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A Nature Lover’s Dream: Relocating to Florida’s Nature Coast

Florida's Nature Coast on the Gulf side of the state

Dream Big

What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think about Florida lifestyles?

You’re likely thinking beaches, perfect weather, and spectacular theme parks. While those are all good and valid reasons for spending your retirement in Florida, Florida’s Nature Coast on the Gulf side of the state, offers another side to the Sunshine State. It’s where you’ll find nature’s varied palette, one full of adventure, wildlife, color, and outdoor opportunities.

A Storied History

The rich history of Florida’s Nature Coast is still available for exploration. As can be seen on maps and in guides, Native American shell mounds and other ruins are speckled across state and local parks throughout the region.

Likewise, in nearby towns and cities, you can step back in time, once again, when exploring Antebellum-era homes. 

The Rails to Trails Program

Many of these 18th century mansions have been transformed into museums, and are now full of historical treasures that delight tourists and residents alike.

An Abundance of Trails

Trails carve through the Nature Coast, connecting a plethora of State and National Parks. The Rails to Trails program, intended to repurpose defunct railroad tracks, has expanded the Florida trails system extensively.

Withlacoochee State Forest Trail BridgeTwo of the most popular trails in the area are the Nature Coast State Trail and the Withlacoochee State Forest Trail. Visitors can walk, jog, or take in the scenery on horseback. Both are ideal for cyclists as well. Rent a cabin at Fanning State Park (a bargain at $100 a night with two bedrooms and a full kitchen) or camp at nearby Manatee Springs State Park. Cycle along the gorgeous trails for a day or two to see a whole new side of Florida.

If you’re an avid canoe or kayak paddler, you’re in luck. The Suwannee, Waccasassa, or Withlacoochee rivers offer paddlers authenticity and raw beauty one may not have access to otherwise.

Rare Wildlife Species

While you’re traversing the trails of the Nature Coast, be on the lookout for one of 19 rare or endangered species. The number of wildlife sightings might surprise you.

West Indian Manatee

One of the most popular endangered species in the area, overall, is the West Indian Manatee. These graceful sea mammals migrate to the warm waters along the Nature Coast every winter. You can float alongside them through the springs surrounding the Crystal River in early spring.  Or, you can view them from dry land at Homosassa Springs State Wildlife Park.

Catch of the Day

The Nature Coast is widely considered the tarpon fishing capital of world.  So, naturally, charter boats buzz along the coast daily. And, early morning paddlers with their fishing rigs in tow, are perched in kayaks and canoes along the waterway. 

In addition to superior fishing opportunities, stone crabs and scallops are also plentiful along the Gulf. Whether you prefer to dive for scallops yourself, catch stone crab from a boat, or buy both from local vendors, fresh seafood is always in stock.

Plan a trip to the Nature Coast, but, please be warned. You’re quite likely to fall in love.

If you find yourself in this predicament, and you’re interested in exploring housing and community options in the area, head to the Villages of Citrus Hills. They offer the best of both worlds. 

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SweetBay

SweetBay

Panama City, Florida

Alongside more than five miles of bay-front shoreline in northwest Florida lies the perfect coastal community. A place where the best of nature meets the best of neighbors. A place where every square foot of your home, your neighborhood and your favorite gathering spot was overseen with masterful planning and architectural design. At SweetBay, we see things differently.
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Lakewood Ranch | Best Places to Live in Florida

Lakewood Ranch | Best Places to Live in Florida

Lakewood Ranch, Florida

At Lakewood Ranch, it's all about the good life. Health, family, and fun are the focus. And, there's an activity to fit every lifestyle. The community hosts 54 holes of golf, a country club with two clubhouses, and tennis and athletic centers. Additionally, it's home to the Sarasota Polo Club and seven world-class polo fields. Lake Ranch polo tournaments attract players from around the world. Still, the list continues with a 75-acre premier sports campus, A-rated schools, and a hospital and preventative medical clinic.
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Wycliffe Golf & Country Club - Florida Golf Community

Wycliffe Golf & Country Club - Florida Golf Community

Wellington, Florida

As a private equity community, home ownership is the key to living the fabulous Wycliffe lifestyle. Our gated residential community of 1,045 Mediterranean-style single-family homes, villas and condo residences is spread throughout 14 uniquely charming neighborhoods
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Plantation Bay Golf and Country Club — Florida Golf Communities

Plantation Bay Golf and Country Club — Florida Golf Communities

Ormond Beach, Florida

An abundance of sparkling new facilities take this prestigious private community to luxurious new heights, with two clubhouses, a magnificent 7,000-square-foot Spa and Fitness Center, 10 tennis courts and 45 holes of golf to challenge and delight players of all levels. Plantation Bay is the perfect place to get pampered, stay in shape and play, all right in your back yard.
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Cresswind at PGA Village Verano

Cresswind at PGA Village Verano

Port St. Lucie, Florida

Cresswind at PGA Village Verano is a 55+ gated neighborhood within the gates of PGA Village Verano. This new age-restricted neighborhood features four unique floorplans, exclusive to Cresswind at PGA Village Verano. Cresswind neighbors enjoy access to Club Talavera's amenities including a 27,000 sq. ft. Social Center and 13,000 sq. ft. Fitness Center, as well as its own neighborhood pool and pool house. The social clubs and full-time Lifestyle and Activities Director make it easy to try new activities along with meeting your neighbors and lifelong friends
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LakePark at Tradition - Florida 55+ Communities

LakePark at Tradition - Florida 55+ Communities

Port St. Lucie, Florida

This new age restricted community offers luxury single-family and villa homes in Port St. Lucie, one of the "Top 10 Best Places to Retire" in the U.S. according to Portfolio.com. Capturing the heart of small town America while offering resort-style amenities to create a maintenance-free, vacation inspired lifestyle.
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Villages of Citrus Hills - Florida Gated Communities

Villages of Citrus Hills - Florida Gated Communities

Hernando, Florida

Terra Vista is among Florida's most amenity rich country club lifestyles set in unique surroundings characterized by rolling hills and towering oaks.
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The Isles of Collier Preserve - Florida Gated Communities

The Isles of Collier Preserve - Florida Gated Communities

Naples, Florida

Nestled within a pristine natural setting just minutes from downtown Naples and the vibrant 5th Avenue shopping and dining district, Florida's preeminent homebuilder is creating a colorful update of classic coastal living. Inspired by the timeless architecture and traditions of Old Naples, elegant new Minto homes will overlook miles of scenic kayak and biking trails.
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Island in the Sun

Island in the Sun

Clearwater, Florida

Nestled in Clearwater, Florida, Island in the Sun 55+ Manufactured Home Community offers resort style living all year long. Our location is ideal because its a few minutes drive to breathtaking white sandy beaches, distinguished restaurants, exciting shopping centers and minor league baseball. With amenities designed around the active senior, you can stay fit while building life-long friendships. Take an invigorating swim or join friends for a dip in the spa. Meet up with your neighbors for a game of bocce ball, pickleball, shuffleboard or even a game of pool in our billiards room.
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West Villages Florida

West Villages Florida

Venice, Florida

Renaissance at West Villages is a vibrant new gated community in West Villages, Florida that offers new homes and resort-style amenities. Located in the fast-growing, master-planned community of West Villages, Renaissance offers new homes that will complement this beautiful Sarasota County area. Get ready to enjoy the Southwest Florida lifestyle and great weather all year long. Choose from an array of thoughtfully-designed Paired Villas and Single Family Homes with unique curb appeal. Amenities will include a clubhouse, pool, tennis, pickleball, bocce, full-time Activities Director and events, parks and more. You'll love living just minutes to Downtown Venice, award-winning beaches and I-75. Quick move-in homes are available.
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Amelia National Golf & Country Club - Florida Gated Golf Communities

Amelia National Golf & Country Club - Florida Gated Golf Communities

Fernandina Beach, Florida

Tom Fazio golf and country club affords golfing, tennis, resort-style swimming pool, snack-bar, lounge and fine dining, gym, walking trails and 24-hour manned and gated guardhouse. Three miles from Amelia Island, close to beaches, historic-district and marina.
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Encore at FishHawk Ranch by David Weekley Homes - Florida Master Planned Community

Encore at FishHawk Ranch by David Weekley Homes - Florida Master Planned Community

Lithia, Florida

Grab a workout buddy and hit the gym or satisfy your competitive side with a spirited game of bocce or pickle ball. Meet on the great lawn for yoga or lounge by the sparkling pool.
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One Particular Harbour - A Premier Minto Florida Community

One Particular Harbour - A Premier Minto Florida Community

Bradenton, Florida

One Particular Harbour marina and residences now available in the Tampa/Sarasota area in Florida. Overlooking beautiful Anna Maria Sound, this brand new, Margaritaville-inspired deepwater marina with direct, no-bridge access to the Gulf of Mexico is under construction and will offer the fun of a restaurant, entertainment, and more!
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Minto at TwinEagles

Minto at TwinEagles

Naples, Florida

Minto is proud to bring over a half-century of achievement to Naples by introducing magnificent single-family and estate home to the premier country club community of TwinEagles. Priced from the low $500s to over $1 million, these masterfully crafted residences are a sensational value. And that value is even more amazing once you discover that a golf membership is included in the price of every new Minto home!
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Del Webb Nocatee

Del Webb Nocatee

Ponte Vedra, Florida

Del Webb Nocatee is a 55+ Active Adult Community in Ponte Vedra FL. Experience the epitome of resort-style living while living near pristine beaches and world-class golf. There is always an activity within reach..
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