For example, Ocala is one such affordable destination, known for its beautiful horse farms. Sprawling, idyllic horse ranches are scattered throughout the region, making it an ideal destination for those who love horseback riding. Tours of the horse farms, including a carriage ride through a number of the properties, are a favorite way to explore the ranches. Other equine events popular with locals include horse shows and rodeos.
Of course, Ocala offers residents diversions beyond horses. The town also houses the Ocala Speedway and the Museum of Drag Racing, Ocala National Forest, as well as Silver Springs – Nature’s Theme Park, which features historical displays, amusement rides and natural hot springs. One of the most popular attractions in the region is Crystal Springs, where it’s possible to have the extraordinary experience of swimming with manatees.
Con: High crime rate compared to national average, not on the coast
Best For: Horseback riders
Cost of Living: 13.8% lower than national average
Median Home Cost: $92,000
Top State Income Tax: no state income tax
Crime Rate: 31.8% higher than national average
Retirees will find a nearby golf courses as well as a number of retirement communities that have sprung up in the Ocala region in recent years. The town’s cost of living is still nearly 14 percent lower than the national average, with a median home price below $100,000. Still, prices since 2012 have been steadily rising as the economy and housing market in Florida recovers.