If you are interested in living in Clearwater, Florida, it’s apparent that you desire to know a few things about the area before making the final move.
Located on the Gulf of Mexico and 22 miles from Tampa, Clearwater is an ideal destination for travelers of all interests and ages, and among the best places to live in Florida.
Clearwater, FL, offers an incredible supply of warm weather, shopping, dining experiences, and outdoor activities, making it a year round business, residential, and leisure location. Clearwater’s beaches consistently rank among the USA’s favorites, offering crystal clear waters, cool Gulf breezes, and miles of sugar-white sand.
There are several reasons to live in Clearwater, FL. But before we discuss what this epic city has to offer you, let’s learn a few historical facts about it. (See Below)
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A Brief History of Clearwater, Florida
The present-day Clearwater, FL, was occupied by the Tocobaga people (Tampa’s early natives) before Spanish explorers landed in the area while looking a route across Florida. Spanish influence, coupled with raids from indigenous groups, led to the local native population’s extinction. And by 1700, none of the Tocobaga natives and their neighbors existed.
During the Seminole Indian Wars, the United States Army built the original Fort Harrison in 1835 in Clearwater Harbor, a name derived from numerous freshwater springs in the area. The soldiers abandoned the fort in 1841, but the Florida Armed Population Act of 1842 saw the area’s population grow significantly. The Act provided close to 200,000 acres of land to settlers ready to defend and cultivate it.
The first railroad in Clear Water was completed in 1888, opening the area to economic development. Clearwater, FL became a favorite for vacationers when Henry B. Plant built the Bellevue Biltmore, a luxurious Victorian resort hotel, in 1897. In 1906, Clearwater became one word, and the term “Harbor” was dropped. The area experienced another population boom in the 1920s during the Florida real estate boom.
Clearwater was transformed into a military training base during World War II, every hotel serving as a barrack for recruits. In the 1950s, the area’s population exceeded 15,000 and steadily grew to the present population of more than 100,000.
With the above in mind, read on to learn about what this spectacular coastal city has in store for you and your family.
Affordable Cost of Living
Living in Clearwater, Florida, is highly affordable to people in all stages of their professions. It’s one of the reasons why major financial outlets like CNN Money, Forbes, and Money Magazine consistently single out the city as one of the best places to retire in the US.
According to PayScale, the cost of living in Clearwater, FL, is 7% lower than the national average. The city’s housing expenses are 28% less than the national average. And the median home price is $250 191, while renting costs about $784/month.
Clearwater’s healthcare cost is 2% lower than the national average. Major healthcare centers in Clearwater, Fl. Include:
Morton Plant Hospital
Mease Countryside Hospital, and
Utilities and transportation are the two sectors where Clearwater ranks a few points above the national average. Gas averages $2.77/month while energy bills lie somewhere around $195/month.
A variety of providers, including the city administration, provide utilities to the city. Clearwater City is responsible for providing gas and water to the area. Duke Energy and Tampa Electric Company are the major providers of electricity in Clearwater, Florida.
While a majority of US states require residents to pay a state income tax, Florida does not. Relocating to Clearwater, FL, means you don’t pay state income tax, saving more money for investment, fun, and vacations.
Supporting about 50,000+ jobs and experiencing growth in employment rate, Clearwater, FL, is by no means short of job opportunities. Hospitality, healthcare and social assistance, retail trade, technology, and education are the largest industries in Clearwater, Florida.
Regarding wages, Clearwater’s median household income is approximately $47,000, about $8,000 lower than the national average. Though we’ve seen the figures rise year after year.
A Leisure Hub
Clearwater, FL, offers plenty of fun opportunities. There is something for everyone here, from fascinating historic buildings, the famous Clearwater Marine Aquarium, a range of special events, parks, and bountiful land and water activities.
Being home to award-winning beach, Clearwater, FL, owns some serious bragging rights. Clearwater Beach is the heart and soul of the city’s party life. It hosts almost everything from sandcastle competitions to community celebrations to nightclubs to weddings. And remains the main attraction in Clearwater, despite the hundreds of things to do in the city.
Known for its clear, shallow water and beautiful white sands, Clearwater Beach is ideal for every water leisure activity from jet-skiing to paddleboarding and swimming. A paved beach walk gives strollers and cyclists an enviable opportunity to enjoy the spectacular views.
Adding an extra splash of life to Clearwater Beach is Pier 60. It’s a 300+m long fishing pier and recreational park famous for fantastic views of the beautiful sunset. Pier 60 is home to famous activities, including the annual fireworks display on New Year Eve and Independence Day. And Sunsets at Pier 60, a nightly festival that offers a range of entertainment and crafts form 6 pm-9 pm.
Numerous lights illuminate the pier at night, making it a favorite fishing ground for dwellers and visitors. Fish species commonly found here include silver and spotted trout, tarpons, Spanish mackerel, redfish, snook, and more.
Clearwater Marine Aquarium
Clearwater Marine Aquarium(CMW) is not your typical aquarium. It offers a remarkable aquarium experience and a unique opportunity to explore the world of marine life rescue and rehabilitation.
It’s in CMW where you meet Winter the dolphin and her best friend Hope, the stars of Hollywood-produced Dolphin Tales movies. Both movies were filmed in this site, where you can see the actual movie props and set areas. The dolphins thrive in a newly constructed habitat, the Ruth and J.O Stone Dolphin Complex. It has a 40 feet wide and 16 feet high window that offers fantastic views of the dolphins.
While dolphins remain CMW’s biggest attraction, the aquarium also harbors plenty of other marine animals, including stingrays, sharks, otters, white pelicans, and Kemp’s Ridley sea turtles (the rarest sea turtle species in the world). You can get close to the animals, feed them, and listen to their inspirational stories.
Moccasin Lake Nature Park
Moccasin Lake Nature Park is a 50-acre nature preserve few yards from the busy US 19 and offers serene environs for nature lovers to spend the day. The hidden gem in the heart of Clearwater, Florida, incorporates an energy and environmental education center, wetlands, a large lake, upland forest, and plenty of plant and animal species.
Boardwalks and trails wind through the park, with a canopy of mature oaks providing shade to the visitors. And Brigham Dock offers you an excellent position for watching watch birds wading in the lake. The parks nature center harbors many activities for the kids, including checking out an aviary, water tower powered by solar panels, and a butterfly garden.
Clearwater, FL, has a high affinity for dolphins due to the warm coastal waters. However, the Clearwater Marine Aquarium is not the only place to watch dolphins in Clearwater. Dolphin adventures can offer an equally great experience.
Several providers offer dolphin tours in Clearwater, where nature lovers learn more about Clearwater’s wildlife and watch dolphins in their native environment. Among the popular dolphin tour providers in Clearwater include Little Toot and Encounter with Dolphins.
Sand Key Park
The sand Key Park comprises a park and a wide sandy beach. Here, you’ll find two picnic shelters with a children’s playground, restroom, water fountains, picnic tables, grills, and shade shelter. You can play with your dog at the designated dog park area. Or watch great horned owls, moorhen, spoonbills, herons, and anhingas nest and feed at the salt marsh.
The above are but a few fun things to do in Clearwater, Fl. Other leisure spots include the Philippe Park, Ream Wilson Clearwater Trail, Cleveland Street District, the Bilheimer Capitol Theatre, and many more.
Great Shopping and Dining Experience
Clearwater Downtown offers a multitude of shopping experiences with numerous specialty stores that offer everything from fine jewel, elegant attire, to Floridian art.
Beach shops located on Gulfview Boulevard and Mandalay Avenue offer a range of products, too, including surfing equipment, resort clothing, and souvenirs.
The premier shopping, entertainment, and dining destination in Clearwater is the Westfield Countryside. The area has more than 140 shops and is home to the city’s magnificent movie theater.
Residents and visitors can shop for the best of Florida delicious produce, including baked products, honey, crisp fruits, honey, smoothies, and vegetable, at the Clearwater Farmers market.
Clearwater, Florida, is home to a range of dining options. But it’s most famous for incredible seafood, especially the grouper sandwich.
Book a dining cruise at the Gulf of Mexico or catch the fantastic Clearwater sunset over an open-air dinner. Popular eateries include the Open Sky Café, Frenchy’s Rockaway Grill, Umai Café, and Don Pancho Villa.
You certainly don’t want to miss out on Clearwater’s annual food events and festivals, including the Clearwater Beach Taste Festival, Cooters Annual Crab Fest, Clearwater Beach Uncorked, and Frenchy’s Stone Crab Festival.
Relocating to Clearwater, FL?
There you have them, essential facts about Clearwater, Florida. Here, you enjoy the best views of the Gulf and “best of all worlds” but a laidback lifestyle. When you are ready to relocate to Clearwater, Only727 can help with your housing needs. Browse our Clearwater home listings or contact us at (727) 888-3275 to find a home that best matches your requirements and budget.
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There you have them, essential facts about Clearwater, Florida. Here, you enjoy the best views of the Gulf and "best of all worlds" but a laidback lifestyle. When you are ready to relocate to Clearwater, Only727 can help with your housing needs. Browse our Clearwater home listings or contact us at (727) 888-3275 to find a home that best matches your requirements and budget.
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Only 727 Group of Keller Williams Realty – Gulfside
Robert Earl – SL3336072
Main Office: 801 West Bay Drive, Ste. 200 Largo, FL 33770 – 727-888-3275