The most liveable place in Florida?

I’ve lived my whole life either in Florida or within 2 miles of the state line (in Alabama).

All of Florida is humid, and summers are long. The only variation is that in northern Florida the cool weather lasts longer, the seasons are a little more defined, and the cold snaps are more extreme than in central and south Florida.

All of Florida is prone to hurricanes, but the parts of Florida that get the least amount of direct hits would be the northeastern coast (from the GA line down to around New Smyrna Beach), and the “armpit” of the state (east of Panama City and north of Crystal River).

Obviously anywhere near the coast will be susceptible to rising sea levels, so you would want to be inland. However, the inland parts of the peninsula are susceptible as well due to the high water table. The inland panhandle is the safest part of the state in terms of rising sea levels, but these are also the most rural and culturally traditional parts of the state and would provide a massive culture shock to someone from San Francisco.

Things that will eat you? Alligators and sharks? Alligators are plentiful, but they stay away from places that are popular for swimming due to all of the people. They mostly live in water that you wouldn’t want to swim in anyway (retention ponds, swamps), unless you are an idiot. Sharks are there, and New Smyrna Beach, FL has been called the shark attack capital of the US.

South Florida is politically left-leaning, Central Florida is a mix, and North Florida is more right-leaning. Exceptions in North Florida would be Tallahassee and Gainesville, which are college towns.

All of that being said, I’m not sure why Florida is on your radar. I don’t think it has what you are looking for.

I’m unable to follow the link at the moment, so I don’t know what the picture is, but the highest point in Florida is Britton Hill, which isn’t really a hill, but just a rise in the land. It’s 345 feet above sea level. I’ve never heard of a Sugarloaf Mountain in Florida.

Or even try somewhere like Marina or the more affordable parts of Monterey County. You can get a home there for “only” about $500K.

I vividly remember how flat almost the entire state is, such that when I drove over an overpass, I realized I could see far.

It depends on what season you’re there. Winters are great (former snowbird from Upstate NY here), while summers can be very humid. And then there are the hurricanes.

Maybe Tallahassee. High enough that climate change won’t get it. It’s not too far from the beach (but not on top of it either) It’s hot unfortunately, but so is most of Florida. Hurricanes are relatively rare. I don’t think anything will eat you there. It’s a relatively liberal island in a relatively conservative area, so you’ll meet people of both stripes.

To have less heat, you need to be in the north part. The humidity is less on the coasts. Hurricanes are rare in the northeast part of florida and there has not been a fatal alligator attack there in decades. If there is a part of Florida that meets your criteria the northeast, Jacksonville, area would be most likely.

Weather-wise, possibly so. However, I used to go to Jacksonville regularly for work, and I’ll just say that it’s unlikely to fit the OP’s political orientation. It’s not really Florida, it’s Georgia’s southern annex. :wink:

Yeah, you described pretty much the opposite of here.

But if you have to move somewhere I’d say somewhere on the west coast maybe? You’ll have to deal with Scientologists a bit, but the weather there is better than anywhere else in Florida, the beaches are much, much nicer than the east coast (sorry Cocoa) and it gets about as many hurricanes too.

To avoid those you could go to Central Florida, but outside of Orlando, there isn’t too terribly much. Mount Dora is nice and right on a lake, super small and quaint as well.

Might I suggest Charlotte as a place to live? They have about 2 weeks of snow and ice in February, but other than that it’s a great place to live.

“Livable” and “Florida” just don’t go together. If you can afford SF, you can afford Laguna Niguel.

Two Words… Costa Rica. No joke. Lots of expats, great weather, two oceans, and reasonable costs. You know it’s time to get out. What are you waiting for?

Except, don’t take a dive into that tempting-looking lake on a hot steamy day. They’re full of snakes, at least that’s what I was told when I lived in Fla. very briefly.

I love the Keys but they are very expensive. West Palm is my favorite in South Florida. The SW Gulf Side, Naples is great but dull, nice if you have family. It can get very humid there.

The frost line is from West Palm to Fort Meyers. Draw a line between those two cities and anything below that doesn’t usually have frost, though it can happen. The Keys are the only place that do not see freezing.

Hurricanes shouldn’t be much of a concern. Properly built housing will stand and you get enough warning to get out, well usually. If I were to retire I’d chose either Key West, Marathon (in the Keys) or suburbs of West Palm Beach.

Florida has Mount Trashmore a 225 foot landfill.

Florida is a horrible place that I wouldn’t wish on anyone. The only decent thing in the state is Florida State University and you’re not of college student age.

What about the San Diego area? That’s a lot closer to meeting your criteria than anywhere in Florida.

If you were willing to drop the “near water” requirement, Santa Fe, NM would fit very well.

Florida: The heat and humidity are dreadful, there is always a threat of hurricanes, though there can be a decade without any, and, as far as rising water goes, some coastal cities already experience some streets flooding during super high tides. Mosquitoes are always ready to eat you. Palm Beach County is politically liberal, however, though much of the state is conservative. I think you’d hate Florida.

The barrier islands on the east coast bear the brunt of any tropical storms, hurricanes, or nor’easters.

You’d probably be happier staying on the west coast. Why not up or down the California coast? Or the Oregon coast? Oregon coast, there are quiet towns where you can relax and be left alone.

I grew up in Oregon, my sister still lives there. That weather is not what I’m looking for.

I don’t know, I think I’m done with California. It’s giving me a headache. Maybe I’ll look more closely into that North Carolina stuff espoused by the poster with the very long name.

Barring hurricanes, Key West may be your best bet. Laid back tourist town, cooler because of the ocean breeze. They did get hit badly with a hurricane last year, but there’s really no place in Florida that’s 100% safe.

As far as gators go, treat them like all wildlife. Leave them alone and they will leave you alone. We’ve kayaked past alligators with no issue.

It seems to me the Keys, and especially Key West, suffer from some of the same potential disadvantages as Hawaii: too dependent on outside sources for supplies, which can be disrupted; a lot of tourists; also, maybe too expensive? Can I afford to live in Key West (assume I am comfortable here in San Francisco)? Then of course there is the rising water issue.

How unnerving is it driving over that causeway to get there?

There’s a lot to look at, and being from the Bay Area, you won’t see a lot of sticker shock. There are plenty of $1MM+ homes, the average beach front in Pine Island (between Duck and Corolla) run in the $1.7 million range - but they are also huge, 8+ bedrooms, 8+ baths, game room, pool, formal dining room…they are built to rent…beautiful homes, but not exactly retirement properties…

But there are far more properties in proximity to the beach than right on it, and are much more reasonable…our family home is in a private community one the ocean side of Route 12N that is three blocks long and one block wide…there are no through streets and no traffic other than the residents coming and going…we’re on the first cul-de-sac, the houses are 4 bedrooms, 4 baths, some have pools, most don’t, more than half the residents are either year-round people or people who don’t rent…the beach is a strenuous (:D) 4-minute walk away on a straight, flat, empty road to the private beach access…we bought a golf cart for my Mom a couple of years ago, but we all use it - that cuts the commute down to about 45 seconds…of course, that’s without traffic, with traffic, it might be 50 or 55 seconds…

Right across Rt 12N is the Currituck Sound, many people like living on the sound side, fishing, boating, crabbing, water skiing, beautiful sunsets and a short walk to the beach…

While the houses get more expensive the closer to the beach, the ones in our cul-de-sac and just a little further down the street run in the $350 - 450K range…

This is just one example, the average prices drop further south past Southern Shores to Kitty Hawk and Kill Devil Hills and Nags Head…and the islands to the south all have varying prices and potential, I think there is a lot for you to research if you are interested…

Finally, NC is a pretty red state, but the coastal areas are very moderate, almost apolitical as it is a mixture of people, a good portion of the residents are transplants, mostly from MD, VA (NOVA especially), PA and surprisingly, a fair amount from OH…

The weather in the fall and spring is beautiful, rents are cheaper, the tourists are minimal, so that would be the time to visit and take a look around IMHO…

You don’t want hot and you want “tolerable” humidity…hmm.

I agree with others that Florida is not a good place to look at. I say this from my voluminous Florida experience, which is to say the parts of two days I spent in Orlando in late March several years back. I’m not sure I’ve ever experienced weather more muggy than those two days, plus which it was hot…and as I said it was March. March! I can’t imagine what it’s like in July and August. (Though, who knows, maybe those March days were unusual.)

I’d worry about the NC coast, too. I have been there many times during the summer, and it’s brutal–not as bad as in FL, for sure, but the heat and humidity in summer there is pretty fierce. People like to talk about the sea breezes cooling things off, but IMHO the sea breeze is highly effective on the beach and pretty negligible anywhere else–even a hundred yards or so inland.

Now maybe I’m unusually sensitive to humidity and to heat, so we should take that into account. But you used the phrase “tolerable humidity,” and gotta be honest: I don’t find it tolerable. Obviously other people’s opinions differ.