Naples vs. St. Petersburg: Which City Is Right For You?

Moving to Florida to escape the cold northern winters and live a tropical paradise lifestyle is a common dream. Once you decide it’s time to stop thinking about moving to Florida, it’s time to make plans on actually doing it.

Take two popular Florida destinations: Naples and St. Petersburg. Both cities are located along the Gulf of Mexico, have access to beautiful beaches, and enjoy warm weather year-round. But that’s where the similarities end.

Let’s take a deeper look at both Naples and St. Petersburg to determine which city is right for you.


Fun in the Florida Sun

Florida boasts some of the best beaches in the world. Luxury resorts and high-end activities surround Naples beaches, but the beaches themselves are free to enjoy. Whether fishing from the pier, enjoying a cold drink while watching the sunset, or exploring the natural Florida habitat at nearby Marco Island, you can enjoy the peace and relaxation that Naples is known for.

Naples Pier at sunset
Naples Pier at sunset

St. Petersburg beaches also feature beautiful white sands and miles of relaxing shoreline. But the beachgoers there are never far from the St. Petersburg urban cityscape. There are plenty of fun activities to keep young families entertained and a thriving nightlife for anyone who doesn’t want to stop when the sun goes down.

Which city is right for you? The beaches found in both Naples and St. Petersburg often wind up on the lists of the top beaches in Florida. The most significant difference between the two cities comes down to how close to nature you want to get. If you’re going to take in Florida’s natural beauty, then Naples might be the place for you. However, if you need to be closer to restaurants, bars, and other fun activities to enjoy your trip to the beach fully, then you might opt for St. Petersburg.


Cost of Living

How expensive it is to live in an area can significantly impact your quality of life. Using a cost of living index can help you compare two different cities. The BestPlaces cost of living index looks at everything from housing prices, healthcare costs, food prices, entertainment costs, and more. Each city is then given a rating. A higher rating means a more expensive cost of living, with 100.0 being the national average. According to the 2022 report from BestPlaces, Florida’s cost of living rating is 102.8, just slightly higher than the national average.

Naples has a rating of 111.9, indicating that the cost of living is higher than the national average. The median home cost for Naples is $399,000, which is $100,000 over the statewide and national average. Naples residents get a slight break on utilities and transportation costs.

St. Petersburg has a lower cost of living. The overall cost of living rating is 98.6. Most of St. Petersburg’s rating has to do with its lower housing costs. According to BestPlaces, the median home cost is $284,100.

Which city is right for you? If making sure that you get the most bang for your buck is important to you, then St. Petersburg might be your top choice. You can enjoy a lower cost of living and spend less on a home than you would in Naples.

Salvador Dali Museum in St. Petersburg, FL
Salvador Dali Museum in St. Petersburg, FL

Raising a Family

Schools are an essential factor for any parent raising their children. Every year, the Florida Department of Education grades each school district. Naples schools tend to grade higher than schools in St. Petersburg. St. Petersburg is part of the Pinellas School District, which often receives a B grade from the state.

Historically, Naples, part of the Collier School District, has been an A-graded school district. However, St. Petersburg schools have seen their graduation rates improve by 10 percentage points over the past five years and now have similar graduation rates to Naples.

While Naples has the edge when it comes to schools, St. Petersburg has the clear advantage when it comes to fun things you can do with your family. Popular theme parks like Busch Gardens, Disney World, and Legoland are within easy driving distance. ZooTampa at Lowry Park is one of the more popular zoos in the country, and you can enjoy live major league sports with the Rays, Lightning, and Buccaneers.

Which city is right for you? Naples has a superior school district and can offer more of a natural environment for you to raise a family. Still, St. Petersburg provides quick access to theme parks and more that you just won’t be able to get anywhere else.

Two seniors walking on the beach


Florida has been a destination for retirees for decades now. Every year, more and more people sell their northern homes and relocate to spend their golden years in sunny Florida. Naples is routinely included as one of the best places to retire in Florida and is seemingly custom-tailored to retirees. There’s an abundance of golf courses, incredible restaurants, great shopping, and inspiring museums.

St. Petersburg is also a popular retirement destination. Known as the Sunshine City, it’s rare that you have a day where you won’t be able to enjoy some type of outdoor activity. And the close proximity to so many family-friendly attractions is also a bonus in convincing the grandkids to come and visit every so often.

Which city is right for you? This boils down to what retirement means to you. Naples is your destination if you want to enjoy a laid-back lifestyle. If you want to stay near everything, St. Petersburg is calling.



Hopefully, after taking a closer look at some critical elements for each city, you can narrow down where in Florida you want to move to. Once you pick a spot and know when your move will be, reach out to us here at Cento Family Moving & Storage.

We are based in Central Florida but move people all across the United States. We can make your move as easy and enjoyable as possible with our packing services and long-distance moving. If your home here in Florida isn’t quite ready for you, we have a temperature-controlled and monitored storage facility where we can keep your belongings safe until it’s time to deliver them to your new home.

Ready to learn more? Tell us about your move, and we’ll give you a free quote.


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