The website Outside took on the task of finding the happiest towns in the US, and St. Petersburg was the only Florida city to make the list, which is quite the honor considering that it was limited to just 15 places.
So just what makes a happy town? Among other factors, Outside looked at ample outdoor access for all, affordability, a safe environment, diversity, and freedom for residents to be who they are.
Here’s how St. Pete stacked up:
Median Home Price: $430,000
Median Rental Price: $2,220
Percentage Parkland: 14
Percentage of Residents Who Live Within a Ten-Minute Walk of a Park: 77
Walk Score: 43
Bike Score: 90
Municipal Equality Index Score: 100
Demographics: 64% white; 21% Black; 8% Latino; 7% other
Outside praised St. Pete for its 244 miles of shoreline and the ability to get outdoors year-round, thanks to its warm and sunny climate. Just take a drive around, and you’ll see paddle boarders in the bay, volleyball players at the beaches, and people rollerblading, biking, and fishing on the piers.
There are professional football, baseball, and hockey teams in the Tampa Bay area for sports fans. The city is also rich in culture with murals, museums, and multiple arts districts, plus the African American Heritage Trail that explores the city’s Black history.
Even though St. Pete has a lot going for it, Outside mentioned the state’s recent laws that have affected the LGBTQ community as an area that needs improvement. That said, the city has a large LGBTQ community, and is considered inclusive and welcoming. Also, anyone planning to move to St. Pete should take into consideration the area’s susceptibility to hurricanes, and the recent increase in housing prices.
These are the other cities that made the list:
New Orleans, Louisiana
Hood River, Oregon
Glenwood Springs, Colorado