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Top 5 Pros and Cons Before Moving to Crestview Florida | You must know!
Dated: June 1 2021
Hey everybody! It is Andi G with The Emerald Group right here in beautiful Crestview, Florida. If you are new here and you want more info on Crestview and other Emerald Coast cities, go ahead stay tuned on my blog every week on Tuesday and Thursday!
All right, enough preamble, let us dive into my list of Crestview pros and cons.
One of the best things about Crestview is that it is pretty close to everything. It is an easy 30-minute drive to Okaloosa Island. My husband and I will regularly pack a cooler and spend a day at the beach, then hit one of the restaurants or pubs on Miracle Strip for dinner on our way home. And there are plenty of other fun things on the island if laying out all day does not appeal to you, from kid-friendly arcades and theme parks to grown-ups only nightlife.
Destin is about the same drive time, and it is awesome for all kinds of “touristy” stuff like the water park, helicopter tours, boat tours, you name it! Destin is also a great place to shop if that is your thing, and has a huge variety of entertainment and dining options!
Crestview is also close to Niceville, Valparaiso, and Fort Walton Beach. That also means that the Eglin Gates are not too far, in my opinion. And we are closer to Duke Airfield than any of those towns, so especially if you are working at Duke, Crestview is the place to be!
Remember how I said Crestview is centrally located just a couple minutes ago? That can also be a bit of a con. Crestview is where three major roads meet: Hwy 85, Hwy 90, and Interstate 10. This means we do have a lot of traffic. Now, they are working on expanding the roads—PJ Adams Parkway is about to double in width—but road construction does tend to make traffic worse before it gets better.
And if you work at Eglin, you are either commuting to Valparaiso or to Fort Walton Beach, depending on which gate you need to use. And that is obviously a longer drive than living in either of those towns. So, if you want to be just minutes from Eglin, Crestview may not be the place for you.
• Small-town vibe
Crestview really does have that small town vibe. Downtown especially keeps its historic feel going with mostly locally-owned businesses. We have independent restaurants, antique shops, even a distillery! There is plenty of parking up and down Main Street, but it is also fun to just park at one end and take a walk on a nice day. Stop in at one of the many shops and see what you find! You might get some fancy coffee, a dance lesson, a new-to-you antique, a brand-new sofa, or heck, even a new tattoo!
• Limited nightlife
The flip side of a small-town feel is that we do not have much of nightlife. Other than the frogs and possums. We kind of roll up sidewalks around here after about 10 pm unless you are going to a movie or a bar.
Someone like me, who thinks 10pm is WAY TOO LATE does not mind that, but if you like going out dancing every weekend, you may find the cab fare to Destin and back is not quite worth it. I would say if you are only doing that every month or so, you will probably come out ahead on cost of living, but the time spent on the drive to and from late-night entertainment is definitely a con for my more nightlife-loving clients.
• Lower cost of living
Crestview is just overall less expensive than Fort Walton Beach, Niceville, and Destin. Housing costs are lower than those cities, and as we’re farther from the beaches, home insurance is WAY less expensive. When we moved here three years ago, had we moved to Fort Walton Beach or Niceville, a comparable home would have cost me TRIPLE what it did in Crestview. And we are in a highly desirable location!
I know that the trade off is that I spend more time in the car going to Destin, Fort Walton Beach, and Okaloosa Island, but I love that I got SO MUCH house for my money, and that came in VERY handy when I was working from home in 2020.
• Limited Shopping Experience
Crestview is, again, a smalltown kind of place, so you are not going to find a lot of fancy shopping to do. So, if you do not buy all your clothes, furniture, and décor online as I do, are not into the thrift store vibe of our local shops, and do not want to spend time driving to Destin, you may be looking elsewhere.
I know a few people who like to have their cake and eat it, so they live in north Crestview where they got a huge, brand new home for half of what it would cost anywhere else in the area, and just take the occasional weekend “staycation” in Destin to shop, enjoy the nightlife, and work on their tans.
But if having a large variety of shops around the corner is important to you, you may need to look farther south.
• Lack of Tourists
While Crestview has tourists pass through on their way to Fort Walton Beach and Destin, we do not get the constant clogging of our town tripling in size every summer, and I appreciate that. Unlike Destin, Fort Walton Beach, and Pensacola, Crestview doesn’t have anything that is a real tourist attraction.
Even though I am from Florida, I really enjoy our tourist attractions farther south. I have yet to get tired of all the fun options available in our more tourist-friendly areas, and I certainly appreciate all the tourists who keep our local economy thriving, but I also love that I get to escape the tourists at the end of the day and come back to my nice little town!
• No beaches
This is probably not a surprise by now, but there are no white sandy beaches in Crestview. I know a lot of folks move down here specifically to be near the beach. And you are still pretty close but there is no walking to the beach, or watching the sunrise or set over the gulf or bay or sound here. That is a deal breaker for a lot of folks, which I get. It clearly was not for me, but you have to be happy where you live!
I am okay with the drive, but I understand that not everyone is. If you need to be 10-15 minutes from salt water, then Crestview is not likely to make the cut.
• Lots of Parks
This may not be a big deal to everyone, but I love going to the park even more so than the beach. So I love that there are so many in Crestview with SO MUCH variety!
You want a big grass field? Got those. Baseball diamond? Check. Basketball court? Got like three. Boat launch? YUP. Playgrounds, splash pads, dog parks, picnic areas, ponds, streams…? Yes, yes, and more YES.
In fact, I love parks so much that my very first Blog was on the Top Three Parks in Crestview, which I will link in the description below so you can hear about all my favorite parks. But keep in mind that video only has three of the roughly ten we have!
• Expanding SUPER FAST
Just to wrap things up, this is kind of a con AND a pro, depending on how you feel about it. Crestview is expanding like crazy. You ca not throw a rock without hitting new construction: houses, shops, roads, they are all getting built as fast at the crews can get materials! There is even a Crestview Commons in the planning stages to bring a Destin Commons style shopping mega-center up here. That is going to impact the small-town vibe, for sure, and it is probably going to bring more tourists here. But it is going to give us more shopping and dining options, not to mention all the jobs that have been created by construction work and will be available when the shops are built.
These shops are going to be in South Crestview, so if you want to move here while the South Crestview prices are still decent, it is a good time to do it! And if you are interested in keeping the more down-home feel, move to North Crestview where none of that is happening!
So, those are my 5 pros and cons of Crestview. Thanks for making it this far! I think Crestview combines some of the best things about city and small-town life, and that as the expansion continues on the southern end, it is only going to get better. I have only lived in Crestview for a few years, but it really has become my home.
If you are thinking about moving to Crestview or anywhere else here on the Emerald Coast, please give me a call, text, comment, message, whatever works for you, and let me help you make my hometown your hometown too!
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