St. Petersburg Is One of the 15 Happiest Places in the US

Shutterstock/Garrett Brown

By Crystal Harlan

September 26, 2023

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:

Population: 261,256
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: 

Reno, Nevada
Wilmington, Delaware
New Orleans, Louisiana
Cincinnati, Ohio
Charlottesville, Virginia
Hood River, Oregon
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Glenwood Springs, Colorado
Harribsurg, Pennsylvania
Plano, Texas
Anchorage Alaska
Madison, Wisconsin
Frederick, Maryland
Tacoma Washington

RELATED: 10 Small Towns in Florida That You Must Visit



  • Crystal Harlan

    Crystal is a bilingual editor and writer with over 20 years of experience in digital and print media. She is currently based in Florida, but has lived in small towns in the Midwest, Caracas, New York City, and Madrid, where she earned her MA in Spanish literature.



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