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Wesley Chapel Florida: A Boom Town Dream Destination in Pasco County

Welcome to Wesley Chapel, Florida, where charm and beauty combine to create a dream destination in Pasco County. Nestled in the heart of the Sunshine State, this vibrant fast growing community offers a blend of small-town charm and modern amenities, making it the perfect place for families, retirees, and everyone in between.

With its picturesque landscapes and natural surroundings, Wesley Chapel invites you to explore its hidden treasures. From lush parks and nature trails to sparkling lakes and captivating wildlife, there is no shortage of outdoor adventures to embark on. Whether you’re an avid hiker, a nature enthusiast, or simply seeking a peaceful retreat, you’ll find it all here.

wesley chapel housing
Wesley Chapel has it all, housing, commercial, recreational – all types of property growth.

But Wesley Chapel is not just about natural beauty. The area boasts a thriving arts and culture scene, with galleries, theaters, and live entertainment venues showcasing the talents of local artists. Plus, with an array of shopping destinations, dining options, and recreational activities, there is always something exciting happening in this vibrant community.

So, whether you’re looking to relocate or planning a visit, make sure to unravel the charm of Wesley Chapel, Florida. With its warm hospitality, stunning landscapes, and endless opportunities for fun and relaxation, it truly is a dream destination worth exploring.

The video is a comprehensive tour of Wesley Chapel.

History and Culture of Wesley Chapel

Wesley Chapel, located in Pasco County, Florida, has a rich history that dates back to the late 19th century. Here’s a comprehensive overview of the history of Wesley Chapel:

  • Early Settlement: The area that would become Wesley Chapel was originally inhabited by Native American tribes, including the Seminole and Creek peoples. European settlers began to arrive in the region in the mid-19th century, attracted by the fertile land and abundant natural resources.
  • Founding and Naming: Wesley Chapel was founded in the late 19th century. Originally settled as a farming community, it was named after the Methodist leader John Wesley. The chapel was built by the area’s first settlers, the Boyette family.
  • Agriculture and Farming: Like much of central Florida, Wesley Chapel was primarily agricultural in its early days. The fertile soil and warm climate made it ideal for farming, and crops such as citrus, cotton, and vegetables were grown in the area. The timber industry also played a significant role in the local economy.
  • Railroad Development: The arrival of the railroad in the late 19th and early 20th centuries brought growth and development to Wesley Chapel. The railroad provided a means of transportation for agricultural products, as well as passengers traveling to and from the area.
  • Population Growth: Throughout the 20th century, Wesley Chapel experienced gradual population growth as more people moved to the area seeking opportunities in agriculture, industry, and commerce. However, the population remained relatively small compared to other parts of Florida.
  • Suburban Development: In the late 20th and early 21st centuries, Wesley Chapel underwent rapid suburban development as the Tampa Bay area expanded. The construction of new residential communities, shopping centers, and amenities transformed Wesley Chapel from a rural outpost into a thriving suburban community.
  • Commercial and Residential Expansion: Major developments such as the Wiregrass Ranch and the Shops at Wiregrass brought new retail, dining, and entertainment options to Wesley Chapel. Residential neighborhoods, gated communities, and master-planned developments also flourished, attracting new residents to the area.
    Wesley Chapel Florida Route 54 in 1956
    Route 54 in Wesley Chapel as it was in 1956.
  • Education and Infrastructure: As Wesley Chapel grew, so did its infrastructure and amenities. New schools, parks, and recreational facilities were built to accommodate the needs of the expanding population. Improvements to roads, utilities, and public services further enhanced the quality of life in the community.
  • Diverse Community: Today, Wesley Chapel is a diverse and dynamic community with a mix of residents from various backgrounds and walks of life. Its proximity to Tampa and its desirable suburban lifestyle continue to attract new residents and businesses to the area.

Overall, Wesley Chapel’s history is one of growth, change, and adaptation, reflecting the broader trends of development in central Florida. From its humble beginnings as a rural farming community to its status as a vibrant suburban enclave, Wesley Chapel continues to evolve and thrive in the 21st century.

The area is known for its strong sense of community and friendly residents. In fact, Wesley Chapel was voted one of the best places to live in Florida, thanks to its low crime rate, excellent schools, and affordable housing options. The community takes pride in its history and culture, and you’ll often find events and festivals that celebrate the area’s heritage.

The BOOM Town Wesley Chapel

The Tampa Bay region is known for its continuous growth and amenities that attract all races, genders, income brackets and ages. The area surrounding downtown Tampa has exceeded all growth projections. It has become a favorite target for young urban professionals.

While Tampa has exceptional growth in population, industry and infrastructure, the not-so-little town of Wesley Chapel has become one of the hottest growth areas in the country – outpacing Tampa for the last few years in percentage of growth over previous years.

In fact, Pasco County is the 67th fastest-growing county in the country! The key reason Pasco enjoys that statistic is the city of Wesley Chapel.

The chart below shows the consistent population growth for the last 14 years.

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wesley chapel florida population growth
The population growth trend of Wesley Chapel Florida.
 

In census numbers, the growth looks like this;

    2000 – Pop.- 5691

    2010 – Pop. – 44,092

    2020 – Pop. – 64,866

      2023 est. – Pop. – 68,614

Note that census data and other sources do not agree with current population numbers. It is generally thought that census estimates are low based on the explosive growth of the area.

Demographics

  • White: 60.85%
  • Two or more races: 14.94%
  • Black or African American: 11.36%
  • Asian: 7.05%
  • Other race: 5.39%
  • Native American: 0.39%
  • Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander: 0.02%
The average household income for Wesley Chapel is over $116,061 which is above the statewide average which is $93,195.
 

If you look at the last 24 years, Wesley Chapel has seen an average of 2,600 people move into the community each year. Only The Villages, an hour north, can boast those kinds of resident growth numbers.

One of the most impressive parts of the small town boom is the state, local and county officials have done an excellent job keeping up with infrastructure. Highways, utilities, police, fire and supporting personnel have all seemed to be responsive to the town.

One key economic measure of an area is the job market. Each time we visit Wesley Chapel jobs are posted everywhere. That is unscientific, but it is an indication of a very healthy job market in Wesley Chapel.

Another visual economic indicator is the amount of Wesley Chapel new construction. It is not an overstatement to say both homes, apartments and commercial construction is flourishing throughout the city.

Wesley Chapel Florida Moffit Cancer Center
The Moffit Cancer Center in Wesley Chapel is one of the many healthcare facilities in the area. Healthcare is not lacking near Wesley Chapel.

Wesley Chapel’s Real Estate Market

With its desirable location and high quality of life, it’s no surprise that the real estate market in Wesley Chapel is thriving. The area offers a mix of housing options, from spacious single-family homes to modern townhouses and apartments.

Homebuyers can choose from established neighborhoods or newly developed communities, each with its own unique charm. The real estate market in Wesley Chapel is competitive, so it’s important to work with a knowledgeable real estate agent who can help you navigate the process.

Education and Healthcare in Wesley Chapel

Families with children will appreciate the excellent education system in Wesley Chapel. The area is served by highly-rated schools, both public and private, that provide a quality education to students of all ages.

In terms of healthcare, Wesley Chapel is home to several top-rated medical facilities, including hospitals and clinics. Residents have access to a wide range of healthcare services, ensuring that their medical needs are taken care of.

wesley Chapel Epperson Lagoon - things to do in Wesley chapel
Epperson Lagoon Wesley Chapel Florida is a water park in and one of the many things to do in Wesley Chapel.

Top Attractions in Wesley Chapel

When it comes to attractions, Wesley Chapel has something for everyone.

Some of the most visited attractions in Wesley Chapel include:

  • The Shops at Wiregrass: An open-air shopping mall with over 100 stores and restaurants, including Bass Pro Shops, Dick’s Sporting Goods, and The Cheesecake Factory.
  • Advent Health Center Ice: A multi-purpose arena that hosts ice hockey games, concerts, and other events.
  • Wiregrass Ranch Sports Campus of Pasco County: This state-of-the-art sports complex offers facilities for a variety of sports and recreational activities, including basketball, volleyball, soccer, and lacrosse. The campus hosts tournaments, leagues, and events throughout the year, attracting athletes and spectators from across the region.
  • Pasco County Fairgrounds: This event venue hosts a variety of fairs, festivals, and special events throughout the year, including the Pasco County Fair, livestock shows, concerts, and community gatherings. Visitors can enjoy carnival rides, live entertainment, and agricultural exhibits.

Attractions and Things to Do in Wesley Chapel Within One Hour

While Wesley Chapel has plenty of attractions in the small town, the surrounding area boasts even more than you could ever ask for in any small town. 

  • Flatwoods Wilderness Park: This nearby park offers hiking and biking trails through pine flatwoods, wetlands, and hardwood hammocks. Visitors can explore nature and wildlife while enjoying outdoor activities such as birdwatching, photography, and nature observation.
    Wesley Chapel to Tarpon Springs
    Tarpon Springs is under an hour away from Wesley Chapel. The sponge docks are one of the many fun things to do near Wesley Chapel.
  • Lettuce Lake Regional Park: Located nearby in Tampa, Lettuce Lake Regional Park offers outdoor recreation and nature experiences. Visitors can hike nature trails, kayak on the Hillsborough River, observe wildlife and enjoy scenic views of the wetlands and forest.
  • Florida Aquarium: Home to over 20,000 aquatic animals from around the world, the Florida Aquarium is a must-see for any visitor to Tampa Bay.
  • Busch Gardens Tampa Bay: This world-famous theme park features thrilling rides, exotic animals, and live shows.
  • The Dali Museum: Home to one of the largest collections of Salvador Dalí’s work outside of Spain, The Dali Museum is a must-see for any art lover.
  • Clearwater Marine Aquarium:* This aquarium is home to rescued marine animals, including Winter the dolphin, who starred in the movie “Dolphin Tale.”
  • Florida Botanical Gardens: A must-visit. Spanning over 30 acres, this beautiful garden showcases a variety of native plants and flowers, as well as stunning sculptures and artwork.
  • Tarpon Springs Sponge Docks – This Greek-founded town is a delight to visit. The working sponge docks are still harvesting sponges and all the shops in town sell their related products. Numerous Greek restaurants are even more interesting.

If you’re looking for some family-friendly fun, head to the Krate at the Grove. This outdoor entertainment complex offers a range of activities, including a movie theater, mini-golf, and a variety of restaurants. It’s the perfect place to spend a day with the family.

The closest beach to Wesley Chapel Florida is Honeymoon Island State Park and a few miles south is Clearwater Beach.

Since the weather in Wesley Chapel is moderate Florida weather, there are always something you can find to do in Wesley Chapel. 

attractions in Wesley Chapel - Cypress Creek Preserve
There are a number of outdoor things to do in Wesley Chapel like Cypress Creek Preserve just a few minutes away.

Outdoor Activities in Wesley Chapel

One of the biggest draws of Wesley Chapel is its abundance of outdoor activities. The area is home to numerous parks and nature trails, where you can hike, bike, or simply take a leisurely stroll. With its year-round warm weather, Wesley Chapel is the perfect place to enjoy the great outdoors.

One popular outdoor destination is the Cypress Creek Preserve, a 7,400-acre nature preserve that offers miles of hiking trails, picnic areas, and wildlife viewing opportunities. Whether you’re a birdwatcher or simply enjoy being in nature, this preserve is a must-visit.

For those who love water activities, Wesley Chapel is also home to several lakes and rivers, where you can go fishing, kayaking, or paddleboarding. The serene waters and beautiful surroundings make for a perfect day out on the water.

Shopping in Wesley Chapel

When it comes to shopping and dining, Wesley Chapel has it all. The area is home to a variety of shopping destinations, ranging from large malls to boutique stores. You’ll find everything from major retailers to local boutiques, ensuring that you can find whatever you’re looking for.

Some of the largest retail centers in Wesley Chapel Florida include:

In terms of dining options, Wesley Chapel offers a diverse range of cuisines, from classic American fare to international dishes. Whether you’re craving a juicy steak, fresh seafood, or authentic Italian pasta, you’ll find a restaurant that satisfies your taste buds near the destinations above.

Wesley Chapel Florida Saddlebrook Resort
The premier place to stay nearby is the Saddlebrook Resort Wesley Chapel Florida.

Hotels in Wesley Chapel

With the unfettered growth around Wesley Chapel, hotels have popped up in many areas. Some of the major brand names include:

Best Western

Residence Inn by Marriott

Econolodge

Rodeway Inn

These are just a few of the hotels in the area. For a more complete list of hotels in Wesley Chapel and to compare prices you can go here.

Resorts in Wesley Chapel

The Tampa Bay area has dozens of true resorts. From downtown Tampa’s exclusive resorts to the beaches of Clearwater Beach there are expansive hotels that cater to all your needs.

However, there is one resort that has a long-standing reputation exceeding all the others for pampered but outdoor-style stays. Saddlebrook Resort in Wesley Chapel Florida was started in 1979 and has an exceptional standard of service for families ever since.

This 480-acre property has two golf courses, tennis courts, swimming pools, pickleball courts and walking trails laced throughout the nature preserve as Saddlebrook calls it.

For years guests have watched as Wesley Chapel has grown up around this beautiful nature-laden resort. Saddlebrook Resort reviews indicate that Saddlebrook is also a golf resort. Here is information and prices at the Saddlebrook resort.

Wesley Chapel Florida farm and cattle.
Much of Wesley Chapel was farmland and the surrounding area still has cattle farms like this one.

Where is Wesley Chapel Florida

If you’re planning a visit to Wesley Chapel, here are some directions to facilitate your trip.

Directions to Wesley Chapel

From Tampa to Wesley Chapel -Take Rout I-275 to the intersection of I-75 North. Take the Route 54 east exit from I-75 to Wesley Chapel 2 miles east. Time – about 23 minutes.

From Orlando to Wesley Chapel -Take Route I-4 west to Route 98 in Lakeland, Florida. Take Route 98 north to Route 54 west. Then Wesley Chapel will be another 25 minutes west. Total time is about 1 hour 38 minutes.

From Cities North to Wesley Chapel – Take Route I-75 south to Route 54 (just north of Tampa). Go east on Route 54 less than 5 minutes to Wesley Chapel.

From Tampa Airport to Wesley Chapel – As you exit Tampa International Airport, there will be a sign and direct to Route I-275 north. Follow I-275 north for approximately 12 miles to the intersection of Route I-75 North. Take I-75 to Route 54 East. Exit east for 2 miles to Wesley Chapel. Total time – 25-30 minutes depending on traffic.

One of the reasons Wesley Chapel is so desirable as a place to live in Florida is the access to major highways.

Final Thoughts on the Boom Town Wesley Chapel Florida.

Wesley Chapel, Florida truly is a dream destination in Pasco County. With its picturesque landscapes, vibrant community, and endless opportunities for outdoor adventures, it’s a place that captures the hearts of visitors and residents alike.

Whether you’re looking to relocate or planning a visit, make sure to unravel the charm of Wesley Chapel. Its rich history and cultural attractions to its thriving real estate market and excellent schools, assures this community has it all. Come discover why Wesley Chapel is the perfect place to call home.

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