Finding the Best Places to Retire Since 2006!
Atlantic Beach, Florida
On the Northeastern Florida Coast, Atlantic Beach is a Mellow Place with a Beautiful Beach, Cute Shops and Fun Events
Directly 15 miles east of downtown Jacksonville on the northeastern Florida coast, Atlantic Beach is a relaxed place where flip flops and shorts are standard attire. It is just four miles southeast of Naval Station Mayport, a major naval base that is home to aircraft carriers and the U.S. Fourth Fleet.
Atlantic Beach sits north of Atlantic Boulevard, a busy six lane highway that runs from Jacksonville to the water. Toward the eastern end of Atlantic Beach, the boulevard becomes a charming two lane street with tidy shops, art galleries, a resort/spa and good but touristy restaurants fronted by palm trees. This is also where events such as the monthly Art Walk, Friday and Saturday night jazz concerts and the family-friendly Dancin' in the Streets celebration take place. The city has two miles of beautiful beaches with 14 public access points, and neighborhoods are populated with retirees, military families and people who work in Jacksonville.
Residents enjoy a mid-week farmers' market, an annual Arts in the Park festival and an experimental community theater. Dogs even have a park to call their own.
Population: 13,500 (city proper)
Age 45 or Better: 40%
Cost of Living: 39% above the national average
Median Home Price: $620,000
Climate: Atlantic Beach has a humid, subtropical climate. Summer temperatures are in the 80s and 90s, and winter temperatures are in the 50s, 60s and 70s. On average, the area receives 50 inches of rain per year.
At Least One Hospital Accepts Medicare Patients? No, but Jacksonville has several hospitals that accept Medicare patients.
At Least One Hospital Accredited by Joint Commission? No, but Jacksonville has several hospitals that are accredited.
Public Transit: Yes
Crime Rate: Meets the national average
Public Library: No, but neighboring Neptune Beach and Jacksonville both have libraries.
Political Leanings: Liberal
College Educated: 51%
Is Florida Considered Tax Friendly for Retirement? Yes
Cons: The northern end of town is a little sketchy. Most crime seems confined to this area. Hurricane Ian in 2022 brought flooding and wind damage.
Notes: Atlantic Beach and neighboring Neptune Beach call themselves North Beaches. Jacksonville has a Mayo Clinic campus. Home prices have increased
Recommended as a Retirement Spot? Yes
Named Pascua Florida by Juan Ponce De Leon, the Sunshine State did not enter the Union until March 3, 1845. Balmy mild winters began attracting snowbirds to the state in the late 19th century. Retirees continue to flock to the state. It's not hard to see why tourism has become the leading industry.
International trade and citrus are also major contributors to the state's economy. Eighty percent of the nation's oranges and grapefruits are grown here, and 40 percent of all U.S. exports to Latin America flow through Florida.
Florida's landscape includes uplands and coastal plains. It contains more than 11,000 miles of waterways and about 4,500 islands spread across 10 acres.
The state has 1,250 golf courses, more than any other state in the Union. The 47 mile Pinellas Trail is the longest urban trail on the east coast. Orlando theme parks attract more visitors than any other theme parks in the U.S. The only place in the world where alligators and crocodiles co-exist is in National Everglades Park.
Florida, particularly the Keys and the Gulf Coast, were struck by Category 4 Hurricane Irma in early September, 2017. Towns will rebuild, perhaps this time with climate change in mind, making them safer and better equipped to handle major hurricanes going forward.
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