U.S. News & World Report has unintentionally launched an advertising campaign for Florida.
The magazine recently unveiled its rankings for the best places in America to retire, with the Sunshine State claiming eight of the top 10 locations for those heading into the sunset of life.
Sarasota ranked on top nationally.
In explaining its reasoning, U.S. News noted, “Sarasota has a distinct vibe that’s different from Florida’s relative coastal cities, with its own vibrant arts scene, beachy atmosphere, and burgeoning food culture. People who choose Sarasota as their home are generally called by its unique charm,” featuring a “renowned opera house, a number of rooftop bars, and the popular beach of Siesta Key.”
“There was once a time when Sarasota was dismissed as a playground for retirees, but that reputation is slowly changing as more young professionals begin to make it their own.”
The rest of the Florida metros that made the list included: Naples (No. 2), Daytona Beach (No. 3), Melbourne (No. 4), Tampa (No. 6), Fort Myers (No. 7), Port St. Lucie (No. 8) and Pensacola (No. 10).
In rating Tampa, U.S. News included St. Petersburg and Clearwater as well.
In its judgment, the magazine found, “Residents of the Tampa Bay area enjoy both a laid-back beach lifestyle and the amenities of a large metropolitan area, including professional sports teams, museums, and an array of entertainment and dining options.”
“Living in the Tampa Bay area is like being on vacation all year. Located north of the bay, Tampa has a hip social scene and a thriving Hispanic community and is notable for Ybor City, once known as ‘the Cigar Capital of the World.’ On the opposite side of the bay, the beaches of St. Petersburg offer water sports and activities like parasailing and dolphin-watching cruises, while the city itself has become a major arts destination, home of the renowned Dali Museum. Clearwater is popular with the spring break crowd, and the city’s notoriety as the headquarters of Scientology was eclipsed by its marine movie star, Winter, of the ‘Dolphin Tale’ films, before Winter died in 2021.”
The only two places outside of Florida to make U.S. News’ top-10 ranking were Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Ironically, U.S. News does not consider Sarasota to be the best place to live in Florida – although it promotes the city as that nationally for retirees.
The honor of the best Florida city to live in goes to Naples, according to U.S. News.
In the website’s survey, Tampa ranked sixth as well, while Lakeland was 13th.
U.S. News looked at 150 cities in determining its rankings. The results were based on a wide array of factors, including the local job market, housing affordability, quality of life which encompasses crime, availability of healthcare and the education level, as well as desirability and net migration.