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Ruskin, Florida Real Estate & FHA Homes for Sale -

The Tampa Bay area is a great place to call home, thanks to nice weather, an array of white sand beaches and parks, a diverse culinary scene, affordable living, and a friendly population. Nowhere are the great things about Tampa Bay more apparent than the hidden gem of Ruskin in Hillsborough County. Ruskin is a small census-designated place along the shores of Little Manatee River.

Suppose you are eligible for an FHA loan and are searching for a new home. In that case, Ruskin FHA homes for sale offer a small-town charm, access to many family-friendly attractions and amenities, and proximity to the central Florida cities.

Below is a comprehensive guide covering everything you need to know about Ruskin, Florida, and why you should consider making this city your new home.

History and Overview of Ruskin, Florida

Dr. George McAnelly Miller developed the community, named after the Victorian-era English social reformist, educator, and writer John Ruskin. In its modern form, Ruskin traces its root to the early 1900s, but the area has a rich history going back centuries. This beautiful town continues to grow and expand with new housing developments and commerce.

Ruskin has a suburban and rural mixed feel, with most residents owning their homes. The city covers around 20 square miles and is home to about 29,000 residents. Purchasing your dream home here would be ideal if you prefer small cities with tight-knit neighborly communities.

Ruskin FHA homes for sale are some of the most affordable in Florida, with a median home value of approximately $200,000. The cost of living in Ruskin is also lower than many cities in Florida and the national average. Your homeownership dream couldn't be closer with the low-down payment, lenient credit qualifications, and minimal closing costs.

Ruskin is an ideal place if you are looking to start a family. It has a significant population of young adults, with family sizes between three and four members. The sparse suburban feel is a plus if you want more space to accommodate your family.

Ruskin has a welcoming, friendly small-town vibe with family-owned businesses, many outdoor community activities, and a laid-back setting inspired by nature.

Since it's nestled adjacent to the waters of Tampa Bay and the Little Manatee River, you can enjoy memorable sunsets, waterfront dining, and plenty of water-related activities and amenities.

At the same time, you are conveniently located close to the big-city bustle and its various benefits like employment and business opportunities. Around 20 miles to the South, you have the Bradenton Riverwalk, Downtown Tampa, and Ybor City, and approximately the same distance to the north.

Interstate 75(I-75) runs along the edge of the town, and the nearest airport is Tampa International Airport. Another significant aspect of living in Ruskin is the meager crime rates, among the lowest in Florida.

The School System in Ruskin, Florida

The highly rated Hillsborough Public School District serves the Ruskin area. The public schools are above average on a state and national level. Ruskin has reasonable enrollment rates, graduation rates, and teacher-to-student ratios. The school district oversees numerous student programs, organizations, and extracurricular activities.

Ruskin also has many exceptional private schools serving grades PK through K-12. If you raise a family in Ruskin, your children will have access to good educational institutions to the tertiary level. Below is an overview of some of the top schools serving the Ruskin area:

Public Schools

Elementary Schools

  • Cypress Creek Elementary School
  • Thompson Elementary
  • Ruskin Elementary School

Middle Schools

  • Terrace Community Middle School
  • Shields Middle School (Grades 6-8)
  • South County Career Center (PK-12)
  • Williams Middle Magnet School

High Schools

  • Lennard High School (Grades 9-12)
  • Bell Creek Academy High School
  • Brooks DeBartolo Collegiate High School
  • Tampa Bay Technical High School

Private Schools

  • Maranatha Pre-School (PK)
  • YMCA Latchkey Ruskin (PK-K)
  • Destiny Christian Academy (Grades 2-8)
  • Ruskin Christian School - serves elementary, middle, and high school students
  • First Baptists Ruskin Christian School (PK-12)
  • RCMA Iglesia De Dios Success (PK-8)

Colleges / University

  • Hillsborough Community College
  • Gannon University Campus – Pennsylvania-based Gannon University offers health professional programs at the campus in Ruskin

Wooden dolls family inside a model house

Attractions, Events, and Things to Do in Ruskin, Florida

Some of the top attractions includes:

E.G., Simmons Regional Park

Suppose you and your family are tired of cooping indoors. In that case, the E.G., Simmons Regional Park, located about three miles from Ruskin along Tampa Bay, offers beautiful views, fresh air, and many outdoor amenities.

Ever since the 1960s, the natural beauty of this park has enamored locals and visitors alike. The park was developed from acres of native mangroves inter-spaced by open land areas and waterways.

A large park section is reserved as a wildlife and bird sanctuary. It's a bird watcher's paradise where you can spot the endangered Bald Eagle and Roseate Spoonbill.

The entire family can also enjoy strolls along the stretch of beach along Tampa Bay, fish on the water bank and pier, and play volleyball. There are two playgrounds at E.G., Simmons Regional Park, where the little ones can frolic around.

If you are feeling adventurous, rent a kayak along the waterways and take a tranquil boat trip. The park is also great for camping, featuring more than 100 campsites.

Amenities you can access at the campsites include potable water, electricity, fire pits, picnic tables, BBQ grills, shower houses, restrooms, and RV dump stations. E.G., Simmons Regional Park also hosts popular special events throughout the year.

Old McMicky's Farm

If you are searching for cheap and fun activities to enjoy with your kids in Ruskin, Old McMicky's Farm is one of the go-to places. This popular local attraction offers engaging activities for children of all ages. Visiting Old McMicky's Farm has been a Ruskin tradition for generations. The farm is a part of the beloved Camp Keystone.

Old McMicky's is an educational farm that promotes knowledge, love, and respect for animals and natural exploration while encouraging your kids to do what they love most – having fun.

Activities at Old McMicky's Farm include horseback riding, interactions with farm animals, including sheep, goats, pigs, chickens, and rabbits, nature trails, campfires, and storytelling.

Many residents choose to hold their children's birthday parties at this venue. Old McMicky's Farm is also a favorite for teachers looking for educational yet entertaining field trip activities. A guided educational tour takes about 2 hours.

Ruskin Family Drive-In

Is your family up for an unforgettable movie night? The Ruskin Family Drive-in has been in operation since the early 1950s and is referred to as the "last 50s family drive-in". The family can enjoy great classics, first-run films, and tasty treats at the snack bar and grill.

If you have a free night, a movie night with your loved one inside your car is perfect, as you don't have to worry about bothering other moviegoers. Just head to the Drive-in, get some popcorn, get cozy inside your car, step back in time and enjoy a nostalgic movie experience. Ruskin Family Drive-in is open throughout the year and hosts special market events.

White Sandy Beaches

The beaches in Ruskin are defined by white sands, sparkling blue waters, and wide open views of Florida's shores. The fantastic Florida weather adds to the allure of Ruskin's beaches, like the nearby Apollo beach.

Beautiful and just a short drive away from the city center, Ruskin's beaches are perfect for family day trips with activities including swimming, sunbathing, picnicking, and more.

The beaches conveniently deliver the authentic Florida experience. Since Ruskin is close to the coast, you can always pick day-trip locations. Apollo Beach is the nearest, but Bahia Beach, St. Pete Beach, Treasure Island, and Siesta Key Beach are also within reach.

Fishing and Boating

While Ruskin lies close to incredible beaches, the city is best known for the prime fishing opportunities it offers, thanks to its proximity to the Little Manatee River. Fishing is a popular pursuit for Ruskin residents and visitors and an essential part of the Ruskin way of life.

You can enjoy river fishing or sea charters, whichever you prefer. Several charter companies in Ruskin offer packages that include half-day adventures and full-day excursions.

You can also follow your boating passion in Ruskin. Various boating organizations, such as The Freedom Boat Club, enable you to sail all types of boats on Ruskin's waterways. If you have your boat, you can cast off from the local marina or several boat ramps.

Cockroach Bay Aquatic Preserve

The Cockroach Bay Aquatic Preserve near Ruskin regularly appears on lists of unusual place names. The nature reserve covers 4800 acres of partially submerged lands and is a protected area.

The freshwater wetlands, coastal uplands, and estuarine habits serve as sanctuaries for young fish such as snook and red drum, crustaceans, and many bird species.

Cockroach Bay Aquatic Preserve is the perfect spot to enjoy the scenic sights and sounds of nature and bird watching. The preserve features several hiking trails. You can also rent a canoe or kayak and hit the waterways.

Busch Garden Tampa Theme Park

Busch Garden Tampa Theme Park is a short drive from Ruskin, and it's well worth the trip. It is one of the most popular family theme parks in Florida, where you can enjoy exhilarating rides, a zoo, and a mini-safari. The animal theme park is designed and landscaped based on African and Asian themes.

For the thrill-seeking family, there is a dive coaster, "family-style" thrill coaster, and launched coaster, among other thrill rides. Gardens Tampa Theme Park also features water rides and other attractions for younger kids.

While you are here, you shouldn't miss out on the Animal Care Center. This top-rated attraction allows you to see the work of the Busch Garden's veterinarians firsthand. A visit includes a nutrition demo, a clinical lab, treatment rooms, and diagnostic activities.

Hydro Harvest Farms

For outdoor fresh fruit and vegetable shopping, you can head to Hydro Harvest Farms. This U-Pick and stand farm features drip Hydroponic Systems that yield high-quality produce in Ruskin. You can pick ripe strawberries and other fruits with your family at this hidden gem.

A visit to Hydro Harvest Farms is one of the cheapest activities to do during summer. If the heat gets too much for the little ones, they can try out the homemade ice pops sold at the farm. You can also pick a wide selection of vegetables, such as long red beans and Japanese eggplants.

Ott's Off-Leash Dog Sanctuary

You can take your furry pet for an active day at Ott's Off-Leash Dog Sanctuary. This specialty park allows your family pet to roam freely throughout the park under some safety conditions.

Here you can meet other pets and their owners. The little ones can bring a Frisbee or ball and play catch with the four-legged family member.

Cultural Activities and Events in Ruskin, Florida

It has lots of offerings concerning arts and culture.

Colorful Festivals

Yearly festivals are a big deal in the Ruskin community. Recently the Apollo Beach Manatee Festival of the Arts collaborated with the Ruskin Seafood Festival to come up with the South Shore Seafood and Arts Festival.

This festival takes place on the first week of November at E.G., Simmons Regional Park and is the largest outdoor festival in the county.

It celebrates the abundant seafood with various vendors alongside live musical entertainment. There are amazing artists and lots of kid's activities.

It's two days of wholesome family fun. During spring, Ruskin Tomato and Heritage Festival honors the prized tomato season and the agricultural roots of Ruskin. Here you can enjoy tasty delicacies, a pageant, art and crafts, and more.

The Big Draw

The Big Draw-Ruskin is an arts and culture initiative that began in 2008 to mark the centennial anniversary of the community. This education charity is linked and inspired by the International Campaign for Drawing initiated in Britain in honor of John Ruskin.

The Big Draw celebrates art and the vision of Ruskin, who promoted drawing as a tool for knowledge, understanding, and art in community life and education. The Big Draw is one of the largest celebrations of drawings in the world.

The Culinary Scene in Ruskin

While Ruskin may not be particularly well-known for its culinary scene besides its prized tomatoes, the city has terrific options for indulging your palate.

Your family can enjoy American favorites at fast-food joints, international delicacies at restaurants, and bakeries offering various pastries and tasty treats at various shops and vendors.

There is no shortage of eateries in Ruskin – near the beachfront, by the city center, and close to the local attractions; you can always enjoy a great culinary experience.

One of the best dining establishments in Ruskin is The Dog House and More, a highly-rated no-frills restaurant that opened in 2011. It offers a casual dining experience with outdoor picnic tables and pet-friendly sections.

The Dog House and More menu include seafood, sandwiches, hamburgers, ribs, beef jerky, smoked chicken, salads, and desserts.

The Best Neighborhoods in Ruskin, Florida

Here are the top neighborhoods to consider:

Riverbend West

If you want a fantastic home to return to, one of the best communities to live in Ruskin is Riverbend West. This new construction neighborhood offers beautiful homes with personalized designs, lots of open living space, and reasonable prices.

You get access to resort-style amenities within Riverbend West. These amenities include a large swimming pool, cabana, dog park, and playground. The homes here are medium-sized to large sing-family homes with three to six bedrooms.

Riverbend West provides easy access to the commuter routes, parks and nature preserves, and boating and fishing amenities in Ruskin. There is also a fire pit that overlooks the lake. The welcoming and friendly Riverbend West residents regularly enjoy casual community evenings at the fire pit.

Fairmont Mobile Estates

Fairmont Mobile Estates is a cozy suburban neighborhood comprising medium-sized (3 to 4 bedrooms) to large (4, 5, or more bedrooms) single-family and mobile homes. The construction is fairly new, with most units built within the last two decades. There is an assortment of attractive home styles, and the prices are affordable.

Most of the residential units in Fairmont Mobile Estates are owner-occupied. However, many are vacation homes and will be seasonally occupied. Fairmont Mobile Estates is worth considering if you love a laid-back, tranquil, un-crowded, and tucked-away home setting with close access to city amenities.

Ruskin East

Ruskin East is a highly sought-after neighborhood in Ruskin, with a high demand for homes that makes it one of the more expensive communities to own a home. Nonetheless, there are good reasons for this demand.

Ruskin East is a suburban neighborhood comprising primarily medium-sized (3 or 4 bedrooms) to large (4, 5 or more bedrooms) single-family homes. You will also find high-rise apartments and complexes.

A mixture of homeowners and renters occupy the residential units in Ruskin East. The residences here are also relatively new, developed within the past two decades. You can also find older units.


Overall, Ruskin is a real hidden gem if you are contemplating moving to Florida. With a friendly coastal small-town feel, access to the Florida beaches and waters, plenty of family-friendly attractions, amenities, and activities, and a low cost of living, Ruskin has a lot to offer for homeowners.

Ruskin is a great place to purchase your dream home and raise your family, and Ruskin FHA homes for sale can turn that dream into a reality.

With over 50 years of mortgage industry experience, we are here to help you achieve the American dream of owning a home. We strive to provide the best education before, during, and after you buy a home. Our advice is based on experience with Phil Ganz and Team closing over One billion dollars and helping countless families.

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