Treasure Island

treasureisland1When Treasure Island residents cross over one of the three bridges to their barrier island homes, the tropical light, colorful foliage and the sound of seabirds in the air let them know they’ve arrived someplace very special.

The three and a half-mile beach that fronts the Gulf of Mexico makes up the western boundary of Treasure Island. Narrow at both ends and wide in the middle, locals claim that it’s the widest beach on the Gulf Coast. At the north end is John’s Pass, with Madeira Beach on the other side, and at the south end is Blind Pass, both have access to the Gulf of Mexico from inland waters. In fact, Treasure Island is an island.

Hotels, motels and condominiums occupy most of the beach front property while most of the town’s residents live along canals on the landside of the island. The proximity to the Gulf and the canal houses with boat slips make it a great place for boaters.

In addition to its marina and three very busy public boat ramps, the town also provides wonderful land-based recreational facilities.  The Treasure Island park system was designed with the goal that every resident would be within walking distance of a park.  The Treasure Island Golf & Tennis Center includes a 9-hole golf course, 10 tennis courts, plus facilities for volleyball, basketball, horseshoes and shuffleboard.

Life’s a Beach
treasureisland2 According to the 2010 U.S. Census, 6,705 residents enjoy an easygoing, flip-flop lifestyle. They have the advantages of living in a small, but well-serviced community where they essentially are on vacation every day of the week. Treasure Island features a lively restaurant and bar scene along the beach, catering to locals as well as the high number of annual visitors from near and far.

Fun in the Sand
 
An annual highlight of living in Treasure Island is the Master Sand Sculpting Competition and Music Festival called Sanding Ovations. It is a four day competition of sand sculpting masters from places in North America and Europe, who create astonishing works of art using nothing but sand, water and lots of their own imagination.

“Treasure Island was a really nice place to grow up. As kids we fished, went waterskiing and played on the beach and kids can still do that here. And you’ll not find better neighbors.  We stick together and really care about our community.” Butch Ellsworth, lifelong resident.

Factoids:

Population: 6,705 according to the 2010 U.S. Census
Land Area: 1.59 Sq. Miles
 

Points of Interest: The Sun, Sand and Swing festival, Beaches, Skim Boarding, Swimming, Fishing, Marina and three very busy public boat ramps, The Treasure Island Park System, The Treasure Island Golf & Tennis Center includes a 9-hole golf course, 10 tennis courts, plus facilities for volleyball, basketball, horseshoes and shuffleboard.

Palm Harbor

palmharbor1According to the 2010 U.S. Census, 57,439 residents make the Palm Harbor community their home.  Currently an incorporated area and largely governed by Pinellas County, Palm Harbor features a wide variety of available housing choices.  From golf course communities with a country club atmosphere to lovely historic areas, from contemporary single family neighborhoods to condominium communities with boat slips and waterfront access, Palm Harbor has something to offer just about every homebuyer.

History and Charm
The entry to Palm Harbor’s historic downtown makes quite an impression with its Gateway Art Sculptures. Recently refurbished, Old Palm Harbor Main Street has preserved eight historic structures, and is the heart of this small town with a strong sense of community. The charming brick paving and tree-canopied sidewalks make the area especially conducive to an afternoon stroll through the shops.

palmharbor2A short distance from the quaint downtown, with its mixture of retail service, and professional offices, is the main traffic artery U.S. 19, offering national chain restaurants and retailers a short distance from home. Those interested in golf will be glad to know that Innisbrook Golf Resort, a nationally regarded golf course, is located conveniently in Palm Harbor.

Activities abound for residents. The Palm Harbor Parks and Recreation Department sponsors everything from dance classes and guitar lessons to kayaking and tennis for both youth and adults. The Main Street program sponsors a variety of events, including the Palm Harbor Parrot Head Party and First Fridays. The first Sunday in October, the Palm Harbor Junior Women’s Club sponsors the “Taste of Palm Harbor” festival, offering samples from more than 20 local restaurants. Proceeds of the event benefit the club’s grants and scholarship program.

 

Factoids:

Population: 57,439 according to the 2010 U.S. Census
Land Area: 17.9 Sq. Miles
 

Points of Interest: Palm Harbor’s Historic Downtown, Gateway Art Sculptures, Brick Paving and Tree-Canopied Sidewalks, Shops, The Innisbrook Golf Resort, Dance Classes, Guitar Lessons, Kayaking, Tennis for youth and adults, Palm Harbor Parrot Head Party and First Fridays, The first Sunday in October, Taste of Palm Harbor festival.