What's it like to live in Port St. Lucie, FL?


Jennifer Bryant

Profile written by local expert:

Jennifer Bryant

Port St. Lucie is nestled along Florida's Treasure Coast, along the state's southeast side, about halfway between Miami and Orlando. Port St. Lucie has a more relaxed atmosphere than its larger neighbors. Its clean streets and quiet neighborhoods are woven around scenic waterways and lush green golf courses. Homes in the area are affordable to buy or rent, especially compared with other South Florida housing markets. However, this may quickly change as Port St. Lucie's popularity rises and it readies for a major building boom over the next several years.

The St. Lucie River, a valuable resource to the community, is used by residents for boating and fishing. Recently, area waterways have seen a rise in occasional toxic algae blooms. Monitoring discharges into the river and storm water runoff has been the subject of much debate. New residents will want to keep an eye on the news in the warmer months to make sure waters are safe to enjoy.

Port St. Lucie's natural side is strengthened by its world-class amenities. The New York Mets play spring training games at Tradition Field, and Port St. Lucie is home to the PGA Center for Golf Learning and Performance, as well as an all-inclusive resort on the St. Lucie River, which is accessible to residents for dinner and entertainment.

Rankings

U.S. News analyzed 125 metro areas in the United States to find the best places to live based on quality of life and the job market in each metro area, as well as the value of living there and people's desire to live there.

Port St. Lucie, Florida is ranked:

#79 in Best Places to Live

6.3

Overall

Scorecard

Best Places to Live

  • Desirability
    8.0
  • Value
    4.3
  • Job Market
    5.8
  • Quality of Life
    6.7
  • Net Migration
    9.0

Read how we rank places

Port St. Lucie, FL Quick Stats

  • 446,728

    Metro Population

  • $41,120

    Average Annual Salary

  • N/A

    Avg High/Low Temps

  • 46.9

    Median Age

  • $179,058

    Median Home Price

  • N/A

    AVG Annual Rainfall

  • 4.6%

    Unemployment Rate

  • $1,015

    Median Monthly Rent

  • 27.1 minutes

    Avg Commute Time

What's the cost of living in Port St. Lucie, FL?

New residents will notice that groceries and dining out are slightly more expensive than in other parts of central and northern Florida; however, the overall cost of living is lower than other similarly sized metro areas.

Value Index

Index Score: 4.3 /10

How we calculate this.


Port St. Lucie offers a lower value than similarly sized metro areas when you compare housing costs to median household income.

Housing Costs this Year


Port St. Lucie
$179,058

USA
$222,408

Housing Costs Over Time

Data sourced from Zillow median home sale price data series. Additional data provided by the Austin Board of Realtors, Houston Association of Realtors, Intermountain MLS, Omaha Area Board of Realtors, San Antonio Board of Realtors, and the Salt Lake Board of Realtors.

Buying or selling a home? Find top real estate agents in Port St. Lucie, FL.

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What's the weather like in Port St. Lucie, FL?

The Port St. Lucie climate is subtropical, meaning locals can sport sandals nearly all year. Residents should be watchful of the weather during hurricane season, which stretches from June through November. Storms formed in the Atlantic Ocean occasionally mark a path toward the Treasure Coast. There are a handful of late summer days with extremely high temperatures. Outdoor activities on these days are safest enjoyed early in the day or after the sun sets. 

What's the best way to get around Port St. Lucie, FL?

A car is the best transportation option in Port St. Lucie. Individual neighborhoods are often walkable, with homes, schools and shops clustered together. But neighborhoods are not within walking distance of one another. An exception is the planned community of Tradition, where there are many residential neighborhoods within walking and biking distance to major retail shopping and restaurants. It is common to see golf cart parking at grocery shops. These mini vehicles are popular in subdivisions, especially those built around golf courses.

For those without a car, there are bus lines available in the area. The regularly scheduled Treasure Coast Connector operates several routes connecting central Port St. Lucie with nearby Fort Pierce and Jensen Beach, home to the area's shopping mall. Its Port St. Lucie Downtown Trolley brings passengers to the St. Lucie Medical Center.

Major Florida destinations are easily accessible using Interstate 95 and Florida's Turnpike. For those traveling further afield, the closest airport is Palm Beach International Airport, approximately one hour from Port St. Lucie. Additional flights are offered at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport and Orlando International Airport, each a less than a two-hour drive from Port St. Lucie.

Commuting in Port St. Lucie, FL

Means of Transportation
Driving
90%
Above national average

Bicycling
1%
Equal to national average

Walking
1%
Equal to national average

Public Transit
0%
Below national average
Average Commute Time

27.1 minutes

1.0 minutes more than national average

Average Commute Times by Zip Code

Data sourced from the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey.

Who lives in Port St. Lucie, FL?

Retirees are drawn to Port St. Lucie's warm climate, low cost of living, access to waterways and abundance of quality medical facilities. And the region's high-quality schools and low crime rate also attract families.

Age Distribution

Marital Status Breakdown


About the same number of single people in Port St. Lucie as national average

Data sourced from the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey.

What is there to do in Port St. Lucie, FL?

The St. Lucie River and nearby Atlantic Coast beaches make exploring the outdoors one of the region's most popular pastimes. Boaters will find several well-maintained and uncrowded boat ramps within the metro area. The docks at Sewalls Point on the St. Lucie River is a year-round fishing hot spot. Hiking trails can be found at the Oxbow Eco-Center and Savannas Preserve State Park. The Port St. Lucie Botanical Gardens, tucked beside the St. Lucie River, is another excellent outdoor attraction with regularly scheduled programs for families, as well as jazz nights for adults.

The Port St. Lucie Civic Center is a hub for activity: Retirees who come for a game of racquet ball cross paths with the preschool crowd enjoying a playgroup. Port St. Lucie also hosts a number of annual festivals, most of which take place between November and February when the weather is cool. Oktoberfest, the Festival of Lights and many other celebrations are held on the Village Square, a public plaza in front of the Civic Center. Another place people gather for special events is Tradition Square, where the annual Italian Festival, semimonthly Food Truck Invasion and New Year's Eve celebration and fireworks take place.

The New York Mets come to town for spring training each year, and residents can cheer on the home minor league team, the St. Lucie Mets, from April to September. Club Med Sandpiper Bay, an all-inclusive resort on the St. Lucie River, gives locals the chance to escape, offering day and evening passes granting access to the spa, restaurants, entertainment, swimming pools, paddle boarding on the river and kids' activities.

The PGA Village features courses designed by Tom Fazio and Pete Dye. There are also several more affordable courses located in Port St. Lucie, and the weather allows golfers to play year-round.