On the bottom half of Florida lies a heavily leaning retirement town on the beach.
This spot in Florida hasn’t always been flush with people, though.
It wasn’t until the early 60s that Port St. Lucie became official.
When it started, there wasn’t anyone living within the borders.
Today, Port St. Lucie is the third most populated city in South Florida and the eighth biggest in the state.
So, what’s it like to live here full-time?
We’re going to go through the pros and cons of living in Port St. Lucie, FL.
- Pros of Living in Port St. Lucie, FL
- Cons of Living in Port St. Lucie, FL
- Pros and Cons of Living in Port St. Lucie, FL – Summary Table
- Port St. Lucie Safety Overview
- Frequently Asked Questions
Pros of Living in Port St. Lucie, FL
1. Quality of Life
Port St. Lucie is a very clean city with a front-row seat to the Atlantic Ocean.
From 1,001 reasons to get outside to take in scenic views, Lucie has a lot to offer.
This slower vibe of life does a lot for one’s mental health, too.
Being this far south and on the ocean means it’s warm all year but not overly hot.
At least, for most.
3. Outdoor Activities
Obviously, Port St. Lucie seaside but the outdoor fun doesn’t stop there.
In total, there are 40 places to play in nature across town.
That number consists of parks and recreation areas that are inviting to all.
You can go on hiking trails, relax by a body of water, go birdwatching, explore in a canoe, and much more.
4. Affordable Homes
Port St. Lucie may be a beach town, but that doesn’t mean it has the clout of other coastal Floridan spots.
Further down the coast to the south and even on the east coast, cities are so expensive to live in that prices are pushing out those native to the area.
The more a place is associated with a beach the more popular it grows.
With popularity comes unrealistic prices that are driven that high due to those coming from more expensive places, making them capable of outbidding others.
Fortunately, this is not the problem in Port St. Lucie.
For now, the city is more or less under the radar and wealthier individuals are still seeking out more well-known places to reside.
That makes the housing market still reasonable and attainable for many who live here or close by.
5. Top Notch Care
Something you may be able to thank the seniors for is the high-end medical care in Port St. Lucie.
The 77-square-mile area has seven hospitals with a wide range of capabilities.
Basically, no matter what’s going on in your body, there’s a good chance you will be taken care of.
Not needing to be transported to another city could be life-saving.
This is an attractive feature for anyone but also retirees who tend to need more diverse medical care.
6. Low Crime Rates
Violent crime in the US rates at 23, in Port St. Lucie the rate is 9.
Property crime is not quite as low, in comparison, but still 22 vs the national average of 35.
Essentially, criminals are more focused on bigger or more frequented cities than this one.
7. Healthy Economy
The average citizen of Port St. Lucie is more financially endowed than other cities.
When people are pouring that much money into the local economy, it flourishes.
Of course, that hasn’t been enough motivation to diversify food options, but that might have more to do with the demographics of those who live there.
Anyway, it’s a good time to own a shop in Port St. Lucie.
8. Retiree Hub
After all these pros, it’s probably not hard to imagine that Port St. Lucie is ranked one of the top beach towns to retire in.
As far as retirees go, there are plenty of perks to living here.
For one, the weather is great for people with certain health issues.
One such issue is arthritis.
Many move south to find warmer temperatures that are kinder on their joints.
If you’re moving south anyway, it might as well be to a place where the property prices are affordable.
Once in town, there are retiree groups that meet up and hang out.
Even in retirement, you’ll be far from board in Port St. Lucie.
Cons of Living in Port St. Lucie, FL
1. Cost of Living
Buying homes may be a possibility for many in Port St. Lucie but other aspects of living take a hit.
The most glaring of expenses is rent.
It’s probably easier to purchase a house than it is to rent one here.
Rent is well above the average for the region with no signs of getting any lower.
Utility bills are another high expense that most aren’t prepared for.
Just a short distance down the coast is the more frequented city of Fort Lauderdale.
Port St. Lucie is twice the size of Fort Lauderdale but for a place with much less tourism, Lucie has worse traffic.
That may seem strange but remember, it wasn’t that long ago that Port St. Lucie became a thing in the first place.
No one lived here, either.
Hard to plan for the future with a 0 population.
So, the roads didn’t account for a boom in locals and the issue hasn’t really been addressed by the county or city governments.
3. Property Taxes
To make the masses happy, the city of Port St. Lucie puts a lot of funds into infrastructure.
They may not be putting it into traffic solutions, but that’s another topic.
All that money to make the place look nice is driving up the property taxes.
Home prices may be reasonable but getting that tax bill in the mail might not feel as great as closing did.
4. No Downtown
This place has so much going on outside that there is no cumulative place to hang out that doesn’t have to do with nature.
Is it because Lucie is relatively new, in comparison to other cities in Florida?
Whatever the reason, there is no real downtown area.
With over 200k residents, it would be nice to have that spot with a main street full of shops, diners, and entertainment.
5. Lack of Jobs
If a lot of people in a location aren’t working, it’s unlikely there will be an abundance of jobs.
There aren’t big corporations headquartered in Port St. Lucie for exactly that reason.
A lot of the available jobs are lower pay roles, such as in restaurants or entertainment.
6. Nightlife Void
When there’s no downtown, nightlife might also be on the casualty list.
Could that be the natural flow of things when there’s such a high percentage of retirees?
It might be.
Why have a happening nightlife scene when no one is showing up?
The biggest nightlife in all of Florida is just south in Miami, anyway.
7. Natural Disasters
Yes, the weather is actually quite nice throughout the year.
However, with those warm temperatures by the ocean come natural disasters.
In the last two decades, the county has pinpointed 27 actual disasters.
Port St. Lucie’s risk score is 68%, far over average.
There’s also an increased risk of hurricanes and tropical storms.
So, if you move here, be aware that home insurance will be higher here than in other inland locations in advance of the inevitable natural disasters.
8. Limited Dining
There’s no downtown or nightlife.
That means there aren’t enough tourists to create these types of things to do.
With a limited influx of potential spenders, the dining options are also suffering.
If you’re hoping to live in a place where you can eat something completely unique each night, this is not the city you’re looking for.
Pros and Cons of Living in Port St. Lucie, FL – Summary Table
|Pros of Living in Port St. Lucie, FL
|Cons of Living in Port St. Lucie, FL
|1. Quality of Life
|1. Cost of Living
|3. Outdoor Activities
|3. Property Taxes
|4. Affordable Homes
|4. No Downtown
|5. Top Notch Care
|5. Lack of Jobs
|6. Low Crime Rates
|6. Nightlife Void
|7. Healthy Economy
|7. Natural Disasters
|8. Retiree Hub
|8. Limited Dining
Port St. Lucie Safety Overview
READ THE FULL REPORT: Port St. Lucie Safety ReviewSafety Index:
- OVERALL RISK: LOW
- TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK: LOW
- PICKPOCKETS RISK: LOW
- NATURAL DISASTERS RISK: MEDIUM
- MUGGING RISK: LOW
- TERRORISM RISK: LOW
- SCAMS RISK: LOW
- WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK: LOW
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Port St. Lucie known for?
If you’re a baseball fan, Port St. Lucie might have come into topics of conversation.
The reason is that the city avails itself as the second home of the New York Mets.
Clover Park is where the team goes for spring training.
The minor league team also plays here.
There’s a PGA golf club and village that’s open to the public.
If sports aren’t particularly what you had in mind, there are several other ways Port St. Lucie sticks out.
For instance, the parks and trails are gorgeous.
Honestly, the views are a lot of what keep people coming back and some making the move.
The abundance of things to do is a lot of the reason why word of mouth spreads about this Floridian hot spot.
What are the most popular things to do in Port St. Lucie?
Not surprisingly, there are lots of outdoor things to do.
Port St. Lucie Botanical Gardens is by a river of the same name.
So, not only do you get exposed to all the local flora and fauna, but you also get to take in the riverside views.
Savannas Preserve State Park is another place for tourists where canoes are used to explore the land.
Going here is a bit of an adventure on the water, in addition to the other stuff to see.
Oxbow Eco-Center is another place to take in nature.
Of course, there’s always going to the beach.
What about indoor activities?
It may be unexpected but the Treasure Coast Model Railroad Club is kind of a hit here, too.
There aren’t actually a ton of things to do indoors here.
The whole city is geared towards outdoor life.
How safe is it to live in Port St. Lucie?
Perhaps you thought that because it’s a wealthier area that maybe it would attract criminals to take advantage of the residents.
Fortunately, that doesn’t seem to be the case.
Port St. Lucie ranks as the 2nd safest place to live in the nation.
Yep, not just Florida or even the South.
Often, wealthier areas have a better police force and more resources for patrol.
Whether it’s more officers or a different vibe altogether, it would be a calm place to vacation, move to, or even raise a family.
Is Port St. Lucie a walkable city?
You’d think a beach town would be the type of place you could easily walk around to get where you need.
Unfortunately, that’s not the case here.
Lucie was built in a way where the homes are in one part and the places to go are in another.
If you plan to move here, you’ll need a car.
Thinking that you can still bicycle everywhere?
Well, there aren’t really bike lanes, either.
Is Port St. Lucie a wealthy area?
Technically, yes, the city is actually in a higher income bracket than the rest of the state and country, on average.
Over a quarter of residents have at least a bachelor’s degree and typically more residents with higher education equates to higher incomes.
It also makes sense when you consider how many retirees have flocked to Port St. Lucie since it was established.
Retirees bringing a lifetime of wealth to a place will make the overall wealth of a city rise.
Lucie may be wealthy, but luckily the housing prices have not followed suit.