I would like to recommend Fishhawk Ranch in Lithia Florida. Top rated schools. 20 + miles of hiking/biking trails and a variety of home styles and price ranges. Please take a look at the link below and feel free to contact me with any other questions. Of course, I live there, so I think it is the BEST!
Pinellas County is a great place to live and raise a family. Palm Harbor has lots to offer and when you're considering places to live don't overlook where you'll be working - today with the cost of gas and time involved away from your family many buyers we work with appreciate our help in showing them neighborhoods that meet their requirements while also giving them insight into what their daily commutes can be like. - 10 miles could equal 10 minutes or 40 minutes depending on where it is.:-)
As far as schools go - we have for the last 6 years had a program called "School Choice" in place where in effect all schools in the county could be open to you without regard to where you chose to live. Now that they are discussing changing it there is talk of going back to "neighborhood schools" - this is a topic that you will want to stay on top of and working with a knowledgable local real estate agent will be a huge help to you. You can get Pinellas County School info on my website http://www.ClearwaterHomeConnection.com.
Now back to your question - I believe you will find Pinellas County as a whole VERY friendly. Great Schools - I forgot to mention all schools are graded annually on an alphabet scale so you can easily see the A, B C...etc schools. Also just like commutes can take parents away from your family - the school you choose along with the neighborhood you choose can make for a wide variety of bus rides - you'll want to learn more as you narrow down where it is that you want to live. On a final note I'd love for you to know that Pinellas County which is St Petersburg to Clearwater to Palm Harbor to Tarpon Springs has so much to offer in the quality of life department - we have bike trails that run the full length of the county (over 26 miles), we have some of the best beaches in the US, we have amazing parks, nature preserves, public golf courses, boating opportunities and in Clearwater the City even offers sailing to kids at the Sailing Center on Sand Key. We have lots of public pools, skate parks, dog parks, free outdoor concerts, you name it - we've done a great job of perserving it. What we don't have is much new construction - we are a built out county - but I'm happy to trade off a solid concrete block home that's 30 years old to live 10 minutes fromt the beach or be within 30 minutes commute to downtown Tampa, St Petersburg or Tarpon Springs. We also have a program to freeze your property taxes on your homestead (primary residence) but when you move it recalibrates - when I sold my home and bought one 1/2 the cost my taxes doubled because they recalibrated - so until things change - you want to purchase a home wisely so you don't suffer unnecessary tax increases. Just so you know Palm Harbor and Clearwater are right next to each other in places along with Dunedin and East Lake Woodlands / Oldsmar so you may find some good choices in those towns as well. Wishing you all the best - it's a great place to live - been here over 20 years and am a native Floridian
Best of Luck
Great neighbors, block parties and tons of kids. DId I mention we are close to everything with none of the Palm Harbor traffic or Lithia commute. Check ESPN this weekend 4?6?08 to watch the St. Petersburg Grand Prix, or go the New York Times web site and gooogle Old NE St. Pete and see that even they agree!
If you go to US news and World Report you will see I say no to Palm Harbor some of the deadliest intersections in the US are right there! I lived there and hated the traffic. Nice parks though, but it does not beat Old NE where you can walk to everything the beach, stores, church you name it.