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Reader Requested Short Review of Port Orange, Florida
On the western side of the Halifax River (Intracoastal Waterway) on Florida's northeastern coast, Port Orange (population 62,000) started out in 1867 and was for years considered a southern suburb of Daytona Beach. These days, it is a pleasant city in its own right and has grown by 8% within the last decade.
The demographic is mature, with 50% of residents age 45 or better. Twenty-five percent of all locals hold at least a four year college degree, and politics are split down the middle. Racial diversity is minimal. The crime rate is below the national average, and the cost of living is 3% below the national average.
The median home price is $245,000, and the city's 150 neighborhoods range from modest with concrete block ranch ramblers to gated with custom Mediterranean styles. Most areas are peppered with coconut palms, fruit trees and flowering bushes.
A clean cityscape and 500 acres of parks and green spaces are Port Orange highlights. One of the city's latest commercial endeavors is the Pavilion at Port Orange, an upscale 525,000 sq. ft. open-air marketplace with dining, shopping and entertainment.
The Parks and Recreation Department's renovated Adult Activity Center has a good selection of classes, including ballroom dancing and painting. The Port Orange YMCA offers lifelong learning classes and social groups for older adults, and the Port Orange Senior Center has a variety of activities and programs. The Volusia County Library System has a branch library here and offers internet/computer classes, clubs and movies, etc. Three golf courses have a Port Orange address.
One of largest festivals in Volusia County is October's Family Days. March's Spring Fair has a carnival. The large Port Orange Art Fest happens every April, as does the Lakeside Jazz Festival, which attracts big crowds and dozens of performers.
For amenities not found in Port Orange, such as a classic beach, a professional theater, a symphony, a ballet company and a planetarium, Daytona Beach is five miles up the road via the Port Orange bridge. And while Daytona Beach continues to attract rowdy Spring Break and Daytona International Speedway car racing crowds, most of these visitors do not venture into Port Orange.
Votran is the public transportation system and operates limited routes around the city (people age 65 or better ride for $.85). Beachside trolleys run from just north of Port Orange through Daytona Beach and up to Ormond Beach for people, primarily tourists, wanting to access the beach, waterfront shopping and dining venues. The nearest airport is in Daytona Beach and is serviced by most major airlines.
Halifax Health Medical Center of Port Orange has 80 beds and is accredited by the Joint Commission. It accepts Medicare patients. Daytona Beach has a VA outpatient clinic. The nearest VA medical center is in Gainesville, 108 miles away.
Summers are hot and humid with temperatures in the 80s and 90s. Winters are mild and slightly less humid with temperatures in the 50s, 60s, low-70s. On average, the area receives 49 inches of rain per year. The chance of a tornado is 50% greater than the national average. Hurricane Irma in September, 2017 caused some street flooding, power outages and downed trees.
Recommended as a Retirement Spot? Yes | Is Florida Tax-Friendly for Retirement? Yes
Port Orange is an inviting, well-maintained city that does not have a lot of the "noise" found in nearby Daytona Beach and is a spot to consider for retirement.
Named Pascua Florida by Juan Ponce De Leon, the Sunshine State did not enter the Union until March 3, 1845. Balmy mild winters began attracting snowbirds to the state in the late 19th century. Retirees continue to flock to the state. It's not hard to see why tourism has become the leading industry.
International trade and citrus are also major contributors to the state's economy. Eighty percent of the nation's oranges and grapefruits are grown here, and 40 percent of all U.S. exports to Latin America flow through Florida.
Florida's landscape includes uplands and coastal plains. It contains more than 11,000 miles of waterways and about 4,500 islands spread across 10 acres.
The state has 1,250 golf courses, more than any other state in the Union. The 47 mile Pinellas Trail is the longest urban trail on the east coast. Orlando theme parks attract more visitors than any other theme parks in the U.S. The only place in the world where alligators and crocodiles co-exist is in National Everglades Park.
Florida, particularly the Keys and the Gulf Coast, were struck by Category 4 Hurricane Irma in early September, 2017. Towns will rebuild, perhaps this time with climate change in mind, making them safer and better equipped to handle major hurricanes going forward.
Population - 20,612,439
Persons 65 years old and over - 20%
High school graduates, persons age 25+ - 87%
Bachelor's degree or higher, persons age 25+ - 27%
Persons of Hispanic or Latino origin - 24%
White persons, not Hispanic - 58%
Median household income - $47,525
Median home value - $159,900
Social Security taxed? No
Source: U.S. Census Bureau
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