Gulfport : Florida


What It Is Like to Retire in Gulfport

Located on the southwestern side of St. Petersburg is the small town of Gulfport.  The main business district is spread out along 22nd Ave, which is sprinkled with businesses, golf courses, modest homes, and developments of various sizes and aspirations. Beach Boulevard is a wide boulevard along a park that leads off to a smaller and somewhat charming district. Down this street you will find a handsome library, a quite large senior center, kitchey shops and restaurants, and at the end - The Gulfport Casino Ballroom, one of the busiest dance halls in Florida.  The Casino is built out over the harbor, where you will find boats bobbing on the bay and barrier islands in the distance. Radiating off in side streets are quiet and very modest homes. While Gulfport has none of the urban attractions of downtown St. Pete, it does offer a slower pace and less costly alternative that offers easy access to the city. Pasadena is a larger town to the west of Gulfport, and Treasure Island a more upscale community on the barrier island.


Where to Retire in Gulfport and Home Prices

There are some cute little neighborhoods down by the water, plus condominiums and a few developments more toward Pasadena. Zillow reports the median home value here to be $387,815 in mid-2022.


What Is Special about Gulfport

It's a very low key town with quite a bit of laid back, slightly down-at-the-heels charm.  The Casino is one of the best places in the country for dancing - many of its events are immediately sold out.  Its proximity to St. Petersburg and being an inexpensive community on the water are big pluses.  "Art Walk" is held a few nights every month which attracts locals and tourists. Street performers, artists and craftspeople create a relaxed cultured atmosphere near the beach.

What Is Not Special about Gulfport

Here is what a friend of ours, a frequent visitor to Gulfport, said about it: "I wouldn't retire there if it was last place on earth. Ocean andscenery is spectacular but if you are looking for stimulation you bad better be able to generate it yourself."  Editor's comment: Sounds a little bit harsh. We know hundreds, if not thousands, more that don't have the charm and infrastructure here.

Who Will Like Retirement in Gulfport

People looking for unpretentious charm who might have once been hippies might especially like Gulfport.

Local Economy Is Driven by

The Gulfport Casino is a big economic contributor.

Climate and Physical Environment

Gulfport is a small community on a large peninsula on Tampa Bay with St. Petersburg. This is about the furthest point north on Florida's west coast where the average January temperature is above 60 (the average Jan low is 54 and the high is 69).

Restaurants & Cultural Scene

There are some interesting, if funky, restaurants along Beach Boulevard.  The Casino is the big local cultural attraction, while nearby St. Pete offers a full panoply of cultural options. There is an active library and large and busy senior center in Gulfport. The Catherine A. Hickman Theatre provides live theatre for residents and tourists alike. Gulfport holds many festivals throughout the year.


Crime is about 15% higher in Gulfport than the national average.

Medical Facilities

Many hospitals are in this area, especially in St. Petersburg but also in Pasadena.


Several interstates run through the area. Amtrak is nearby, as are the very large airports in Clearwater/St. Petersburg and Tampa. Much of Gulfport is lowkey enough for walking and biking.

Valuable Links

City of Gulfport

Gulfport Casino Ballroom


What people are saying about Gulfport

Town Shores & Gulfport
Town Shores is a large over-55 community located in the picturesque village of Gulfport, which is adjacent to St. Petersburg\'s southwest neighborhoods. Built in the 1970\'s Town Shores incorporates 18 separate buildings (each with their own governing association) with about 1300 individual condominiums. Town Shores. It is nestled on the edge of Boca Ciega Bay which affords superb marine views for many its condominiums. Town shores of Gulfport offers all the amenities--and more----of other large complexes including a large central club house with an auditorium, billiard room, library, lounge, poker room, 2 bocce ball courts, 11 shuffleboard courts, 28 boat slips, 1 tennis court, and 4 heated pools. Units are moderately priced in a range as of mid-2015 from about $80,000 for a one bedroom, 1 bath with no special view to $280,000 2 bedroom, 2 bath unit with, to quote the MLS listing, \"breathtaking views.\" What makes Town Shores exceptionally appealing to many active retirees is its location near the center of the picturesque, artsy village of Gulfport. Beach Dr. is the main drag that offers varied dining establishments, galleries, and charming little shops--not to mention that the Gulfport 1930\'s style Casino and pier--is at the foot where Beach Dr. meets the edge of Boca Ciega Bay. Outdoor waterfront taverns--with a very diverse clientele-- are almost always busy. During the regular Art Walk held twice a month on Beach Dr. , one is likely to spot several local denizens wearing t-shirts or blouses emblazoned with a favorite local slogan, \"Keep Gulfport Weird\" What is scarce in Gulfport are big box stores or national chain stores of any type. There is a McDonald\'s, the only mass market fast food eatery in town, but it is located on Gulfport Blvd., a major thoroughfare some distance from Beach Dr. Gulfport started out as a fishing village on Boca Ciega Bay. Indeed, Gulfport still to combine the ambience of a sleepy Old Florida waterfront town with a hip artists haven, all with a unique laid-back atmosphere. Some have dubbed it \"Key West North\" but it is less touristy and far less expensive. Yet, just a few miles away are the more urban shopping, cultural events, healthcare facilities, and entertainment centers of St. Petersburg or South Pasadena immediately to the northwest of Gulfport.
Posted by Tony1branch on July 04, 2015
What is the rental scene here? Interested in either homes or apartments for rent and average cost of renting!
Posted by Mim Athome on July 25, 2013
Nice town
This comment came in from a Member: Adjacent to St. Petersburg, Gulfport has a beautiful waterfront on Boca Ciega Bay. It features a certain artistic, laidback flavor with several very friendly waterfront bars with an amazing mix of people and a lot of good restaurants. It is relatively affordable and includes Town Shores, a huge over-55 condo complex on the Bay.
Posted by topretirementseditor on September 07, 2012

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