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11 Towns in Florida That Will Be Important Cities by 2050

Florida, sometimes known as “The Sunshine State,” is the third most populous state. With a population of almost 22 million, it is still expanding. As of March 2023, it has held the title of fastest-growing state in the nation since 1957, according to the U.S. Bureau of Census. There are some old explanations for Florida’s expansion. Snowbirds and vacationers have long found it to be a warm sanctuary, and many of them choose to make it their permanent home. By 2050, several of Florida’s growing municipalities will be significant cities.

Both traditional and non-traditional motives are driving people south. For example, over 700,000 individuals visited Florida between April 1, 2020, and July 21, 2002. Because of the epidemic, many people had a different perspective on work during this time because they started working remotely. Workers can now opt to work from home because of this trend, which has mostly persisted even if more people are increasingly returning to their offices. Florida benefits from a post-pandemic workforce, a large number of job options, and no state income tax.

So where are Florida’s eleven communities that, by 2050, are expected to be major cities? Let’s examine this.

1. Parkland

Parkland, in northern Broward County, witnessed a 52% increase in population between 2010 and 2020. The community, which is close to Miami and Fort Lauderdale, is renowned for its severe zoning regulations and posh lifestyle. In order to maintain the feel of a park, city zoning regulations also forbade retailers and traffic signals prior to the early 2000s. This quaint hamlet offers a safe environment to live in in addition to its atmosphere; its crime rate is 77% lower than the national average.

The professional, scientific, and technological services sector is the primary industry in this area. Manufacturing and health and social services are in second and third, respectively. Transportation, utilities, information, and warehousing are the highest paid businesses. Parkland receives “A” ratings from Niche for public schools, families, employment, diversity, outdoor activities, weather, and fitness and health.

Why does Parkland keep expanding? The public school system is well-regarded, and the communities are peaceful and secure. There are many public parks and spaces in this area, which has seen growth in the medical care industry. One park is Pine routes Park, which has inventive playgrounds, walking routes, and a fishing pier. There are plenty of baseball, soccer, lacrosse, and football fields. Additionally, monthly concerts and other events are held at its conveniently placed amphitheater. Liberty Park has ornate play areas and picnic pavilions. The largest outdoor farmers market in the area, Parkland Farmers Market, is open from November to April and provides its expanding populace with fascinating items and fresh fruit.

There are so many amazing restaurants in this town.Choose from one of these chef-crafted taco options that have made Los Bocados the “best tacos” in Broward County, according to a popularity poll.A popular steakhouse option is Malbec Grill; for a Thai and Japanese fusion, try Bluefin Sushi Thai Grill.

2. St. Cloud

Between 2010 and 2020, St. Cloud, located in central Florida’s Osceola County, saw a 44% increase in population. Orlando International Airport is only 30 minutes away from St. Cloud, which is located just south of Orlando. St. Cloud boasts three sizable lakes around it, a motto that reads “Celebrating Small Town Life,” easy access to the airport and the Florida Turnpike, reasonably priced new housing, and promising job growth in the future. Construction, retail, healthcare, education, hotels & tourism, and public administration are among the major industries. Because of the enormous population expansion that would require more housing and industry by 2050, St. Cloud will therefore play a significant role in the city’s overall development.

There are many public parks in St. Cloud, which adds to the town’s charm. Only a short stroll from the city’s historic downtown is the downtown entertainment zone, which features opulent greenery, charming stores, and brick walkways. St. Cloud tries to keep things simple and set itself apart from its neighbor to the north, which is typified by a theme park. Get some Island Mahi or Hogfish Snapper at Crabby Bills, or stop by Loading Gastrobrunch for an omelet.

3. Doral

Doral is a Miami suburb that is situated in the middle of Miami-Dade County. Between 2010 and 2020, its population increased by 43%. Progressive industries have also contributed to the local job market by hiring a huge number of people in the area, including Univision, the Miami Herald, and Carnival Corporation. According to NerdWallet, Doral is the greatest area in Florida for real estate investments. It is also rated as the third-best retirement location in the US. Professional, scientific, and technical services, retail, and transportation and warehousing are the main sectors in this area. Doral has a B- rating and is regarded as a safe community despite being close to Miami (Niche).

In addition, the city has made investments in residential and recreational facilities, like CityPlace and Downtown Doral. A 250-acre vibrant city core, downtown Doral has a variety of stores as well as wellness and health facilities. In addition to its strategic location, Doral boasts its own airport, adding to its already impressive accessibility. With 82 acres of open space, Doral Central Park is home to numerous sizable gatherings, including the Independence Day celebration. In addition, there is an exercise station, barbecues, picnic seats that may be rented, and a walking/jogging route in the park. There are many different restaurants to choose from, including the Italian Divieto Ristorante and the Spanish La Tremenda Miami, where the lemon-butter sea bass is a specialty.

4. Fort Myers

Between 2010 and 2020, Fort Myers’ population in Lee County increased by 40%. Fort Myers has a few clear reasons why, even if it is not a tiny city, it will be a significant one by 2050. It offers a charming downtown setting and is close to Sanibel Island, Fort Myers Beach, and Cape Coral.Amer. Fort Myers was classified as the third safest place to live in the United States by News and World Report, which also made it the second-best location to retire in the country for 2022–2023. The four most important industries of Fort Myers are construction, health care, social services, and retail trade. The cost of living, weather, and outdoor activities are all quite good in the city. At little under 3%, employment is low here (compared to the 3.8% national average as of this writing).

Recreation

Recreational activities abound in Fort Myers, with the River District serving as the center of activity. Fort Myers, with its brick-paved streets and downtown icons like the county courthouse, municipal hall, and restored historic buildings, has a traditional vibe within a rapidly expanding modern community. The Sidney and Berne Davis Arts Center also offers year-round educational activities, concerts, galas, talks, and world-class art exhibits to Fort Myers. The winter retreats of Henry Ford and Thomas Edison are on display in the museum and park known as Edison Ford and Winter Estates. Visitors to the 3,500 wetland acres at Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve can observe a wide variety of plants and animals along the opulent boardwalk trail.

Whiskey Creek Station serves mango chipotle salmon and cranberry-pecan encrusted grouper, which are sure to delight newcomers to this upwardly mobile Florida town. Ten Twenty-Five on Patio de Leon offers a loaded breakfast skillet brunch, which is another unusual choice.

5. Bonita Springs

Gorgeous Bonita Springs, a burgeoning Gulf Coast community, is located south of Fort Myers. Between 2010 and 2020, Bonita Springs’ population in Lee County increased by 36%. Bonita Springs is expanding for reasons other than its natural beauty, having been named by Money Magazine as “One of the Best Eight Places to Retire.” The town’s three main industries are retail trade, health care and social aid, and construction. Additionally, Niche gave Bonita Springs an overall “A” rating. It has a “A” rating for being favorable to weather, employment, families, and outdoor activities.

The allure of Bonita Springs’ outdoors extends beyond its unmatched beaches. River Park, Depot Park, Lover’s Key State Park, and Corkscrew Swamp and Sanctuary are just a few of the public parks located there. There are plenty of golf courses that can accommodate both beginners and scratch players, and there are plenty of shopping options to suit both high-end consumers and outlet bargain hunters.

As a result, the trend towards Bonita Springs has also been bolstered by varied and excellent dining options, too many to mention.The Bohemian and A Table Apart are two eateries that frequently receive great reviews.

6. Ocoee

The population of Ocoee, Florida’s Orange County, increased by 35% between 2010 and 2020. Undoubtedly, Ocoee’s close proximity is contributing to its potential to emerge as one of Florida’s most significant cities during the next 25 years. The Florida Turnpike, the East-West Expressway 408, and the Western Beltway (429) all provide easy access to it. Ocoee is also conveniently close to Orlando International Airport, the Convention Center, and downtown Orlando’s many attractions. It consistently receives good marks for weather, diversity, and outdoor activities, and it is considered a safe place to live. Furthermore, Ocoee has a lower cost of living than a lot of other Florida cities.

Beyond the theme parks to the east, Ocoee has a lot to offer in terms of activities. Forest Lake Golf Club offers excellent value for the area, with five sets of tees and undulating greens. Bill Breeze Park has three lakeside pavilions with access to electricity and charcoal grills along with “Food Truck Friday and Movie Night.” RusTeak is a favorite restaurant where you can get tropical crabcake sliders or a lobster grilled cheese sandwich. Bicycle Life Cafe is an additional choice where you can get a panini or flatbread to go.

6. Clermont

Situated in Lake County, Florida, to the west of Orlando, Clermont saw a 34% increase in population between 2010 and 2020. Clermont, known as the “Choice of Champions,” is the center for health, fitness, and wellness in Florida. Many elite athletes choose Clermont for their home, training ground, and playing field. Retail commerce, healthcare and social services, and the arts, entertainment, and recreation sectors are Clermont’s three main industries. This town continues to grow while maintaining a small-town vibe, scoring highly in both economic growth and quality of life.

There are several places to relax, like Victory Point Park, which was completed in 2018 as a component of Clermont’s downtown redevelopment initiative. Sports festivals and races for both adults and children are among the cultural, athletic, and community events held at the 10-acre park. Historic structures and charming stores abound in downtown, and the unusually mountainous (for Florida) terrain adds to the area’s charm.The largest premium winery in Florida, Lakeridge Winery and Vineyards, is situated on 127 acres and offers sampling tours seven days a week.Modern restaurant The Southern on 8th serves regional cuisine such Gulf oysters and southern-fried Florida fish. As an alternative, The Boathouse offers waterfront dining where you can savor mainstays like lobster rolls prepared in the Maine style and grilled salmon.

8. Winter Garden

Winter Garden, an Orlando suburb in Orange County, saw a 33% increase in population between 2010 and 2020. Winter Garden was formally constituted as a city in 1908, and its main economic sectors include retail commerce, health care and social services, and lodging and food services. Winter Garden, which is close to Lake Apopka, is recognized as a National Register of Historic Places and has been vigilant in maintaining its historic downtown culture. With excellent ratings in public schools, family life, diversity, and weather, Niche awards it an overall grade of “A.” Winter Park’s historic downtown, vibrant community promotion, and small business community all contribute to the town’s continued status as a significant emerging community.

Take a ride outside on the 22.26-mile West Orange Trail, which runs from the Orange/Lake County border to Welch Road. Other cultural hotspots include the famed Garden Theatre, which presents Broadway plays and musicals, and the SoBo Art Gallery, a magnificent emblem of both culture and education. Savor a three-course dinner at Chef’s Table at the Edgewater, featuring dishes like butterscotch crème brulee, rack of lamb from New Zealand, and tartare de boeuf. This is an elegant dining experience. Try Uno Pizzaria and Grill, which serves Chicago pizza and house salads, for lighter fare.

9. West Melbourne

West Melbourne, a small city in Brevard County, saw a 33% increase in population between 2010 and 2020. West Melbourne is located next to Melbourne and Melbourne Beach on Florida’s east coast. Melbourne scores highly in public schools, families, nightlife, diversity, and weather. It’s a family-friendly, safe town. The government of the city, which is referred to as “The Heart of the Space Coast,” places a high priority on generating value-added jobs, bolstering current sectors and luring in complementary ones, broadening the city’s economic base, and improving general quality of life. Employers, attractions, and traffic patterns in the vicinity of the Space Coast Town Center, an inventive community in the center of West Melbourne, are all easily accessible by foot.

As a residential city, West Melbourne provides a lot of amenities to its residents.Nearly 54 acres of open space can be found in Erna Nixon Park, which also has a 3,000-foot elevated boardwalk that winds through a natural hammock. Its nature preserve is home to pileated woodpeckers, gopher tortoises, indigo snakes, live oaks covered with Spanish moss, and evergreens. Additionally, the park has a nature center with picnic tables and restrooms under a pavilion. For Cuban pork empanadas or a snapper sandwich, try Hemingway’s Tavern. Another great place to eat traditional Cuban food is Breakfast in Havana, which is managed by a mother-daughter team. Mouthwatering delicacies like Spanish chorizo omelets and lemon butter scallops are served.

10. Winter Haven

Winter Haven, which is in Polk County, is roughly an hour’s drive between Orlando and Tampa. Situated in Florida’s Super Region, an economic hub worth $300 billion annually, Winter Haven is in close proximity to two major international airports as well as the country’s newest island port and logistical hub. Healthcare, technology and innovation, logistics and freight transportation, business development, tourism and hospitality, and agribusiness are among the target industries for Winter Haven.

Additionally, in response to Winter Haven’s growth, new, reasonably priced housing units have just been added. It boasts great ratings for weather, variety, and outdoor activities and feels suburban and family-friendly. One of the Florida communities that will be significant cities by 2050 is Winter Haven, thanks to its developing industry and resident-focused lifestyle.

LEGOLAND Florida Resort & Peppa Pig Theme Park is a sizable theme park located near Winter Haven. As the park expands, including a hotel and beach resort in addition to the Peppa Pig motif Park, kids and “kids at heart” love its plastic-toy motif. A revitalized downtown historic neighborhood is home to a variety of cultural attractions, including the Ritz Theatre, a community theater, and the iconic live music venue Graham Parsons Derry Downtown. Lake Eloise and the well-known Cypress Gardens are located in Winter Haven, which is dubbed “The Water Ski Capital of the Year.” The relatively new restaurant Agape Agora Trattoria & Marketplace features Asian, Latin, and Black cultural elements. Favorites include kombucha, local sweets, and chicken salad sandwiches.Arabellas Cercado.

11. North Port

In Warm Mineral Springs Park in North Port, Florida, patrons relish the shade provided by Spanish moss.

According to Quicken Loans, North Port is the second-fastest expanding city in the United States as of January 30, 2023. North Port is in Sarasota County, and beaches in Lee, Charlotte, and Sarasota Counties are within a 30-minute drive away. The affordability of living in North Port as compared to neighboring Sarasota County municipalities and its easy access to I-75 have contributed significantly to its rise. In addition, Wellen Park, a globally acclaimed master-planned community in North Port, offers a hospital, a downtown area, and a ton of brand-new dining and shopping options. In terms of housing, outdoor activities, and weather, Niche gives North Port a “A.” Retail trade, building, and health and social aid are its three main industries. Being one of the newest communities in the area, it draws a lot of young couples looking for a secure home environment.

Eight out of ten people who live in North Port consider the quality of life to be good or exceptional, according to the 2019 National Community Survey. Additionally, 98% of locals felt comfortable in their surroundings, and 98% of respondents thought the emergency services responded favorably. There are other viable neighborhoods in North Port, including Lakeside Plantation, North Point East, Jockey Club at North Point, and The West Villages.

There are many natural springs in North Port, one of which being Warm Mineral Springs, which is the only natural warm mineral spring in the state. Travelers seeking health benefits from all over the world visit the springs because of the legend surrounding their mineral-infused waters. The Myakka River, Myakkahatchee Creek, and the town’s freshwater canals are excellent places to go kayaking and canoeing. The 8,000-acre Myakka State Forest, hiking trails, mountain bike routes, and birdwatching spots are all located in North Port.