Best Places To Raise A Family In Florida For 2020


We used science and data to determine which cities in Florida have the best set up for children: a lot to do, good schools, and no crime.

Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2020. This is our sixth time ranking the best cities for families in Florida.

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This article might not start with 'Florida man...,' but you should definitely keep reading to see the best places to raise a family in The Sunshine State because it's just as informative. Incidentally, if you think that the only reason to bring your family to Florida is Disney World and Universal Studios in Orlando, think again. This state has a lot of great places for families and HomeSnacks is here to tell you where those places are located: we've created a list of the top ten most family friendly places in Florida for 2020 and listed them below.

But, before we divulge the top ten best places for families in America's southernmost contiguous state, you need to know how HomeSnacks arrived at this conclusive list. First, we had to narrow down our search criteria so we looked at the latest Census for Florida cities with at least 10,000 residents. And with seven of the best cities to raise a family in the country located in Florida, it was quite the feat. But, we did it.

We also looked at the number of family friendly amenities each city has; and, readers, as you can imagine, there is no shortage of fun for families in the state where the sun shines close to 265 days/year. Yes, not only can the kids play outside ALL day most of the year, you can wear them out with beach trips to places like Clearwater and/or trips to Fort Lauderdale's infamous biking trails.

So, if you're looking for safe, family friendly Florida places with plenty of activities to keep your family happy and healthy, keep reading.

We analyzed 145 cities in Florida by ranking cities based upon "family-friendliness" factors like crime levels, quality of schools, and family activities.

What's the best place for families in Florida? There was one clear winner: Winter Park ranked as the best place for famileis in Florida based on the data. If you haven't heard of Winter Park, then you need to get to the Google Search bar. Winter Park scored an 8.5/10 on our SnackAbility scale.

Interested to see how your favorite Florida city stacked on the family-friendliness scale? Read on to learn more about our methodology and to see more detailed information about our top ten best cities in Florida to raise a family in 2020.

Check out some more reading about Florida and the best places for families in the country:

The 10 Best Places To Raise A Family In Florida For 2020

Winter Park, FL

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 30,189
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 51
Closest Major City: Orlando
Households with kids: 23.9%
More on Winter Park: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

If your family doesn't like winter, you don't have to worry about snow in our fourth family friendly city in Florida for 2019: Winter Park. The weather, here, is actually quite the opposite: it's sunny 238 days/year.

This city in Orange County is another family friendly Disney-burb with tons of family friendly things to do.

Surrounded by water, Winter Park is a family friendly resort community with great shopping, art galleries, museums, parks, and multiple beaches.

And if you're stressed about where to send your kids to school, you can stop now. Winter Park has multiple blue ribbon elementary schools, three gold star high schools and six colleges. #Score

Maitland, FL

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 17,622
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 43
Closest Major City: Orlando
Households with kids: 22.8%
More on Maitland: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

The most family friendly city in Florida for 2019 is Maitland. Kudos to Maitland!

Surrounded by lakes and gardens, and just North of Disney World, any family would be lucky to call this city home.

This city scored off our charts with an 8.5/10 snackability rating with an emphasis on jobs, education, and family friendly amenities.

Not surprising considering they have four large parks and five museums in their backyard. And for all of those parents who don't want their kids to fly the coop for college, Everglades University and University of Phoenix-Orlando are just a stone's throw away as well.

We get why your city's motto is "A Community for Life".

Kissimmee, FL

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 69,833
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 47
Closest Major City: Orlando
Households with kids: 35.9%
More on Kissimmee: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

When your city's motto is "A Community of Neighborhoods for Families!" you better make sure you bring it. And that's exactly what our third most family friendly city in Florida for 2019, Kissimmee, has done.

This city in Osceola County scored off the charts in housing, diversity, and family friendly amenities.

They have close to ten parks, 32 miles of bike trails, and they are located near Universal Orlando Resort, SeaWorld, and Disney World.

And companies like Walt Disney, Walmart, and the Osceola County School District are providing a lot of opportunities for families to earn that cheddar. The median household income for Kissimmee is close to $37,000/year.

Parkland, FL

Overall SnackAbility

7.5
/10

Population: 30,471
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 55
Closest Major City: Hialeah
Households with kids: 50.7%
More on Parkland: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

You don't have to have a boatload of kids to keep your family entertained if you want to live in our second most family friendly city in Florida for 2019.

Why? Parkland has one of the highest percentages of families with kids on our list, so there will be plenty of kids to play with when you move here.

There are also plenty of high paying jobs, great schools, and it's crazy safe.

Located in Southern Florida, just North of Miami, this Broward County city should be Florida's poster city for family friendly. #GoodWork

Naples, FL

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 21,564
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 69
Closest Major City: Hialeah
Households with kids: 8.7%
More on Naples: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Head 2.5 hours straight South from Tampa, and you'll run right into our eighth most affordable city in Florida for 2019: Naples.

This little Florida gem is one of the wealthiest cities in the country. And with all that wealth, comes nice, safe, communities, too many gold star schools to count, and family friendly activities that will keep your peeps entertained for days.

Did we mention that a taste of old Naples can still be found in two orange groves still in business. So, if keeping your family healthy with fresh Vitamin C is important to you, ya better get a movin' to this Southern Florida city.

Review Of Naples by HomeSnacks User

The economy of Naples is based largely on tourism and was historically based on real estate development and agriculture. Due to its proximity to the Everglades and Ten Thousand Islands, Naples is also popular among ecotourists.

The economy of Naples is based largely on tourism and was historically based on real estate development and agriculture. Due to its proximity to the Everglades and Ten Thousand Islands, Naples is also popular among ecotourists.

Tampa, FL

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 376,345
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 100
Households with kids: 27.7%
More on Tampa: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Welcome to Tampa. This city in Hillsborough County scored the highest on our list for family amenities and it's our seventh most affordable city in Florida for 2019.

Located on the East side of the Sunshine State, just off the Gulf of Mexico, Tampa has something for everyone. Amazing food, great parks, beaches, sunshine...the list goes on.

Tampa's population is growing by leaps and bounds. They are gaining approximately 97,000 residents per year. If you are looking for diverse neighborhoods, lively neighborhoods, quaint, quiet neighborhoods, and/or beachside neighborhoods, Tampa is your town.

So, grab the fam, pack the Woody, and head to "The Big Guava," cuz the ocean is calling your name.

Review Of Tampa by HomeSnacks User

the area i live in is very safe and secure, the schools are highly rated.

the place i lived in is very safe, the neighbors are good.

Eustis, FL

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 20,264
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 58
Closest Major City: Orlando
Households with kids: 26.0%
More on Eustis: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Miami Lakes, FL

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 31,050
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 58
Closest Major City: Hialeah
Households with kids: 37.7%
More on Miami Lakes: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Head South towards Miami, and we find our sixth most affordable city in Florida for 2019: Miami Lakes.

We believe that for a city to be truly family friendly, it needs to be safe, hip, diverse, and it has to have a ton of family friendly activities..

This little city in Miami-Dade County is just that. They scored an 8/10 for safety, a 7/10 for diversity, and a 9.5/10 for family activities.

Word in the street, it's also one of the youngest cities. Heck, their city's motto is "Growing Beautifully". Just think of the impact you and your family can have on an up and coming city.

Review Of Miami Lakes by HomeSnacks User

I love how Miami lakes is so beautiful and safe also very quiet. They have many markets and places to eat they are a nice people also in Miami lakes.

The area is very good and the people are friendly.

Niceville, FL

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 15,050
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 45
Closest Major City: Montgomery
Households with kids: 31.3%
More on Niceville: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Our fifth most family friendly city in Florida for 2019, Niceville, comes to us from the Florida Panhandle.

We think the name says it all, folks. Everything in Niceville has to be nice, right?

More importantly, this Choctawhatchee Bay city crushed our snackability scale with high marks across the board. It's like a big Florida playground for big and little kids alike.

Formerly known as Boggy, this Okaloosa County city's family household median income is close to $52,000/year! Just think of all the Niceville family friendly activities you can buy dough.

They definitely know what they're doing in Niceville.

Key Biscayne, FL

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 13,054
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 60
Closest Major City: Miami
Households with kids: 39.4%
More on Key Biscayne: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

And rounding out our top ten most affordable cities in Florida for 2019 is...Key Biscayne!

Located on it's own little private peninsula, off the East Coast of the Sunshine State, Key Biscayne scored the highest on our snackability scale: a big 'ol 10/10. They scored strong across all criteria, but they made the most magic happen with a 10/10 in education. The residents, here, are smart, hard-working Floridians.

Not surprising considering they are basically their own private island. Hence the reason their city's motto is "Island Paradise".

We don't know about you, but nothing says safe, family friendly livin' like owning a piece of paradise.

How do you determine which place is best for families in Florida anyways?

To give you the places in Florida which are best for families, we have to look at a handful of metrics. Of course, we want to measure the type of people who live in each city, and make some assumptions about what's family-friendly and what isn't.

So we researched the internet for a database that contains all that information.

How we crunched the family friendly numbers for the Sunshine State

We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible. Using U.S. Census data produced for the state of Florida, we looked at every single city in the state. We paid particular attention to:

  • Crime (Both violent and property)
  • Quality of local schools
  • Distance to a major city without necessarily being in it
  • % of households with children
  • Family-friendly amenities nearby (museums, libraries and colleges)

We then gave each city a Family Score.

The higher the score, the better the city is for families. We also limited our results to cities with populations over 10,000 people. For Florida, that meant a total of 145 cities. You can download the data here.

There You Have It - The Best Places To Raise A Family In Florida

If you're looking for a breakdown of cities in Florida ranked by criteria that most would agree make a place a great spot for families, this is an accurate list.

Here's a look at the best cities for singles Florida according to the data:

  1. Mount Dora
  2. Holly Hill
  3. Gainesville

For more florida reading, check out:

Where Are The Best Places For Families In Florida?

Rank City Population Amenities Score
1 Winter Park, FL 30,189 41
2 Maitland, FL 17,622 56
3 Kissimmee, FL 69,833 56
4 Parkland, FL 30,471 52
5 Naples, FL 21,564 81
6 Tampa, FL 376,345 100
7 Eustis, FL 20,264 54
8 Miami Lakes, FL 31,050 51
9 Niceville, FL 15,050 66
10 Key Biscayne, FL 13,054 49

How Is The Area In ?

About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.

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