Incorporated in 1959, the city was originally called North Port Charlotte. Starting with only 23 residents, the population exceeds 60,000 residents who are happy to call North Port home. In the early years, people flocked to the area in large numbers even though it was necessary then to travel to nearby Venice or Port Charlotte for food, clothing, banks and other consumer goods and services. Now, everything that you could need can be found within North Port.
The arts have historically been very important here and the North Port Chorale formed in 1980 and the Concert Orchestra in 1983, with the North Port Concert Band following soon after. These three groups make up the North Port Performing Arts Association. A full season of concerts by these groups is presented to sold-out audiences at the Performing Arts Center, located at North Port High School. North Port also boasts a Kitchen Band, which was formed 50 years ago, and delights residents at many area functions. The visual arts also play a big role in North Part with many artists in residence whose work is featured in several galleries.
North Port has two golf courses and 144 miles of waterways for fishing and boating, some with direct access to the Myakka River - designated a Florida Wild and Scenic River by the state legislature in 1985. It is one of only two rivers in Florida to be recognized with this special status. Lovely Gulf Coast beaches can be reached in about 20 minutes, so no matter what you love for outdoor fun, you are sure to find it nearby.
The public school system is ranked best among Florida's 67 counties, with Sarasota County students ranking first in Florida in both mathematics and reading comprehension. An example of the importance put on education in North Port is the $55 million North Port High School, which offers exceptional music and performing arts programs. North Port High School utilizes a popular academy system within the school. Career academies are a method of grouping academic and elective courses into a school-within-a-school model that creates career paths for students. Career academies help to focus career goals for students and to connect learning to real-life experiences. The career academies at North Port High School are broad enough to appeal to all students and flexible in their design to enable students to visit other academies or to change from one academy to another.
North Port has been awarded Blue Chip Status by the Florida Department of Commerce. In addition to recognizing the labor force in North Port, the state acknowledges the city's access to training programs for that force, its generous supply of properly zoned land, its more than adequate utilities, and its desirable housing and quality of life. Residential construction is North Port's primary industry, with new housing permits being pulled at a rate of approximately 2,500 per year.
It has been growing recently, but North Port still sees itself as a small town, with an extremely active community. In addition to the activities of the performing arts groups, the Chamber, schools, churches and local service groups and organizations hold a variety of events throughout the year. The City of North Port cooperates with local organizations to sponsor a Christmas Poinsettia Parade and Block Party on the second Saturday in December. The parade features bands, floats, marching groups and many local participants, winding up at the Block Party at Dallas White Park. Each summer the Fourth of July Freedom Festival is a popular time for the community to come together. The full scale Independence Day celebration features a parade and of course fireworks.
North Port is conveniently located with easy access to three airports and close proximity to many area Gulf beaches, but is a city unto itself. Local cultural events abound, with an even larger variety only 40 minutes (Sarasota) to one hour (Fort Myers) away.
The semi-tropical climate and nearly perfect weather conditions lend themselves well to North Port's comfortable leisurely style of living. The annual average temperature of 76 degrees makes year-round living pleasurable. The average temperature during the winter months is 63 degrees, while the summertime average rises to 82 degrees. Vegetation is plentiful and even novice gardeners maintain beautiful lawns and flower gardens. The area's many canals and lakes are sources of pleasure for fishermen and boaters. Tippecanoe Bay in particular is a popular spot for water sports.
Of the many wonderful golf courses in the area is the Riverwood Golf Club, which is a southwest Florida course that outclasses the competition. This Golf Digest 4 1/2 star course is truly unique as a result of its design features, natural beauty and varying challenges. Heron Creek Golf and Country Club is South Sarasota County's Premier Country Club Community, featuring 27 holes of championship golf, an elegant clubhouse and wondrous views.
There are unlimited recreational opportunities and 1,000 acres of beautiful parks surrounding North Port where you can enjoy activities such as swimming, fishing, boating, golf and hiking. Cruise the Intercoastal Waterway or rent a boat for a day of deep-sea fishing. Explore the white sand beaches and other unique towns on Florida's central Gulf Coast, or take a day trip to Walt Disney World, just two hours east of North Port. North Port is also home to Florida's Warm Mineral Springs and Park. These springs produce nine million gallons daily and maintain a water-surface temperature of 87 degrees. Thousands of guests visit annually to experience the heavily mineralized, warm spring waters.
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