Florida ranks high in 2024 U.S. News & World Report best cities to retire. Here's the list (2024)

Looking for a place to retire? Florida is waiting for you.

In the U.S. News & World Report's "2024 Best Places to Retire in the U.S." list, 10 of the top 30 ranked cities are in the Sunshine State.

The top place to retire in Florida? Daytona Beach, which came in at No. 8 out of the 150 metropolitan cities that made the list.

Pennsylvania dominated the list for retirees this year, with Harrisburg, Reading, Lancaster, Scranton and Allentown taking the first five spots. New York City was No. 7, then back to Pennsylvania with York at No. 7 and Pittsburgh at No. 10. No. 9 was Youngstown, Ohio. That's something of an upset over last year when there were four Florida cities in the top ten, but rising housing costs may have cost us some points.

Here are the Florida cities that U.S. News & World Report named as the best places to retire in 2024.

No. 8: Daytona Beach

Florida ranks high in 2024 U.S. News & World Report best cities to retire. Here's the list (2)

Daytona Beach was the top Florida city this year, although it dropped from last year's No. 7 spot. The World's Most Famous Beach was praised for its weather, its fishing and golf, beach driving, the NASCAR connection, and the "museums,theaters, performing arts centers, antique markets,restaurants, mallsand colleges that combine to make it one of Florida's most well-rounded metro areas."

The Report also liked the easy access to surrounding towns and communities that allow residents "a range of living choices at various prices," and it points out that housing costs in Daytona Beach ($375,917 in 2022) are slightly lower than the national average ($383,883 in the same period). Daytona Beach also is No. 49 on the U.S. News & World Report's "Best Places to Live" list.

  • Overall Score: 7.0
  • Housing Affordability: 6.7
  • Health Care: 5.5

No. 12: Tampa

Florida ranks high in 2024 U.S. News & World Report best cities to retire. Here's the list (3)

Tampa was No. 4 last year, but the "increasingly competitive" housing market brought it down to No. 12. The Report liked the combination of the "laid-back beach lifestyle" and the things found in a large metropolitan area such as professional sports teams, museums, a "hip social scene," a thriving Hispanic community and more.

U.S. News and World Report picked Tampa as No. 24 in this year's "Best Places to Live" list.

  • Overall Score: 6.9
  • Housing Affordability: 6.2
  • Health Care: 5.6

No. 18: Sarasota

Florida ranks high in 2024 U.S. News & World Report best cities to retire. Here's the list (4)

In Sarasota, the Report loves the unique charm of the city with its "vibrant arts scene, beachy atmosphere and burgeoning food culture." They also liked the opera house, the rooftop bars, and the availability of both resorts and fine dining and "a more intimate, seaside ambience," which may be why they ranked the city as No. 5 in the "Best Places to Live" list.

Rising housing prices brought it down in the rankings from last year's No. 11 spot, though, with average rental prices slightly higher even than nearby Tampa and St. Petersburg. Average housing costs in Sarasota were $387,630 in 2020, compared to the national average of $315,743, the report said.

  • Overall Score: 6.9
  • Housing Affordability: 5.8
  • Health Care: 5.5

Best place to live:

No. 22: Lakeland

Florida ranks high in 2024 U.S. News & World Report best cities to retire. Here's the list (5)

The report likes Lakeland's natural beauty, affordability, convenience to Florida attractions, and its balance between small-town living and metro life.

"The relatively small metro area lends itself to a small-town feel, where neighbors know one another and people often run into friends while out shopping or dining," the report said. But this year's ranking is still lower than last year's, at No. 13.

  • Overall Score: 6.8
  • Housing Affordability: 7.0
  • Health Care: 5.7

No. 23: Melbourne

Florida ranks high in 2024 U.S. News & World Report best cities to retire. Here's the list (6)

Down from No. 12 in 2022, Melbourne, "an easygoing metropolitan area with serious small-town appeal," ranks for the mix of people who come to the Space Coast, the bustling Eau Gallie Arts District, the historic downtown area and the many water-based activities available.

The report points out that housing costs are well under the national average — $217,400 in Melbourne in 2020, vs. the national average of $315,743 — but you'll pay more for necessities such as gas and groceries. Melbourne was ranked No. 15 in the report's "Best Places to Live."

  • Overall Score: 6.8
  • Housing Affordability: 6.5
  • Health Care: 5.3

Why move to Florida?14 Florida cities made list of best places to live in US

No. 24: Orlando

Florida ranks high in 2024 U.S. News & World Report best cities to retire. Here's the list (7)

Whether it's the nightlife, the shopping, the sports, the beautiful residential areas, or (of course) the world-famous theme parks, the Report likes all the different aspects of Orlando. It's one of the few Florida cities on this list to move up the ranks this year, from No. 31 in 2022.

"When you get right down to it, every facet of Orlando combines to create one of Florida's most appealing areas for business, living and recreation," the report said.

  • Overall Score: 6.8
  • Housing Affordability: 6.1
  • Health Care: 5.6

No. 26: Ocala

Florida ranks high in 2024 U.S. News & World Report best cities to retire. Here's the list (8)

The Report praised the rolling hills and green pastures of Ocala, the "Horse Capital of the World," but also appreciated the "vibrant, historic downtown features Victorian-era homes framing a city square with an active food scene and nightlife." Down from No. 16 last year, Ocala ranked well for housing affordability.

  • Overall Score: 6.8
  • Housing Affordability: 7.5
  • Health Care: 5.5

No. 28: Naples

Florida ranks high in 2024 U.S. News & World Report best cities to retire. Here's the list (9)

Housing costs hurt many of the cities' rankings, but Naples is known for its premium property and preferred retirement destination for the "rich, powerful and cold-averse," the report said. Housing costs in Naples in 2022 were $823,196, twice the national average of $383,883 in the same time period, which may be why it's listed down from No. 6 in last year's list.

But the report also points to the sugary beaches, golf courses, fine dining, craft breweries and more, while pointing out issues with the lack of affordable homes and road-choking traffic. Despite that, Naples was No. 6 in the Report's "Best Places to Live" list.

  • Overall Score: 6.8
  • Housing Affordability: 5.1
  • Health Care: 5.1

Snubbed!7 Florida towns left off 2023 Best Places to Live list

No. 29: Jacksonville

Florida ranks high in 2024 U.S. News & World Report best cities to retire. Here's the list (10)

Jacksonville was another rare Florida city that rose in the rankings, up from No. 35 in 2022. The report likes the wide range of "culturally and aesthetically diverse neighborhoods," the many restaurant, shop and entertainment options, the nature trails and waterways, and a rising art and music scene.

Jacksonville ranked No. 16 on the Report's "Best Places to Live" list.

  • Overall Score: 6.8
  • Housing Affordability: 6.6
  • Health Care: 5.2

No. 30: Pensacola

Florida ranks high in 2024 U.S. News & World Report best cities to retire. Here's the list (11)

Despite an average housing cost well below the national average and no obvious complaints, Pensacola saw the biggest drop in ranking, from No. 3 last year. But the report admires the "white sand beaches, breathtaking sunsets and emerald green waters: of the city, as well as the rich cultural heritage and multiculturism, the vibrant nightlife, the beautiful outdoors and the "flourishing arts scene."

  • Overall Score: 6.8
  • Housing Affordability: 6.9
  • Health Care: 4.7

Pensacola living:Pensacola jumps 16 spots on U.S. News' Best Places to Live 2023-2024 list

Not ready to retire?Which Florida cities are Gen Z's young professionals flocking to?

What other Florida cities made the U.S. News & World Report's '2024 Best Places to Retire' list?

  • No. 49: Port St. Lucie
  • No. 57: Fort Myers
  • No. 63: Tallahassee
  • No. 82: Miami
Florida ranks high in 2024 U.S. News & World Report best cities to retire. Here's the list (2024)

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