The 3 Best Areas in the Tampa-St Petersburg Area

The Best Places to Live or Retire in the Tampa-St Petersburg Area of Florida

The Tampa St Petersburg Clearwater Metro area in Florida is home to about over 3 million people. Below you’ll find 3 special towns that are easily 3 of the very best places to live in the area. Ironically, none of the metro area’s 3 main cities qualifies for this “best” places list. Why?

Crime and Safety in the Tampa/St Petersburg/Clearwater Florida Area

In order for any city or town in Florida to make it onto any of our best places to live in Florida lists, it first must meet our crime rate criteria. I’ve been in the real estate sales business for over 30 years now, and no buyer ever said they wanted to move where there was more crime than where they now resided.

I did however help many buyers that wanted to sell and move out of an area that had a rising crime problem. That’s why all of the places on all of our lists must have property and violent crime rates lower than the national average, according to data derived from FBI public crime rate reporting.

  • Tampa Florida’s Crime Rates– Tampa is the only major city in Florida that reportedly has a lower property crime rate than the national average. Unfortunately, the violent crime rate in Tampa is far higher than the national average. Naturally, violent crime is what buyers have told me they are most concerned about. People today are increasingly concerned about their safety and protecting their loved ones.
  • St Petersburg Florida’s Crime Rates– Both property and violent crime rates are approximately twice as high as the national average.
  • Clearwater Florida’s Crime Rates– Property and violent crime rates are approximately 50% higher than the national average
  • For the sake of comparison: New York City’s Crime Rates – New York City’s violent crime rate was lower than all 3 Florida cities mentioned above (at the time of this writing).

Other Criteria We Used to Locate the Best Places to Live in The Tampa St Pete Florida Area

Better Employment Opportunities in the Tampa St Petersburg Metro Area

In addition to verifiable low crime rates, our best places choices must also provide better job opportunities than are available in most of Florida. The jobs may be located in the towns on the list below or within a reasonable daily commuting distance. Are you retiring and never plan to work another day in your life? I’ve met many seniors in Florida who had to go back to work to pay their bills when the cost of living in Florida rose faster than their retirement income, so just in case…

Better Schools

Our best places must have better schools also, but this does not imply that the schools are better rated than similar schools is other states. We believe that places with better schools and job availability are more likely to maintain lower crime rates into the future. Besides, whether you rent or own in your new Florida town, part of the money you pay out of your pocket for housing will go to pay for the schools in your area. Get your money’s worth.

And of Course, More Fun!

Do you like to go out to eat occasionally? Our choices have more restaurants per person than most and also more shopping, parks and other recreation and entertainment overall, than you’ll find in the average Florida town. Lots of places to go and things to do and all in a safer place. And don’t forget, all of the places on the list are close enough to Tampa, St Petersburg or Clearwater to visit any time you want, which expands your options even further.

florida move guide book cover and discription

Here They Are, the Top 3 Places to Live or Retire in the Tampa St Petersburg Area Today

In random order…

1) Westchase Florida

Westchase Florida is a small town of 23,000 just a short drive from Tampa, St Petersburg and Clearwater. It’s also not far from beaches, an international airport and Busch Gardens theme park in Tampa. The cost of living in Westchase Florida is slightly higher than Florida’s average but it’s crime rates are far lower which may make the town your ideal place to live in the Tampa area.

Learn more in this video of Westchase Florida.


2) Dunedin Florida

Dunedin is located just north of Clearwater Florida but unlike it’s neighbor that suffers from high crime rates, Dunedin is much safer. That’s especially important because it has a fantastic very walkable downtown filled with independent unique shops, restaurants and watering holes that you’re probably going to want to visit. You won’t find cookie-cutter franchised food or big box stores in this beautiful friendly downtown. You can also be laying on excellent beaches or fishing the surf of the Gulf in just minutes too. Many residents commute daily to Tampa or St Petersburg for employment from this town that has qualified to be on many of our best places lists.

Here’s a video of Dunedin we think you’ll like.


3) Safety Harbor FL

Here’s another great little town very close to Tampa, St Petersburg and Clearwater and of course, the beaches. The 18,000 people who are lucky enough to call this place home enjoy low crime rates and a cost of living that is at or slightly below the average for Florida. Take a look at the video to see if this special slice of Florida might be right for your family or retirement plans.

Ron Stack “That Best Places Guy” of Zeus Press Inc

  • Want to be certain if moving to Florida is right for you or your family? You’ll know after reading the Florida Move Guide.


10 thoughts on “The 3 Best Areas in the Tampa-St Petersburg Area”

  1. I’m looking into a place near or in Clearwater (Tampa) I on disability, the extremely unforeseen weather change has made it difficult to function properly! My fiancé is 4 year from retirement, we’re both 56, going to be 57 god willing! I’m looking for a quiet, clean, well maintained, etc to grow old in. We have secured income! What are my options? Thank you for your time! Respectfully Peter R!

    • In addition to the towns mentioned above, there is Palm Harbor. This is the name given to unincorporated north Pinellas County. West of Lake Tarpon is US 19, Innisbrook golf course and the Gulf of Mexico. Lots of trailer park along the gulf, but nice parks too (like Dunedin). East of Lake Tarpon is Lansbrook (similar to Westchase). There is also the Ridgmoor area (where I live). Many gated communities, well landscaped with fountains and lots of wildlife – because we are right next to Brooker Creek Forest Preserve. Publix and other shopping is nearby. Just north of us in Pasco County are several Trinity neighborhoods. They seem very nice too.

  2. LOW WAGE STATE. The job situation SUCKS. Don’t move to Florida if you want to find a job that pays good, respectable money. I have a Bachelor’s Degree and a Master’s Degree and I can’t find a decent, high-paying job. Employers want to pay grown, professional people $25,000/year. Looking for a 60K+ job? Don’t even try unless you’re a Doctor or Lawyer. Thanks for nothing.

  3. My wife and I are moving to Florida this fall and we are in the process of looking for a house on a golf course (preferably in a gated community). I was wondering if you have any suggestions of which courses would be best suited for us. My wife doesn’t golf much and I enjoy playing a couple times a week. We would like to be somewhere from Beverly Hills to Tampa. We are not looking for the top of the line golf course would prefer more reasonable priced membership. I turned 50 this year and my wife is a couple years younger. Please let me know your thoughts.

  4. I am a professional with a MBA and yes compared to the Midwest; Florida wages are horrible however I can no longer endure the brutal Midwest winters. I may have to suck it up and move to Florida working for poverty wages! Life isn’t fair!!!!!

  5. Hi, what a great forum! You really provide lots of info. I am a teacher looking to move to Florida. suggestions on suburb type of towns, family oriented. I am fearful of living directly on any beach town. 45 min or hour ride to the beach doesn’t bother me. I currently live in Putnam Ct, 6 months of winter lol. I’m looking for a similar small town atmosphere, preferably in Brevard county.


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