My dad moved to Florida 36 years ago from Ohio. Here are 4 reasons why he loves living in the Sunshine State.

My dad moved to Florida 36 years ago from Ohio. Here are 4 reasons why he loves living in the Sunshine State.
  • My dad Kevin, a native Ohioan, moved to Florida in the 1980s.

  • He said the lack of state income tax played a role in his decision.

  • Florida's warm weather sealed the deal for him after years of chilly northeast temperatures.

My dad Kevin had a straightforward answer when asked why he moved 1,000 miles south to Florida from his hometown of Dayton, Ohio.

"I got cold," he said over the phone with a matter-of-fact lilt from Orlando. Living in Florida wasn't initially part of his plan, but in 1987, he began dating my mother, and the two stumbled upon a weeklong timeshare opportunity in Fort Lauderdale.

He added that my parents fell in love with the tropical weather, which was a better option than Ohio's seasonal chills. A few months later, my dad transferred to his company's Daytona office, and my mother followed soon after. Sixteen months later, they moved to Orlando, where I grew up.

They've lived in Florida for 36 years, and my father doesn't regret the move. Here are four things he enjoys about living in Florida.

Naturally, the first thing my father pointed to was Florida's weather

Palm trees in Miami Beach, Florida.
Kevin Edmonds pointed towards Florida's nice weather.bloodua/iStock/Getty Images Plus

There's a reason people call Florida the Sunshine State, and it has everything to do with the weather. The official website for Florida's Historic Coast, which features St. Augustine and Pointe Verda, noted Florida has a year-round average temperature of 72° Fahrenheit.

"Florida's a pretty state. Everything grows here," he said, referring to the wide variety of vegetation grown in Florida.

Our family loved the warm weather for several reasons, but two of them were the orange and banana trees that bloomed yearly in our backyard.

Florida's lack of state income tax makes it more affordable than other states

The Edmonds family in 2018.Lauren Edmonds/Business Insider

According to H&R Block, Florida is one of seven states that aren't required to pay state taxes yearly. The list includes Alaska, Nevada, South Dakota, Texas, Washington, and Wyoming. As a result, my father said he was able to save money over the years that would have otherwise gone to the state.

"From a mature standpoint, not paying 10% in income tax each year is a big deal," he said.

The diversity in Florida makes living there worthwhile

My father said he enjoys the different cultures found in Florida. The US Census reported in 2022 that more than 22 million people live in Florida, with 27% identifying as Hispanic or Latino,  17% as Black or African American, and 3.1% Asian.

Comparatively, the US Census for Ohio that same year said there were more than 11 million residents, with 4.5% of the population identifying as Hispanic or Latino, 13% as Black or African American, and 2.7% Asian.

And, of course, my dad loves the seafood


Florida has lots of seafood options.Burke/Triolo Productions/Getty Images

One of the things Florida is known for is its access to seafood.

"In Ohio, if you wanted lobster, crab, or shrimp, they were frozen," he said. "If you wanted oysters, you had to do it in the right month."

He added: "Here, you can get seafood almost any time.

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