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TAMPA BAY NEIGHBORHOOD INFORMATION

Tampa, Riverview, Brandon, Valrico, Lutz, Odessa, Apollo Beach, Ruskin, Gibsonton, Lithia, Temple Terrace, Plant City, Seffner, Thonotosassa, Mango, Sun City

Hillsborough County is one of 3 counties that comprise the "Tampa Bay" area of Florida with an estimated population of over 1,200,000 people in 2007 and the 4th most populated county in the state. It is close to 3 of the best beaches: Clearwater, Indian Rocks and St. Pete and also have plenty of state parks and waterways. The subtropical climate maintains an average year-round temperature of 72 degrees has an average of 61 degrees in the winter and 82 degrees in the summer. Colorful, bold flowers and plants grow rampantly throughout the area, indicating how lush and green nature can be all year round. Grand thunderstorms in the summer also remind you that this is a tropical area and rain averages about 20 inches then and only about 6 inches in winter. 

Month

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Year

Avg high °F (°C)

70
(21)

72
(22)

76
(24)

82
(27)

87
(30)

90
(32)

90
(32)

90
(32)

89
(31)

84
(28)

78
(25)

72
(22)

82
(27)

Avg low temperature °F (°C)

50
(10)

52
(11)

56
(13)

61
(16)

67
(19)

73
(22)

74
(23)

74
(23)

73
(22)

66
(18)

57
(13)

52
(11)

63
(17)

Rainfall in. (cm)

2.1
(5)

2.9
(6)

3.2
(8)

2.0
(4)

2.7
(7)

6.6
(14)

7.4
(18)

7.9
(20)

6.3
(16)

2.3
(5)

1.8
(4)

2.0
(5)

46.3
(128)

Source:

Monthly Climate Summary


Tampa is a city of growing affluence and is contained in a huge metropolitan area called Tampa Bay. With a population of over 350,000 people, Tampa is continually growing and changing to make life better for its residents. Being on the water, its future potential is endless. Tampa is ranked 9th nationally and 1st in Florida in terms of quality of life, cultural activities, work force availability, job creation, transportation and educational opportunities. Tampa's medical facilities are some of the finest in the whole US. New redevelopments in the downtown area, the new Riverwalk and Parks project, Channelside, and several urban core neighborhoods, including Ybor City are breathing new excitement into its core foundation. There are plenty of night life venues in the locals of SoHo District, Channelside, and Ybor City. The biggest and best shopping areas are the International Plaza, Westshore Plaza, Westfield Brandon, Westfield Citrus Park and Hyde Park Village. 

Whether you like urban historic bungalows, waterfront high rise living, country club atmosphere, tree-lined suburban communities or serene lakeside villas, you have it all here to choose from starting at $150,000 and going upward into the millions. It has a very eager tourism department that finds ways to continually attract people, which in turn produce jobs and money for the coffers. The tourism trade is augmented by corporation centers from Fortune 500 and 1000 companies and manufacturing companies. 

Tampa, the city itself is divided into many neighborhoods, with the main areas being: Downtown Tampa, New Tampa, West Tampa, East Tampa, North Tampa, and South Tampa. Some of the recognized communities within these neighborhoods include: Ybor City, Forest Hills, Sulphur Springs, Seminole Heights, Tampa Heights, Palma Ceia, Hyde Park, Tampa Palms, and non-residential areas of the Westshore Business District. 

Each of these neighborhoods has their own features worth investigating. In South Tampa, you have Bayshore Boulevard which borders Hillsborough Bay for 4 ½ miles and the spectacular view is frequented by locals either walking or practicing some other sport. South Tampa also has some of the most stunning bungalows and winding streets for studying. Downtown Tampa is one of two main business districts in Tampa, and the other being the Westshore area. Small in comparison to other large city downtown areas, Tampa’s downtown is the location for the following major points of interest in Tampa: Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center, the historic Tampa Theatre, Tampa Museum of Art, and the notable Henry B. Plant Museum on the University of Tampa campus. Also downtown, although considered to be a separate venue, the Channelside district, is where the Tampa Convention Center, St. Pete Times Forum, and the Florida Aquarium are located. East Tampa, North Tampa and West Tampa are mainly residential neighborhoods with local shopping. West Tampa is one of the oldest areas in the city with the highest concentration of Hispanic population and wonderful ethnic restaurants. In contrast, New Tampa is the fastest growing area of Tampa since 1988; building huge master planned residential communities and necessary commercial developments. New Tampa, fashioned to appeal to all that people look for in a neighborhood can find nature parks and trails, golf courses, tennis, swimming, restaurants and shopping. Single family homes are priced anywhere from $200,000 to over 4 million owned by over 30,000 residents.

NEW TAMPA Tampa Palms was the community that changed the course of Hillsborough residential development. But nobody would have expected that until Denver developer Ken Good came to town in the 1980s with fistfuls of cash and a vision of a neighborhood like none other. For generations, Bruce B. Downs Boulevard had been known as “the Road to Nowhere,” carved out so a few prominent families could access their hunting camps in northeast Hillsborough. Tampa Palms consists of 9,100 acres of land and is Tampa’s largest annexation of residential acreage. Later, similar amenity-rich, master planned communities came about in New Tampa such as Hunter's Green, West Meadows, Cory Lake Isles, Cross Creek, Heritage Isles, Pebble Creek, Richmond Place, Live Oak, Arbor Greene and Grand Hampton.  

In 1993 a group of business leaders formed the Northeast Area Council and christened the area New Tampa, a name intended to give it a distinct identity while firmly tying it to Tampa proper. Today the organization is known as the New Tampa Community Council.

Today, there is nothing older than 30 years old in New Tampa--no trailer parks, no industrial development or even billboards.  Homes in New Tampa are priced from $175,000 to over $4 million.

Lutz is for those who either like a semi-rural community with lots of heritage, history and nature or modern suburban developments tucked away from the fast-paced life of the city. Around 1913, Lutz established itself and takes pride in its resident’s civic commitment, volunteer responsibility and independent roots. While there are large and small, old and new communities to choose from, most offer at least 1/2 acre per home. There is dispute among the residents about the kind and amount of growth taking place here. Once, a place that started as a train depot, Lutz today, is seeing the demolishing of historic homes, 2 lane highways and open land. You will still find more than 100 lakes surrounded by homes of every price range. 

Odessa runs through both northwest Hillsborough County and Pasco County. It merges into and overlaps an area known as Keystone. Originally a citrus production and logging town, today residential properties dominate the area. Experience a real working cattle ranch at J.B. Starkey’s Flatwoods Adventures, where trained guides will take on a range buggy ride through flatwoods, sand pine ridges and pastureland and a cypress swamp.

Keystone contains the largest and prized lake named after it. Covering over 400 acres averaging 10 feet deep, water sports and summer cottages are inherent here. There is the annual Christmas Boat parade which tells you of the intact small town charm still remaining after all these years. Without traveling very far, there spans 3 other lakes all connected by canals where fisherman catch bass, bluegills and catfish. None of these lakes have public access and the whole community is governed by the Keystone Civic Association to protect and maintain this communities qualities. 

Temple Terrace is named for the very own Temple Orange and was incorporated as a city in 1925, but as early as mid 1700’s, travelers came up the Hillsborough River that runs along the south and up the east end of Temple Terrace in search of lumber and settled in what is today Riverhills Park. In the early 1900’s Temple Terrace was a place where winter-tired Northerners would come to play golf and might even have a citrus grove to attend to. Due to harsh early century winters and the stock market crash in 1929, much development was halted. Residential development in Temple Terrace resumed after World War II. Today, with its less than 7 square miles, it offers diversity in its people and sites. Next to strip malls and inner city areas, there still remain homes from the pre-war era and acres of wild nature. Currently there is a revival of the downtown district, with the main shopping interests running along 56th street.  The Temple Terrace Golf Club still runs through housing developments with huge old oaks that are as important to the community as its residents.   Temple Terrace runs east of Tampa proper, west of Thonotosassa and south of New Tampa and is home to the University of South Florida.  

Thonotosassa, a much unheard from small charm situated between New Tampa and Plant City is known for its rolling hills, orange groves, mature trees and beautiful 900-acre Lake Thonotosassa. Hillsborough River State Park is here offering almost 4000 acres of camping, canoeing, swimming, fishing, nature trails and picnicking opportunities. Nestled on the Lake Thonotosassa’s shore to the east is a development called Stonelake Ranch where 160 homes range from 1.5 to 8 acre estates. Residents enjoy equestrian trails and a 100-acre open meadow for riding horses, a dock for lake enjoyment including water skiing. This is a taste of Old Florida that was once occupied by grazing cattle and working ranches. 

Brandon is one of the largest unincorporated communities (196 square miles) in Hillsborough County. Located at the end of the Lee Roy Selmon Crosstown Expressway and the junction of I-4 and I-75, Brandon offers quick trips to Tampa and Orlando, except of course during rush hours. Beginning with 100 people in 1922 and not growing much until the 1950’s, today Brandon has become a community with its own suburbs that stretch for miles around it. Known for its Westfield Shoppingtown, Brandon Ballet, Music Education Center and great jazz, its Chamber of Commerce is currently in the process of “Branding Brandon, so look for more great ideas to come. 

A couple of decades ago, Brandon offered a wide array of solid if unremarkable homes attracting a large contingent of military families as well as retirees from nearby MacDill Air Force Base. The average price was around $50,000. Today, they range in price from $200,000—and there's no shortage of $1 million-plus homes.

Valrico started with cotton plantations, citrus groves and lumber sawmills with the use of its still clear 124 acre Lake Valrico. Sitting right smack between Tampa and Plant City with 13 miles on either side, it also enjoys the business development of Brandon to the east. Mainly residential single family homes ranging from $100,000 to over $700,000, you can also find an estate size home in communities like Country Gate and River Hills. 

Plant City is an area mix of pasture and citrus trees, berry fields and plant nurseries  and named after the railroad magnate Henry B. Plant, who built tracks to this blossoming community, Mostly agricultural planned with a huge infrastructure of highways and railroads, mining of phosphate and agriculture remain the foundation of its economy for more than 100 years. The strawberries you eat in winter are what Plant City is renowned for and since 1930, every spring; it celebrates for an 11-day event with the Florida Strawberry Festival. To celebrate its ethnic mix, there is a MLK 5-day Cultural Arts Festival in January with dance, fine arts, food and music. Have some fun at the annual Pig Jam and visit the one and only Dinosaur World. Downtown Plant City is a charming place with its brick lined streets, shops, restaurants and antique stores. Mixing the old with the new like a patchwork quilt, you will find old historic homes and new residential developments like Walden Lake built around the golf course of the same name, that compliment the area’s historic foundation. Plant City is also the world headquarters for the International Softball Federation and the future site of the World Softball Hall of Fame.

Seffner, Mango and Dover are the 3 main towns between Tampa and Plant City. The Railroad needed town centers for shipping and each sprung up to meet the need in the late 1880’s. Seffner being the largest and Mango the smallest in population, all are a mix of residential developments and businesses. Two community features, Spencer Park and Lake Locarno, are frequented by the neighbors today of all 3 towns.


South Shore Area is a new name for a conglomerate of South Hillsborough Counties including Apollo Beach, Ruskin, Riverview, Sun City Center, Gibsonton, Lithia and Wimauma. 

Apollo Beach is the waterfront seat to Tampa Bay, offering 50 miles of waterfront in addition to another 55 miles of navigable canals, which provides a gorgeous setting for festivals, including the Manatee Arts Festival held in March every year. Original homes to the area are all waterfront and are being remodeled or being torn down and being replaced with mansions. Exclusive waterfront residential developments like Mira Bay are being built, capturing the shore line. 

 

Ruskin has nature going for it with the Little Manatee River, where residents can kayak from their backyards, and also Bayfront location. In addition, a strong community spirit stimulated by the Chamber and Woman’s Club over the years has kept the historic homes while modernizing the necessary municipal services to make Ruskin a proud, thriving community. Currently, it is aggressively redeveloping its business and residential district, and still retaining its small town community feel. Famous for the Ruskin tomato, there is a yearly Tomato and Heritage Festival in addition to a Seafood Festival you won’t want to miss. This southern-most city of the South Shore area is sometimes remembered as the Salad Bowl of America. 

Riverview, originally called Peru until the 1940’s, is settled on the banks of the Alafia River and that still carries memories for many people still living there. Now, Riverview is just minutes away from downtown Tampa and is mostly built-out with single family homes, multifamily developments like Lake Charles and a huge Riverview Town Center at US 301 and Gibsonton Road. 

Gibsonton has been the world's largest producer of tropical fish and has historical ties to Circus Performers who come in the winter and have headquartered their National Showmen’s Association here along with a museum commemorating long gone wilder days. Because of this unusual history, residents are allowed to keep circus elements on their front lawns. The Industries providing employment in the Greater Gibsonton Area include construction, retail trade, manufacturing, fish farming, extractive industries, circuses and carnivals. Keeping up with those communities around it, Gibsonton too is growing with residential developments.

Lithia is famous for its Lithia Springs County Park offering swimming and picnicking for the past 100 years.  Much of Lithia is experiencing tremendous growth through master-planned communities and residential subdivisions, offering single family, condos, townhomes, estate size properties and land lots. Fish Hawk and Fish Hawk Trails, built in the 1990’s are 2 large communities located in Lithia located about 20-30 minutes from downtown Tampa.  FishHawk Ranch and FishHawk Trails, two large master-planned communities in Lithia, packed with amenities. And local schools are considered to be excellent, another big draw for buyers. FishHawk Ranch is a beautiful area with about 5,000 homes as well as miles of trails, Skate Park, community pools, movie house, aquatics center and roller hockey rink. FishHawk Trails, a gated custom home built community on the east side, offers beautiful homes on half-acre + lots.

Sun City Center, about 25 miles southeast of Tampa is one of the nations’ first active-adult communities. Over 17,000 residents enjoy over 200 arts, social, craft, golf and civic clubs with special events year round. 

Wimauma, sitting directly east of Sun City Center was named after the daughters of Captain Davis in 1902. Needing to establish a half-way point for a railroad coming from Bradenton, Fl, he centered on Lake Wimauma. While still mostly rural, its residents are currently working on its growth and development plan and residential building is in the works.

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Clearwater, St. Petersburg, Tarpon Springs, Palm Harbor,
Dunedin, Oldsmar, East Lake, Safety Harbor, Gulfport, Seminole, Largo, Pinellas Park

Pinellas County is actually a peninsula on the west coast of Florida that borders the Gulf of Mexico and Tampa Bay. There are 35 miles of white-sand beaches on some 8 islands. The Pinellas County Park Department has over 4000 acres of stunning Florida landscapes to take care of. The county is built out and it is not the place if you are looking for a sprawling yard behind your home. All the different cities contribute their own unique character to the area. From the beach to the urban downtown condo with suburban living in between, you will find it all in this tiny popular area. The best way to determine which one is for you is drive and walk throughout the areas, visiting and noting the nuances and determining for yourself if this small land area is home for you.  
   
Clearwater is the kind of city where suits or flip-flops can be appropriate wear for work. Almost 1 million people now live in this municipality started in 1915. There is tourism, manufacturing, healthcare and lots of trade that all help the economy. Its excellent school system and educated work force support area businesses. Here you will find some of the most beautiful, long beaches and all the water and other outdoor activities in this west coast Florida area. Clearwater Beach is called a Billion Dollar Beach due to that amount being contributed from private developers to redevelop the area with beautification projects and adding hotel and residential properties. There are daily sunset festivals at Pier 60, quarterly Main street events, all types of corporate sponsored tournaments, marathons and tours, ethnic celebrations and of course, all sorts of beach fests. Did you know that Clearwater hosts the largest free-admission jazz festival in the Southeast every October? Don’t miss it or the St. Pete Times Turkey Trot!

Tarpon Springs
is the oldest city in Pinellas County, has 51 miles of waterfront along the Gulf of Mexico, is the Gateway to Greek Culture and also developed the world's largest sponge industry. Visit the famous Sponge Docks, located on the Anclote River, where you can experience all sorts of restaurants and shops, sprinkled through the docks area. You might try a live sponge diving exhibition; or take a cruise and enjoy the scenery from the bayous around Tarpon Springs. The cultural and historical St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Cathedral has the highest percentage of Greek residents in the U.S. The downtown area is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Dunedin has a wooded and subtropical setting with almost 4 miles of stunning waterfront, a relaxed lifestyle, and activities for all likes and ages. With its rich Scottish heritage, it is home to the Annual Highland Games featuring ancient Scottish sports competitions and the Celtic Festival with dancing and food. The yearly Art Harvest festival is one of Florida’s most popular juried art shows. The Dunedin Wines the Blue on Main Street offers wine and beer and popular music. During Thanksgiving weekend, visit The Honeymoon Island Seafood Fest & Boat Show offering boat rides and terrific seafood. Dunedin is also known for its fine restaurants, antique stores, and art galleries and is home to 2 state parks --Honeymoon and Caladesi.  Honeymoon Island State Park is a quick drive off the mainland offering boating, swimming, fishing, and nature trips. Caladesi Island State Park reached by ferry from Honeymoon Island, is considered one of Florida’s top 10 beaches. Along the Dunedin Causeway to Honeymoon Island, you will find windsurfing, sailing, kayaking, canoeing, jet skiing, sunsets or just listening to the waves along the Gulf of Mexico.

Safety Harbor is a charming bayside community where people come to the famous Safety Harbor Resort and Spa (Historic Santo Springs), distinctive shops, award winning restaurants and lots of community activity. Residents get involved, take their community seriously and wouldn’t live anywhere else.  There is certainly something for everyone, from beautiful parks (Philippe Park) laden with moss-covered oaks, historical significance and nature's artwork, to cultural avenues for even the cultured visitor. There is a farmers market at John Wilson Park on Saturdays; with midday live music. Soon, across from the famous Spa on Main Street and 2 blocks from the historical museum, residences will be built above the shops.

St. Petersburg is known as the arts hub of the Tampa Bay area offering more than 1000 events every year. Indulge your passion for the arts at the Museum of Fine Arts, the most comprehensive museum on the west coast of Florida. Downtown St. Pete is home to the world-renowned Million Dollar Pier. A walk away is the Dali Museum, which holds the largest collection of works outside of Spain as well as Ruth Eckerd Hall, for concerts from classical to contemporary. Enjoy Major League Baseball at Tropicana Field. Enjoy shopping, dining or the movies at St. Petersburg’s Bay Walk Center. Take a stroll on the downtown waterfront to see the historic St. Petersburg Yacht Club and enjoy the awe-inspiring horizons of Tampa Bay by day or night.  For housing, you will find everything from single-family homes to urban condominiums to waterfront estates in more than 100 neighborhoods. There are Mediterranean style homes, charming bungalows and contemporary loft projects. Waterfront vistas, brightly colored streets and oak-lined historic communities are some of the charming amenities of St. Petersburg.

Oldsmar sits on the Eastern edge of Pinellas County at the Northern end of Tampa Bay and is rightfully called “Top of the Bay”. It has a small town feel but because much of the shore line is undeveloped parkland, it provides a feeling of space. Many houses new and old, grand and modest, sit on large treed lots and the main thoroughfare of Tampa Road is now developed with lots of new strip centers full of shops, hotels and restaurants. The yearly Top of the Bay Oktoberfest presents a big-top tent offering authentic Germanic music, food and drink. With contests, games, dancing, this festival spans over several days. Every march for 3 days, Oldsmar Days & Nights Festival happens on the waterfront at Olds Park with all the usual old-fashioned carnival activities. Additionally there are 5 and 10 mile races, and a contest for the best Buffalo wings any local can make.  Wine and food festivals, a New Orleans-style Mardi gras festival, Blues, Cigar, and Coffee fairs all entertain thousands of happy attendees. 

Palm Harbor had a humble beginning in citrus farming, but in the last twenty years Palm Harbor has turned into one of the most affluent communities in the Tampa Bay area. It also hosts some of the finest parks and recreational facilities in the state. The Innisbrook Golf Resort, a nationally regarded golf course is located here. The historic downtown district of Palm Harbor has a number of annual festival and craft fairs. There is the “Taste of Palm Harbor" offering live music and samples from over 20 local restaurants, many of which make seafood their specialty.Two communities within Palm Harbor are Crystal Beach and Ozona. Located on the Gulf of Mexico, Crystal Beach is an older community with a mix of unique older homes as well as new houses. Ozona, older than Palm Harbor, has its own Post Office, elementary school and neighborhood feel.
Largo is known as the "City of Progress", a place where we respect and honor our past while continually looking toward the future. It is a community defined by our family-friendly atmosphere, tree-lined streets and award-winning parks. Largo Central Park Nature Preserve is a 31-acre nature park surrounded by water and can be walked, kayaked or canoed. It contains over 100 wildlife species of birds, otters, red fox, American alligator, marsh rabbits, wild turkey, and bats. The Largo Cultural Center serves the community with special performances in music, dance and theater. 

Gulfport which borders the southwest corner of St. Pete and is known as the Gateway to the Gulf of Mexico dates back to 1867. It is home to the Gulfport Casino, where locals come to dance; the performing arts Hickman Theatre and the Gulfport Marina which offers 250 wet boat slips and has easy access to the gulf. Gulfport is very relaxed and charmingly quirky. It has retained its brick lined streets, boulevards and interesting people mix.

Pinellas Park is home to over 3,300 businesses, ranging in size from sole proprietorships to major corporations that employ hundreds of area workers. There are a series of community park events held annually in its very own band shell located behind City hall. For 17 years now, "Country in the Park," is a free festival held in March, offering arts and crafts shows, amusement park rides, and multi-artist concerts. The night before there is the Firefighters chili cook-off.

Seminole is a unique community characterized by a small, hometown atmosphere attractively located within a greater metropolitan area. While Greater Seminole is popular with retirees, the number of younger people and families attracted by the climate and growing business opportunities it provides is growing with the 25 to 44-year age bracket being the fastest growing population.

East Lake is one of the last areas to be developed in this county and is still expanding at a fast pace. East Lake is a combination of 3 smaller communities:  East Lake Woodlands, Lansbrook and Tarpon Woods. The boundaries of East Lake are Pasco County to the north; Hillsborough County to the east; Oldsmar to the south; and Palm Harbor and Tarpon Springs to the west.

________________________________________________________________________________________

 New Port Richey, Hudson, Zephyrhills, Land 'o Lakes, Odessa,
Trinity, Holiday, Dade City, San Antonio, Port Richey, Connerton, St. Leo,
Aripeka, Elfers, Seven Springs, Moon Lake


Pasco County is in the top 10 fastest growing counties in Florida.  With almost 750 square miles and 100 square miles of recreation areas, Pasco County is home to 4 artificial reefs, 25 golf courses and 3 State canoe trails. It is projected that in the next 5 years, the population will be approaching 450,000 people. The County was officially established in 1887. In 1889 Dade City was named as the county seat. A temperate climate prevails in Pasco. The notable Suncoast Trail, a paved recreational trail that runs parallel to the Suncoast Parkway in Hillsborough, Pasco and Hernando counties, is a 400-foot-wide road that offers bicycle and pedestrian commuting and connects public lands with parks and greenways. Users of the Trail can access the 8,000 acre J.B. Starkey Park for hiking, biking, horse riding and camping where rivers, wetlands and wildlife are enjoyed. There are 6 separate Chamber of Commerce; Central Pasco, Dade City, Wesley Chapel, West Pasco, Zephyrhills and Greater New Port Richey.

 

West Pasco boasts distinctive small-town charm and proximity to major metropolitan areas. US Highway 19 runs through the county, which lies just north of Tampa, Clearwater and St. Petersburg. The communities include Aripeka, Hudson, Bayonet Point, Port Richey, New Port Richey, Trinity, Seven Springs, Elfers and Holiday.

 

New Port Richey:  Its beginning goes back to 1911 where it was considered a desirable retirement city, bordering on the Gulf of Mexico and having the Pithlachascotee River running through it for enormous potential. Today New Port Richey is undergoing enormous redevelopment in downtown Main Street with its business, residential and retail services. With new restaurants and shops popping up, addition of a rotating local artist Art Gallery and having its own Farmer’s Market, New Port Richey is establishing itself as a revitalized city.  It continues to offer lots of different events in its downtown amphitheater and Sims Park area. One fairly new residential community built to encourage community spirit and loyalty is called Long Leaf which offers a wide variety of home styles beginning in the $300’s. Long Leaf contains its own Town Hall, elementary school, a downtown area, Village Greens and all sorts of recreation right within its boundaries. 

 

Port Richey was established in 1883 to insure economic stability of one of Florida’s historic downtown business districts. Prior to being incorporated in 1925, Port Richey was a city for trappers and fisherman. And still to this day, it draws commercial fisherman to its Port, even as bustling building activity is going on all around it. With over 3000 people, the small town focus is preserving its natural habitat and wildlife in more than 6 parks and waterways.

 

Hudson was listed by the Wall Street Journal as one of the top three cities for a vacation home considering market value, environment and future appreciation. It has its own small beach where 3 story stilt homes are quickly sprouting up. Despite the main street strip mall atmosphere on US 19, you will still find wildlife -- including bald eagles, ospreys and flamingoes from backyard decks. To the west of US 19 is Waterfront village, and to the east you will find the master-planned communities like Beacon Woods, which interestingly has underground caves beneath it. Slowly the citrus groves, cow pastures and mobile home parks are giving way to more sophisticated living areas. Look for the waterfront mobile homes built on stilts according to FEMA regulations. Sea Pines next to the Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary is the only deed-restricted neighborhood in town and is the latest development west of US 19. 

Trinity is a fast growing community, just 30 miles north of Tampa and is comprised of moderate to higher priced single family homes offering coveted schools and golf, lots of recreational areas and easy access to the resident’s everyday needs with shopping, dining and businesses abounding. A majority of Trinity are the Communities which contain the Champions Club, Trinity Oaks, Heritage Springs, Villas of St. George, and Fox Hollow, Foxwood and Trinity West and East. The Fox Hollow Golf Club offers some of the best golfing around Tampa Bay. The Heritage Springs Country Club offers exercise, tennis, dining and networking. Trinity is home to The Morton Plant Mease Health Outpatient Center which provides residents the security of knowing there is excellent inpatient and outpatient medical treatment nearby.

Seven Springs located on the Anclote River is known for its beautiful flowing springs and wells of different kinds of mineral waters. With its own Golf and Country Club, it sits inland east of Elfers and New Port Richey.

Aripeka is located just a few miles north of Hudson and butts up to Hernando County.  It is still a tiny fishing village and is proud to remain so. With local proclaims of Babe Ruth cabins and the Wright Brother’s presence, this town still has it’s original post office building, General Store  and a blacksmith shop , all built around 1920.


Holiday borders Pinellas County’s city of Tarpon Springs to the north and is the western entryway into Pasco County along the Gulf of Mexico. While having the same population as Hudson (30,000+ and both ranking under only New Port Richey), there aren’t the canalfront homes like there are in Hudson to the north or beaches. Primarily a working town with chain and neighborhood restaurants and entertainment, there is the VFW, American Legion and Moose Lodges. 

 

Central Pasco: The communities include Gower’s Corner, Land O’ Lakes, Lutz, Odessa, Quail Hollow, Shady Hills, Wesley Chapel and Connerton. Central Pasco provides a perfect blend of leisurely, country living with all the conveniences and necessities of a metropolitan area. Central Pasco is business friendly with low tax rates. Much of its business growth is seen along Hwy 41and State Road 54 corridor, making it the #1 growth and business spot in Pasco County.

 

Land O’ Lakes is named appropriately, for its many lakes and is situated in the center of Pasco County and offers refreshing country living just north of the Tampa Metropolitan area. With growth comes necessity for its 3 major shopping centers and rapidly growing restaurant choices.  Additionally, manufacturing, large medical complexes and educational facilities are continually attracted to this wide region, benefiting its residents alike. There is a Community Center with softball and football fields and a playground. The annual Flapjack Festival, Jellybean Jamboree, and the popular Halloween Haunted House are held here. Then the Recreation Complex on Collier offers soccer, baseball, football, gymnasium, swimming pool, tennis, and racquetball courts and a playground.
 
Connerton was created with beauty, efficiency and value. Its intentions are preservation of thousands of acres of natural habitat while offering over 4500 acres for residential homes to number about 8700 eventually.  Considered the "New Town" in Pasco County, Connerton will offer over commercial space for business, medical and industrial uses. Sitting between the Suncoast Parkway and I-75, it is only 30 minutes from downtown Tampa. Homes begin in the $300’s.

 

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East Pasco: This side of the county combines the older charm of Dade City with the ever expanding Wesley Chapel.  The communities of East Pasco include Dade City, Quail Hollow, Shady Hills, Wesley Chapel and Zephyrhills.

 

Dade City reminds people of Old Florida when walking through the Downtown area or gazing at the moss-covered oaks over rolling hills and knowing its early pioneer heritage. With quite a downtown of over 50 shops and restaurants and being the County Seat, Dade City is a great example of a neighborhood redevelopment effort. Dade City sponsors the annual Kumquat Festival, County Fair,Country Christmas Stroll and the Steeplechase Horse Race. In 1994, Dade City was recognized as Florida's Outstanding Rural Community of the Year. Dade City is not one to forget its roots. In fact, it is the kind of city that benefits from the continual nurturing and display of it. The Florida Pioneer Museum, 1 mile north of downtown on over 20 acres, shows the everyday workings of the Pioneer Man and Woman—how they lived, worked and struggled in their daily lives to let us not forget the past.  The Dade City area also incorporates several other small communities including San Antonio, St. Leo and St. Joe. San Antonio is home to the Rattlesnake Festival.  In the early 1900’s, San Antonio was recognized for Lake Jovita. Today there is a rebuilt Lake Jovita Golf and Country Club that attracts golfers from all over. St. Leo with a population of around 1500 is known for its University named after it.  St. Joe is recognized for being the Kumquat Capitol of the World as of 1926, and after the festival, St. Joe goes back to its small town ways and that is how it wants to stay. 

 

Wesley Chapel is in a tremendous period of growth. While there is still untouched lands to remain, residential communities and businesses are thriving. The business community of Wesley Chapel offers 2 medical centers and a hospital, great restaurants, and a wonderful mix of lifestyle communities that offer all of the amenities of a metropolitan city, while still maintaining its small town charm. The Regional Park, under construction, will provide all residents access to a swimming pool, Recreational center, walking trails, ball fields and playground. Being very convenient to all of Tampa Bay through Interstate 75 for work and fun, Wesley Chapel will continue to grow for quite some time. 

Zephyrhills is known as the City of Pure Water, because of the Zephyrhills Bottled Water coming from the seven springs there and sold throughout the world. Still semi-rural, Zephyrhills offers rolling hills with ranches and citrus groves. Designated “Tree City USA”, it offers grand oaks, pine, palm, magnolia, mulberry, sweet gum and camphor trees throughout the area. It also attracts sky divers for training and jumps, a Celtic Festival and Highland Games event and even 2 annual Vintage Auto festivals. Its Main Street redevelopment plan is being mindful of historic preservation, creating a strong sense of community while it modernizes and prepares for future improvements. 

 

 

 

 

Parks and Preserves:

  • Jay B. Starkey Wilderness Park--marked foot trails, horse trails and paved bike path.
  • Sims Park-- bird watch or you may even see a gentle manatee.
  • Withlacoochee River Park--foot trails, fishing dock, picnic shelters, playgrounds and canoe launch.
  • Werner-Boyce Salt Springs State Park is newer and early in its development, but is open to the public.
  • James E. Grey Preserve is 50 acres of wetlands and 30 aces of uplands, canoe launch and has an array of wildlife on a prehistoric hunting camp by American Indians. 
  • Anclote River Park, Robert J. Strickland Memorial Park or Robert K. Rees Memorial Park you can enjoy swimming in the Gulf waters. 

 

Museums & Historic Sites:

  • Pioneer Florida Museum & Village hosts several period buildings entirely furnished with appropriate furniture and artifacts.
  • Pasco County Courthouse, built in 1909, was recently restored to its original glory.
  • West Pasco Historical Society Museum & Library, started as an old school house in 1885 now holds permanent displays of early businesses, a collection of novels and biographies primarily used by historians delving in the origins of Pasco County.
  • New Port Richey Main Street’s Progress Energy Art Gallery
  • Zephyrhills Depot Museum
  • Centennial Cultural Park houses the Pasco Fine Arts Council, Centennial Library, Baker House and Anderson House. The center features a rotating local artist collection. 

 

Water Sports

 

Diving:     
Pasco’s coastline offers some of the best diving in Florida. From 10 to 35 miles offshore, at depths of 20 to 90 feet, divers can observe numerous fish species in all colors, shapes and sizes and explore diverse sunken treasures. There are several ledges of colorful sponge gardens as well as a sunken freighter/crane. Experienced divers enjoy the Hudson Grotto, a sinkhole with 110-foot walls and where daylight disappears 50 feet down.
     
Canoeing and Kayaking: 
The Withlacoochee River offers a self-guided canoe tour where you can observe the animals, plants, and ecosystems that Pasco has preserved. If you prefer kayaking, there are canals on the Cotee River. Also travel along the sandy shores of Anclote Key.

Fishing: 
With 20 miles of shoreline and numerous lakes and rivers, fishing in Pasco County is a popular pastime. Pasco is home to many fresh and saltwater species of fish including bass, catfish, mackerel, snook, tarpon, trout, redfish, grouper and others. Crews Lake is the largest natural body of water in Pasco. Devil’s Rock Yard with its rocky minefield is a favorite fishing spot for locals. Aripeka is a historic fishing village on the Gulf of Mexico. 10 miles northwest of Anclote Park is home to Spanish mackerel, snook, tarpon, cobia and trout.


TAMPA BAY NEIGHBORHOOD INFORMATION

Tampa, Riverview, Brandon, Valrico, Lutz, Odessa, Apollo Beach, Ruskin, Gibsonton, Lithia, Temple Terrace, Plant City, Seffner, Thonotosassa, Mango, Sun City

Hillsborough County is one of 3 counties that comprise the "Tampa Bay" area of Florida with an estimated population of over 1,200,000 people in 2007 and the 4th most populated county in the state. It is close to 3 of the best beaches: Clearwater, Indian Rocks and St. Pete and also have plenty of state parks and waterways. The subtropical climate maintains an average year-round temperature of 72 degrees has an average of 61 degrees in the winter and 82 degrees in the summer. Colorful, bold flowers and plants grow rampantly throughout the area, indicating how lush and green nature can be all year round. Grand thunderstorms in the summer also remind you that this is a tropical area and rain averages about 20 inches then and only about 6 inches in winter. 

Month

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Year

Avg high °F (°C)

70
(21)

72
(22)

76
(24)

82
(27)

87
(30)

90
(32)

90
(32)

90
(32)

89
(31)

84
(28)

78
(25)

72
(22)

82
(27)

Avg low temperature °F (°C)

50
(10)

52
(11)

56
(13)

61
(16)

67
(19)

73
(22)

74
(23)

74
(23)

73
(22)

66
(18)

57
(13)

52
(11)

63
(17)

Rainfall in. (cm)

2.1
(5)

2.9
(6)

3.2
(8)

2.0
(4)

2.7
(7)

6.6
(14)

7.4
(18)

7.9
(20)

6.3
(16)

2.3
(5)

1.8
(4)

2.0
(5)

46.3
(128)

Source:

Monthly Climate Summary


Tampa is a city of growing affluence and is contained in a huge metropolitan area called Tampa Bay. With a population of over 350,000 people, Tampa is continually growing and changing to make life better for its residents. Being on the water, its future potential is endless. Tampa is ranked 9th nationally and 1st in Florida in terms of quality of life, cultural activities, work force availability, job creation, transportation and educational opportunities. Tampa's medical facilities are some of the finest in the whole US. New redevelopments in the downtown area, the new Riverwalk and Parks project, Channelside, and several urban core neighborhoods, including Ybor City are breathing new excitement into its core foundation. There are plenty of night life venues in the locals of SoHo District, Channelside, and Ybor City. The biggest and best shopping areas are the International Plaza, Westshore Plaza, Westfield Brandon, Westfield Citrus Park and Hyde Park Village. 

Whether you like urban historic bungalows, waterfront high rise living, country club atmosphere, tree-lined suburban communities or serene lakeside villas, you have it all here to choose from starting at $150,000 and going upward into the millions. It has a very eager tourism department that finds ways to continually attract people, which in turn produce jobs and money for the coffers. The tourism trade is augmented by corporation centers from Fortune 500 and 1000 companies and manufacturing companies. 

Tampa, the city itself is divided into many neighborhoods, with the main areas being: Downtown Tampa, New Tampa, West Tampa, East Tampa, North Tampa, and South Tampa. Some of the recognized communities within these neighborhoods include: Ybor City, Forest Hills, Sulphur Springs, Seminole Heights, Tampa Heights, Palma Ceia, Hyde Park, Tampa Palms, and non-residential areas of the Westshore Business District. 

Each of these neighborhoods has their own features worth investigating. In South Tampa, you have Bayshore Boulevard which borders Hillsborough Bay for 4 ½ miles and the spectacular view is frequented by locals either walking or practicing some other sport. South Tampa also has some of the most stunning bungalows and winding streets for studying. Downtown Tampa is one of two main business districts in Tampa, and the other being the Westshore area. Small in comparison to other large city downtown areas, Tampa’s downtown is the location for the following major points of interest in Tampa: Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center, the historic Tampa Theatre, Tampa Museum of Art, and the notable Henry B. Plant Museum on the University of Tampa campus. Also downtown, although considered to be a separate venue, the Channelside district, is where the Tampa Convention Center, St. Pete Times Forum, and the Florida Aquarium are located. East Tampa, North Tampa and West Tampa are mainly residential neighborhoods with local shopping. West Tampa is one of the oldest areas in the city with the highest concentration of Hispanic population and wonderful ethnic restaurants. In contrast, New Tampa is the fastest growing area of Tampa since 1988; building huge master planned residential communities and necessary commercial developments. New Tampa, fashioned to appeal to all that people look for in a neighborhood can find nature parks and trails, golf courses, tennis, swimming, restaurants and shopping. Single family homes are priced anywhere from $200,000 to over 4 million owned by over 30,000 residents.

NEW TAMPA Tampa Palms was the community that changed the course of Hillsborough residential development. But nobody would have expected that until Denver developer Ken Good came to town in the 1980s with fistfuls of cash and a vision of a neighborhood like none other. For generations, Bruce B. Downs Boulevard had been known as “the Road to Nowhere,” carved out so a few prominent families could access their hunting camps in northeast Hillsborough. Tampa Palms consists of 9,100 acres of land and is Tampa’s largest annexation of residential acreage. Later, similar amenity-rich, master planned communities came about in New Tampa such as Hunter's Green, West Meadows, Cory Lake Isles, Cross Creek, Heritage Isles, Pebble Creek, Richmond Place, Live Oak, Arbor Greene and Grand Hampton.  

In 1993 a group of business leaders formed the Northeast Area Council and christened the area New Tampa, a name intended to give it a distinct identity while firmly tying it to Tampa proper. Today the organization is known as the New Tampa Community Council.

Today, there is nothing older than 30 years old in New Tampa--no trailer parks, no industrial development or even billboards.  Homes in New Tampa are priced from $175,000 to over $4 million.

Lutz is for those who either like a semi-rural community with lots of heritage, history and nature or modern suburban developments tucked away from the fast-paced life of the city. Around 1913, Lutz established itself and takes pride in its resident’s civic commitment, volunteer responsibility and independent roots. While there are large and small, old and new communities to choose from, most offer at least 1/2 acre per home. There is dispute among the residents about the kind and amount of growth taking place here. Once, a place that started as a train depot, Lutz today, is seeing the demolishing of historic homes, 2 lane highways and open land. You will still find more than 100 lakes surrounded by homes of every price range. 

Odessa runs through both northwest Hillsborough County and Pasco County. It merges into and overlaps an area known as Keystone. Originally a citrus production and logging town, today residential properties dominate the area. Experience a real working cattle ranch at J.B. Starkey’s Flatwoods Adventures, where trained guides will take on a range buggy ride through flatwoods, sand pine ridges and pastureland and a cypress swamp.

Keystone contains the largest and prized lake named after it. Covering over 400 acres averaging 10 feet deep, water sports and summer cottages are inherent here. There is the annual Christmas Boat parade which tells you of the intact small town charm still remaining after all these years. Without traveling very far, there spans 3 other lakes all connected by canals where fisherman catch bass, bluegills and catfish. None of these lakes have public access and the whole community is governed by the Keystone Civic Association to protect and maintain this communities qualities. 

Temple Terrace is named for the very own Temple Orange and was incorporated as a city in 1925, but as early as mid 1700’s, travelers came up the Hillsborough River that runs along the south and up the east end of Temple Terrace in search of lumber and settled in what is today Riverhills Park. In the early 1900’s Temple Terrace was a place where winter-tired Northerners would come to play golf and might even have a citrus grove to attend to. Due to harsh early century winters and the stock market crash in 1929, much development was halted. Residential development in Temple Terrace resumed after World War II. Today, with its less than 7 square miles, it offers diversity in its people and sites. Next to strip malls and inner city areas, there still remain homes from the pre-war era and acres of wild nature. Currently there is a revival of the downtown district, with the main shopping interests running along 56th street.  The Temple Terrace Golf Club still runs through housing developments with huge old oaks that are as important to the community as its residents.   Temple Terrace runs east of Tampa proper, west of Thonotosassa and south of New Tampa and is home to the University of South Florida.  

Thonotosassa, a much unheard from small charm situated between New Tampa and Plant City is known for its rolling hills, orange groves, mature trees and beautiful 900-acre Lake Thonotosassa. Hillsborough River State Park is here offering almost 4000 acres of camping, canoeing, swimming, fishing, nature trails and picnicking opportunities. Nestled on the Lake Thonotosassa’s shore to the east is a development called Stonelake Ranch where 160 homes range from 1.5 to 8 acre estates. Residents enjoy equestrian trails and a 100-acre open meadow for riding horses, a dock for lake enjoyment including water skiing. This is a taste of Old Florida that was once occupied by grazing cattle and working ranches. 

Brandon is one of the largest unincorporated communities (196 square miles) in Hillsborough County. Located at the end of the Lee Roy Selmon Crosstown Expressway and the junction of I-4 and I-75, Brandon offers quick trips to Tampa and Orlando, except of course during rush hours. Beginning with 100 people in 1922 and not growing much until the 1950’s, today Brandon has become a community with its own suburbs that stretch for miles around it. Known for its Westfield Shoppingtown, Brandon Ballet, Music Education Center and great jazz, its Chamber of Commerce is currently in the process of “Branding Brandon, so look for more great ideas to come. 

A couple of decades ago, Brandon offered a wide array of solid if unremarkable homes attracting a large contingent of military families as well as retirees from nearby MacDill Air Force Base. The average price was around $50,000. Today, they range in price from $200,000—and there's no shortage of $1 million-plus homes.

Valrico started with cotton plantations, citrus groves and lumber sawmills with the use of its still clear 124 acre Lake Valrico. Sitting right smack between Tampa and Plant City with 13 miles on either side, it also enjoys the business development of Brandon to the east. Mainly residential single family homes ranging from $100,000 to over $700,000, you can also find an estate size home in communities like Country Gate and River Hills. 

Plant City is an area mix of pasture and citrus trees, berry fields and plant nurseries  and named after the railroad magnate Henry B. Plant, who built tracks to this blossoming community, Mostly agricultural planned with a huge infrastructure of highways and railroads, mining of phosphate and agriculture remain the foundation of its economy for more than 100 years. The strawberries you eat in winter are what Plant City is renowned for and since 1930, every spring; it celebrates for an 11-day event with the Florida Strawberry Festival. To celebrate its ethnic mix, there is a MLK 5-day Cultural Arts Festival in January with dance, fine arts, food and music. Have some fun at the annual Pig Jam and visit the one and only Dinosaur World. Downtown Plant City is a charming place with its brick lined streets, shops, restaurants and antique stores. Mixing the old with the new like a patchwork quilt, you will find old historic homes and new residential developments like Walden Lake built around the golf course of the same name, that compliment the area’s historic foundation. Plant City is also the world headquarters for the International Softball Federation and the future site of the World Softball Hall of Fame.

Seffner, Mango and Dover are the 3 main towns between Tampa and Plant City. The Railroad needed town centers for shipping and each sprung up to meet the need in the late 1880’s. Seffner being the largest and Mango the smallest in population, all are a mix of residential developments and businesses. Two community features, Spencer Park and Lake Locarno, are frequented by the neighbors today of all 3 towns.


South Shore Area is a new name for a conglomerate of South Hillsborough Counties including Apollo Beach, Ruskin, Riverview, Sun City Center, Gibsonton, Lithia and Wimauma. 

Apollo Beach is the waterfront seat to Tampa Bay, offering 50 miles of waterfront in addition to another 55 miles of navigable canals, which provides a gorgeous setting for festivals, including the Manatee Arts Festival held in March every year. Original homes to the area are all waterfront and are being remodeled or being torn down and being replaced with mansions. Exclusive waterfront residential developments like Mira Bay are being built, capturing the shore line. 

 

Ruskin has nature going for it with the Little Manatee River, where residents can kayak from their backyards, and also Bayfront location. In addition, a strong community spirit stimulated by the Chamber and Woman’s Club over the years has kept the historic homes while modernizing the necessary municipal services to make Ruskin a proud, thriving community. Currently, it is aggressively redeveloping its business and residential district, and still retaining its small town community feel. Famous for the Ruskin tomato, there is a yearly Tomato and Heritage Festival in addition to a Seafood Festival you won’t want to miss. This southern-most city of the South Shore area is sometimes remembered as the Salad Bowl of America. 

Riverview, originally called Peru until the 1940’s, is settled on the banks of the Alafia River and that still carries memories for many people still living there. Now, Riverview is just minutes away from downtown Tampa and is mostly built-out with single family homes, multifamily developments like Lake Charles and a huge Riverview Town Center at US 301 and Gibsonton Road. 

Gibsonton has been the world's largest producer of tropical fish and has historical ties to Circus Performers who come in the winter and have headquartered their National Showmen’s Association here along with a museum commemorating long gone wilder days. Because of this unusual history, residents are allowed to keep circus elements on their front lawns. The Industries providing employment in the Greater Gibsonton Area include construction, retail trade, manufacturing, fish farming, extractive industries, circuses and carnivals. Keeping up with those communities around it, Gibsonton too is growing with residential developments.

Lithia is famous for its Lithia Springs County Park offering swimming and picnicking for the past 100 years.  Much of Lithia is experiencing tremendous growth through master-planned communities and residential subdivisions, offering single family, condos, townhomes, estate size properties and land lots. Fish Hawk and Fish Hawk Trails, built in the 1990’s are 2 large communities located in Lithia located about 20-30 minutes from downtown Tampa.  FishHawk Ranch and FishHawk Trails, two large master-planned communities in Lithia, packed with amenities. And local schools are considered to be excellent, another big draw for buyers. FishHawk Ranch is a beautiful area with about 5,000 homes as well as miles of trails, Skate Park, community pools, movie house, aquatics center and roller hockey rink. FishHawk Trails, a gated custom home built community on the east side, offers beautiful homes on half-acre + lots.

Sun City Center, about 25 miles southeast of Tampa is one of the nations’ first active-adult communities. Over 17,000 residents enjoy over 200 arts, social, craft, golf and civic clubs with special events year round. 

Wimauma, sitting directly east of Sun City Center was named after the daughters of Captain Davis in 1902. Needing to establish a half-way point for a railroad coming from Bradenton, Fl, he centered on Lake Wimauma. While still mostly rural, its residents are currently working on its growth and development plan and residential building is in the works.

________________________________________________________________________________________

Clearwater, St. Petersburg, Tarpon Springs, Palm Harbor,
Dunedin, Oldsmar, East Lake, Safety Harbor, Gulfport, Seminole, Largo, Pinellas Park

Pinellas County is actually a peninsula on the west coast of Florida that borders the Gulf of Mexico and Tampa Bay. There are 35 miles of white-sand beaches on some 8 islands. The Pinellas County Park Department has over 4000 acres of stunning Florida landscapes to take care of. The county is built out and it is not the place if you are looking for a sprawling yard behind your home. All the different cities contribute their own unique character to the area. From the beach to the urban downtown condo with suburban living in between, you will find it all in this tiny popular area. The best way to determine which one is for you is drive and walk throughout the areas, visiting and noting the nuances and determining for yourself if this small land area is home for you.  
   
Clearwater is the kind of city where suits or flip-flops can be appropriate wear for work. Almost 1 million people now live in this municipality started in 1915. There is tourism, manufacturing, healthcare and lots of trade that all help the economy. Its excellent school system and educated work force support area businesses. Here you will find some of the most beautiful, long beaches and all the water and other outdoor activities in this west coast Florida area. Clearwater Beach is called a Billion Dollar Beach due to that amount being contributed from private developers to redevelop the area with beautification projects and adding hotel and residential properties. There are daily sunset festivals at Pier 60, quarterly Main street events, all types of corporate sponsored tournaments, marathons and tours, ethnic celebrations and of course, all sorts of beach fests. Did you know that Clearwater hosts the largest free-admission jazz festival in the Southeast every October? Don’t miss it or the St. Pete Times Turkey Trot!

Tarpon Springs
is the oldest city in Pinellas County, has 51 miles of waterfront along the Gulf of Mexico, is the Gateway to Greek Culture and also developed the world's largest sponge industry. Visit the famous Sponge Docks, located on the Anclote River, where you can experience all sorts of restaurants and shops, sprinkled through the docks area. You might try a live sponge diving exhibition; or take a cruise and enjoy the scenery from the bayous around Tarpon Springs. The cultural and historical St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Cathedral has the highest percentage of Greek residents in the U.S. The downtown area is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Dunedin has a wooded and subtropical setting with almost 4 miles of stunning waterfront, a relaxed lifestyle, and activities for all likes and ages. With its rich Scottish heritage, it is home to the Annual Highland Games featuring ancient Scottish sports competitions and the Celtic Festival with dancing and food. The yearly Art Harvest festival is one of Florida’s most popular juried art shows. The Dunedin Wines the Blue on Main Street offers wine and beer and popular music. During Thanksgiving weekend, visit The Honeymoon Island Seafood Fest & Boat Show offering boat rides and terrific seafood. Dunedin is also known for its fine restaurants, antique stores, and art galleries and is home to 2 state parks --Honeymoon and Caladesi.  Honeymoon Island State Park is a quick drive off the mainland offering boating, swimming, fishing, and nature trips. Caladesi Island State Park reached by ferry from Honeymoon Island, is considered one of Florida’s top 10 beaches. Along the Dunedin Causeway to Honeymoon Island, you will find windsurfing, sailing, kayaking, canoeing, jet skiing, sunsets or just listening to the waves along the Gulf of Mexico.

Safety Harbor is a charming bayside community where people come to the famous Safety Harbor Resort and Spa (Historic Santo Springs), distinctive shops, award winning restaurants and lots of community activity. Residents get involved, take their community seriously and wouldn’t live anywhere else.  There is certainly something for everyone, from beautiful parks (Philippe Park) laden with moss-covered oaks, historical significance and nature's artwork, to cultural avenues for even the cultured visitor. There is a farmers market at John Wilson Park on Saturdays; with midday live music. Soon, across from the famous Spa on Main Street and 2 blocks from the historical museum, residences will be built above the shops.

St. Petersburg is known as the arts hub of the Tampa Bay area offering more than 1000 events every year. Indulge your passion for the arts at the Museum of Fine Arts, the most comprehensive museum on the west coast of Florida. Downtown St. Pete is home to the world-renowned Million Dollar Pier. A walk away is the Dali Museum, which holds the largest collection of works outside of Spain as well as Ruth Eckerd Hall, for concerts from classical to contemporary. Enjoy Major League Baseball at Tropicana Field. Enjoy shopping, dining or the movies at St. Petersburg’s Bay Walk Center. Take a stroll on the downtown waterfront to see the historic St. Petersburg Yacht Club and enjoy the awe-inspiring horizons of Tampa Bay by day or night.  For housing, you will find everything from single-family homes to urban condominiums to waterfront estates in more than 100 neighborhoods. There are Mediterranean style homes, charming bungalows and contemporary loft projects. Waterfront vistas, brightly colored streets and oak-lined historic communities are some of the charming amenities of St. Petersburg.

Oldsmar sits on the Eastern edge of Pinellas County at the Northern end of Tampa Bay and is rightfully called “Top of the Bay”. It has a small town feel but because much of the shore line is undeveloped parkland, it provides a feeling of space. Many houses new and old, grand and modest, sit on large treed lots and the main thoroughfare of Tampa Road is now developed with lots of new strip centers full of shops, hotels and restaurants. The yearly Top of the Bay Oktoberfest presents a big-top tent offering authentic Germanic music, food and drink. With contests, games, dancing, this festival spans over several days. Every march for 3 days, Oldsmar Days & Nights Festival happens on the waterfront at Olds Park with all the usual old-fashioned carnival activities. Additionally there are 5 and 10 mile races, and a contest for the best Buffalo wings any local can make.  Wine and food festivals, a New Orleans-style Mardi gras festival, Blues, Cigar, and Coffee fairs all entertain thousands of happy attendees. 

Palm Harbor had a humble beginning in citrus farming, but in the last twenty years Palm Harbor has turned into one of the most affluent communities in the Tampa Bay area. It also hosts some of the finest parks and recreational facilities in the state. The Innisbrook Golf Resort, a nationally regarded golf course is located here. The historic downtown district of Palm Harbor has a number of annual festival and craft fairs. There is the “Taste of Palm Harbor" offering live music and samples from over 20 local restaurants, many of which make seafood their specialty.Two communities within Palm Harbor are Crystal Beach and Ozona. Located on the Gulf of Mexico, Crystal Beach is an older community with a mix of unique older homes as well as new houses. Ozona, older than Palm Harbor, has its own Post Office, elementary school and neighborhood feel.
Largo is known as the "City of Progress", a place where we respect and honor our past while continually looking toward the future. It is a community defined by our family-friendly atmosphere, tree-lined streets and award-winning parks. Largo Central Park Nature Preserve is a 31-acre nature park surrounded by water and can be walked, kayaked or canoed. It contains over 100 wildlife species of birds, otters, red fox, American alligator, marsh rabbits, wild turkey, and bats. The Largo Cultural Center serves the community with special performances in music, dance and theater. 

Gulfport which borders the southwest corner of St. Pete and is known as the Gateway to the Gulf of Mexico dates back to 1867. It is home to the Gulfport Casino, where locals come to dance; the performing arts Hickman Theatre and the Gulfport Marina which offers 250 wet boat slips and has easy access to the gulf. Gulfport is very relaxed and charmingly quirky. It has retained its brick lined streets, boulevards and interesting people mix.

Pinellas Park is home to over 3,300 businesses, ranging in size from sole proprietorships to major corporations that employ hundreds of area workers. There are a series of community park events held annually in its very own band shell located behind City hall. For 17 years now, "Country in the Park," is a free festival held in March, offering arts and crafts shows, amusement park rides, and multi-artist concerts. The night before there is the Firefighters chili cook-off.

Seminole is a unique community characterized by a small, hometown atmosphere attractively located within a greater metropolitan area. While Greater Seminole is popular with retirees, the number of younger people and families attracted by the climate and growing business opportunities it provides is growing with the 25 to 44-year age bracket being the fastest growing population.

East Lake is one of the last areas to be developed in this county and is still expanding at a fast pace. East Lake is a combination of 3 smaller communities:  East Lake Woodlands, Lansbrook and Tarpon Woods. The boundaries of East Lake are Pasco County to the north; Hillsborough County to the east; Oldsmar to the south; and Palm Harbor and Tarpon Springs to the west.

________________________________________________________________________________________

 New Port Richey, Hudson, Zephyrhills, Land 'o Lakes, Odessa,
Trinity, Holiday, Dade City, San Antonio, Port Richey, Connerton, St. Leo,
Aripeka, Elfers, Seven Springs, Moon Lake


Pasco County is in the top 10 fastest growing counties in Florida.  With almost 750 square miles and 100 square miles of recreation areas, Pasco County is home to 4 artificial reefs, 25 golf courses and 3 State canoe trails. It is projected that in the next 5 years, the population will be approaching 450,000 people. The County was officially established in 1887. In 1889 Dade City was named as the county seat. A temperate climate prevails in Pasco. The notable Suncoast Trail, a paved recreational trail that runs parallel to the Suncoast Parkway in Hillsborough, Pasco and Hernando counties, is a 400-foot-wide road that offers bicycle and pedestrian commuting and connects public lands with parks and greenways. Users of the Trail can access the 8,000 acre J.B. Starkey Park for hiking, biking, horse riding and camping where rivers, wetlands and wildlife are enjoyed. There are 6 separate Chamber of Commerce; Central Pasco, Dade City, Wesley Chapel, West Pasco, Zephyrhills and Greater New Port Richey.

 

West Pasco boasts distinctive small-town charm and proximity to major metropolitan areas. US Highway 19 runs through the county, which lies just north of Tampa, Clearwater and St. Petersburg. The communities include Aripeka, Hudson, Bayonet Point, Port Richey, New Port Richey, Trinity, Seven Springs, Elfers and Holiday.

 

New Port Richey:  Its beginning goes back to 1911 where it was considered a desirable retirement city, bordering on the Gulf of Mexico and having the Pithlachascotee River running through it for enormous potential. Today New Port Richey is undergoing enormous redevelopment in downtown Main Street with its business, residential and retail services. With new restaurants and shops popping up, addition of a rotating local artist Art Gallery and having its own Farmer’s Market, New Port Richey is establishing itself as a revitalized city.  It continues to offer lots of different events in its downtown amphitheater and Sims Park area. One fairly new residential community built to encourage community spirit and loyalty is called Long Leaf which offers a wide variety of home styles beginning in the $300’s. Long Leaf contains its own Town Hall, elementary school, a downtown area, Village Greens and all sorts of recreation right within its boundaries. 

 

Port Richey was established in 1883 to insure economic stability of one of Florida’s historic downtown business districts. Prior to being incorporated in 1925, Port Richey was a city for trappers and fisherman. And still to this day, it draws commercial fisherman to its Port, even as bustling building activity is going on all around it. With over 3000 people, the small town focus is preserving its natural habitat and wildlife in more than 6 parks and waterways.

 

Hudson was listed by the Wall Street Journal as one of the top three cities for a vacation home considering market value, environment and future appreciation. It has its own small beach where 3 story stilt homes are quickly sprouting up. Despite the main street strip mall atmosphere on US 19, you will still find wildlife -- including bald eagles, ospreys and flamingoes from backyard decks. To the west of US 19 is Waterfront village, and to the east you will find the master-planned communities like Beacon Woods, which interestingly has underground caves beneath it. Slowly the citrus groves, cow pastures and mobile home parks are giving way to more sophisticated living areas. Look for the waterfront mobile homes built on stilts according to FEMA regulations. Sea Pines next to the Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary is the only deed-restricted neighborhood in town and is the latest development west of US 19. 

Trinity is a fast growing community, just 30 miles north of Tampa and is comprised of moderate to higher priced single family homes offering coveted schools and golf, lots of recreational areas and easy access to the resident’s everyday needs with shopping, dining and businesses abounding. A majority of Trinity are the Communities which contain the Champions Club, Trinity Oaks, Heritage Springs, Villas of St. George, and Fox Hollow, Foxwood and Trinity West and East. The Fox Hollow Golf Club offers some of the best golfing around Tampa Bay. The Heritage Springs Country Club offers exercise, tennis, dining and networking. Trinity is home to The Morton Plant Mease Health Outpatient Center which provides residents the security of knowing there is excellent inpatient and outpatient medical treatment nearby.

Seven Springs located on the Anclote River is known for its beautiful flowing springs and wells of different kinds of mineral waters. With its own Golf and Country Club, it sits inland east of Elfers and New Port Richey.

Aripeka is located just a few miles north of Hudson and butts up to Hernando County.  It is still a tiny fishing village and is proud to remain so. With local proclaims of Babe Ruth cabins and the Wright Brother’s presence, this town still has it’s original post office building, General Store  and a blacksmith shop , all built around 1920.


Holiday borders Pinellas County’s city of Tarpon Springs to the north and is the western entryway into Pasco County along the Gulf of Mexico. While having the same population as Hudson (30,000+ and both ranking under only New Port Richey), there aren’t the canalfront homes like there are in Hudson to the north or beaches. Primarily a working town with chain and neighborhood restaurants and entertainment, there is the VFW, American Legion and Moose Lodges. 

 

Central Pasco: The communities include Gower’s Corner, Land O’ Lakes, Lutz, Odessa, Quail Hollow, Shady Hills, Wesley Chapel and Connerton. Central Pasco provides a perfect blend of leisurely, country living with all the conveniences and necessities of a metropolitan area. Central Pasco is business friendly with low tax rates. Much of its business growth is seen along Hwy 41and State Road 54 corridor, making it the #1 growth and business spot in Pasco County.

 

Land O’ Lakes is named appropriately, for its many lakes and is situated in the center of Pasco County and offers refreshing country living just north of the Tampa Metropolitan area. With growth comes necessity for its 3 major shopping centers and rapidly growing restaurant choices.  Additionally, manufacturing, large medical complexes and educational facilities are continually attracted to this wide region, benefiting its residents alike. There is a Community Center with softball and football fields and a playground. The annual Flapjack Festival, Jellybean Jamboree, and the popular Halloween Haunted House are held here. Then the Recreation Complex on Collier offers soccer, baseball, football, gymnasium, swimming pool, tennis, and racquetball courts and a playground.
 
Connerton was created with beauty, efficiency and value. Its intentions are preservation of thousands of acres of natural habitat while offering over 4500 acres for residential homes to number about 8700 eventually.  Considered the "New Town" in Pasco County, Connerton will offer over commercial space for business, medical and industrial uses. Sitting between the Suncoast Parkway and I-75, it is only 30 minutes from downtown Tampa. Homes begin in the $300’s.

 

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East Pasco: This side of the county combines the older charm of Dade City with the ever expanding Wesley Chapel.  The communities of East Pasco include Dade City, Quail Hollow, Shady Hills, Wesley Chapel and Zephyrhills.

 

Dade City reminds people of Old Florida when walking through the Downtown area or gazing at the moss-covered oaks over rolling hills and knowing its early pioneer heritage. With quite a downtown of over 50 shops and restaurants and being the County Seat, Dade City is a great example of a neighborhood redevelopment effort. Dade City sponsors the annual Kumquat Festival, County Fair,Country Christmas Stroll and the Steeplechase Horse Race. In 1994, Dade City was recognized as Florida's Outstanding Rural Community of the Year. Dade City is not one to forget its roots. In fact, it is the kind of city that benefits from the continual nurturing and display of it. The Florida Pioneer Museum, 1 mile north of downtown on over 20 acres, shows the everyday workings of the Pioneer Man and Woman—how they lived, worked and struggled in their daily lives to let us not forget the past.  The Dade City area also incorporates several other small communities including San Antonio, St. Leo and St. Joe. San Antonio is home to the Rattlesnake Festival.  In the early 1900’s, San Antonio was recognized for Lake Jovita. Today there is a rebuilt Lake Jovita Golf and Country Club that attracts golfers from all over. St. Leo with a population of around 1500 is known for its University named after it.  St. Joe is recognized for being the Kumquat Capitol of the World as of 1926, and after the festival, St. Joe goes back to its small town ways and that is how it wants to stay. 

 

Wesley Chapel is in a tremendous period of growth. While there is still untouched lands to remain, residential communities and businesses are thriving. The business community of Wesley Chapel offers 2 medical centers and a hospital, great restaurants, and a wonderful mix of lifestyle communities that offer all of the amenities of a metropolitan city, while still maintaining its small town charm. The Regional Park, under construction, will provide all residents access to a swimming pool, Recreational center, walking trails, ball fields and playground. Being very convenient to all of Tampa Bay through Interstate 75 for work and fun, Wesley Chapel will continue to grow for quite some time. 

Zephyrhills is known as the City of Pure Water, because of the Zephyrhills Bottled Water coming from the seven springs there and sold throughout the world. Still semi-rural, Zephyrhills offers rolling hills with ranches and citrus groves. Designated “Tree City USA”, it offers grand oaks, pine, palm, magnolia, mulberry, sweet gum and camphor trees throughout the area. It also attracts sky divers for training and jumps, a Celtic Festival and Highland Games event and even 2 annual Vintage Auto festivals. Its Main Street redevelopment plan is being mindful of historic preservation, creating a strong sense of community while it modernizes and prepares for future improvements. 

 

 

 

 

Parks and Preserves:

  • Jay B. Starkey Wilderness Park--marked foot trails, horse trails and paved bike path.
  • Sims Park-- bird watch or you may even see a gentle manatee.
  • Withlacoochee River Park--foot trails, fishing dock, picnic shelters, playgrounds and canoe launch.
  • Werner-Boyce Salt Springs State Park is newer and early in its development, but is open to the public.
  • James E. Grey Preserve is 50 acres of wetlands and 30 aces of uplands, canoe launch and has an array of wildlife on a prehistoric hunting camp by American Indians. 
  • Anclote River Park, Robert J. Strickland Memorial Park or Robert K. Rees Memorial Park you can enjoy swimming in the Gulf waters. 

 

Museums & Historic Sites:

  • Pioneer Florida Museum & Village hosts several period buildings entirely furnished with appropriate furniture and artifacts.
  • Pasco County Courthouse, built in 1909, was recently restored to its original glory.
  • West Pasco Historical Society Museum & Library, started as an old school house in 1885 now holds permanent displays of early businesses, a collection of novels and biographies primarily used by historians delving in the origins of Pasco County.
  • New Port Richey Main Street’s Progress Energy Art Gallery
  • Zephyrhills Depot Museum
  • Centennial Cultural Park houses the Pasco Fine Arts Council, Centennial Library, Baker House and Anderson House. The center features a rotating local artist collection. 

 

Water Sports

 

Diving:     
Pasco’s coastline offers some of the best diving in Florida. From 10 to 35 miles offshore, at depths of 20 to 90 feet, divers can observe numerous fish species in all colors, shapes and sizes and explore diverse sunken treasures. There are several ledges of colorful sponge gardens as well as a sunken freighter/crane. Experienced divers enjoy the Hudson Grotto, a sinkhole with 110-foot walls and where daylight disappears 50 feet down.
     
Canoeing and Kayaking: 
The Withlacoochee River offers a self-guided canoe tour where you can observe the animals, plants, and ecosystems that Pasco has preserved. If you prefer kayaking, there are canals on the Cotee River. Also travel along the sandy shores of Anclote Key.

Fishing: 
With 20 miles of shoreline and numerous lakes and rivers, fishing in Pasco County is a popular pastime. Pasco is home to many fresh and saltwater species of fish including bass, catfish, mackerel, snook, tarpon, trout, redfish, grouper and others. Crews Lake is the largest natural body of water in Pasco. Devil’s Rock Yard with its rocky minefield is a favorite fishing spot for locals. Aripeka is a historic fishing village on the Gulf of Mexico. 10 miles northwest of Anclote Park is home to Spanish mackerel, snook, tarpon, cobia and trout.


 

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Call Lois and Bill Szydlowski 
your Real Estate Experts 
for your Tampa Home For Sale
813-323-4443 /  813-393-9385
billszydlowski@msn.com

Call Lois and Bill Szydlowski 
your Real Estate Experts 
for your Tampa Home For Sale
813-323-4443 /  813-393-9385
billszydlowski@msn.com

  Lois Szydlowski
loisszydlowski@gmail.com
813-323-4443