Indian Rocks Beach

indianrocksbeach1Indian Rocks Beach is located on a barrier island, with wide sandy beaches along its western edge fronting the Gulf of Mexico, and a series of canals and boat docks along its Intracoastal eastern edge. Less than 3 miles long, some parts of Indian Rocks Beach narrow to the point where one can stand in the center and see the water on both sides.

According to the 2010 U.S. Census, 4,113 people make up Indian Rocks Beach – families, active retirees, professional couples and empty nesters along with seasonal residents – make their home here. Residents of Indian Rocks Beach live in quaint beach cottages, high-rise condominiums and single family homes on the water as well as inland. Great restaurants, charming hotels and local businesses are all part of the mix that makes the town attractive to locals as well as seasonal guests.

Some of the area’s most famed restaurants are right here in Indian Rocks, with seafood being the star of most menus. Residents and visitors look forward to festivals and events held throughout the year, including the annual Beauty and the Beach festival each April, a celebration of art, music and food. Public docks on the Intracoastal Waterway are available for boaters of all types to utilize and are only a few blocks from the restaurants and shops.

indianrocksbeach2In addition to the beautiful and pristine beaches, The City of Indian Rocks Beach offers a wealth of other recreational opportunities among its six city parks, with tennis courts, basketball courts, a ball field, boat ramp and more. A nature preserve and the 1st Street Boardwalk offer a more relaxed way to enjoy the area’s beauty.

“Almost everything is within walking distance, so to speak. I’m in a power wheel chair and I’m able to make my rounds in my chair. On the way I find that I know just about everybody on the beach. When the sun goes down the beach party moves inside where you can listen to great local musicians. I enjoy myself.” Dick Schaal, ten-year resident.

 

 

 

Factoids:

Population: 4,113 according to the 2010 U.S. Census
Land Area: 0.93 Sq. Miles
 

Points of Interest: Famed restaurants, Festivals and events, The Annual Beauty and the Beach festival each April; a celebration of art, music and food, Beautiful Beaches, Six city parks, with tennis courts, basketball courts, a ball field, boat ramp, Nature preserve, 1st Street Boardwalk.

Safety Harbor

safetyharbor1Tucked away like a hidden gem among the ancient oaks at the top of old Tampa Bay, the town of Safety Harbor is a small town hideaway with sparkling water views. Home of the historic Espiritu Santo Springs and a world-renowned spa, Safety Harbor has always drawn visitors with its restorative powers. Its natural beauty and ideal locale continue to attract young families, artists, retirees, working professionals and others who make Safety Harbor home.

This is a vibrant village, with weekly markets and festivals, boating marinas and fishing piers, and a quaint downtown, bustling with an eclectic array of shops, eateries and art galleries.  Residents of Safety Harbor enjoy seven city parks, the backdrop for live music events and lively outdoor pursuits – biking, roller-blading, jogging and strolling – as well as canoeing and kayaking in Tampa Bay. Big-city attractions are just minutes away, but once you’re home in Safety Harbor, the rest of the world seems distant, indeed.

Location, Location, Location
Safety Harbor residents cannot say enough about the contrast between the insulated feel of their Safety Harbor village and its location. It is minutes away from major north-south, east-west traffic corridors in Pinellas County, making it about the most centrally located community in the whole of the Tampa Bay metropolitan area. From a home in Safety Harbor, you can get to Tampa, St. Petersburg and Clearwater quicker than from almost any other community. Yet when you are home, you feel like you are in a small town miles from anywhere.

“It’s like a little village off the beaten path,” according to long-time resident, Gary Bass. “When you make that turn to the east off McMullen Booth Road, you leave six lanes of traffic, the hustle and the stress and you feel like you’re on vacation.”

According to the 2010 U.S. Census, 16,884 residents live in Safety Harbor, making it a rather small community by today’s standards. They consistently report that what they like about living in Safety Harbor is the small town feel, the traditional Main Street, and the quaint atmosphere. Location is also a big factor as residents can drive to just about anywhere around the area in just a few minutes.

Safety Harbor maintains an active Parks and Recreation Department, sponsoring a number of camps that children can enjoy for a small fee. These include everything from educationally oriented activities to sailing instruction. The camps are popular and a source of civic pride.

For Youngsters
The many young families send their children to Safety Harbor Elementary School and Safety Harbor Middle School. Most high-school students attend Countryside High a few miles to the north.

Abundance of Recreation
Safety Harborites have a relatively short drive to all that Tampa Bay has to offer. But they love their peaceful little enclave and produce many special community events. Each year there is a Seafood Festival, a Canoe and Kayak Festival and a Wine Festival, among others. Every third Friday of the month the city blocks of a big chunk of Main Street for music, dancing and food.

Medical Services
Mease Countryside Hospital is located in Safety Harbor and has a fully staffed emergency room. It also features maternity and pediatric care. Mease Countryside is a top quality operator and has been named as one of the country’s top 100 hospitals seven times. That’s quite remarkable considering that it only began in 1986.

 

Factoids:
Population: 16,884 according to the 2010 U.S. Census
Land Area: 4.92 Sq. Miles
 

Points of Interest: Weekly Markets and Festivals, boating, Fishing, Quaint Downtown, Art Galleries, Seven City Parks, Live Music Events, Biking, Roller-blading, Jogging, Canoeing and Kayaking, Seafood Festival, A Wine Festival.

Clearwater

clearwater1Clearwater’s sugar-white sands and warm Gulf of Mexico waters have made it a popular vacation destination – and an incredible place to live. Overlooking the Gulf and connected with its famous beach by a scenic, two-mile causeway, Clearwater offers the perfect combination of work and play.

The Beach
Clearwater Beach has been named the “Best City Beach on the Gulf of Mexico” by USA Today readers. USA Today and 10Best readers also named it the #1 Best Place to Watch a Sunset. Three miles of beachfront – all public – offer some of the best shelling, sunning and sailing opportunities anywhere, with fun shops and restaurants dotting the landscape. One of the highlights of Clearwater Beach is the  3,000-ft. BeachWalk.

clearwater2The Clearwater Marina houses the largest recreational fleet of fishing boats on Florida’s west coast, while the nearby located Clearwater Marine Aquarium introduces visitors to the dolphins, stingrays and sea turtles that populate the area’s waters. The city is working on a total of 126 boat slips with easy access to downtown. The south basin section of the City of Clearwater Downtown Boat Slips are now open. Pier 60 hosts a nightly family-oriented festival celebrating the sunset with outdoor art, music and entertainment.

In Clearwater, vacation starts every Friday.

Lots to do Inland
Coachman’s Park hosts popular community events, including the annual Clearwater Jazz Holiday. Ruth Eckerd Hall is the city’s cultural treasure, the only performing arts center in the state to be designated a Major Cultural Institution.

Multitude of Home Styles
Clearwater’s 107,685 residents enjoy a wide selection of homes, from a golf front villa in a master-planned community to a gulf front condo in an elegant high-rise. Many single-family homes, ranging from modest bungalows to upscale luxury residences serve the city’s diverse population. Many residents opt for homes with boat slips to take advantage of Clearwater’s waterfront location.

The city’s size offers a large variety of public and private school choices and its own police and fire departments.

“Clearwater is already a great place to live and in five years when the new downtown marina is complete it’s going to be even better – for residents and tourists alike. It’s a continually improving community.Frank Dane, seven-year resident.


Factoids:

Population: 107,685 according to the 2010 U.S. Census
Land Area: 25.3 Sq. Miles
 

Points of Interest: Public Beaches – offers some of the best shelling, sunning and sailing opportunities anywhere, 3,000-ft. BeachWalk, The Clearwater Marina, The Clearwater Marine Aquarium, Pier 60, Coachman’s Park, The annual Clearwater Jazz Holiday, Ruth Eckerd Hall, Golfing.