(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

I absolutely love living in the Sunshine State and one Florida city has been named one of the happiest towns in America.

Growing up in the cold north in Illinois, all I ever wanted to do was live in Florida. Since I’ve moved here to Fort Myers, I feel like I’m happier than I ever have been. No snow to shovel, no ice to scrape..can you tell I hate the cold? I love having things to do year-round, gorgeous beaches to enjoy and being able to be outside all the time brings me so much joy. Many people dream of living here. I always hear “you’re so lucky to live in paradise.” But really, it’s not about luck at all. It’s about making a decision, and doing it. And when you do, especially if you come here from a cold climate, you’ll be happier too.

What makes a town the happiest?

Active lifestyle enthusiast magazine Outside wanted to find the happiest towns in America. They looked at things like outdoor access, affordability, safety and diversity among other things. They started with a list of 300 contenders and carefully narrowed it down to 15. One Florida city, not far from us here in Southwest Florida made the list of the happiest towns. While they’re all very different and from different parts of the country, one thing they have in common are very happy residents.

The Happiest Towns in America (including a nearby Florida city): in alphabetical order

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