The Five Best Places to Retire in Florida

beachsidesunset-webYou’re contemplating retirement. You know you need to plan for it.

Florida provides the perfect location with a superb climate, recreational offerings, retirement-friendly communities and world-class attractions and cultural outlets.
So, where are the best places to retire in the Sunshine State? In no particular order…

Daytona Beach

Not only is “The World’s Most Famous Beach” a major tourism lure, the surrounding community is a hospitable place to retire. The area is large enough to support a growing population, yet small enough to honor a slower pace. Communities abound surrounding Daytona Beach, all within easy reach of the beach and attractions such as Daytona International Speedway.
Shopping, dining and other services continue to pop up here. A new outlet mall is only one example. Daytona Beach also sits at the intersection of two major highways — I-4 and I-95 — which eases access to the rest of the state.


The Tampa area is one of Florida’s largest. All the amenities of a major urban area are here, along with a busy port and the scenery of Tampa Bay and Gulf of Mexico beaches.

The area is home to professional sports — MLB’s Tampa Bay Rays, the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning. The area teems with cultural treasures such as the Tampa Museum of Art. Also, nearby historic Ybor City offers hand-rolled cigars and classic Cuban cuisine.

Smaller towns outside Tampa provide the quiet and space that many retirees crave, but for active adults, numerous trails and parks offer cyclists, runners and walkers scenic workouts.


Located in Central Florida, Gainesville lies equal distance to Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico. It’s the home of the University of Florida and is listed among the top college towns in which to visit or reside. Oak groves and rolling farmland provide a farm feel beyond Gainesville. The downtown district always hops with restaurants, bars and one-of-a-kind small shops. Combine the events and resources with fun opportunities such as a yummy foodie scene, and Gainesville’s retirement appeal surges on the popularity spectrum.


One of Florida’s great tourism hotspots, Orlando’s iconic attractions offer thrills for all ages. Since it’s a vacation hub, the city’s international airport and major interstates also make traveling a breeze.

Don’t forget the shopping! Orlando is one of the world’s largest concentrations of outlet malls and restaurants in almost any taste and price range.

Orlando also is a destination for major sporting events and conventions. With booming growth comes an array of housing options in every area of metro Orlando. The city’s west side is its latest residential frontier. This area is complete with new communities filled with fitness trails, sidewalks, swimming pools and activity centers. It’s perfect for active retirees.


Located near Florida’s northeastern edge, Jacksonville is a vigorous port city surrounded by nature preserves, pristine beaches and the mighty St. Johns River. The beach community offers a strong surfing scene while the longtime U.S. Naval Station is on the city’s western side.  Only 30 minutes north of Jacksonville, you’ll find classic resort-style living (and a Tom Fazio-designed golf course) at Amelia National Golf and Country Club.

Ready to choose your best place to retire in Florida? ICI Homes offers retirement-perfect communities in Daytona Beach, Tampa, Gainesville, Orlando and Jacksonville so click here to find the fit for you.