Port Richey, Florida
Port Richey, Florida
Port Richey in Pasco County is one of West Pasco’s dual coastal communities, the other being to its south called New Port Richey. Located in the Tampa-Saint Petersburg metro area, Port Richey lies between the Pithlachascotee River and the Gulf of Mexico. Needless to say, it is a very scenic town with excellent, sunny weather as well as a popular retirement center. Just under three thousand people live here and the median age is about fifty.
About The Community
The community was named after Capt. A.M. Richey, a Missourian who homesteaded on an island at the mouth of the Pithlachascotee River. He settled the town in 1883 and was later its postmaster. A recent addition to the state park system in the area is the Werner Boyce Salt Springs State Park, which protects four miles of pristine coastline along the Gulf of Mexico. The salt spring looks small, but it is an amazing 320 feet deep. The park is home to an amazing variety of birds and animals. It is not unusual to spot a gray fox or gopher here or tortoises, alligators, and West Indian manatees in its waters home.
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Birdwatchers will be delighted with sightings of raptors, wading birds, shore birds, and migratory songbirds. The Scenic Drive Trailhead, with its half a mile of trail, is a great place to view birds. Werner-Boyce now has a picnic pavilion with tables and though there is no boat ramp as yet, visitors can boat into the park from the west. There is a short hiking trail but there are plans to add more paths and bird walks into remote areas of the park. One can soon look forward to primitive camping and canoe/kayak trails. Inshore saltwater fishing can yield catches of flounder, trout, redfish, snapper, whiting and tarpon.
Vicinity of Port Richey
Most parts of the town are new but there are many structures dating from the early twentieth century too. A short walk through the town is an enchanting trip into the past. First Bank of Elfers built in1925 was a Boom Town bank. The Old Edenfield store dates back to1932 and is a landmark of native rock and concrete. The Old Elfers School built in1914 is a two-story lime rock and white brick structure. The Porter L. Pierce House built in1913, is a frame house with tongue and groove walls. Off Sunset Boulevard is the Oelsner Temple mound, remains of a late Weeden Island Indian mound excavated in 1879 by S. T. Walker of the Smithsonian Institute.
The popular Mel’s Diner, affectionately known as “Southwest Florida’s Kitchen,” is designed with retro flair featuring Formica dining tables, pastel-colored booths, neon lights and glass displays. The menu offers an assortment of comfort foods and family favorites, like meatloaf, burgers, turkey and more.
There is a vast choice of accommodation in Port Richey including campgrounds like Oak Springs, Sundance Lakes and Suncoast RVs. Many people live here permanently in their mobile homes. There are several national chain hotels including Comfort Inn, Days Inn and Travelodge. Another hotel popular with regular visitors is the 3 Graces Resort.