If you want the best of the city with the laid-back pace of a small town, Palm Harbor is a wonderful place to live. This town offers an abundance of opportunities for work and leisure, as well as affordable housing and excellent schools.
Let’s take a look at what makes Palm Harbor, FL, such a great place to live.
Demographics and Population
People moving to Palm Harbor can expect to meet people of all ages and from all backgrounds. As of 2022, Palm Harbor’s population numbered over 60,000 people — and it’s expected to grow over the coming years.
Most residents are between the ages of 18 to 64, though there is a significant portion of people over 65 living in the area. In terms of education, most Palm Harbor residents have earned their high school diplomas, while around 35% have a bachelor’s degree or higher.
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Cost of Living
Moving to Palm Harbor, FL, could be a financially beneficial decision for individuals and families living in areas with higher costs of living. For context, the average American spends around $61,334 on living expenses, such as:
- Car payments
While the cost of living in Palm Harbor is only 1% higher than the national average, this increase largely stems from higher grocery costs. Fortunately, the area has lower housing, utilities and health care costs than most of the country, which help to offset the cost of food.
It’s also important to note that your cost of living varies based on individual factors like your career field and hourly wage. Regardless of location, people working in more lucrative fields will typically find it easier to afford their monthly expenses. Compared to the rest of the country, Palm Harbor is significantly more affordable.
Florida is known for its mild winters and sunny summers — and Palm Harbor is no exception. Newcomers can expect long summers and short winters. Temperatures range throughout the year but generally do not reach above 93 degrees or sink below 43 degrees Fahrenheit. Summers are mostly cloudy, with some sunny days, and winters usually have partial cloud cover.
Since Florida is so close to the coast, people moving to Palm Harbor can expect regular rain. The area usually receives more than 50 inches of rain per year. For those who prefer warmer climates, Palm Harbor offers an additional benefit in that it rarely sees snow. The average snowfall in Palm Harbor remains at 0 inches since temperatures are mild enough that snow is an uncommon event — so much so that many people who have lived in Florida for years have never experienced snowfall.
Despite the area’s fairly mild climate, Palm Harbor’s residents and anyone considering moving to the region must be aware that they may experience tropical weather events like hurricanes. Hurricane season occurs between the start of June and the end of November. These storms can be unpredictable, so pinpointing how many Florida gets each year is challenging. Regardless, it’s essential to be prepared since hurricanes are one of the most common — and dangerous — storms in the southeast.
The Best Neighborhoods in Palm Harbor, FL
Palm Harbor is home to an array of wonderful neighborhoods for those considering moving to the town. Many of these neighborhoods boast superior views of the surrounding area and a safe environment for individuals or families. Palm Harbor is in Pinellas County and spans numerous zip codes, meaning there are several neighborhoods for new residents to choose from when finding their dream homes.
However, moving to some neighborhoods may have more benefits than settling in others, especially for those with children or multiple people living in the same home. Some of the best places to live in Palm Harbor, FL, include:
- Crystal Beach
- Baywood Village
- Beacon Groves
- Cobbs Landing
- Lake Tarpon
Schools and Education
Many families or people who intend to have children in the future choose a place to live based on the schools in the area that would be most beneficial to their children. Some people also look for universities or colleges that are close by that they can attend. Palm Harbor has a balanced number of public and private schools. As of 2023, there are 11 public schools and nine private schools in the area.
The neighborhood you choose will likely determine which school your children attend, so it’s essential to conduct plenty of research in advance. Some of the best schools in Palm Harbor include:
- Palm Harbor Elementary
- Sutherland Elementary
- Plato Academy
- Palm Harbor Middle School
- Palm Harbor University High School
Palm Harbor is also close to a few colleges and universities for adults seeking higher education, including Central Florida Institute, St. Petersburg College, University of South Florida in Petersburg and Trinity College of Florida.
Palm Harbor is an affordable place to live, considering the cost of living in other towns and cities in Florida. Stable employment is still required to live in Palm Harbor, just like it is anywhere. Fortunately, though, the area offers plenty of employment opportunities.
On average, Palm Harbor residents earn more than people in other Floridian cities, with a median household income of $54,924. Although this number is lower than the national average, the cost of living in Palm Harbor is very affordable compared to the rest of the country.
The town is also home to many growing companies, so new residents have good chances of finding work in almost any industry. Plus, it’s close enough to Tampa that those working in niche sectors can commute to the city if needed.
Palm Harbor is significantly safer than many other places in the United States. According to Neighborhood Scout, the city is safer than 52% of all neighborhoods in the U.S. This statistic is based on the area’s crime rates compared to other cities.
When analyzing these numbers more closely, violent crime is less common than it is in other areas of Florida, making Palm Harbor a good choice for families. Compared to the state’s statistics of an individual having a one in 255 chance of becoming a victim of violent crime, the chances are much lower in Palm Harbor — one in 705, to be exact. New residents can rest easy knowing they’re more secure than they would be elsewhere.
Things to Do in Palm Harbor
Whether you’re looking for a solo adventure or something the whole family can enjoy, Palm Harbor has restaurants, tours, breweries and attractions to keep you busy. Here’s a quick list of the best things to do in and around town.
Beach and Waterway Tours
Since Palm Harbor is located near the Florida Gulf Coast, the town offers a wealth of opportunities to experience the area’s natural beauty — and beach and waterway tours are a great place to start. Got an afternoon to explore? Hop on a tour boat with the family or by yourself to witness the exotic subtropical scenery and try to catch a glimpse of Florida’s marine wildlife.
Private Bass Fishing Tour
Whether you’re a pro angler or you just want an awesome first-time experience, a private fishing tour on Lake Tarpon is an excellent opportunity to practice your skills. Spend the day relaxing on the freshwater lake, searching for bass with your family. If saltwater fishing is more your style, you can easily find fishing tours and marine expedition groups nearby.
Wall Springs Park
Spanning over 210 acres, Wall Springs Park offers Palm Harbor residents easy access to numerous walking trails and amenities to enjoy, including:
- Bike racks
- A pier
- Playground equipment
- Picnic shelters
Here’s a fun fact about the park — the natural spring once existed as a spa and bathing area, and you can still find it there! You can also climb an observation tower that offers fantastic views of the Gulf.
Suncoast Primate Sanctuary Foundation
Want to spend some time with wildlife? The Suncoast Primate Sanctuary is home to more than 70 rescued animals, including tropical birds, monkeys, reptiles and orangutans. It’s an excellent place to bring your family on a day out, and kids will love getting to see wildlife up close.
The sanctuary is a great cause for locals and visitors to support. Many of its animal residents were once in the film industry, laboratories or even in people’s homes as pets. Now, they’ll spend the rest of their days enjoying the care of the foundation’s knowledgeable staff and compassionate volunteers.
Palm Harbor Museum
Local history buffs will love visiting the Palm Harbor Museum, which hosts a collection of archives detailing the town’s rich past. Heading to the museum is a great way to spend a day with the family and an excellent educational opportunity for children of all ages.
Stilt House Brewery
One of the city’s most beloved breweries, Stilt House Brewery offers a unique selection of craft beers to enjoy after a long day or a relaxing weekend. Not a beer lover? No problem — Stilt House also provides a selection of wines and ciders for those with different tastes. Bring your friends and unwind after your latest Palm Harbor adventure.
The city is home to many more attractions. Whatever your interests or background, you’re sure to find something to do in Palm Harbor.
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