Both Orlando and Jacksonville are thriving cities with great weather, but their location and residents make them completely different cities. One of the main reasons people want to be in Jacksonville instead of Orlando is that Jacksonville is simply more affordable. With Orlando as such a big tourist destination, you'll find that the cost of living goes up and so does everything else. Even though Jax is northeast of Orlando, Tampa and Miami, he feels much more southerly when it comes to accents and attitudes.
In fact, many Floridians say it feels more like a part of Georgia, which makes sense considering it's only 25 miles from Georgia's state line. Jacksonville is by far the most populous city of the two, with more than 900,000 people living there. However, Jacksonville is scattered, making it seem less crowded than many denser cities. Orlando, while still a major city, has a population of more than 300,000 people.
Jacksonville also has plenty of places to shop, whether you want to look for some vintage finds or the latest in retail sales. While health care and food cost less than national and state averages, Jacksonville's affordable housing is the most attractive to those considering a move. It is home to several state and private four-year universities and community colleges, including Florida State College in Jacksonville, University of North Florida, St. Orlando has a combined state and county tax of 6.5 percent, while Jacksonville has a sales tax of 7.5 percent, according to the Sales Tax Manual.
Rather a small-town feel, in the sense that, when you go to Target in whatever neighborhood you live in, you'll probably run into someone you know (it's not always a scam, but it makes more sense to put it here). Despite being north of Orlando, Jacksonville has a much more southerly feel, not least because of its proximity to the deep south (Florida is not considered “the south, by the way). Of course, with more than 500 neighborhoods to consider, those moving to Jacksonville, Florida, have more than enough options. As a general rule, keep in mind that you'll have to shell out more to live near the beach than in the outskirts.
I don't know much about Orlando, but I get the impression that the traffic there is much worse than that in Jacksonville. Also, if you're interested in taking some classes, Jacksonville is home to Jacksonville University, a liberal arts college. About 44% of city dwellers choose to rent apartments in Jacksonville, so inventory is available to newcomers looking to rent. You tend to hear the term “expansion” associated with Jacksonville because of how the metropolis extends over so many square miles.
Jacksonville is known for its relaxation, eating by the water, taking out your boat for a day of fishing and hitting the beach after a day at the office. Homes in Jacksonville are also less expensive and are more likely to be rented in Jacksonville than in Orlando. Jacksonville is the most populous city in Florida, and with 874 square miles stretching out, there's room for everyone who wants to live here.