Largo is among the largest cities in Florida's Tampa Bay area, home to a population that's been growing at a swift rate since its founding. It's often considered a bedroom community of nearby Tampa and Clearwater, with many Largo residents making the daily commute for work. Numerous parks and recreation centers make it easy to stay active and enjoy the sunny Florida climate, while the local Central Parks Performing Arts Center provides a generous dose of arts and culture.
The History of Largo
Originally inhabited by the Timucuan Indians, the land that's now Largo was the site of small Native American villages and their cornfields. The first permanent European settler in the area was Count Odet Phillippe in 1823. Soon after that, the area saw a steady stream of settlers. Homesteaders of the 1850s included the McMullen families, who joined a small group of cattle and citrus farmers.
The residents came together to name the community in 1886 when the Orange Belt Railroad started coming through. The city earned the nickname "Citrus City" as a nod to the prominent citrus industry in the area, which encompassed citrus production, packing, canning and shipping. It wasn't until 1905 that the city incorporated, and in 1913 it became the second city in the country to have a town manager-style of government.
Living in Largo
Largo is a city large enough to offer a variety of amenities while still close enough to St. Petersburg for easy access to the entertainment, shopping and dining you typically find only in a big city.
One of the most distinct features of Largo is its comfortable climate, with average temperatures ranging from about 60 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit throughout the year. There are beaches close by, allowing residents the option to get out and relax in the sun. On top of that, the city has a number of great entertainment, recreation, dining and shopping options, including the Largo Golf Course and the local community center.
If you're looking for a job in Largo, most of the positions within the city fall into the sales and retail sectors. The health care industry is also very active, due in part to a large retiree population. You may want to start your search at the city's top employers, which include Tech Data, Special Data Processing, Largo Medical Center and the Hospice of the Florida Suncoast.
The schools in Largo are part of the Pinellas County School District. In addition to its traditional campuses, the district offers Pinellas Technical College and adult general education. Other post-secondary institutions include Schiller International University and Fortis College.
Resources for Moving to Largo
Here's some basic information to help you get settled in Largo:
Utilities: Duke Energy provides electricity to Largo homes, while Pinellas County Utilities facilitates water and sewer services.
Garbage and Recycling: You will receive two disposal bins (at a single-family-home), one for trash and one for recyclables. Trash is collected twice a week, while recyclables, bulk items and yard waste are collected once a week.
Transportation: The Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority operates a public transit network in Largo and the surrounding Pinellas County.
There are a variety of affordable homes in Largo, with a median home price that's just below the national average. Prices are rising quickly, which is not surprising considering the city's amenities and coastal location. There are also numerous apartments and multi-family communities if you're interested in renting rather than buying.