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Pickleball in New Port Richey, Florida

A great community on the Gulf for Pickleball

new port richey fl

This winter, I decided to get away from our weather in Canada, and come to Florida enjoy the sun, and play outdoor pickleball  for three months. New Port Richey, FL was my destination.

Because Florida rental prices have skyrocketed in price in recent years, it was darned hard to find an affordable place to stay for three months. But after months of searching and investigating, I chose New Port Richey, FL has my home base for my pickleball adventure.

About New Port Richey, Florida

New Port Richey is a town about 45 minutes north of Clearwater Florida, along US 19 Highway.

It has a very scenic, relaxing, and historic city centre, with numerous cafes, bars, and restaurants if you want a little night life.

It has beach bars as well along the tree lined Cotee River AKA the Pithlachascotee River that winds it's way into the gulf of Mexico. Overall it's a very pretty town.

However, it is not really a beach community. The gulf is right beside the town, but this area does not have your typical sandy beaches. For that you'd have to travel about 25 minutes south to Dunedin, FL, or further to Clearwater Beach.

new port richey fl

I found that some local condo complexes, and some mobile home parks have pickleball courts.
I chose to rent a double wide park model home.
It has a single tennis court, and also has lines and nets for two pickleball courts.

New Port Richey Recreation and Aquatic Center

Having only a few people playing at my local spot meant that to play 5 times a week I was going to have to go further afield than my mobile home park.

I discovered that New Port Richey Recreation and Aquatic Center would suit me just fine to get in my 5 day a week pickleball fix.

This is a fantastic facility with 4 outdoor pickleball courts that have a lovely Acrytech pickleball court surface. An Acrytech surface means they have a good, slightly rough surface and they are great for your footing,

The Recreation Center also has 6 indoor courts in 2 separate gymnasiums.
The indoor rec. center requires a $4 daily fee, or a $16 monthly fee for Youth, $25 for Seniors and $36 for Adults

The indoor courts are divided into two open play sections. One half is for beginner, advance beginner, and the other side is for intermediate and advanced players.
Pickleball indoors is available weekdays from 6 AM to 1 PM, and Sundays from 2 PM to 5 PM.

The outdoor courts have are free to all to play, and are open on weekdays from 7 AM to 10 PM and on weekends from 7 AM to 7 PM. The outdoor courts are open play but do not divide based upon skill level.

My experience here has been fantastic. I played indoors for the first week of February and have been playing primarily outdoors since then.

Everyone I've met has been very friendly. I'd say that the crowd i February has been about 50 / 50 locals vs. snowbirds.

A very strange coincidence was that I met two couples right from my town of Cambridge, Ontario, and we've played frequently in the open sessions, as well took in a bit of nightlife at some local joints.

It's great to make new friends from home when you are on vacation.

A place called Sam's Beach Bar in nearby Hudson, FL (on the gulf) and Whiskey Joes, and Whiskey River on the Cotee River are all wonderful spots if you are looking for a spot for food or bev. with both indoor and outdoor tables. All seem to have local musicians playing frequently as well.

As for my pickleball, I've tended to play for an elapsed time of about 3 hours, 5 days a week.

There have been some days that the entire facility has been very busy, with about 30 people outside, and 25 or more in each of the two indoor sections. At that rate you tend to play about half the time. But most of the time, I'd say I get about 2 1/4 to 2 1/2 hours of play in my 3 hours.

But today for example, a breezy day that topped out at about 26C there were only 16 people outside, so no waiting at all. I played for the entire spell with an occasional break for some hydration.

Overall, New Port Richey is far from the pickleball capital of Florida. For that you'd have to go to Naples or almost anywhere in South East Florida, but to just get out and play, meet great people, and have a lot of fun, I can give New Port Richey two thumbs up

Do you have a favourite destination in Florida or any other spot for pickleball over the winter?
Let us know by posting a comment.

Patrick Batty
the authorPatrick Batty
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