While a lot of our residents live along the beaches, the cities in Pinellas County have a lot to offer as well. Nowhere else will you find such a fantastic combination of gorgeous scenery, excellent employment opportunities, and outstanding recreation. Here’s a look at three communities in the central part of the county.
This growing town had a population of 17,223 as of the 2010 census, up from just over 10,000 a decade before. All of that growth has led to record increases in home values, from an average of $66,000.00 on 2000 to over $151,000.00 as of 2009. The financial crisis did little to affect the value of real estate in this area.
The local economy is a healthy mix of manufacturing, tourism, and professional services. The unemployment rate continues to follow the downward trend set by the state of Florida. A recent uptick in the rate was caused almost entirely by public schools closing for the summer, and is in no way a reflection on the prospects to be found.
Opportunities for fun and relaxation abound. Golfers have access to their pick of both public and semi-private courses, all of which are well-maintained. Tennis courts, fitness clubs, and yoga classes offer plenty of venues for staying fit, and fishermen will find both the inshore and backcountry fishing to be among the best anywhere. Hiking, camping, and picnicking sites can be found in any of the county’s many parks, and are only a short drive away.
This thriving community of 50,000 has everything a larger town can offer, including dining, shopping, fitness clubs, recreation, and educational and employment opportunities. The city is famous throughout the Tampa Bay area for a series of outdoor concerts and festivals centered around a clam-shell auditorium near city hall. The best-known of these is held the third Saturday of March, and includes arts and crafts shows, NASCAR-related events, carnival rides, and concerts. Local firefighters hold a chili cook-off the night before the festivities.
With a population of 77,000 this is the third largest city in Pinellas County. The local economy centers around the high-tech and health care fields, and job opportunities are abundant for those with matching skill sets. Two major airports serve the area, Tampa International Airport and St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport.
Due to its location on the Pinellas Peninsula, local weather is somewhat warmer than other spots, with summer highs in the 90s and winter lows in the 70s. Winter is the driest time of year, while rain showers occur frequently from June through September.
Schiller International University is located in Largo. It offers degrees in business, IT, criminal justice, and other fields. Quality vocational training is available at Fortis College, which has programs in computer networking/support, nursing, cosmetology, construction and skilled trades, and many other fields.