Finding the Best Places to Retire Since 2006!
Palm Harbor, Florida
Bounded by the Gulf Coast and Lake Tarpon, Palm Harbor is Home to the World Class Innisbrook Golf and Resort Club and Has a Cute Downtown
Pleasant Palm Harbor is about 25 miles north of downtown Tampa and is bounded by the Gulf Coast on the west and by 2,500-acre Lake Tarpon on the east. It dates from 1888 and today is well known as the home of the privately-owned, world class Innisbrook Golf Resort.
Although it is unincorporated, Palm Harbor has all the earmarks of an incorporated city and is a welcoming place. Special tax districts pay for an active library and parks department. Old Palm Harbor (the historic district) is quiet but has little shops, sidewalk cafes and some funky pubs. Boating and fishing opportunities are abundant. Honeymoon Island State Park, which is accessible via the Dunedin Causeway, has four miles of stunning beaches, not to mention mangrove swamps, tidal flats, a pine forest, nature trails and plenty of wildlife (hawks, alligators, snakes, etc.). Homes are a good mix of modest bungalows, ranch ramblers and exquisite Mediterranean estates. The western shore is lined with particularly beautiful residences. Highland Lakes is a lush 55+ waterfront community.
The Pop Stansell Park, on Sutherland Bayou, has a band shell and a marina, and the Palm Harbor Museum hosts a Saturday farmers' market. The Chamber of Commerce sponsors a wide variety of community events, including a First Friday celebration, a Citrus Festival and a beer fest. The Harbor Arts Festival has been celebrated for more than 30 years. Residents enjoy at least 10 golf courses.
Population: 65,000 (city proper)
Age 45 or Better: 47%
Cost of Living: 2% below the national average
Median Home Price: $395,000
Climate: Summer temperatures are in the 80s and 90s with high humidity levels and frequent rainstorms. Winter temperatures are in the 60s and 70s.
At Least One Hospital Accepts Medicare Patients? No, but Helen Ellis Memorial Hospital in Tarpon Springs, five miles away, accepts Medicare patients.
At Least One Hospital Accredited by Joint Commission? No, but Helen Ellis Memorial Hospital in Tarpon Springs, five miles away, is accredited.
Public Transit: Yes
Crime Rate: Meets the national average
Public Library: Yes, and it has a good menu of programs and activities.
Political Leanings: Liberal
College Educated: 34%
Is Florida Considered Tax Friendly for Retirement? Yes
Cons: The tornado risk is 90% greater than the national average.
Notes: The city boasts excellent schools and has grown 7% during the last decade. Home prices have increased 29% since last year.
Recommended as a Retirement Spot? Yes
The world's 11th largest peninsula doesn't just have an east coast and a west coast. It has a First Coast, Surf Coast, Space Coast, Treasure Coast, Gold Coast, Paradise Coast, Lee Island Coast, Cultural Coast, Nature Coast, Big Bend Coast, Emerald Coast, and a Forgotten Coast.
Each of these geographic regions is packed with its own history and attractions. The first place to be colonized by Europeans, the First Coast is rich with tidal marshes. It's the home of Amelia Island and St. Augustine. The venerable Castillo de San Marcos sits here and guards the Matanzas Bay.
Daytona Beach and the Halifax River are the heart of the Surf Coast. Automobile racing helped it develop its reputation. The area code is 386 (FUN). South of the fun is the Space Coast. Cocoa Beach, Cape Canaveral, and the Kennedy Space Center are a part of its culture.
Named after the Spanish fleet lost in a 1715 hurricane, the Treasure Coast's principle city is Port St. Lucie. It is a northern neighbor to Miami and the Gold Coast. The affluent Naples and major land reserves characterize the Paradise Coast. The Ringling Estate and Sarasota make the Cultural Coast come alive. Twenty miles of beaches along the Gulf Coast distinguish the Suncoast from the forests and blackwater rivers of the Nature Coast.
Travel up to Florida's Big Bend along its emerald waters. Find the Forgotten Coast. With no major cities, it may be the best place to enjoy the state's white-sand beaches.
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