Finding the Best Places to Retire Since 2006!
Reader Requested Short Review of Dunedin, Florida
Situated along the west central coast of Florida, just north of Clearwater, Dunedin ("Dun-EE-ton") receives great reviews from just about everyone. Once an important seaport and the site of Florida's largest sailing fleet, today this city of 36,000 people boasts five miles of shoreline. In the pretty marina, where weathered fishing vessels were once the norm, glistening pleasure craft of all shapes and sizes bob in the water.
The cost of living meets the national average. Fifty-five percent of residents are age 45 or better. The crime rate is below the national average, and politics lean to the left. Thirty percent of locals are college educated. Racial diversity is minimal. Dunedin has grown by 5% within the last decade or two.
Housing ranges from modest condos and block ranch ramblers to Mediterranean-style custom homes. The median home price is $190,000. Edgewater Arms is a nicely manicured 55+ condominium community with waterfront views.
Dunedin has a quaint, pedestrian-friendly Main Street with a colorful assortment of cafes, pubs, galleries, eclectic restaurants, shops and bookstores (no chain stores or commercial signs are here). Called the nation's most walkable town, Dunedin is also bicycle friendly, with Pinellas Trail, a 39-mile long walking and bicycling pathway, running right through downtown.
Two beautiful beaches, Honeymoon Beach State Park and Caladesi Island State Park, the latter of which is often called the nation's best beach, beckon with white sand and warm Gulf Coast waters.
This is an energetic place, and festivals and events are many. The city's Scottish roots are celebrated during the Highland Games and Spring Clan Gathering each spring, and Mardi Gras, Wines the Blues, Art Harvest, Celtic Festival, Hog Hustle, the Dunedin Cup and Kiwanis Regatta and Oktoberfest are just a few of the town's other happenings.
Dunedin Public Library offers adult education classes, film showings, book discussion groups and has Internet access. The Dunedin Fine Arts Center is a lovely facility and mounts various exhibits throughout the year.
The Hale Senior Activity Center is operated by the city and offers an extensive menu of programs and activities for those age 50+ (no membership required). Each winter it hosts the Senior Awareness Fair, a showcase of local resources available to the mature demographic. Dunedin operates three other recreation centers, as well, and it recently received a state award for its programs. The city's Committee on Aging helps with planning for the needs of the senior population.
Dunedin has two golf courses, but many more are just a short drive away. Each year, baseball-crazy crowds come out to watch the Toronto Blue Jays' spring training.
Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority provides public transportation.
Mease Dunedin Hospital is a 143-bed facility and is a designated stroke care center. It is award-winning for nursing care and meets or exceeds national averages in most specialty areas. It is accredited by the Joint Commission and accepts Medicare patients. Several other major medical facilities are within 5 to 15 miles.
Summer high temperatures usually top out in the low 90s, and winter temperature highs are in the 50s, 60s, 70s. Average rainfall is 50 inches per year with the usual summertime afternoon showers. On the comfort index, a combination of temperature and humidity, Dunedin is below the national average. The sun shine 242 days of the year.
Dunedin has some drawbacks. As with many Florida coastal communities, the city has seen a rise in homeowners' insurance rates. Dunedin is also, according to Florida Geological Survey geologists, a prime spot for sinkholes. Lawsuits have been filed against the city and developers for negligence in building homes on unstable soil. The city's tornado risk is 80% higher than the U.S. average, and hurricanes are always a possibility.
Recommended as a Retirement Spot? Yes | Is Florida Tax-Friendly for Retirement? Yes
The high insurance rates, hurricane potential and sinkhole issue are drawbacks, but a thriving downtown, walkability, good medical care, reasonably priced housing, beautiful beaches, good senior programs, lots of festivals and a low crime rate are all pluses, making Dunedin a place to consider for retirement.
Named Pascua Florida by Juan Ponce De Leon, the Sunshine State did not enter the Union until March 3, 1845. Balmy mild winters began attracting snowbirds to the state in the late 19th century. Retirees continue to flock to the state. It's not hard to see why tourism has become the leading industry.
International trade and citrus are also major contributors to the state's economy. Eighty percent of the nation's oranges and grapefruits are grown here, and 40 percent of all U.S. exports to Latin America flow through Florida.
Florida's landscape includes uplands and coastal plains. It contains more than 11,000 miles of waterways and about 4,500 islands spread across 10 acres.
The state has 1,250 more golf courses than any other state in the Union. The 47 mile Pinellas Trail is the longest urban trail on the east coast. Orlando theme parks attract more visitors than any other theme parks in the U.S. The only place in the world where alligators and crocodiles co-exist is in National Everglades Park.
Florida, particularly the Keys and the Gulf Coast, were struck by Category 4 Hurricane Irma in early September, 2017. Towns will rebuild, perhaps this time with climate change in mind, making them safer and better equipped to handle major hurricanes going forward.
Population - 20,612,439
Persons 65 years old and over - 20%
High school graduates, persons age 25+ - 87%
Bachelor's degree or higher, persons age 25+ - 27%
Persons of Hispanic or Latino origin - 24%
White persons, not Hispanic - 58%
Median household income - $47,525
Median home value - $159,900
Social Security taxed? No
Source: U.S. Census Bureau
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