First impressions of Port St. Lucie

Whitney Joseph
Whitney Joseph

As the name of this column suggests, I am new in town. I moved here in mid-June with my partner and our faithful dog, Bailey. 

So far, we are loving Port St. Lucie. It’s a big change from Broward County, which is where I most recently put down roots. It’s also a far cry from Miami-Dade County, my native territory. The pace of life here is more relaxed, the people are more pleasant and the atmosphere is more “chill.” Though the climate is not. 

I’m very much looking forward to learning the ins and the outs of PSL, as I explore what is clearly a diverse and burgeoning locale. Doing so will be a process — like peeling an onion. 

So lovely it could be named after the many treasures it contains [though it’s actually named after sunken treasure ships], this area promises to provide much to discover. PSL is one of the most popular cities in the U.S., according to some of today’s top media: U.S. News and World Report ranked it the 63rd Best Place to Live in the U.S. in 2023 and the Second Safest Metro Area in the Country in 2022, while named it the 22nd Best Place to Retire that year. Suffice to say, PSL has much to offer.

I was already prepared to don my best driving gloves and dandiest straw hat to go explore my new city. Now I have a bonafide reason to do so: To report my findings back to you through the eyes of a newcomer. I believe it’s helpful to see things that one is accustomed to through fresh eyes — to gain new perspectives and different interpretations. Perhaps this column will do that; I sincerely hope so.

What follows are some things that have made the deepest impressions on me, in the few brief months that I’ve been in PSL. These are simply snippets of what comes to mind when I close my eyes and imagine my new hometown:


My yard is littered with them. 

I’m not complaining, nor is anyone on the receiving end of the dozens upon dozens of mangoes I’ve been doling out to make sure as few get wasted as possible.


Is it possible there are more of them here than anywhere else in the Sunshine State?


I can’t remember encountering so many friendly people in one place.


There are an awful lot of dogs here — more than anywhere else I’ve lived. That makes it my kind of city!


Well, they’re not technically Mounties, but I’ve noticed a heck of a lot of PSL police officers, St. Lucie County sheriff’s deputies and Florida state troopers here. That’s not a bad thing. They help protect residents while keeping local roadways and communities safe.


Whether it’s road repairs — and detours — or other infrastructure upgrades, PSL is keeping up with appearances [and functionality]. That will only help as the city continues to grow.


The city has a robust municipal structure and some really helpful government employees. As a new resident in need of resources and frequent advice, I appreciate those I’ve dealt with, including the County Clerk’s Office and the Department of Health. 

The Parks and Recreation Department seems especially dynamic, with a combined 40 parks and recreation centers in the city. 


Positioned near the Atlantic Ocean and along the St. Lucie River, PSL has a reputation as a fishing hot spot. I’ve even caught glimpses of fish skimming the water while in the car, so I can only imagine what I’ll see nearer the shoreline. My partner loves to fish and is anxiously awaiting a chance to pull his fishing poles out of storage. [Anyone in need of a first mate need look no further.] There seem to be as many boats in PSL driveways as there are cars!

THE MAIN STREET [or lack thereof]

PSL is without a traditional Main Street. What it does have is diversity. The people here are from everywhere, and they’re congenial, warm and polite. 

Have suggestions for where I should explore next? Email me and I’ll do my best to stop by during my travels. 

 — Whitney Joseph

See the original article in print publication

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