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Lake City FL [2024] | 💝 ULTIMATE Living in & Moving to Lake City Guide

Last Updated on: 24th February 2023, 10:40 am

Lake City, FL is known for its beautiful weather, friendly people, and great fishing. It is the county seat and is a city located in Columbia County, Florida and is a suburb of the larger Jacksonville metropolitan area. The city was named for its location on the banks of Lake DeSoto. Lake City’s nicknames include “The Gateway to Florida” and “The World’s Freshwater Fishing Capital.” 

The city has a rich history dating back to the early 19th century. It was founded in 1832 and incorporated in 1859. Lake City is a great place to live, work, and play. There are plenty of things to do in this vibrant community. Whether you’re looking for a quiet place to retire or a bustling city to raise a family, Lake City is the place for you.

Where is Lake City?

Lake City FL is located in Columbia County. The city is situated in the north-central part of the county, near the Suwannee River. 

Lake City FL borders the cities of Alachua, Bradford, Clay, Duval, Hamilton, Lafayette, Levy, Madison, Nassau, Putnam, St. Johns, and Union counties. 

The geographic location of Lake City FL allows for a short drive to some of Florida’s most popular beaches. Jacksonville Beach is only about an hour away and Daytona Beach is only a little over two hours away. For those looking for a more secluded beach experience, St. Augustine Beach is only about 45 minutes from Lake City FL.

Lake City, FL is about 80 miles from Jacksonville, FL. The types of public transportation available in Lake City include bus and passenger rail. 

Other nearby major cities also have public transit systems. For example, Jacksonville has a very robust public transit system with a variety of different bus and rail lines. Tampa also has a good public transit system, with a mix of bus and rail lines.


Lake City Population & Demographics

According to the most recent 2020 census, the population of Lake City, FL is just over 12,166. The population has been growing steadily over the past few years and is expected to continue doing so. The density of the population is 1,026.9 per square mile. 

Notable people from Lake City include NFL linebacker Brian Allen, model Grace Elizabeth and pianist and composer Martha Mier

Lake City has a fair share between its inhabitants with male and female making up equally 50% of the population while the median age in Lake City is 38.2 years old.

The racial and ethnic composition of Lake City is: 54% White, 6% Hispanic or Latino, 33% Black or African American, 2% Asian.

The median household income in Lake City is $40,397, which is slightly lower than the state median of $57,703.

Educational attainment in Lake City is: 38% high school graduates or higher, 15% bachelor’s degree or higher. 5.4% of Lake City’s population is foreign-born majority of which hail from Latin American origins.

According to the most recent FBI statistics, Lake City has an overall crime rate of 7,759 per 100K people. This is 207.4% higher than the state of Florida and 213.3% higher than the national average. However, there are many areas in Lake City that are safe to live in. 

Within the City of Lake City Police Department, there are 54 police officers.


Cost of Living in Lake City

Is the cost of living in Lake City, FL affordable? According to The Council for Community and Economic Research’s “Cost of Living Index,” Lake City ranks as the 130 out of 273 cities surveyed which means that Lake City is relatively affordable place to live.

Lake City’s average home price is $289K while the average apartment rent in Lake City is $1,188 for 1,001 sq. ft. Nearby Lake City, FL’s cost of living is 1% higher than the national average. According to the Economic Policy Institute, a family of four would need to earn $73,541 per year to afford to live in Columbia County including Lake City.

The cost of everyday items nearby Lake City can vary depending on the store you purchase them from. Average Lake City utilities per month: $1,655.

However, according to data and statistics, the average prices for some common items near Lake City are as follows:

  • Energy Bill: $141.11/month
  • Internet Bill: $65.38
  • Gas: $3.83/gallon
  • A gallon of milk: $3.70
  • Loaf of bread: $2.85
  • Carton of eggs: $2.56

Source: Numbeo


Lake City Neighborhoods | Where to Live in Lake City

NW Madison is close to all the best that Lake City has to offer, including shopping, dining, and entertainment. Plus, it’s just a short drive to Gainesville or Jacksonville.

Everyone in NW Gwen Lake is friendly and welcoming, and it’s always easy to find someone to chat with or help you out. The houses are all well-maintained and the streets are clean, and the Gwen Lake nearby is just beautiful. 

The vibrant community of SE St. John’s offers something for everyone. Spend a lazy afternoon picnicking in Hunter Park, or take a stroll through one of the many scenic walking trails.

And with its convenient location just minutes from downtown Lake City, you’ll never be far from all the action.


Lake City Weather & Climate

Lake City, FL has a humid subtropical climate according to the Koppen Classification. The best months to visit are October through April when the average temperature is between 64-75 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Lake City sees very little snowfall and rainfall throughout the year. However, there are occasional hurricanes and tropical storms that can impact the area. Overall, the climate in Lake City is mild and enjoyable.


Things to Do in Lake City

There’s plenty to see and do in with kids in Lake City, FL. Lake City, FL also provides for some very convenient shopping including Lake City Mall and Lake City Commons. Here are best things to do in Lake city:


Alligator Lake Park

Alligator Lake is a beautiful park located in Lake City, Florida. The park is home to a variety of wildlife, including alligators, turtles, and fish. Visitors can enjoy walking trails, picnicking, and fishing in the lake. The park also has a playground and a pavilion for events. 

420 SE Alligator, NW Silver Glen, Lake City, FL 32025 | 386-719-7545


Lake City Columbia County Historical Museum

The Lake City Columbia County Historical Museum is a must-see for anyone interested in the history of this area. The museum houses an impressive collection of artifacts and documents that tell the story of the region, from its early days as a frontier outpost to its present-day status as a thriving community.

157 SE Hernando Ave, Lake City, FL 32025 | 386-755-9096


Olustee Festival

It is an annual event that celebrates the history of Lake City and Columbia County. The festival features a parade, live music, food vendors, and a reenactment of the Battle of Olustee, which was fought in the area during the Civil War.

232 NE Hillsboro St, Lake City, FL 32055 | 386-755-1097

You’ll never run out of places to explore near Lake City, FL. Here are some more places to go to:

Looking for more things to do in Lake City? Lake City Parks and Recration manages two neighborhood. You can also check the City of Lake City events calendar to find upcoming events in the area!


Lake City Restaurants

Lake City, Florida is home to a variety of restaurants, from casual cafes to upscale bistros. Whether you’re in the mood for seafood, steak, or Italian cuisine, you’re sure to find something to your taste.

Cedar River Seafood

May be an image of food and indoor

Source: Facebook

Cedar River Seafood is the perfect place to enjoy fresh seafood in a beautiful setting. Located in Lake City, FL, the restaurant offers stunning views of the lake and river. The menu features a wide variety of seafood items, all of which are cooked to perfection. Whether you’re in the mood for a light meal or a hearty feast, Cedar River Seafood is sure to please. 

1592 W US Hwy 90, Lake City, FL 32055 | 386-752-8399


Marion Street Bistro & Brew House

May be an image of food and indoor

Source: Facebook

If you’re looking for a delicious meal and great craft beer in Lake City, FL, look no further than Marion Street Bistro & Brew House. Their menu features something for everyone, including fantastic appetizers, entrees, and desserts. Also, their selection of locally brewed beers is sure to please any craft beer lover. 

281 N Marion Ave, Lake City, FL 32055 | 386-4887-691 


Gator’s Dockside Lake City

May be an image of food

Source: Facebook

The place is a full-service restaurant and bar specializing in fresh, made-to-order American cuisine. Their menu features all of your favorite comfort foods, including burgers, sandwiches, salads, wings, and more. Also offered is a selection of craft beers and wines.

313 NW Commons Loop, Lake City, FL 32055 | 386-438-5446


Jobs in Lake City

Lake City, FL is a great place to work. The largest industries in Lake City are healthcare, manufacturing, and retail trade. The average salary in Lake City is $14.59 per hour

The major employers in Lake City are Shands HealthCare, the Columbia County School District, and Lowe’s. Lake City is a great place to work because it offers a variety of job opportunities, a good salary, and a low cost of living. 


Lake City Schools

The city is home to some of the best schools in the state, the city belongs to the Columbia County School District.With so many great options to choose from such as Florida Gateway College, you’re sure to find the perfect school for your needs. 

There are also several excellent private schools in Lake City. One of the most popular is Lake City Christian Academy, which offers a rigorous academic program and competitive sports teams.

Students and others will enjoy the free nearby Columbia County Public Library.


Lake City Statistics & Information

  • County: Columbia County
  • Area: 1.25 square miles
  • Zip code: 32024-32025, 32055-32056
  • Area code: 386
  • Elevation: 188 ft
  • Time zone: UTC-5 (EST)
  • Closest airport: The Gainesville Regional Airport (GNV / KGNV) is in Gainesville, Florida and is 48 miles from the center of Lake City, FL.

Lake City, FL Map

Explore more things to do, restaurants, and amenities with this map of Lake City.

Pros & Cons of Living in Lake City

  • Pro: Lake City FL is a great place to live if you want to be close to the water. There are many beautiful lakes and rivers in the area, and the climate is perfect for swimming and fishing.
  • Con: Lake City FL can be quite dangerous during hurricane season. The area is prone to hurricanes and tropical storms, and you need to be prepared for them if you live here.
  • Con: The cost of living in Lake City FL is quite high, but it is still cheaper than many other parts of Florida.
  • Pro: Lake City FL is a great place to retire, if you want the slow pace of life here.

Lake City is a great place to live, work, and raise a family. And, when you’re ready to make the move, 2 College Brothers Lake City Fl movers are here to help. We’re a full-service moving company that can handle all of your moving needs!


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