The Pros And Cons Of Living In Port St. Lucie, Florida

Are you thinking about moving to Port St. Lucie and want to know what it’s all about? In this episode of Haigh Haigh Today, I’m going to give you the pros and cons of living here in Port St. Lucie, Florida. I'm also going to give you the top three reasons you’ll want to consider moving here so you can see if this area is right for you.

Leisure And Adventure Activities

The first reason you want to consider moving to Port St. Lucie is the access to leisure and adventure activities—and there are plenty of them. You’ll find everything from golf, tennis, and pickleball to kayaking, paddleboarding, and fishing. We’re going to focus on my top three favorite activities, starting with golf.

Top-Shelf Golf Courses

Port St. Lucie has great access to top-shelf golf courses. My number one choice is PGA Village, which features three world-class golf courses that are owned and run by the PGA of America. These include the Dye Course, the Wanamaker Course, and the Ryder Course. These are all world-class golf courses that are really accessible to all the people that live in Port St. Lucie, as you're not more than a 30-minute drive away. They also have a world-class practice facility.

My second-favorite golf course is Fairwinds Golf Course, which is a little off the beaten path in Fort Pierce. One of the things that I love about Fairwinds is there are no homes in the entire course. You really get a feel for nature while you're out there. It’s a great value and a great golf course.

The third golf course that's one of my favorites is The Saints. There are 14 public golf courses in St. Lucie County, and The Saints is run by the city of Port St. Lucie. It used to have a sister golf course called The Sinners, though The Saints is now the only one. It’s centrally located, a great value, and is a wide-open course that allows for some great scores—even if you’re not that great of a golfer.

Fishing

The second main activity that you can enjoy in Port St. Lucie is fishing. Stuart, which is just a little further south of Port St. Lucie, is the sailfish capital of the world. Move just a little farther north into Port St. Lucie County and you have incredible fishing right here. The turquoise waters of the Fort Pierce Inlet, for example, accommodate very large boats, giving you all the depth you need.  

You’ll find incredible inshore and offshore fishing in St. Lucie County, allowing you to catch everything from Mahi-mahi, tuna, and snook to cobia to flounder, grouper, and more. One of the reasons that the fishing is so great is the Gulf Stream, which flows along the southeast portion of Florida. This flow of water is a lot warmer, creating a temperature gradient that gets all kinds of different species of fish closer to shore.

Here in Port St. Lucie, you only have to travel 15-20 minutes to find good fishing. Additionally, the Bahamas are just an hour and a half boat ride away. There, you can experience some of the best fishing and diving. You can find conch, lobster, tuna, Mahi-mahi, and more, all in a day’s trip.

Recreational Activities

Another reason to consider moving to Port St. Lucie is the access to biking, hiking, nature walking, and other recreational activities. My top three parks and recreation areas in St. Lucie County are Savannas Preserve State Park, Halpatiokee Regional Park, and the Oxbow Eco-Center. First, let’s talk about the Savannas Preserve State Park.

The cool thing about Savannas Preserve is that it's located right off of Walton Road, which is very accessible to the eastern side of St. Lucie County. Savannas Preserve State Park has 10 miles of coastal reserve, giving you a little feel of the Everglades. A big deal down here in Florida, the Everglades is a wetland reserve. You can go kayaking there, hiking, and bird watching as well.

The second park you should check out is Halpatiokee Regional Park, located closer to the southwest section of Port St. Lucie. Here you’ll find more mountain biking and hiking trails, allowing you to enjoy the natural surroundings. They also have soccer fields, baseball fields, and more. The third park you should visit is the Oxbow Eco-Center, encompassing 225 acres of preserve and 3.5 miles of mountain biking and hiking trails.

At the Eco-Center, you can learn about the flora and fauna that live here in South Florida. They even have some animals that are taxidermied, giving you an idea of how large these animals are and what they look like up close.

International Airports

The second reason you’ll want to consider moving to Port St. Lucie is the access to international airports. We have four international airports that are within a one to two-hour drive, depending on where you live in Port St. Lucie. If you live in northern Port St. Lucie, you have Orlando International Airport that's an hour and 15-minute drive. From there, you can fly anywhere in the world.

You’re also only two hours to West Palm International, my personal favorite. While it’s a bit of a smaller hub, it's very easy to fly in and out of West Palm International. A little bit further south is Fort Lauderdale, which also has an international airport. From most areas of Port St. Lucie, it's going to take you about an hour and a half to two hours, depending on traffic.

The fourth airport is in Miami. If you're flying to Europe or Asia and don’t want a connecting flight, Miami and Orlando offer direct flights to those areas. Having four international airports within a one to two-hour drive is one of the really incredible reasons to live in Port St. Lucie.

World-Class Beaches

The third reason that you want to consider moving to Port St. Lucie is the access to our incredible world-class beaches. We have eight main ones, with all kinds of little ones off of them. Additionally, these are all public beaches, so you don't have to pay to go to the beach.

Believe it or not, there are a lot of places in Florida where you're going to have to find a parking spot, park your car, and put money in a meter while you're laying on the beach. This is not going to happen to you at all in St. Lucie County. While you might have to hunt around a little bit for a parking lot depending on the beach that you go to, you have incredible beaches to enjoy. Let’s look at the top three, starting with Walton Rocks.

Walton Rocks

I have a little dog named Bruiser, and he loves Walton Rocks. He lights up like a Christmas Tree when he gets to this off-leash dog beach. All the dogs are just running in the outdoors, with fresh sea air and water crashing in.

It's also not crowded at all, which makes Walton Beach one of my favorites. You just have dogs and people coming together and enjoying each other. Bruiser and I highly recommend Walton Rocks.

Waveland

My second favorite beach is Waveland, located a little south of Walton Rocks. The great thing about Waveland is it has a lifeguard, which not all public beaches in St. Lucie County do. This is especially nice if you have a kid or are concerned about rip currents. Waveland also has very easy access and is a beautiful beach.

South Beach Park

My third favorite is South Beach Park, located up near Fort Pierce. One of the things that I really love about South Beach Park is that the further north you go, the more turquoise the water gets. South Beach Park is right in the middle of that turquoise water.

You can watch the boats coming in while being within walking distance of Downtown Fort Pierce. People bike and run up and down the beach, and there's a lot of activity. Also, this isn’t to be confused with South Beach in Miami. South Beach Park by Fort Pierce is definitely one of my favorite beaches, so make sure you check it out.

The Cons

Of course, with all of the pros of living in Port St. Lucie, there are bound to be some cons. Let’s look at some of the not-so-great things about living here so you can make the best decision, starting with the lifestyle.

Quiet Living

I’m going to be honest: the number one con of living here is that it’s a little quiet. Port St. Lucie is on the ARP’s list of top 10 counties to live in in the United States. Part of the reason that retirees want to move here is that it's quiet.

That being said, there's plenty of shopping and things to do. But if you’re into nightlife, Port St. Lucie is probably not for you. When I mean quiet, I don't mean crickets. However, I do mean that the streets are going to quiet down around 11 p.m. There's plenty to do before that, but there isn't that party lifestyle you're going to get closer to West Palm, Fort Lauderdale, and Miami—though these cities are only an hour away.

Dining Options

The second con of living in Port St. Lucie is that you’re probably not going to find absolute fine dining just around the corner. If you go to West Palm, Fort Lauderdale, or Miami, you're going to be within 10 minutes of an amazing restaurant. Because there's so much density, you can get Indian, Mediterranean, Greek, or Italian within a few minutes.

Port St. Lucie doesn't really have that density. It’s kind of got the “early bird special” retiree lifestyle, which is fine. But if you're looking for a fine dining experience within 10 or 15 minutes, you should probably go south to Stuart for some incredible restaurants. It’s not that Port St. Lucie’s food is bad, it’s just not a Michelin five-star experience.

There is one caveat to this: Kyle G’s. This beautiful oceanfront restaurant provides seafood on the beach in southeast St. Lucie County. To get there, though, you're going to have to drive a little bit further out. Kyle did open up another restaurant called Oak and Ember, which is located in St. Lucie County. It offers delicious farm-to-table food with great service at a great price.

Driving Times

The third con of living in Port St. Lucie is that it’s a little spread out. Port St. Lucie is a very rural county; it's not super urban like West Palm and Fort Lauderdale. If you're looking for that downtown area that you can walk down to, you might want to consider living in Tradition—a master-planned community with its own small downtown area.

Ultimately, the county is very spread out. This means you're probably going to have to get into the car and drive. While it’s not going to take you two hours, expect to drive 20-30 minutes to get to a golf course or the Halpatiokee Regional Park. After all, if you want to enjoy a park that's got 225 acres, you can’t expect it to be right in the middle of a city.

So if you're looking for access where you can just walk to things easily, Port St. Lucie might not be for you.

Make Port St. Lucie Home

I hope that this video gave you some really good insight into the top three reasons to consider moving to Port St. Lucie. I hope it also gave you the top three reasons to consider that maybe this area isn't for you. If you have any questions on Port St. Lucie or the Treasure Coast or want suggestions on dining and leisure activities, feel free to reach out to me and I’ll be happy to help.

Don’t forget to subscribe to my channel so you never miss an episode of Haigh Haigh Today, my show dedicated to all things Treasure Coast. Stay tuned to see what I feature next!

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