schools in the area were very below par & that SWFL is known for being a retirement haven (and it is) with very little focused on younger families, we moved when the opportunity arose. It is not just "warm" in SWFL; it is subtropical. The weather pattern south of I-4 is completely different than northern FL.

For every negative, someone could post a positive & vice versa.

There are so many variables that have to be considered. No one on these sites is going to pay your bills, find your family jobs, or educate your children...so just take it all with a grain of salt.

The economic situation & housing bubble issue is just as serious in SWFL, if not worse, than several areas of this country. Educational quality is lacking in Lee & Charlotte Counties.

There is the beach & warm weather, though.

There are better areas in FL for families with school age children IMO.

It comes down to what makes YOUR family happy & content. No one on these sites can tell you THAT. Best of luck. Keep researching & visit the areas if you can.
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Old 01-28-2008, 05:00 AM
 
Location: FL 33774
367 posts, read 1,510,542 times
Reputation: 129
I'm going to tell you about Pinellas County, (near to Tampa) includes St Petersburg and Clearwater and some of the prettiest state park beaches in the State. St Pete is old and has much in the way of culture. We have tons of sport of course, but for children, there is lots of other activities. We have museums, galleries (many run programs for children), Heritage park and the Botanical gardens in Largo have older florida homes and buildings set in a park like environment which are very interesting. They have folk festivals there. Many city parks have public concerts, theater, shows, events year round. We have the water of course, sailing/boating/fishing etc
There are major orchestras and music events year round. We have outdoor concert stadia in St Pete and Tampa. Its close to Tampa Int Airport and we have our own regional/national airport at St Pete/Clearwater. Schools in many areas of the county are great, I have two teens who have gone through elem and middle and are now in High school and are very happy and I am happy with it too.
Do not be put off by other negative comments, there are plenty of people who live here. However it's not a cheap option anymore, but where is these days?

Good luck to you, fire any questions you like about Tampa, and look at the forum that covers this area.
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Old 01-28-2008, 07:48 AM
 
52 posts, read 260,457 times
Reputation: 29
I have to agree with those who say that you cannot decide what is best for your family just from this forum. However, it does have some great tidbits and will help a lot.

Since we moved here to Estero (half-way between ft myers and naples), I have a few things I've learned (in hindsight).
1. I agree that there are other places that are better for families. Right here it is so focused on tourists and retirees that the school system is a mess and it's not as "family" oriented as I'd like. I would, as mentioned, look into North Port area. You can be close to the gulf and yet find those places where there are more families and access to a better education. I've also heard great things about the areas mentioned previously north of Tampa.
2. The outdoor activities really are wonderful. We do a lot of camping and travel and I'm still endlessly fascinated by everything that is so different than where we lived before (Kansas).
3. Since we moved from the same general area you are, I think I can say easily that it is just not anything like that part of the midwest. That's what I miss the most. There's just something about being from the central US that you can't find in other places and I really, really miss the people. And I miss the kids' friends (and their parents) most of all.

All in all, just decide what will be best for your family. Since you have young kids (as I do), I would suggest that you make sure you find a great area for kids. Look at the places people have mentioned and do your homework well. Many people love Florida so it can't be all bad!
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Old 01-28-2008, 08:16 AM
 
6 posts, read 18,569 times
Reputation: 15
I just have to say a great big thank you to those of you who have responded to this post so far. It is so important to my husband and myself that we make the right decision for our family. As much info as I can gather is always a positive thing. Thanks again and I'll keep doing my research for the best place for us.
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Old 01-28-2008, 08:37 AM
 
Location: Sunny Naples Florida :)
1,452 posts, read 1,756,026 times
Reputation: 513
We have a huge problem on here with people saying nothing but negative things about SWFL ..its tiring and I'm tired of trying to counter balance all the negative stuff they have to say... There a lots of positives. LOTS... Take the negatives with a grain of salt, most as you'll read are "stuck" there becasue A) Their house won't sell, or B) they're with a job that they can't leave till their contract up,so they're bitter towards Naples for some reason... Cause its all Naples fault. There are lots of postitives on here, you'll see there are the same people posting negatives, and the same people trying to counteract those negatives with all the positives..
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Old 01-28-2008, 09:53 AM
 
Location: fort myers, florida
172 posts, read 859,815 times
Reputation: 59
Don't discount Cape Coral just because of some nasty posts. It's really not that bad here. I grew up in this area and have chose to stay here because I really like it. I know a lot of people who have left this area to go to college or because they thought the grass was greener on the other side but most of them came back. That really tells you about an area if people come back. Yes, it has it's downfalls but, for me, the good far outweighs the bad. You need to look into what's best for your family and make a list of your needs for an area. However, if you do want the ocean, you need to check the east coast. Lee County (Cape Coral) is on the gulf side where the water is quieter.
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Old 01-30-2008, 05:49 PM
 
4 posts, read 9,979 times
Reputation: 11
We have a do nothing legislature in Florida.
Florida is 40 years behind the times.
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Old 01-30-2008, 07:58 PM
 
246 posts, read 913,561 times
Reputation: 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by whippersnapper View Post
Don't discount Cape Coral just because of some nasty posts. It's really not that bad here. I grew up in this area and have chose to stay here because I really like it. I know a lot of people who have left this area to go to college or because they thought the grass was greener on the other side but most of them came back. That really tells you about an area if people come back. Yes, it has it's downfalls but, for me, the good far outweighs the bad. You need to look into what's best for your family and make a list of your needs for an area. However, if you do want the ocean, you need to check the east coast. Lee County (Cape Coral) is on the gulf side where the water is quieter.
I couldn't have said it better myself. I have been here for 15 years and not looking to get out. I have a grown daughter that moved to NE FL because of her DH's job and really wanted to raise her kids in SW FL or a similiar feeling as her DH gets transferred every few years. I still have kids in school also and they are good kids so that has something (not everything) to say for Cape Coral. My DD was in class a few months ago and they asked who was from Cape Coral and everyone raised their hand except her. That has to say something also.

I would suggest that you do some research and decide where you want to look, then make time to visit before you make up your mind.

Most of my DD's friends also went away to college and most have come back to Cape Coral.
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