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13 Florida cities make U.S. News & World Report's list of best places to retire

Cheryl S. Grant
Florida Today
Siesta Key Beach

It's no secret that the Sunshine State is known as a paradise with amazing beaches and a theme park mecca that brings in tourists. Beyond that, we're officially listed as a best place to live and retire. 

U.S. News & World Report recently released rankings for Best Places to Live & Retire 2020-21. Thirteen Florida cities rank in the top 25. The list, which comprised 150 metro areas, used various resources such as the U.S. Census Bureau, the FBI, and the U.S. Department of Labor to parse out its findings.

Cities along Florida's Gulf Coast earned top rankings. The greater Sarasota area captured the top spot for places to retire and the16th best place in the country to live. It's award-winning beaches, cultural and art scene made it a stand out. Plus, Tampa and Orlando's accessibility beckons those interested in shopping, theme parks, and good eats. However, while it was noted that Sarasota is abuzz with congestion and construction, it also offers a reasonably large job market for those working in health care, small business, and tourism.

Related:Sarasota tops U.S. News Best Places to Retire list

Coming in second is Fort Myers, a midsize metro area with a small-town feel. Its downtown is known for restaurants, museums, theater, parks, galleries, and shops. While the Fort Myers beaches are popular for working on your tan, the sands of Sanibel Island, which is a mere 40 minutes away, is the perfect place to enjoy peace and tranquility. 

Related:Florida Travel: 12 of the best hotels and resorts for a staycation

Port St. Lucie, the place where the New York Mets have their spring training, made its way to third on the list of places to retire and eighth on the Fastest Growing Places list. Located on the Treasure Coast and near Miami, which was ranked as the #9 best places to retire, Port St. Lucie is also home to the PGA Center for Golf Learning and Performance.

Related:Fans arrive early for first New York Mets spring training game

Long known for being a desirable place to retire, Naples landed fourth on the list but has the top ranking for the Best Places to Live in Florida. While the area tends to lean towards an older demographic and is subject to "snowbirds," its closeness to beaches and Marco Island makes it quite desirable. 

Other Florida metro areas that rounded out the top 25 of the 150 Best Places to Retire were #6, "The Horse Capital of the World," Ocala, #9 Miami, #10 Melbourne, #13 Jacksonville, the largest metro area by land mass in the continental U.S., #15, Daytona Beach, "Theme Park Capital of the World," #16 Orlando, #18 Lakeland and its 38 lakes, #20 Tampa, and #25 Pensacola.