Fall 2003 Travel Magazine

Fall 2003 Travel - 50 & Beyond Magazine
10 Great Retirement Towns

Dade City Florida listed in the 10 great retirement towns in the US.

This rural community about 45 minutes north of Tampa Bay is not your typical Florida scene. There are no beaches, and few palm trees. Instead, the Pasco County countryside has rolling hills, citrus groves and ranches.

Its appeal to retirees lies in its friendly, small-town atmosphere. Traffic is light, and the town is off the beaten track for vacationers. Dade City is quaint, with an old-fashioned Main Street and downtown filled with canopied oaks, nice restaurants and shops.

Of the 99 cities and towns profiled by Richard and Betty Fox in "Where to Retire in Florida," Dade City is one of only seven places to receive a top five-star rating from each of the authors. This town also was recognized as a Tree City USA by the National Arbor Day Foundation, a nonprofit educational organization dedicated to environmental stewardship.

One of Florida's first Rails to Trails programs created a 47-mile linear park on a former railroad right-of-way that stretches from Citrus Springs to Dade City. The Withlacoochee State Trail is a great place to walk, jog. bike or horseback ride. Dade City's social calendar keeps people busy with everything from quilt and antique shows to bluegrass festivals, Seminole War battle reenactments and sporting events.

Affordable housing can be found in manufactured-home communities such as Southfork, (352) 523-0022, an active-adult development about five miles from downtown.

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