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    Sarasota ranked 14th best place to live by U.S. News

    Sarasota’s No. 14 surpassed every other major Florida market on U.S. News’ list of top places to live in the nation.

    Aerial photo showing Sarasota's most popular beaches: Foreground, Siesta Public Beach on Siesta Key in Sarasota. In the background is Lido Key, separated from Siesta Key by Big Pass. Longboat Key is visible in the upper left corner.
    Aerial photo showing Sarasota’s most popular beaches: Foreground, Siesta Public Beach on Siesta Key in Sarasota. In the background is Lido Key, separated from Siesta Key by Big Pass. Longboat Key is visible in the upper left corner.

    The U.S. News and World Report study of the 100 most populous cities aimed to find the areas with the best value, job market, living conditions and quality of life. Denver; Austin, Texas; Fayetteville, Arkansas; Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina; and Colorado Springs, Colorado, took the top five spots on the list, but Florida as a whole performed well, with six of its metropolitan areas showing in the top 50. No other state was so well represented.

    The study touted Sarasota’s year-round warm temperatures, award-winning beaches and prominent arts culture. The region also was lauded for being an easy drive to larger markets such as Tampa, which ranked No. 42, and Orlando, at No. 44.

    Video therapy: Beautiful Sarasota

    Sarasota earned an overall score of 7 out of 10 points, getting strong marks for desirability and overall net migration, but being weighed down a bit by its average value rating. The study also cited Sarasota’s ongoing traffic and infrastructure problems as more residents arrive.

    The prominent spot on the best place to live list joins a long string of accolades that Sarasota County has gained in recent years. People are drawn to this region for its amenities, but also for the feeling that the area leaves them with, said Virginia Haley, president of Visit Sarasota County.

    “It’s a place that’s just so inviting,” Haley said.

    Larger cities in Florida with higher-profile attractions and bigger marketing budgets had a habit of outshining Sarasota in the past, but the kinds of recognition such as the best places to live ranking feed off of one another. Haley said she isn’t surprised that Sarasota toppled some its bigger neighbors as the prime place to live in Florida.

    “There’s this growing recognition of what we have,” she said, “and it’s been building over the last couple of years. The awareness has grown. It was an uphill battle for us to get our voice heard for a long time.”

    Jacksonville, Fort Myers and Palm Bay-Melbourne also took spots in the top 50.

    Lakeland and Daytona Beach landed in the bottom 30, and Miami came in at No. 93.

     

    Facts

    Top 20 places to live in the U.S.

    U.S. News and World Report’s best places to live:

    1. Denver, Colorado

    2. Austin, Texas

    3. Fayetteville, Arkansas

    4. Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina

    5. Colorado Springs, Colorado

    6. Boise, Idaho

    7. Seattle

    8. Washington, D.C.

    9. San Francisco

    10. San Jose, California

    11. Des Moines, Iowa

    12. Minneapolis

    13. Grand Rapids, Michigan

    14. Sarasota

    15. Charlotte, North Carolina

    16. San Diego

    17. Houston

    18. Omaha, Nebraska

    19. Charleston, South Carolina

    20. Portland, Oregon

    Source: Sarasota ranked 14th best place to live by U.S. News | HeraldTribune.com

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    DeAnna Greenhaw

    DeAnna is a Licensed Real Estate Agent and Oliver McConnell's new customer manager at our Sarasota Office. (941) 359-6529.

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