Sarasota ranks as one of the top places to live in the United States, and is the highest-ranked Florida city, according to a new list compiled by U.S. News & World Report.
The publication ranked the 125 largest metropolitan areas and found that life’s good in Sarasota, placing the city at No. 18 overall and ahead of every other city in the Sunshine State. Austin was ranked at No. 1.
U.S. News considered five main indexes (and graded them on a 10-point scale) in compiling the list: desirability, value, job market, quality of life and net migration. Sarasota earned a score of 7.0, with a quality of life score of 7.4 and a value score of 5.7.
The publication cited Sarasota’s warm temperatures, “year-round, award-winning beaches and a thriving arts and cultural scene.” It also says Sarasota is struggling to keep up with infrastructure needs as the population grows.
The area “offers a sizeable job market for those working in health care, small business and tourism.” U.S. News puts Sarasota at No. 3 in its list of best places to retire.
The other Florida cities that made the list: Melbourne, No. 25; Fort Myers, No. 35; Pensacola, No. 37; Jacksonville, No. 42; Tampa, No. 56; Lakeland, No. 59; Orlando, No. 63; Port St. Lucie, No. 78; Daytona Beach, No. 99; and Miami, No. 113.