Finding the Best Places to Retire Since 2006!
Madeira Beach, Florida
With Colorful Homes and a Long Beach, Compact Madeira Beach Sits on an Island Between the Gulf of Mexico and Boca Ciega Bay
Madeira Beach's unofficial motto is "two miles long and a smile wide." It sits on a barrier island between the Gulf of Mexico and Boca Ciega Bay on the west central Florida coast and is directly west of St. Petersburg. "Snowbirds" and second home owners make up a large part of the seasonal population.
Housing is a mix of colorful bungalows and tall and short condominiums. Neighborhoods are densely populated, and many homes sit along the water, whether it be the oceanfront or the bay. Boat slips are common. Residents enjoy a municipal marina with wet slips, a ship's store and a boat launch. The primary entertainment district, John's Pass Village and Boardwalk, contains shops, eateries, a suspended boardwalk and Hubbard's Marina. It is also the hub for Madeira Beach's best festivals. The beach is long and narrow, and numerous side streets have metered parking with public beach access. Most of the public parks also have beach access (and showers).
Causeway Park has a fishing pier and an observation deck. John's Pass Park has a jetty walkway. Archibald Park is the town's historic Gulf-front park. A relatively new city hall and recreation center are also here.
About 4,000 people live in Madeira Beach. The popualtion began to drop in 2021 but has since steadied.
Of the people who live here, approximately 55% are age 45 or better, giving the town a somewhat sedate quality. About 40% of locals hold at least a four year college degree.
Politics in Madeira Beach lean slightly to the left.
The cost of living is 90% above the national average. This number takes into account housing prices, taxes, transportation, health care and more.
The median home price is $885,000. This reflects a drop of about 10% from the year before.
The town is generally safe, with the crime rate meeting the national average.
As in much of Florida, the climate here is humid subtropical, meaning the town has essentially two seasons each year. Summer and early fall and hot and humid, while late fall, winter and early spring are a bit cooler and less humid. On average, the area receives 52 inches of rain per year.
Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority provides limited public transportion around Madeira Beach.
The nearest airport is St. Petersburg (PIE) Airport, which is 10 miles away.
Madeira Beach does not have its own hospital, but St. Petersburg General is about five miles away. It is accredited by the Joint Commission, and it accepts Medicare patients.
The Gulf Beaches Public Library is the local library and is across the street from the City Hall.
Florida is considered a tax-friendly place to retire. This is because there is no income tax so there is no state tax on Social Security benefits, 401Ks, etc.
Madeira Beach does have some drawbacks as a retirement destination. It is completely exposed and vulnerable to huricanes and tropical storms. In fact, Hurricane Michael caused some flooding in 2018, and Hurricane Eta brought significant flooding in 2020. Hurricane Ian had minimal effect in 2022. In 2023, Hurricane Idalia brought some flooding.
Recommended as a Retirement Spot? Yes
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