The Florida Suncoast is a colloquial name for the west-central and southwest peninsular Florida coastal area between Tarpon Springs to the north, and Naples to the south, and includes the Tampa Bay Area. This region is sometimes also referred to as the Sun Coast. Originally known as the Pirate Coast, the region actually contains miles and miles of prime beaches and sunny days from early December through the following May and very few totally cloudy days.
It is a huge retirement area, attracting hundreds of thousands of retirees. 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. 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.
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. Much of Manatee and Sarasota Counties has had long a reputation for being the main sleepy haven for the elderly. This is not the case with the Tampa Bay area (especially Pinellas and south Hillsborough Counties) which have a substantial, active year round population, the latter being known for its strong support of the arts.
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