Florida is not called the Sunshine State because its overcast. This is the state where visitors come from all over the country to turn that shade of bronze that can only be accomplished by spending several hours in the company of the universe's brightest star. Though Palm Harbor is far removed from the throngs of tourists who visit the state each year, the weather and pristine beaches that attract them are practically right next door. Depending on where you live, they may be as close as your own backyard. Needless to say, it gets warm here and preparations should be taken when moving to ensure the best experience. Central air is considered a luxury in some regions of the country; here it is a necessity. Check with your apartment complex or landlord while youre looking and ensure that cooling yourself in your new home is going to be hassle-free.
Most of the people who live in this region commute to work. This means a short trip down the interstate to St. Petersburg or Tampa. Public transit does exist in the form of buses; however, this is mostly for within the city limits. With the abundance of local attractions, including beaches, parks and even Disney World, you will want to drive your own vehicle if you can--even with the imminent threat of traffic looming overhead. Things are not as close together as they are in some of the bigger cities, and the added convenience of being able to drive to where youre going is well worth it. Palm Harbor is north of Clearwater and Tampa Bay, and Hwy 19 makes for convenient access to both cities, via route 60 and I-275.
In all seasons, Palm Harbor loves to throw a good festival. This is an outdoor community with a lot going on so be ready to jump in! The Citrus Festival, which is held annually in April, features carnival rides, a dance competition, a bake-off and more, with free admission. The celebration is a memorial of the towns heritage. Two local events offer opportunities to taste samples from local restaurants. The specialty of the house is generally seafood, of which there is plenty to be had, often extremely fresh. The First Friday event offers children's rides and games for family-oriented fun. Want even more community excitement? The Taste of Palm Harbor is held in October, offering live music and entertainment.
Its hard to say that there are any bad neighborhoods in Palm Harbor. Everywhere you look there are palm trees, beautiful beaches, waterfront property, and ranch-style Spanish-inspired adobe houses. Complete with red tile roofs, this is a paradise tucked away in the undiscovered western coast of Floridas mainland. To the west is St. Josephs Sound and a string of keys whose splendor rivals that of their more famous neighbors to the south, and without the long drives or excessive traffic delays.
Ozona/Crystal Beach:Believe it or not, even though this is prime real estate in Palm Harbor, Ozona and Crystal Beach boast a much lower rental average than the rest of the state. There are plenty of good deals to be had for those savvy enough to search for them. During the off season, vacancy rates are at their highest, and more than enough one bedroom apartments and even up to three bedroom houses are available to go around. The area is a popular marina for fishermen and yacht enthusiasts in the area, and it is not uncommon to come upon more than a few sail boats dotting the horizon. Ahoy!$$$$
Innisbrooke:Glorious Spanish colonial mansions and miles of uninterrupted riverfront make up a large portion of this neighborhood. There are also apartment homes and patches of well kept residential establishments. This area is very seasonally sensitive. During mid-season, there is a large number of vacancies due to the temporary nature of many of the residents. Like most college towns and tourist areas, the best deals are to be had when the locals are home and the out-of-towners are, well, out of town. Swoop in and catch a sweet pad for a low price with the right timing. $$$
Town Center:As the name implies, this is the center of it all for Palm Harbor. Restaurants of all kinds, especially seafood and southern cooking, are around every corner. From fried oysters to fried chicken to baked salmon, its all here. This is the commercial center for the city. Start your apartment search here for 1 bedroom apartments and, if youre lucky, all bills paid buildings. If you venture into the neighborhoods you may even find a few three bedroom houses for rent. The streets are quiet and the houses are off the street, nestled among groves of palm trees and various citrus plants. Picture well kept medians and laid back lifestyles. $$
Curlew:This is the perfect neighborhood for families. Larger houses with modern designs are the most common sight. Sticking with traditional Spanish-themed Florida architecture, you will find a lot of two and three bedroom single family homes with garages and their own driveways. This is the kind of place where children play on the street before dusk and the smell of barbecues in backyards fills the air in the springtime. This is a very peaceful and relaxing place to call home. Home prices are slightly higher here than surrounding areas, but for the benefits it is definitely worth it. You will be surrounded on all sides by commercial districts that make shopping and daily routines very convenient. $$$$
Life in Palm Harbor is like life in any near-tropical, small-town, suburban neighborhood. There are palm trees, cool gulf breezes and magnificent sunsets every day. The temperature generally hovers around the 60s in the winter and averages to the high 80s in the summer, though it can get a lot warmer in July. Citrus trees are plentiful everywhere in the state. If youre lucky enough to have one in your own yard (which a lot of people are) you will have enough home-grown fruit to supply you for the better portion of the year. Better get that juicer out! If you live away from such amenities, farmers' markets can be found with very little effort, all offering the best quality locally grown produce at much more reasonable rates than most chain stores.