Best Florida Cities for Young Adults
There are close to 1000 people per day moving to Florida from around the country. Many are of the age that they are looking for the best places in Florida for young adults to live and work.
Many come to the sunshine state to vacation, attend wedding parties, observe the spring break ritual or take weekend getaways. When it comes to living and working, the best Florida cities for young adults may be vastly different than the party atmosphere.
The best cities in Florida for young adults to work and live must have a particular mix of economic, cultural and vocational opportunities. That probably eliminates some of the well-known party places like Miami’s South Beach, Key West, and the spring break mecca Panama City Beach.
Our list of the best places in Florida for young adults to live and work takes a look at each of the three opportunities above.
The Best Cities to Live and Work for Young Adults in Florida are;
This central west coast city has it all. A growing population of young adults, a vibrant downtown with ever-expanding housing, and a labor market that begs for young talent in almost every possible profession.
The Channelside District, downtown, has exploded with new apartments, condominiums, and homes catering to the millennial crowd. Within walking distance are jobs, entertainment, retail stores, transportation and world-class restaurants.
Just a mile or so away from downtown is the famed Ybor City which also offers a burgeoning young adult population.
Major companies in Tampa include several major bank headquarters and public companies like Mosaic, Bloomin Brands, Masonite and Primo Water. These companies are all multi-billion dollar operations that continually recruit young adults.
Within 45 minutes or less are places like Clearwater Beach, St. Petersburg and Brandon. Of course, Disney World is just an hour away.
Tampa tops our list of best Florida cities for young adults.
You probably won’t find Naples on many lists of the best places in Florida for young adults to live and work. That is because the writers are not residents of Florida or they have advertiser publishing obligations.
Naples is not only growing, but it is one of the safer cities in Florida. Naples has long been identified as a place for wealthy northerners to winter. But that is quickly changing to year-round residents who recognize the opportunities in a changing demographic.
There is a bundle of employment opportunities. If you like the hospitality industry, some of the best resorts in the state are around Naples. If you are inclined towards our natural surroundings, the Everglades is one of the most eco-diverse places in the world and Naples is on the edge of it.
Fortune 500 companies in Naples include Toll Brothers (housing), Arthrex, and multiple health services companies. Naples was also named a perfect place for company headquarters in the post-pandemic era.
Great year-round weather, plenty of entertainment venues, some of the best shopping in the state, and a healthy job market make Naples one of the best Florida cities for young adults.
West Palm Beach
West Palm Beach, on Florida’s southeast coast, is a community that empowers young adults in an upscale community. If you look at the top employers in the area, you will find a who’s who of employment opportunities.
This beach town has long been a destination for retirees and companies looking for a safe place for facilities and employees. This town is ranked very high on the safest places in Florida list.
If there is a negative, it would be the availability of affordable housing. On the other side of the coin, West Palm Beach offers some of the highest median wages in the state of Florida.
As far as quality of life, perfect weather, amazing parks, beautiful coastal resorts, water-related sports, and unequaled Atlantic Ocean views will satisfy those concerns.
The city is north of Miami just 70 miles and southeast of Orlando 170 miles for a weekend getaway.
We recommend you put West Palm Beach on your shortlist of the best Florida cities for young adults.
One of the comments we hear is Florida is too hot in the summer. While we believe that objection is unfounded, Pensacola in the western panhandle of Florida is an easy exception to heat.
Temperatures in the winter months will be in the high 60s and lows in the mid-40s. Pensacola’s waterfront location means it rarely reaches the freezing mark. In the summer temperatures can approach 90 and lows are in the mid to low 70s. A cool coastal breeze is common.
While Pensacola is well known as the hub of Naval Air Operations, there are four major military bases. People forget that the armed forces are one of the largest employers of civilians in the country.
Take a look at some of the job openings in Pensacola in the $80-250,000 range. You will find there are many supporting businesses to the naval centers that continually recruit talented young adults.
The rich history of Pensacola is ever-present with landmarks and museums. In fact, all of the panhandle has historical significance. If beaches are important to you, the panhandle has tons of popular beaches from Santa Rosa to Pensacola.
All in all, Pensacola has to be considered one of the best Florida cities for young adults to live and work in the state.
The University of Florida is located in Gainesville. With over 50,000 students you can see why this sprawling college is the top employer in the county.
The second largest employer is Shands Hospital (part of UF) and it is one of the most prominent hospitals in the entire state. They employ nearly 9000 people from medical staff to administration.
There are hundreds of supporting businesses in Gainesville of all persuasions from medical, construction, and facilities management all around Gainesville.
Located in north central Florida, you could put Gainesville in any midwestern state and you would be hard-pressed to tell you were in Florida.
The town is reminiscent of any large college city. However, somehow Gainesville has maintained a small-town feel.
If beaches aren’t your thing, then maybe the rolling hills of north central Florida, the huge plantations, and the lively horse farms nearby may interest you. Gainesville is surrounded by beauty.
Gainesville is 2.5 hours from Tampa to the south and 2 hours southeast to Orlando.
If you have any skills in the medical field, you are almost guaranteed a career in Gainesville, but all types of job opportunities exist in the county.
Certainly, Gainesville is one of the best Florida cities for young adults to work.
We include Orlando by necessity. Disney World alone employs 77,000 people in all phases of its operations. That makes sense considering 58 million people visit there annually.
Disney isn’t known for its high-paying jobs but if you are an artist, entertainer, or educated in the hospitality field you may qualify for one of their more skilled openings.
Disney uses many outside contractors for building construction, design and support operations. In fact, one contractor that does 300 million-plus worth of work says he is hampered by growth from being unable to employ engineers, construction professionals and workmen.
There is no question the job market in Orlando is robust. Job openings from the tourism industry alone total in the thousands.
The negative with Orlando is growth. Uncontrolled growth. Transportation is difficult and housing has been a problem for years. On the bright side, what may be an obstacle for some, could be an employment opportunity for others.
Orlando has numerous positives for the quality of life. Cultural activities abound, entertainment is plentiful, active sports with a focus on golf, and the central location in Florida offers endless places to visit.
If a fast-paced environment with a boundless future is a priority for you, Orlando is one of the best Florida cities for young adults.
How We Comprised Our List of the Best Places in Florida for Young Adults to Live and Work
Florida is like many other states. While Florida is one of the safer states in America, there are pockets of crime and those cities we didn’t include.
Miami, Jacksonville and a few others have job opportunities. They also have areas we wouldn’t recommend as the best quality of life. There are exceptions in all these general areas.
We also didn’t include some absolutely gorgeous small towns in Florida. The Keys, Sarasota, Ft. Myers, and others are great places to live, but finding a suitable career is more difficult.
Our list of the best places in Florida for young adults to live and work is based on our observations as residents. We aren’t highlighting any advertiser considerations or remunerations, just facts as we encounter them.
Best Florida Cities for Young Adults Options
Each area of Florida has boundless options for entertainment, cultural activities, job opportunities and housing. Check almost all the best places in Florida for young adults to live and work by consulting the Florida Travel Blog.