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Highland Lakes

3300 MacGregor Drive, Palm Harbor, Florida 34684

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Large, Established 55+ Community of Highland Lakes Sits Along Lake Tarpon and Has Single Family Homes, Town Homes, a Waterfront Lodge, Mature Landscaping and a Good Menu of Amenities

Palm Harbor, pleasant and primarily residential, is about half an hour north of downtown Tampa and is bounded by the Gulf Coast on the west and by 2,500-acre Lake Tarpon on the east. It dates from the late-1800s and is the location of Highland Lakes, a large, established 55+ community set amid gently rolling land.

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Built from 1977 to 1989, Highland Lakes has nearly 2,500 homes and a solid, sedate quality. The community sits along the western shore of Lake Tarpon and has nicely groomed green spaces with mature landscaping. Small fountains in the development's many lakes and ponds shoot water into the air. Residences, both single family homes and town homes, sit along meandering lanes with sidewalks, and the many cul de sacs ensure that traffic noise is kept to a minimum.

All of the homes are single story, but they do not look like cookie cutter housing. Some dwellings have a garage that faces the street while others have a garage that is at a right angle to the house. Some driveways are short, while others are long and curved.

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Many homes have a rectangular entryway, but some have a covered, arched entry. Over the years, interiors have been updated and modified so that no two homes look identical inside, either.

The town homes have one to two bedrooms, one to two baths and an attached one or two car garage. The single family homes have two to three bedrooms, one to two and a half baths and an attached one or two car garage. These dwellings also have a screened-in porch, and some of them have a private swimming pool. Most dwellings have a wooded lot with tall pine trees, squat palm trees, groomed bushes and tropical plantings.

Prices start below $100,000 and top out in the mid-$300,000s. HOA fees are generally between $90 and $110 per month. Please verify these prices with a Realtor as they may change.

Highland Lakes' amenities are its highlight. Between the two clubhouses and one waterfront lodge, the community boasts a library, a fitness center, a billiards room, a woodshop, a ceramics room, a darkroom, a catering kitchen and a ballroom. Tennis courts, a Jacuzzi, shuffleboard courts and bocce ball courts await as well. Perhaps best of all, home ownership includes free, unlimited access to the 27-hole executive golf course that winds its way past houses and through neighborhoods.

A long list of activities and events, everything from potlucks and water aerobics to coffee get-togethers and holiday parties, keeps everyone active and engaged. Residents have access to Lake Tarpon but when not on the water, they are welcome to keep their boat in the community's locked RV/boat storage. The Highlander Newsletter keeps everyone up to date on neighborhood news.

Nearby Honeymoon Island State Park, which is accessible via the Dunedin Causeway, has four miles of beautiful beaches, not to mention mangrove swamps, tidal flats, a pine forest, nature trails and plenty of wildlife. A good variety of town events, including a First Friday celebration, a Citrus Festival, a beer fest and the long-standing Harbor Arts Festival, add to Palm Harbor's quality of life.

Palm Harbor does not have a hospital but Tarpon Springs, 5 miles away, has Helen Ellis Memorial Hospital. It is accredited by the Joint Commission.

Summer temperatures are in the 80s and 90s with high humidity levels and frequent rainstorms. Winter temperatures are in the 60s and 70s.

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Visit www.highlandlakeshoa.net for more information. Go to http://tinyurl.com/z5eux5v for listings.

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