LAND O’ LAKES, FL — Residents of Central Pasco County have long known the area is special. Now, the whole country does, too.
Money Magazine has released its annual list of Best Places to Live, with three Florida communities making the Top 50 ranking. Central Pasco came in 45th overall. Other Florida towns on the list are Weston at number eight and Wellington at number 36.
The coveted list is carefully compiled, with 60 factors analyzed, including taxes, education, jobs, home affordability and health care.
Topping the list this year is Columbia, Maryland, a planned community with home prices just over $300,000. Rounding out the top five are Eden Prairie, Minnesota; Plano, Texas; West Des Moines, Iowa and Parsippany-Troy Hills, New Jersey.
As for Central Pasco’s inclusion on the list, Money noted the region’s outdoor spaces, lakes and parks, the availability of jobs and relatively low living expenses. The Pasco County school district was also called out as a point of pride.
“Central Pasco’s school system, with 67,000 students, takes advantage of its proximity to high-tech jobs,” Money wrote. “The Aerospace Career Academy at Sunlake High School, for example, helps students get work experience in fields such as aviation, space and engineering.”
The writers were quick to point out that Pasco County is also home to a large naturist population. “There are more clothing-optional resorts in Land O’ Lakes, a community in Central Pasco, than anywhere in the country, according to the local chamber of commerce. No other place on our list can claim that!”