The Beginnings of Port St. Lucie
Development of Port St. Lucie began in earnest in 1961 when General Development Corporation began making improvements in the area. During the early 1970s, the city was home to only approximately 330 residents. Over the past 20 years, the population has exploded and the city has become the largest city on the Treasure Coast. While the history of Port St. Lucie only dates back some 40 years, the Treasure Coast itself has a rich past that includes Spanish expeditions, pirates and shipwrecks.
School-aged children living within Port St. Lucie are served by the St. Lucie County Public Schools. Several schools within this district have received awards and recognition including the prestigious Blue Ribbon Award and the distinguished Five Star Award. Currently there are 20 elementary schools, nine K-8 schools, four middle schools, six magnet schools, and six high schools within this district. The public school system allows parents to select a school of their choice from a number of schools in different residential zones.
Located in nearby Fort Pierce is the main campus of Indian River Community College with an additional campus located in Saint Lucie West. Barry University, a Catholic institution based in Miami Shores, offers undergraduate, graduate studies and also custom training programs at its Port St. Lucie location. Satellite campuses for the University of Florida and the Florida Atlantic University are also located within the city.
The recreational opportunities in Port St. Lucie are endless. Numerous parks and stretches of pristine unspoiled beaches beckon residents and visitors. Recreational facilities in the area include a civic center auditorium, ball fields, tennis courts, basketball and racquetball courts, shuffleboard courts, boat ramps and a host of other activities. Port St. Lucie's community center features seating for 800 for plays, meetings, concerts and other events. The Fort Pierce, Port St. Lucie and St. Lucie County Recreational Departments provide recreation programs and organized activities for all ages throughout the year.
Of course, the area is known for its outstanding golf courses. There are no less than 10 18-hole golf courses where the public may play. Port St. Lucie is the home of the first PGA learning center at the PGA Village complex. It sits on 20 acres northeast of PGA Golf Club's South Course and features a golf shop, demonstration area, golf school, fitness area, putting course and other great features. The facility's North Course once received the distinction of being the "Best Affordable Golf Course in the US."
Shopping is plentiful with numerous malls, outlet centers, eateries and shops. Specialty shops, restaurants and other venues can be found in the historic Fort Pierce downtown area. Indian River Mall, located in nearby Vero Beach, and Treasure Coast Square Mall, located in Jensen Beach, are the region's two major malls.
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