Friendly Sophistication on Florida’s Gulfcoast
Sprawling out into the Gulf of Mexico on Florida’s West Coast is St. Petersburg, connected by land only north to Clearwater and surrounded by water everywhere else. It makes for an impressive arrival as you take in the view from the highest span of the spectacular Sunshine Skyway, named one of the World’s Top 10 Bridges by The Travel Channel or drive on bridges from Tampa that seem to barely skim the waves.
Long ago known as a place where people from the Midwest came to retire, St. Petersburg and its lively beaches have evolved to a vibrant, artistic, and fun place to live, work, study and retire. In fact, Lonely Planet calls it “Tampa’s more arty and youthful sibling…” Most recently, Tampa Bay Business Journal reported that St. Petersburg has been named to Money magazine’s list of Best Places to Retire.
“The city was praised along with nine other U.S. cities for being affordable, offering access to cultural events, beaches and other activities in addition to close proximity to world-class health care.” Well, my work here is done, but read on to learn more about this wonderful place to live.
Downtown St. Petersburg has experienced an astonishing makeover that turned sleepy streets into colorful avenues of bustling outdoor cafes and new restaurants, boutique hotels, art galleries and storefronts under residential lofts and alongside condominium towers with waterfront views.
From charming beach communities of low-rise condominiums and townhomes, to single-family homes lining canals, to lakefront multi-family developments, St. Petersburg has plenty of waterfront land to enjoy.
Residents love unlimited beach access, lots of boat launches, fishing docks, and lush spacious parks (count ‘em—over 150) that have been designated to remain parks, even those along the valuable waterfront. High fives to members of the Garden Club of St. Petersburg who work their green thumbs to keep St. Petersburg beautiful, fulfilling the club’s mission from the year 1928 still today: “The protection of the beauty given us by nature and creation of new beauty is a noble aim for any organization. We ask your cooperation in fulfilling our aims for St. Petersburg.” In 1961 the City of St. Petersburg formed the City Beautiful Commission to assist and promote the beautification of St. Petersburg and it shows.
St. Petersburg offers a slower pace than most metropolitan cities of comparable size, yet plenty of outdoor sports, including major league baseball, NFL and NHL teams for spectators and cultural offerings so you can be as busy or relaxed as you want to be. Roads are wider and less congested making for a pleasant Sunday afternoon drive. Full-time residents numbering about 250,000 are friendly and eager to serve. The city originated as a resort destination and that environment of southern hospitality continues today.
Combine smiling faces with sun and water and you, too, will blossom in St. Pete, also affectionately known as The Burg.
Read On. You May Want to Call the Movers Right Away
10 Excellent Reasons to Make the Move to Greater St.Petersburg
Low Cost of Living
Start with the happy fact that you no longer need winter coats, boots, scarves, and mittens. And, keep smiling when you learn that residential monthly electric bills will be surprisingly lower, even if you factor in the warmer summer months. Florida has no state income tax, property taxes are much lower, and home prices are less for comparable living space, compared to most areas of the country. With all the sunshine, you can even grow some of your own produce at home, shaving hundreds off the annual grocery bill. Or visit downtown St. Petersburg’s Saturday Morning Market for veggies fresh from the farm and more.
Dolphins in Your Backyard
If you’ve always dreamed of a waterfront home, you will find everything from charming beach cottages, towering condominiums with balcony views, custom-built mansions, contemporary single-family homes along canals, as well as villas, carriage and town homes in gated, master-planned communities with lakes stocked with fish. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 137.6 square miles (356.4 km2). 61.7 square miles (159.9 km2) of it is land, and 75.9 square miles (196.5 km2) of it or 55.13percent is water. Rest assured, wherever you live will be near water. Where else can you find dolphins in your backyard?
Growing up across the street from the Gulf of Mexico, I did not truly appreciate Treasure Island beach. Sometimes we need to go away and come back to realize the value of what we had. Even after a career that included travel to Caribbean islands, The Bahamas, and Ocean City, my vote for the city with the best and most accessible beaches is still St. Petersburg, hands down. Joint efforts on the part of Pinellas County, the State of Florida, our local beach municipalities and citizen volunteers employed in dune replanting make you realize how important the beaches are to local residents, as well as tourists. St. Petersburg is one of the few destinations where you can see both sunrise and sunset. And until you’ve seen the famous green flash from any of the beaches of St. Petersburg, your bucket list is not complete.
Pediatricians actually outnumber gerontologists here—so much for the stereotype as a city for old people! HCA’s West Florida Division is the largest healthcare system in the Tampa Bay area. Emergency room wait times below the national average are posted on hospital websites, billboards or by texting “ER” to 23000 – what technology! A total of 10 hospitals in St. Petersburg are served by a network of medical specialists throughout Pinellas County. And nearby Tampa General Hospital and Moffitt Cancer Center rank number one and two respectively in the area. ¹ Three of the hospitals are acute care centers and the award-winning All Children’s Hospital, a Johns Hopkins Medicine facility, treats critically ill children from all over the state of Florida.
¹U.S. News and World Report’s Best Hospital Survey 2012-13
“Only in St. Pete” is a frequent refrain here. We roll our eyes when traffic stops on 66th Street to allow a mother duck and her ducklings to cross the six-lane road. Turtles and tortoises are gently turned around when they wander into dangerous territory. Dog friendly beaches and parks can be found here. Travelocity lists nearly 60 pet-friendly hotels where the whole family can stay as you relocate. Animal lovers are good people and more than 100 neighborhoods throughout St. Petersburg are populated by kind, generous humans who rally for local causes, support each other, and exhibit pride in their “Burg.”
Check out this article from the New York Times. You can spend 36 hours here or a lifetime!Read More
Tampa Bay Times on Sunday shared news about the surge in home sales here, especially in Pinellas County. Read more: http://www.tampabay.com/news/business/realestate/home-sales-surge-again-in-tampa-bay-as-prices-continue-to-climb/2307064Read More
Major Move to Accelerate Local Business Growth with Newly Launched St. Petersburg Area Economic Development Corporation “We have a unique opportunity to become the preferred destination for those businesses seeking the types of talent attracted by the growth of our downtown environment,” Michael Vivio, the new EDC chairman, said. “It’s good to see so many leaders sharing the vision for our …Read More
The Sunshine State Hit #14 According to MoneyRates.com To determine where millennials might find it easier to get by – and maybe even have a little fun – MoneyRates.com compiled a ranking based on eight different criteria: Unemployment among young adults Percent of state population composed of young adults In-state cost of 4-year public colleges Availability of residential rentals Average …Read More
60 Hires to Be Made by Year-End 2016 Kobie Marketing helps improve its clients’ marketing and branding with a wide range of services from building the business case for loyalty and validating its economic viability to delivering world-renowned marketing campaigns and customer experience enhancements. The 26 year old company is headquartered in St. Petersburg, Florida. According to a Business Observer report, the new …Read More
A speaking engagement at The Club at Treasure Island prompted WFLA’s Daytime TV Senior Producer Deanna Moore to invite Author Cindy Dobyns on the show to talk about her book, Moving to St. Petersburg: The Un-Tourist Guide. WFLA is the local NBC affiliate. Available on Amazon.com and at Barnes & Noble Bookstores, Cindy’s book is selling best locally at the …Read More
Warm Waters and An Even Warmer Welcome Author, Cindy Dobyns, was delighted to be interviewed recently by Chicke Fitzgerald on Blog Talk Radio about why she fell in love with St. Petersburg, Florida—and why you will, too. Her parents bundled Cindy and her 3 siblings into a car for a daring relocation to the Paradise Island area of St. Pete. …Read More
The five-year plan to get to Treasure Island, Florida has arrived, so we’ve begun the process of selling our home in Naples, Florida. I thought it might be helpful to share the experience and some tips that my husband and I learn along the way. We had heard that real estate was moving fast in Florida, but we had no …Read More
People First. Boxes Second. “Your Key to an Easy Move” is a great slogan by Jay and Barbara Marshall, owners of House to Home Relocation in St. Petersburg. They move “people first, boxes second.” Experts in hands-on project and organizational management, they help others transition to new living environments. Check out their website for Frequently Asked Questions about making a move as seamless …Read More
The Iron Yard Academy, a St. Petersburg Greenhouse community partner, teaches intensive, three-month courses that will guide you into becoming a professional junior-level programmer. Their program goes far beyond tactical skills and teaches you to think like a software engineer. Programming is a lifelong study and their process will teach you how to remain a highly valuable programmer for the …Read More