Florida Suncoast

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For other uses, see Suncoast (disambiguation).
Location of Florida's Suncoast

The Florida Suncoast is a colloquial name for the west-central and southwest peninsular Florida coastal area. This region is also referred to as the Sun Coast.

According to a February 2, 1986 article in the Lakeland Ledger, the phrase was coined in 1952 by St. Petersburg, Florida mayor Samuel G. Johnson to refer to a 10 county area between Tarpon Springs to the north, and Naples to the south. That same article states that many communities in the area do not consider themselves to be a part of the area, preferring terms such as "Lee Island Coast" or "Shell Coast."

Originally known as the Pirate Coast, the region contains miles of prime beaches and sunny days from early December through the following May and very few totally cloudy days. South of Naples is the Everglades and north of Tarpon Springs, the coast has isolated beaches, with very few roads and mangrove swamps to the Gulf's edge and is known as the Nature Coast.

Large counties in the Florida Suncoast include the following: Pinellas; Hillsborough, including the Tampa Bay Area; Manatee; and Sarasota.

It includes the well-known coastal cities of Saint Petersburg, Clearwater, Largo, Tampa, Brandon, Ruskin, Bradenton, Sarasota, Punta Gorda, Englewood, Cape Coral, Fort Myers Beach, Venice, and Naples. Three of the Suncoast beaches have been named in the top 10 of the United States: Caladesi Beach, Desoto Beach, and Siesta Key Beach in Sarasota.

This part of Florida has traditionally been associated with a large population of Midwestern retirees and so-called "snow-birds" who are traditionally retirees from northern states who relocate to the Sun Coast for the winter months.

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