Retiring to Southern Florida? How to Choose, East Coast Vs. West Coast

Florida is a prime retirement destination with excellent areas boasting gorgeous beaches and fun recreations.
Florida is a prime retirement destination with excellent areas boasting gorgeous beaches and fun recreations.

While you may have dreamed of retiring to Florida for many years, choosing the best place to relocate can be a bit of a challenge. Do you want the more gentle surf of the West Coast or the East Coast’s spectacular sunrises? Are you looking for a tranquil town or a more active environment? Southern Florida has something for everyone, but you need to find the area that has the best setting for you.

In Southern Florida, both the East Coast and West Coast have their own particular charm. Both have sunny skies and sandy beaches, as well as golf courses, shopping centers and a wide range of restaurants. Both areas also share some of the same coastal concerns, such as hurricanes, tropical storms, and occasional sharks. Yet there are some basic differences to consider.

East Coast

Southeastern Florida includes popular retirement areas such as Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Lake Worth, and Delray Beach. Farther south, it also features urban attractions with cities including Miami and Fort Lauderdale.

Those who live on the East Coast often say that it offers a more active nightlife and a wider range of adult attractions, although it depends largely on the specific area where you choose to settle. Locals also say that the sea breeze off of the Atlantic Ocean helps the East Coast stay cooler and more comfortable during the heat of summer.

West Coast

Also known as the Gulf Coast, Southwestern Florida features retirement areas such as Tampa Bay, Naples, Pelican Bay, Bonita Springs, Venice, Port Charlotte, and Fort Myers. Locals who prefer to live on the Gulf of Mexico often say that the beaches have softer sand and more gentle waves than the shores of the East Coast.

While the East Coast boasts larger cities like Miami, West Coast areas like Tampa Bay also provide a wide range of attractions that appeal to active adult retirees. Yet summers in the West Coast may be more oppressive without the constant ocean breeze.

Visit Before You Choose

When it comes to choosing between Southwestern Florida’s East and West Coasts, it’s best to visit both areas for yourself. Plan an extended vacation that splits your time between each coast or go back to visit multiple times. Be sure to visit during the height of summer, which is the hottest and most humid time in Florida. While you’re visiting, be sure to tour some of the area’s active adult communities.

Whether you choose a home on the East Coast or West Coast, it’s easy to find beautiful retirement destinations in sunny Florida.

Can you spot the $207,744 difference between these identical homes?

Financing is the difference!

Get the details in The 62+ Loan Homebuyers Guide.

55places Mortgage is a joint venture between Mutual of Omaha Mortgage and
Details here.

Share this post:

We're here to help! (800) 928-2055

Call us to speak with a customer service representative.

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Get Weekly Updates

I agree that 55places and its affiliates, partner providers or agents may call, text, or email me about my inquiry, which may be made with automated means. I understand that my consent is not a prerequisite for buying a property. I may revoke my consent at any time by contacting [email protected] Message/data rates may apply. I also agree to’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

The Best Places to Snowbird in 2021

We’ve gathered 25 of the best places for snowbirds, including cities in Florida, Arizona, California, Texas, South Carolina, and Nevada. For each entry, we’ve also provided a list of recommended 55+ communities in the area. If you’re ready to find your own winter retreat this season, here are some of the best places to consider.

A group of older adults socialize within their 55+ community.

Top 10 FAQs About Living in 55+ Communities

We’re here to answer all of your questions about joining a mature living community, so you can feel empowered in your decision. This is the next great adventure of your life, and we’re firm believers in leaving the stress out. Check out these top 10 FAQs about living in 55+ communities.

A senior couple takes a hike in a low-humidity state they chose for their retirement.

Retirement: What Are the Top 5 States With the Lowest Humidity?

There are many factors in deciding where to retire, and the weather can be one of them. Luckily, many of the states with nice weather also offer additional benefits for people over 60 and have several exciting active adult communities. Here are the four best states for a low-humidity retirement.

Lake view during autumn at dusk of Table Rock Mountain in Pickens, South Carolina.

5 Reasons To Consider a South Carolina Retirement

What does South Carolina have to offer active adults? A selection of over 80 active adult communities is just the beginning. These five reasons to consider a South Carolina retirement just might convince you that this southern coastal state has everything you’re looking for in a 55+ community.

The Best Places to Retire in South Carolina

South Carolina is known for having some of the best golf courses in the country, but that’s not all it has to offer active adults. The state has a rich history and culture, a wide selection of entertainment and recreation, and miles of beaches and coastal living.

North Carolina vs. South Carolina

The Carolinas are a power couple when it comes to maintaining an active lifestyle in an amazing climate, but they’re separated by more than just a border. A side-by-side comparison of the two can quickly show which is better for you when it comes to your interests and needs.

Exterior view of a model home at Del Webb Carolina Gardens, Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina on a sunny day.

55+ Communities With New Homes for Sale Near Raleigh

If you’re in the market for a new construction home in Raleigh, North Carolina there are plenty of options to consider. We’ve put together a list to help you start your search for the perfect neighborhood with new homes.

About 55places

We’re changing the way people 55 and older are searching for their perfect next place. With a national network of hand-selected real estate experts, plus comprehensive information, unbiased content, and on-the-go insight about thousands of communities across the country, we’re a trusted resource paving the way from here to home. Whether you’re interested in a low-maintenance single-level residence, an active lifestyle or age-qualified community, an intimate enclave, or anything in between, we can help you make your next move the best one yet.

Scroll to Top