Thinking about making a long-distance move from Minnesota to Florida? Then you’re likely daydreaming about year-round warm weather you’ll enjoy, beautiful beaches, and frolicking in the surf. While the Sunshine State is known for all of those things, there are plenty of other things you should know about moving to the U.S.’s southernmost state.

What are they? Here are eight things you’ll definitely want to know before you move to Florida.

1. There Are LOTS of Seniors in the Sunshine State

Florida might not have the highest median age in the country, but it does have a very large retired population. Currently, there are some 4.2 million residents aged 65 and older, and that number is expected to increase to a whopping 6 million by 2030.

Lots of retirees relocate to Florida permanently for both the state’s warm weather and low overall tax burden. However, some choose to become snowbirds and split their time between Florida and more northerly states.

Get ready to see lots of golf carts everywhere — yes, even outside the course — as well as lots of frustratingly slow drivers in the fast lane, and tons of houses with boarded-up windows come summertime.

2. North Florida and South Florida Are Very Different

In many ways, North Florida and South Florida almost feel like entirely different states. North Florida is home to the state’s capital city and more culturally homogenous, undeveloped areas. South Florida, on the other hand, is highly developed, highly populated, culturally diverse, and has a totally different climate than the northern part of the state.

Although humidity is pretty high everywhere, temperatures in North Florida can be much cooler than those in South Florida, especially during winter. In fact, the northern border of the state occasionally gets a sprinkling of snow!

3. You’ll Need to Prepare for Hurricanes

If you’re set on moving to Florida and have never been through a hurricane, you’ll want to educate yourself on hurricane safety before you arrive. That’s especially true if you’re moving to South Florida or anywhere along the state’s 1,350 miles of coastline.

But don’t think you’ll avoid high winds and flooding by moving to the center of the state. When a large hurricane hits Florida, it can easily cause widespread damage even if it only travels a little way inland. The state is just 160 miles wide, so no matter where you live, your home and family could be affected by a natural disaster.

4. The Weather Has a Mind of Its Own

Yes, the aptly named Sunshine State is definitely sunny and warm, but that doesn’t mean the skies are always clear and the temperatures are always balmy.

Florida is the lightning capital of the world and sees an average of 3,500 cloud-to-ground lightning strikes per day. The state has also weathered some monstrous and highly destructive storms that have resulted in billions of dollars in property damage and the loss of many lives.

Aside from lightning, tropical storms, and hurricanes, the state just has consistently weird weather. It might be perfectly sunny outdoors and suddenly start raining even though there’s not a visible cloud in the sky. Daily rainstorms are also common throughout the summer, but thankfully, they’re typically intense and short lived.

In winter, be prepared for sudden cold snaps that feel much colder than the reading on your weather app. Since Florida is so humid, even temperatures in the 40s feel frigid once you acclimate to the year-round heat.

5. Tourists Are Everywhere

Pretty much wherever you go in Florida, you’ll find tourists hanging out, which is hardly surprising given the number of attractions the Sunshine State has to offer.

Walt Disney World, the Florida Keys, the Everglades, Miami’s Art Deco District, miles upon miles of sandy beaches, warm weather, and endless outdoor fun in the sun make Florida the second-most popular state for tourists in the U.S.

Although all seasons are tourist seasons in Florida, during certain times of the year, the state is more crowded with visitors than usual. During spring break and throughout winter, be prepared for heavy traffic, irritating drivers, and long commutes if you choose to live in a large city.

6. There’s No State Income Tax in Florida

Florida is one of just 20 states in the U.S. that don’t levy state income taxes. So if you end up moving to the Sunshine State, you’ll also end up taking home more of your hard-earned paycheck each year.

That’s great news whether you like renting or want to become a property owner because housing in Florida is getting really pricey, really fast.

7. A Sinkhole Could Swallow Your Home

As if the threat of hurricanes isn’t enough, Florida is home to another natural disaster that could totally wreck your home: the sinkhole.

Although sinkholes can happen anywhere, they’re particularly common in Florida and can strike at any time. The peninsula’s bedrock is made up of porous limestone that’s riddled with large cavities. Because of its structure, the land can easily give way when an influx of water seeps through the soil and strains the porous, cavity-laden rock beneath.

8. If You’re Moving to Florida, Hire a Moving Company

Last but certainly not least, you’ll seriously want to consider hiring a long-distance moving company if you’re relocating to the Sunshine State.

Florida is humid year round, and for most of the year, it’s hot too. If you’re not used to exerting yourself in high heat and humidity, you could easily develop heat exhaustion or heat stroke just by unloading and schlepping your belongings indoors. That’s especially true if you move into an upper-floor condo or apartment in the southern part of the state.

When you have professional movers and packers handle the job for you, not only will you avoid the inherent dangers of working in the heat but also the stress and frustration of packing your stuff. And, because professional residential movers are highly trained in packing and moving best practices, they’ll keep your belongings safe and intact throughout your relocation.

You’ll also get moving insurance when you hire the pros, which you’ll definitely want if you’re moving anything of value.

Looking for a Reliable Long-Distance Moving Company in Minneapolis?

If you’re planning a move to Florida or anywhere else in the U.S., get in touch with our team at Ace Moving & Warehousing in the Twin Cities so we can simplify your relocation! We’ve facilitated thousands of moves from Minnesota since our founding in 1970 and offer an array of professional moving services for local, interstate, and international relocations.

To get a preliminary moving estimate or learn more about what we can do for you, give us a call today at 763-755-2045 or request a fast quote online, and we’ll reach out with additional info.