The thought of escaping the hustle and bustle of your working life and retiring to the warmer climate of another country may seem like a distant dream for many. This need not be the case, as due to the excellent worldwide flight connections and communication services these days, this fantasy may easily become a reality. It is of course important to choose carefully when it comes to deciding on the destination in which you would like to enjoy your retirement.
Often known as the ‘Sunshine State’, due to its warm, sunny climate, Florida has long been a popular choice. The following Floridian cities, with their many unique attractions and amenities, have been enticing national and international retirees alike for many years.
Covering an area of over 55 square miles and with a population of over 5 million (in the greater metropolitan area), the city of Miami is the largest in the state. As to be expected, there is plenty to attract retirees to Miami, other than the city’s fantastic climate. Miami has a thriving arts, musical and cultural scene, as well as some of the country’s best beaches. The nearby major international airport means that this cosmopolitan city is well connected to most major cities throughout the world.
To the north of Miami, on a narrow, 16-mile long island, just off the State’s eastern coast is Palm Beach. The city has a more relaxed and laid-back vibe when compared to its lively neighbor. As to be expected from its idyllic name, the city’s main focus is its pristinely clean beaches. Such relaxed water sports as sailing, yachting and scuba diving are the most popular activities amongst retirees enjoying this city’s great climate.
Perhaps most famous for its location close to the Walt Disney World Resort, the Floridian city of Orlando is often referred to as ‘The Theme Park Capital of the World’. As well as this obvious attraction more suited to younger visitors, Orlando has a lot more to offer the more mature repatriates. The city boasts a great cultural scene and is home to the Central Florida Ballet and the Orlando Shakespeare Theatre; as well as being surrounded by some of the state’s best golf courses. Orlando’s central state location means that all the attractions of the Floridian east and west coasts are easily reachable.
Located to the far north-east corner of Florida, the major city of Jacksonville and its environs are another popular retirement hotspot. The city has a thriving cultural scene, boasting such attractions as the Alhambra Dinner Theatre, Florida Theatre and the Jacksonville Museum of Contemporary Art. Golfing enthusiasts will discover that the city is surrounded by many extensive courses and the numerous shopping malls and the designer shops of Jacksonville Landing offer those seeking retail therapy plenty to fill their days. Jacksonville also has the country’s largest urban park system, meaning that you are never far away from green open spaces.
The city of Tampa is located on Florida’s western Gulf coast and is named after the sheltered bay which lies to the south-east of the city. Tampa is renowned for its eclectic mixture of architecture: from tall skyscrapers and post-modern structures to the well preserved art-deco buildings to be found in the Ybor City District, which can be found on the National register of Historic Places. There is always plenty for retirees to see and do in Tampa, from such landmarks as Sulphur Springs Tower, Babe Zaharias Golf Course and the Museum of Science and History. Tampa is also well placed for retirees to treat their young visitors to a day out at the world-famous Busch Gardens theme park.
A few miles to the south of Tampa lies the coastal city of Sarasota. Famous worldwide for the quality of beaches to be found in the city and its outlining islands, or ‘keys’, Sarasota is a popular retirement destination amongst retirees to relax and enjoy the region’s natural beauty. As well as enjoying the water sports activities which the city’s geographical surroundings can afford, Sarasota also has a thriving cultural scene, with the Sarasota Ballet, Asolo Reparatory Theatre and Florida Studio Theatre putting the city firmly on the map.
Located some 129 miles southwest from the south-eastern tip of mainland Florida, the island city of Key West can be reached by a series of bridges and highways, via numerous smaller keys and islets. Its isolated location means that Key West is renowned for its inhabitants’ liberal and bohemian lifestyles. The city also has its fair share of great beaches and numerous unique landmarks and attractions.