Local Markets 5 MIN READ

8 Things to Know Before Moving to Ruskin, FL

Written by Adam Berns

Positioned within the picturesque landscape of the Gulf Coast, Ruskin, Florida, embodies the quintessential Floridian lifestyle, offering a blend of coastal beauty, cultural diversity, and a relaxed atmosphere. This charming city, situated in Hillsborough County, lies conveniently between Tampa and Sarasota, providing easy access to urban amenities while maintaining its serene, small-town appeal.

Aspiring residents should consider several essential aspects before making Ruskin their new home. From the climate and lifestyle to housing and amenities, understanding these key elements will pave the way for a seamless transition. Let’s explore eight things that anyone considering a move to Ruskin, FL, should know.

1. Ruskin has a small-town vibe, yet is conveniently close to lots of amenities

There are many outdoor pursuits, family-run eateries, and a relaxed, nature-inspired environment in Ruskin, which contributes to its inviting small-town vibe. Located on the banks of the Little Manatee River and Tampa Bay, this waterfront resort is the perfect place to dine al fresco while watching the sun go down. You can also go kayaking down the river, taking a sunset cruise on the bay, or going deepwater fishing in the Gulf.

However, you are still close to the excitement and job prospects of larger cities, as the Bradenton Riverwalk is only 19 miles south, historic Ybor City is 21 miles north, and Downtown Tampa is 24 miles south.

Just 29 miles, or approximately 45 minutes, away from your property are the famous white sand beaches of Anna Maria Island, perfect for a day at the beach. Alternatively, you may remain closer to home and drive fifteen minutes north to Apollo Beach, where you can swim in Tampa Bay and see magnificent manatees at the TECO ManateeViewing Center.

2. Attend The SouthShore Seafood & Arts Festival or the Ruskin Tomato and Heritage Festival 

As a community, the Ruskin take great pride in their annual festivities. The SouthShore Seafood & Arts Festival was formed last year by the merger of the Ruskin Seafood Festival and the Apollo Beach Manatee Festival of the Arts. The biggest outdoor festival in Hillsborough County takes place at E.G. Simmons Park on the first weekend of November. For two days, there are a plethora of vendors selling wonderful seafood, as well as amazing artisans, children’s activities, and live musical performances.

The community-run Ruskin Tomato and Heritage Festival is an annual spring event that features a pageant, tasty foods, arts and crafts, and more to honor the tomato season and Ruskin’s agricultural past. 

3. Ruskin has a high crime rate

Ruskin has a higher-than-average crime rate compared to other cities in Florida and nationally. The violent crime rate in Ruskin is 29.7, which is above the national average of 22. 7. Ruskin has an even higher rate of property crime, at 54.4, nearly double the national average of 35.4.

However, it’s worth noting that a great deal of crimes occur in avoidable locations, and the bulk of Ruskin inhabitants feel comfortable living here. This is all because of the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, which is responsible for Ruskin.

4. The cost of living is 5% lower than the national average

Living expenses in Ruskin are lower than the national average. As a whole, living expenses are 5% cheaper than in the United States. Among all categories, groceries account for only a 3% increase beyond the national average.

It costs $1.24 for a gallon of milk and $4.67 for a dozen eggs. The median home price in Ruskin is $347,197, much less than the national average of $430,000.

5. Live in neighborhoods like Mira Bay Village, Riverbend, or Brookside Estates

Many desirable neighborhoods are available to those relocating to Ruskin. Depending on your needs, these are a few of the top Ruskin neighborhoods:

In the master-planned community of Mira Bay Village, you’ll find single-story homes ranging in size from 1,400 to 4,000 square feet. A basketball court, a clubhouse, a pool, and miles of trails perfect for running, biking, and playing fetch are all part of this pet-friendly neighborhood.

The stunning homes at Brookside Estates, which opened in 2020, cost between $300,000 and slightly less than $500,000. Houses range in size from around 1,500 to just under 3,000 square feet. Lots are spacious, and there are many ponds in the area. 

The new Ruskin community of Riverbend West offers stunning single-family homes with three to six bedrooms, open floor plans, and resort-style features like a swimming pool with cabana, playground equipment, a dog park, and a fire pit with a view of the lake. You can expect to pay between $309,500 and $360,000 for a home in Riverbend West.

6. The winters are short and chilly, while summers are long and rainy

Residents of Ruskin can expect the usual Florida climate. Short, chilly, and windy winters contrast with long, steamy, and rainy summers. Daily highs of 86°F are common during the summer, which begins in early May and continues until early October 7. With highs of 90°F and lows of 77°F, July is the warmest month of the year. 

Daily highs below 74°F are common throughout the brief, mild winter (approximately 2½ months, beginning in early December and ending in late February). January is the chilliest month with lows of 54°F and highs of 70°F on average.

7. The Hillsborough County Public Schools District serves the city

School-aged residents of Ruskin attend public schools within the Hillsborough County Public Schools district. Elementary options include Thompson Elementary and Ruskin Elementary. Shields Middle serves grades 6-8 and high school students can attend either Ruskin High School or Leonard High. Ruskin is also home to South Bay Charter School, a public charter school, and Ruskin Christian School, a private school choice. 

Those pursuing higher education have over 20 colleges located within a 50-mile radius of Ruskin to choose from. The University of South Florida St. Petersburg campus is the closest, around 14 miles away. Florida Southern College in Lakeland is the highest-rated in the area. An affordable option is Hillsborough Community College, with an annual tuition of only $1,931 per year. This variety of schooling options makes Ruskin a solid choice for families prioritizing education at all levels. From elementary school through college, Ruskin provides quality academic institutions and resources to support student success.

8. Work in the manufacturing, healthcare, or tourism industry

The job market in Ruskin is heavily concentrated in a few key industries. With its coastal location and proximity to Tampa, many job opportunities are limited to healthcare, education, manufacturing, and tourism. 

Amazon has a large fulfillment center exceeding one million square feet located in Ruskin. When this warehouse facility first opened back in 2014, it provided almost 3,000 new jobs in the area within the first year. The Amazon fulfillment center has been a major source of employment for the town of Ruskin since its launch.

One of the largest employers in the area is Mosaic Company’s Riverview phosphate fertilizer production facility, providing jobs in mining, engineering, and production.  

To Sum it All Up

Moving to Ruskin, Florida, unveils a world of scenic beauty, diverse cultural experiences, and a convenient blend of small-town charm with proximity to urban amenities. The city’s waterfront allure, vibrant festivals, lower-than-average living costs, and various neighborhood options are enticing. 

However, it’s essential to note the higher-than-average crime rates and limited job sectors that might impact newcomers. Understanding these aspects of life in this city is crucial for those contemplating Ruskin as their new home, allowing for an informed decision.

Related Articles