(Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

Now that I’ve been here in Florida about 20 years, a mix of Naples and Estero, I feel that I can really give some insight to anyone else who might be considering a move from Ohio to Florida.  It’s a mix of positive and negative. Maybe you’ve seen some of it on the news (hurricanes, politics, etc).

Additionally, I also have had friends that came down to the Sunshine State from Ohio. One loves it, another couldn’t get out of the state fast enough.

My Move From Ohio To Florida.

20 years ago my business in Ohio was falling off. Competition and new technology was getting the best of me. Rather than a 6 figure technology upgrade, I decided to leave it behind and see what else the world had for me. 3 options came up. I could take a job as sound editor at Fox Sports in Los Angeles, California; work as a rock dj at a radio station in Columbus, Ohio; or move to a town that I had never heard of – Fort Myers, Florida.

Florida was actually my second choice. Fox Sports wouldn’t talk compensation or make me an offer unless I already lived in Los Angeles. Weird rule, huh? So I looked up where Fort Myers was a took the job here in Southwest Florida. Honestly, I’d been to Tampa but didn’t really know much about the town to the south.

Before I got here I had 2 previous experiences with Florida. My parents took me to Disney World when I was a kid, and I came to St. Pete for Spring Break when I was 18. or maybe 19, I can’t remember. Spring Break, right? So to me, Florida was a mixture of theme parks and beach parties.

Spring Break in Florida. If you're thinking about a move from Ohio to Florida, it's not usually like this.

Spring Break in Florida (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Related: St. Pete Beach Bar Has Bikini Clad Servers Hanging Upside Down Serving Shots

In a way, yes, that’s part of Florida. But actually a very small part. There’s a lot of other things. Some good, some bad. So if you’re thinking about the move from Ohio to Florida, here’s what I’ve learned over the past 20 years.

Ok, Ready To Move From Ohio To Florida?

  • House and Rent Prices

    Florida insurance on homes like this one will be going down next year

    It’s no secret that a lot of people have moved to Florida over the past few years and housing supply and demand is unbalanced. Prices have skyrocketed. The 2 bedroom apartment in Estero I rented for $900 a month back in 2005 is now listed at $2,400. The nicer one with the upgrades is $3,300. That’s a 1,000 sq foot apartment! Home prices have also doubled in the past 5 or so years + homeowners insurance has gone up substantially. Even if you’re looking in the areas away from the coast and away from the cities it’s still quite expensive to live here.

  • Florida - The Gunshine State

    Man holding and examining a gun

    (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

    The joke is, when you move to Florida you get a drivers license and a gun. It’s certainly no lie that Florida people do love their guns, but it’s not like you see people carrying them. In fact, despite what you may have heard, Florida is not an open carry state. You can legally carry a concealed weapon without a license if the criteria is met. But you can’t openly display it in public.

    We also have the “Stand Your Ground” law which authorizes the use of deadly force in self defense. Many local sheriffs have encourage home owners to shoot intruders. Yeah, the gun thing is pretty crazy down here.

  • It's More Than Just Theme Parks And Beaches


    Econlockhatchee River from Flagler Trail Bridge

    Florida is rich with nature and history. But not just museums, you need to get out there and explore. The lakes have amazing fishing and recreation. Towns like St. Augustine are rich with history. Or head to the Keys to camp next to a fort on an island. Then there’s boating…. it really goes on and on.

    When you fist move here you’ll want to do the theme parks, but then you’ll probably realize that it’s not all that you wanted it to be. Going to the beach can be a bit of a chore and I actually get kinda bored. What I’m saying is, you’ll spend less time at the beach than you think.


  • Hurricanes

    Hurricane Ian

    What is left in parts of Fort Myers Beach following the deadly and destructive Hurricane Ian.

    These things are no joke, we’ve had entire towns wiped out. Here’s what I was told early on: Hurricanes are fun when you rent, scary as hell when you own a home.

    I always hear about people having hurricane parties but I’ve never been. If you stay during a hurricane and don’t evacuate, you have to have your wits about you for what comes next. Namely, checking for damage, firing up the generator, and making sure your neighbors are ok. Then we get drunk.

    Some friends of mine moved to Fort Myers in 2021. In January of 2022, their neighborhood was trashed by a tornado. Then in September, Hurricane Ian flooded their whole area and destroyed what they had just rebuilt. They decided that Florida wasn’t for them and moved back up north.

  • Alligators

    Lakeland Florida Alligator

    Florida alligator sunning itself on the river bank.


    Here’s an example of when news does not match reality. Unless you go looking for one, you could spend years without seeing an alligator. I think I was here 5 years or so before I went to an areas specifically just to see one. And they aren’t as aggressive as its suggested. Florida only  has about 7-8 alligator attacks a year. Now on to something that is real.

  • Traffic

    fort myers traffic

    Traffic moves slowly on I-4 East in Four Corners, Florida. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

    Traffic is a lot different down here. Back in December I was in downtown Columbus and needed to move over 3 lanes to get into the left turn lane. No problem. The one car that was nearby saw my signal and let me across. Traffic in Florida is more of a sport.

    The Florida interstates are a crazy combination of elderly drivers going below the speed limit and people just trying to get home or to their jobs going well above the speed limit. It’s not uncommon for the flow of traffic to vary between 90 mph and 50 mph within just a few miles.

    It’s not helping that people are moving here faster than FDOT can keep up with road building, so some areas that were fine 5 years ago are completely congested now. And it looks like it’s going to keep getting worse. If you’re moving here, keep in mind your location of where you plan on living and your daily commute.

  • Food

    Tacos On The Road. Best Tacos In Southwest Florida

    Tacos On The Road. Best Tacos In Southwest Florida


    The food here is incredible. There’s so much more flavor and spices. If you’re used to midwest food, you are in for a surprise. That picture? Those tacos are from a gas station!All of the different cultures are represented in Florida, you’ll just need to seek them out depending on where you live. I’ve been around the country and can say the best Thai food, the best sushi, the best Mexican food – it’s here in Florida.

  • Heat and Humidity

    blurred sunshine

    Sunshine helps reset the body

    Yes, it gets warm down here and the humidity can be brutal. But you know what? You get used to it. Actually, if you spend enough time outside, you’ll miss it when you go up north. I was in Ohio for a week in July of 2022. It was mid July so I packed one pair of jeans and the rest was shorts and tshirts. I wore jeans the whole time and had to borrow a jacket. 80 degrees in Ohio is very different than 80 degrees in South Florida.

    Another thing about the humidity. You know in winter when your lips get chapped and you have to apply lotion on your hands because they’re so dry. That doesn’t happen down here.

  • Politics

    Ron DeSantis

    Ron DeSantis

    This is where things can get very divisive. Speaking from clearly my point of view, he really was a decent Governor until he decided to run for President. That’s when it got weird. You’ve seen the news, I don’t need to get into it.

    I live in a very diverse neighborhood with different cultures and different political beliefs. We’re all friends because we don’t discuss politics. Outside of the outliers you see on the news, you’ll find that most people are that way.

  • HOAs

    Florida homw owners

    The Home Owner’s Associations. If you live where there’s an HOA it has the potential to be amazing, or make your life miserable. After you buy a house in a community, you then pay for the right to live there. In exchange, there’s usually amenities that everyone shares and there’s an HOA board that makes sure everyone follows the rules. The idea is that you’re policing yourselves to ensure your community lives up to standards set forth.

    When it works right, the fees are reasonable, and people work together to make the neighborhood better. But an overly aggressive HOA can raise the fees to price people out of the neighborhood or use the rules to punish fellow homeowners.

    It’s very important before you move somewhere to find out about the HOA setup. It could cost you thousands of dollars extra each year to live somewhere.

  • Golf

    Golf clubs and golf balls on a green lawn in a beautiful golf course with morning sunshine, golfer

    Sizing up the putt.

    Florida is amazing for golf. We have beautiful courses, and a lot of them. Some are private, but there’s still plenty of public courses for the rest of us. The only downside is when you golf in the summer you’ll want to finish up by 1pm at the latest. It can get brutally hot on the course in the afternoon. And then it will rain. So set that tee time for 7:30 am.

  • Golf carts


    A $15,000 look-alike Jaguar XK8 golf cart. (Photo by Paul Harris/Newsmakers)

    Golf carts are not just for the course, they’re a common way of getting around the neighborhood. And people looooove to customize their carts. With custom paint jobs, body work, and big sound systems golf carts are a great way to get around. No, you can’t drive them on the roads (usually), but a lot of places in Florida have big sidewalks you can drive them on or even paved paths. Entire communities are connected this way.  This of course leads to the occasional DUI arrest as people drive their carts home from the bar, as expected, but most use them for positive reasons. My sister in law brings her kid to school each day on a golf cart.

    When I say you usually can’t drive carts on the road, there is the Southwest Florida town of Labelle. You can drive golf carts on the roads there. There’s probably others, too.

  • The Villages

    Shower Puff Code

    Everything you’ve read about The Villages is true. And most of us are pretty embarrassed by it. I don’t go there. Remember in the Lion King when Simba asks his dad about the shadowy place and Mufasa says “You must never go there Simba.” It’s like that.

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