Thinking about relocating to Florida? Living in abundant sunshine is certainly a mood booster. The warmth of the sun’s rays beckons residents outdoors year-round, where they can participate in a vast array of activities. An added benefit: Getting outside allows residents to improve and strengthen community connections. Below are Florida’s top 10 healthiest cities for you to consider.
1. Boynton Beach
Smoking rate: 7.2%
Physical inactivity rate: 26.7%
Whether you want to indulge yourself in aquatic activities or keep your feet firmly planted on dry ground, you won’t be disappointed in Boynton Beach. The city, which lies south of Palm Beach and about an hour’s drive north of Miami, may give you the illusion you are in the Caribbean. Drinking in the city’s charm, you may wonder why anyone would want to live elsewhere. Head over to Boynton Beach Ocean Inlet Park, coined as an intercoastal gem, and test your balancing skills on a paddleboard. When you live in the land of seemingly endless summers, you will kiss the snow and blustery cold winds goodbye.
Smoking rate: 13.5%
Physical inactivity rate: 19.5%
Tallahassee, the state’s capital, offers outdoor enthusiasts more than 700 miles to walk, bike, or hike. Those who prefer thigh-burning mountain biking trails won’t be disappointed. And no, Virginia, not all terrain in Florida is flat. If you prefer to view the landscape on horseback, you will want to visit Fort Braden Equestrian Trail. Whether you are a quiet observer or an ardent thrill seeker, you will find serenity in watching wildlife in its natural habitat. Fair warning: These curious creatures, whether they have wings, fins, or four legs, will mesmerize you.
3. Fort Lauderdale
Smoking rate: 13.1%
Physical inactivity rate: 24.8
Researchers claim that those who live near coastal waters or large bodies of natural water have lower anxiety and stress levels. If you choose to reside in Fort Lauderdale, you will have the opportunity to put this to the test. In so doing, you may discover that you can enjoy many health and wellness benefits that don’t require intense physical activity. Taking a leisurely riverboat sightseeing cruise or speeding across the Everglades in an airboat may be the best remedy to help you unwind.
Smoking rate: 12.0%
Physical inactivity rate: 19.0%
Miramar is a less-crowded component of the Miami Metropolitan complex, making it a popular destination. In the mood for an outdoor performance? You will find an assortment of multicultural entertainment events at the 4,000-seat Miramar Amphitheater. Guests can escape the rain or baking sun while relaxing under a massive canopy. Another claim to fame is its multifunctional Ansin Sports Complex which hosts cricket, soccer, pole vaulting – you name it. To get your nature fix, visit the Miramar Pineland Natural Area where kids can enjoy the playgrounds and splash pads.
5. Boca Raton
Smoking rate: 14.7%
Physical inactivity rate: 21.2
The beautiful tropical oasis that envelopes Boca Raton is not easily explained – it’s meant to be experienced. Aside from the continuous sea spray, seagulls foraging for food, and swaying palm trees – all courtesy of Mother Nature – Boca Raton has been adorned by residents who have added a degree of glamour and glitz. Shopping connoisseurs will be spellbound strolling through Mizner Park and browsing through the Boca Raton Museum of Art. Soak in the natural marine environment when you escape to the oceanfront Red Reef Park.
6. Palm Beach Gardens
Smoking rate: 11.5%
Physical inactivity rate: 18.6%
If you could rewind time, you’d find this region dominated by cattle ranches and pine forests. But when developers arrived, they converted the land into a breathless wonder that became Palm Beach Gardens. Soon, homes popped up – as did boutiques and delicious eateries. Golf enthusiasts probably know that the Professional Golfers’ Association of America (PGA) has a headquarters here. The annual Honda Classic attracts golf legends and fans who hope to catch a glimpse of their favorite players. Many residents of this idyllic town enjoy the culinary and tropical chic retail mecca known as the Downtown Palm Beach Gardens.
7. Coral Springs
Smoking rate: 13.4%
Physical inactivity rate: 23.6%
Coral Springs has a bounty of sites to explore and recreational activities to entertain the entire family. You will also discover scrumptious places to dine and get refueled. If you want to seek refuge from the hustle of the city, hop on the Sawgrass Expressway and head west – it will take you almost to the edge of the Florida Everglades. In this diverse wildlife haven, you can observe nautical and migratory birds sampling the dense vegetation or flying above cypress and palm trees.
Smoking rate: 14.2%
Physical inactivity rate: 23.5%
Melbourne’s waterfront location along the Indian River Lagoon makes it an ideal spot to watch pelicans and cranes. In downtown Melbourne’s older district, you will find the Crane Creek Promenade’s wildlife and manatee observation area. If you are seeking superb fishing opportunities, cast your line off the Melbourne Beach Fishing Pier. At the end of the day, if you haven’t caught anything – which is a rarity – you can catch a spectacular sunset. No ticket required.
9. Winter Park
Smoking rate: 9.7%
Physical inactivity rate: 17.5%
Situated north of Orlando, Winter Park was once advertised as a place to find refuge during – you guessed it – the winter. It’s a premier destination for those who love nature and a hearty mix of year-round festivals. Lakes of all sizes are sprinkled across the landscape, making them popular locales for those who enjoy an assortment of water-related activities. After a guided boat tour, enjoy dinner at a lakeside seafood restaurant.
10. Cape Coral
Smoking rate: 16.7%
Physical inactivity rate: 17.6%
Although Cape Coral doesn’t bump up against the Gulf of Mexico, it has no shortage of bodies of water. No other city on earth has as many navigable waterways: Cape Coral offers 400 miles of meandering canals. If you want to cast away on a kayak to view large swaths of lush mangroves along tidal shores, this is the perfect starting point. If golf is on your to-do list, you’ll be delighted to know the city also offers plenty of courses. Make plans to visit the Tom Allen Memorial Butterfly Garden, where you can watch majestic butterflies glide and dance on sunbeams.