Overview of Palm Coast
Palm Coast is a city in Flagler County, Florida with a population of over 87,000 residents as of 2019 according to Go Toby. It was developed by ITT Community Development Corporation, originally incorporated in 1999 and became its own city in 2000.
The city has a unique history, being purpose-built as a planned community in 1969. Over the next several decades it grew rapidly from a small development to a mid-sized city. Palm Coast has a subtropical climate and terrain that consists of wetlands, marshes and hundreds of miles of intracoastal waterways. It’s located in east Central Florida along the Atlantic Coast, about 20 miles north of Daytona Beach.
Some key facts about Palm Coast:
– Incorporated as a city in 1999
-Estimated 87,000 residents as of 2019
-Located along the east coast of Florida
-Planned community developed by ITT Corporation
-Subtropical climate with wetlands, marshes and waterways
Lifestyle Preferences to Consider
When choosing where to live in Palm Coast, there are several lifestyle factors to take into account. Proximity to beaches is a top priority for many residents. Palm Coast has 20 miles of ocean shoreline, but direct beach access depends on your location. Northern sections like Palm Harbor have quick access to pristine beaches along the coastline. In South Palm Coast, it’s just a short drive to destinations like Beverly Beach. Central areas and those further inland require more of a drive to reach the oceanside.
Schools should also be a major consideration if you have children. According to the Palm Coast Retirement Guide, Flagler County is home to 16 public schools that have been recognized for excellence. The schools in Palm Coast have received an A rating from the Florida Department of Education. Some standout options include Buddy Taylor Middle School and Matanzas High School.
When evaluating amenities, pay attention to proximity to shopping, dining, parks and trails. In general, Palm Coast is designed with walkability in mind, but some neighborhoods like Town Center have greater access to amenities due to their central location and mixed-use development. Cost of living in Palm Coast is lower than the national average, which makes it attractive to retirees and families alike.
Taking lifestyle factors into account will help you determine the ideal Palm Coast section for your needs. Focus on beach access, schools, amenities and cost when making this important decision.
South Palm Coast
South Palm Coast is located south of State Road 100 and runs along the eastern coastline. It offers convenient beach access with neighborhoods like Hammock Dunes and Ocean Hammock located right on the Intracoastal Waterway. Many homes in South Palm Coast are located within walking or biking distance to the beach.
The area is home to Matanzas High School, which is part of the Flagler County Public School district. Matanzas High scores well on statewide assessments and offers many academic and extracurricular programs. There are also several private schools in the southern part of Palm Coast.
For shopping and dining, South Palm Coast residents can head to the Publix-anchored Island Walk Shopping Center or the Palm Coast Center plaza on State Road A1A. There are also many beachfront restaurants like 386 Palm Coast and Grill and Sea Captain’s House along with casual options like Mozzarella’s Italian Kitchen and Subway.
With its coastal setting, highly-rated schools, and easy access to shopping and dining, South Palm Coast appeals to those looking for a laidback beach lifestyle.
North Palm Coast
North Palm Coast is a popular area for homebuyers looking for affordability and convenience (Realtor.com). Located just north of State Road 100, it provides easy access to I-95 and major retailers like Walmart, Publix, Target, and Home Depot. Housing in North Palm Coast tends to be more affordable than areas further south. According to Realtor.com, the median listing price for homes is $325,000 as of February 2023 (Realtor.com). This is well below the median for Palm Coast as a whole.
Popular neighborhoods in North Palm Coast include Lake Forest North, Pine Lakes, and Seminole Woods. These communities offer single family homes, townhomes and condos nestled among scenic lakes and golf courses. They provide easy access to shopping, dining and entertainment along Palm Coast Parkway while maintaining a quiet suburban feel. For homebuyers prioritizing convenience and affordability, North Palm Coast delivers proximity to major roads and retailers without the price tag of areas further south.
West Palm Coast
West Palm Coast is known for its newer homes and neighborhoods located in the western part of the city (https://nextdoor.com/neighborhood/seminolewoodswest–palm-coast–fl/). Many families are drawn to West Palm Coast for its proximity to St. Johns Forest High School, which is one of the top ranked public high schools in the county.
Popular neighborhoods in West Palm Coast include Seminole Woods, Pine Lakes, and Matanzas Woods (https://www.neighborhoodscout.com/fl/palm-coast/palm-route). These communities feature amenities like swimming pools, tennis courts, walking trails, and parks. Lehigh Woods is another notable West Palm Coast neighborhood with moderately priced homes and good schools nearby.
Outdoor enthusiasts will appreciate the proximity to parks like Holland Park, Indian Trails Sports Complex, and Ralph Carter Park. The parks offer sports fields, playgrounds, dog parks, and wooded nature trails perfect for running, biking, or hiking.
Overall, West Palm Coast appeals to families seeking newer construction homes in safe, amenity-rich neighborhoods close to schools, parks, and recreation.
Central Palm Coast
Central Palm Coast contains some of the city’s most established neighborhoods and amenities (BetterBuyRealty). This area features beautiful homes and convenient access to shopping, dining, and entertainment options. Some highlights of Central Palm Coast include:
Town Center is located near the geographic center of Palm Coast, with palm tree-lined streets and lakefront views. Popular neighborhoods in this area include Pine Lakes, Belle Terre, and Matanzas Woods. Homes range from golf course properties to more modestly priced residences. Town Center is home to many community events and Central Park (TeamToFal).
Palm Coast’s City Walk is an outdoor shopping and dining complex with national retailers like Bed, Bath & Beyond along with local boutiques and eateries. The area aims to create a downtown vibe with regular community events like art fairs and summer concerts.
With its central location, proximity to shopping and recreation, and mature neighborhoods, Central Palm Coast offers convenience and established charm.
Schools and Education
Palm Coast has a mix of public, private, and charter school options across all grade levels. According to GreatSchools.org, the top-rated elementary schools in Palm Coast are St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic School, Imagine School at Town Center, and Palm Coast Christian Academy. The highest-ranked middle schools are Imagine School at Town Center, Matanzas High School, and Flagler Palm Coast High School. At the high school level, Matanzas High School and Flagler Palm Coast High School received the best ratings.
In terms of test scores, Flagler County schools generally score above state averages on Florida’s standardized assessments. For example, the percentage of Flagler County 3rd graders scoring satisfactorily on FSA ELA assessments was 58% compared to 54% statewide in 2021. On FSA Math assessments, 60% of Flagler County 3rd graders scored satisfactorily compared to 56% statewide.
Flagler County public schools offer a range of academic and extracurricular programs. Matanzas High School is home to an International Baccalaureate program, while Flagler Palm Coast High has an Academy of Business & Finance. All traditional public schools provide athletics, clubs, and electives like arts, music, and world languages.
When considering where to live, examining crime rates is an important factor. According to NeighborhoodScout, Palm Coast’s crime rate is lower than approximately 63% of Florida communities. However, crime can vary greatly between neighborhoods.
In general, Palm Coast is considered a relatively safe city. The total crime rate in Palm Coast is 24 crimes per 1,000 residents, compared to the national average of 32 per 1,000. Violent crime in particular is low, with only 2 violent crimes per 1,000 residents. This is significantly lower than the national average of 4 per 1,000. Property crime, including burglary, larceny, and auto theft, is more common but still below average at 20 incidents per 1,000 residents compared to 23 nationally.
Some of the safest neighborhoods in Palm Coast based on crime rates are Palm Harbor, Cypress Knoll, and Lakeside. These areas have very low violent and property crime rates compared to the rest of the city. When choosing a place to live in Palm Coast, be sure to research crime statistics for specific neighborhoods.
Outdoor Recreation in Palm Coast
Palm Coast is known for its abundance of parks and outdoor recreational opportunities. The city manages over 3,000 acres of parkland, including playgrounds, sports fields, dog parks, nature trails, and waterfront access.
Some of the most popular parks include Holland Park with its picturesque lake and walking trail, Ralph Carter Park featuring a skate park and disc golf course, and James F. Holland Memorial Park with its fishing pier and boat ramp on the Intracoastal Waterway.
For nature lovers, there are several preserves to explore like the Lehigh Trailhead and Bulow Creek State Park. Campers can pitch a tent at Princess Place Preserve or go beach camping on Anastasia Island.
In addition to land activities, the area offers abundant fishing and boating opportunities. Saltwater fishing is popular along the Intracoastal Waterway, at the Flagler Beach Pier, and in the waters of the Atlantic Ocean. Freshwater anglers can cast a line at several lakes and ponds within the city parks.
With so many ways to enjoy the great outdoors, Palm Coast is a recreational paradise for nature enthusiasts, boaters, anglers, campers, and anyone who loves adventure.
Job Market and Economy
Palm Coast has a diversified economy with major employment in sectors like healthcare, retail, construction, and hospitality (Economic Development City Of Palm Coast). Some of the top employers in Palm Coast include Halifax Health Medical Center, Publix Super Markets, Palm Coast Data LLC, and the Flagler County School District.
The median household income in Palm Coast is $53,939, which is slightly higher than the statewide median of $53,267 according to Census data. Housing costs are quite affordable in Palm Coast compared to other parts of Florida. The median home value is around $210,000 and median rent is $1,148 per month (Palm Coast). This makes Palm Coast an attractive option for families and retirees looking for a high quality of life without as high of a cost of living.
While the economy took a hit during the housing crisis last decade, Palm Coast has bounced back with steady population and job growth in recent years. Unemployment is low at around 3-4%, indicating a strong job market. With its business-friendly environment, skilled workforce, and expanding sectors like healthcare and technology, the economic outlook for Palm Coast remains positive.