Around 700,000 British expats live in the U.S., and a huge chunk of that population has chosen to reside in Florida. By the estimates of the British consulate in Orlando, approximately 400,000 British expats are in the state. But what makes Florida so attractive to the Brits?
A Florida retirement has become somewhat of a tradition in the UK. Much of this is because local Floridian culture offers a lot to retiring Brits. Home to the La Martina Miami Beach Polo World Cup, Miami’s version of soccer replaces the traditional green field with sand. For soccer fans, the new Inter Miami football club —owned by English legend David Beckham— could be a great new team to root for in the future. Furthermore, thanks to the efforts of local theater troupes like Jacksonville Beach’s Players, Shakespearean theater is alive and well here too.
A Well-Established and Supportive Local British Community
The fact that there are already 400,000 British expats living here makes the whole transition process easier. Whether it’s relatives, friends, or some other type of connection, planning to retire anywhere can be less scary if someone’s already waiting for you on the other side. With established fellow expats willing to show them the ropes, more and more Brits will see Florida as a viable retirement destination.
An Eclectic Music Scene
Being the state that birthed the likes of rock country legends The Allman Brothers Band, jazz pianist Brad Mehldau, and the late, great double bassist Sam Jones, Florida’s musical roots run deep. And today, Floridians are definitely no stranger to British newcomers on the music scene. Our own review of indie bands to watch out for in 2020 features British bands like Sports Team, further proof that the local culture has the same music taste as the Brits.
It’s Not Called The Sunshine State For Nothing
While local Floridians may take the year-round sunshine here for granted, it’s quite a special treat if you’re from the UK —where the coasts are beautiful but not exactly right for sunbathing. In fact, one of the sunniest places in the UK is St Helier in Jersey, and it only gets an average of less than 2,000 hours of sunshine per year. It’s no wonder then that a Gala Bingo survey found that 40% of Brits agree that among their top 10 things that can make them smile is seeing the sun shining. In at number four in the survey, sunshine was only beaten by a good joke in first place, speaking with loved ones in second, and listening to their favorite music in third — all of which can also be found in abundance in the Sunshine State.
A Strong Comedy Scene
British and American audiences have been laughing at each other’s comedians for decades. And while it’s certainly no California or New York, Florida does have its fair share of great comics. As small as the actual comedy scene is in Florida, it’s just as developed as it is elsewhere in America. Places provide amateur and veteran standups with a venue to regularly show their chops. Florida is also where top comedians like Gene Harding, Lisa Corrao, David Stebbins, and Lindsay Glazer hail from. If you grew up with the likes of Monty Python, Black Adder, and A Bit of Fry & Laurie, you’ll be very comfortable with the comedy scene here.