Dade City, Florida
With an imposing, historic white-topped courthouse anchoring the downtown, Dade City is in many ways a quintessential Florida small-town. It has a population of about 7,000 people and has an easy going, rural ambiance, reminiscent of the way Florida is to be. History plays an important part in Dade City’s sense of community, and it has an appreciation for its past. The cost-of-living is 12% below the national average, and housing is affordable, with the median home price approximately $125,000. Of the residents, 40% are age 45 or better.
Dade City has been growing and is is located roughly halfway between Orlando and Tampa. It has a cute downtown with, and in addition to the Old Pasco County Courthouse, has restaurants, art galleries and antique stores.
Festivals play a large part in the city’s way of life, with the Kumquat Festival taking the prize as probably the biggest and the best. It attracts close to 40,000 people each year, all of whom come to enjoy dancing music and lots of good food. This part of Florida is also known for its horse culture, and outside of town horse races and competitions are common.
Pasco Regional Medical Center is a 120-bed acute care hospital and is ranked among the top 5% of hospitals in the nation for general surgery. It is fully accredited by the Joint Commission and was named among the Top 100 Hospitals in the nation in 1997 and 2003. Medicaid and Medicare patients are accepted.
The sun shines upon Dade City 245 days of the year. It is hot in the summer (temperatures in the 90s) and mild in the winter (temperatures in the 50s and 60s). There is no snow but it does rain a lot, particularly in the summer. Spring is quite beautiful, with camellias, azaleas and magnolias in bloom.
Unfortunately, Dade City has a very high crime rate, well above the national average. It also has a high tornado risk, nearly 130% above the national average.
Dade City has a lot going for it, including certain charm not found in other small Florida towns. The high crime rate, however, is worrisome and should be definitely considered when thinking about Dade City for retirement.