Is Pace Florida A Good Place to Live?

Where is Pace Florida?

Have you just gotten orders to Pensacola NAS or Whiting Field – or even Hurlburt Field or Eglin Air Force Base? Are you looking for a great place to live with good schools, safe neighborhoods and high quality of life?

Great news, Pace Florida is an excellent option for you and your family. But where is Pace Fl?

Pace, Florida is an unincorporated (that means your property taxes will be lower) community just east of Pensacola in Santa Rosa County, Florida. The area has several excellent schools to choose from and more affordable and safer housing. 

Elementary Schools in Pace, Florida

All of the public schools in Pace, Florida operate under the Santa Rosa County School District. The Santa Rosa County School District earned an A rating from the state in 2020, which means you really can’t go wrong living in Santa Rosa County when it comes to the education of your kiddos. 

Furthermore, there are a total of four elementary schools, two middle schools and a high school for parents to choose from. Additionally, there are several private schools in the area – and we will add them to the list as time allows.

If you want to live in the Pace area – these are the schools you will be able to choose from:

Berryhill Elementary School

Berryhill Elementary School in Pace Florida Logo

Berryhill Elementary School is located on Berryhill Road, about halfway between Pace and Milton. The school is an excellent one; it earned an A- rating from and boasts a 13:1 student to teacher ratio. 61% of the school’s students earned an ‘achievement’ level on their standardized testing – which means they scored at or above grade level for a subject – for English Language Arts learning. 70% of students in that same testing group at Berryhill Elementary earned an achievement level for mathematics.

To give you a frame of reference – Berryhill Elementary did better than 66% of schools in English Language Arts Achievement and better than 81% of schools in mathematics achievement. This information comes from the Florida State Department of Education. Furthermore, rated Berryhill Elementary the #1 standout elementary school in the Pensacola area. The website ranked the school as an A- in academics, a B+ for teachers and a B+ for diversity. The school was rated in the top sixth of all elementary schools in the state by 

Pea Ridge Elementary School

Pea Ridge Chiefs Logo

Santa Rosa County School District assigns learners kindergarten through fifth grade to Pea Ridge Elementary School if they live in the eastern portion of Pace as it nears the City of Milton on US-90 (also known as Caroline Street).

53% of students at Pea Ridge Elementary earned an achievement grade in English and Language Arts – that’s right above the state average of 52.3% for elementary school students. In mathematics, the students at Pea Ridge Elementary School scored in the 57th percentile for all elementary schools in the State of Florida. Pea Ridge does offer a gifted program for students who qualify. 


Mrs. Dana King Fleming, Principal at Pea Ridge Elementary School
Mrs. Dana King Fleming, Principal at Pea Ridge Elementary School

Bennett C. Russell Elementary School

Cardinal Mascot

Students who learn at Bennett C. Russell Elementary School, located in the Avalon Area of Santa Rosa County, had outstanding learning outcomes. 61% of students at the school achieved grade level in English and Language Arts – better than 61% of elementary schools in all of Florida. In math, the students’ school outperformed 62% of elementary schools in the state.

S.S. Dixon Primary School

Located in the heart of Pace, S.S. Dixon Elementary School outshined all of the other elementary schools in the Pace area in 2021. 67% of the school’s students earned achievement grades on their English Language arts FSAs and 74% earned achievement grades on their mathematics FSAs. Dixon Elementary Teachers’ students performed better than 77% of other schools’ students in English language arts and better than 84% of schools in mathematics. That’s incredible! rated the school a B for academics and B for diversity – but the numbers from the State of Florida say that you should consider this school for your children when buying a home. 

There are 752 students at S.S. Dixon Primary School. S.S. Dixon also offers a gifted program for students who qualify. 

Middle Schools in Pace, Florida

Middle School can be a difficult time in a child’s life – it was for me! But the help of great teachers and other resources can also be a rewarding time in a child’s life. Here is the rundown for public middle schools in the Pace area that you will want to know before buying a home. 

Avalon Middle School

Avalon Middle School Huskies Logo

The Students of Avalon Middle School continue to achieve high levels in the state standard testing they must complete. This alone is a great reason to consider living in this area – as is the fact you can get twice-weekly trash and recycling service from Adams Sanitation! 

Avalon Middle School placed in the top third for achievement in mathematics and English language arts for the 2021 school year – a fantastic achievement when you think about how many schools there are in Florida. named the school in the top 20% of the middle schools in the state for 2021. 

Facade of SS Dixon Primary School

Thomas L. Sims Middle School

Thomas L Sims Middle School Patriots Logo

Students at Thomas L. Sims Middle School continue high-level achievement every year. The school rated better than 83% of all Florida schools statewide in English and language arts learning and better than 93% of all middle schools in the state for mathematics achievement! The school has approximately 1,150 students in sixth, seventh and eighth grades and boasts a student-to-teacher ratio under 25. The school serves students from Naval Outlying Field Spencer to the Escambia River and feeds Pace High School. 

Pace High School

The Pace Patriots excel in academics, athletics, and extracurricular activities throughout Florida. Pace High School placed third in Santa Rosa County’s School District for academics in a very competitive field. The school earned a B+ rating in academics from as well. The two schools that placed better than Pace High School were Gulf Breeze High School and Navarre High School, and both schools are located in the southern portion of Santa Rosa County. 

While may not view Pace High School as favorably as Navarre High School and Gulf Breeze High School – the numbers from the State of Florida tell a different story. According to the latest Florida Department of Education Report, the Pace High School had the second-highest achievement scores, trailing only Gulf Breeze High School. 

The School offers the following sports for students to participate in: 

Baseball • Boys Basketball • Girls Basketball • Cheerleading • Cross Country Girls Flag FootballFootball • GolfBoys and Girls Soccer SoftballBoys and Girls SwimmingTennisTrackVolleyball | Boys and Girls Weightlifting Boys and Girls Wrestling

Pace High School also has plenty of extracurriculars to participate in as well – including Anchor Club, Band, The Black Student Union, Choir, Creative Writing, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, First Priority, Interact Club, National Honor Society, Odyssey of the Mind, Patriot Wildlife Conservation Club, Spanish Honor Society, Theater, Asian Student Union, Beta Club, Chess Club, Color Guard, Dungeons and Dragons Club, Gay Straight Alliance, National Art Honor Society, Naval JROTC, Patriot Ambassadors, Robotics Club, Student Government, Tri-M and the Yearbook. 


Pace High School 50 Year Commemorative Logo
Pace High School Logo

Crime In Pace, Florida

Pace is a very safe place to call home. Fortunately, both violent crime and property crimes are lower on average than in the state of Florida or the United States more generally. As a matter of fact – if you look at other cities around the United States where sailors or marines might get stationed – Pace is one of the safest places you can live! says that Pace is a safer plae to live than 91% of cities in the United States! 

Here are just a few cites to compare – according to

Pace Fl

💥Violent Crime • 1️⃣9️⃣1️⃣

🏚 Property Crime • 1️⃣,7️⃣8️⃣8️⃣


Norfolk Va

💥Violent Crime • 3️⃣7️⃣8️⃣ 

🏚 Property Crime • 2️⃣,1️⃣4️⃣0️⃣

Wilmington nc

💥Violent Crime • 6️⃣0️⃣8️⃣

🏚 Property Crime • 2️⃣,8️⃣8️⃣0️⃣

Honolulu Hi

💥Violent Crime • 2️⃣7️⃣1️⃣

🏚 Property Crime • 3️⃣,0️⃣0️⃣2️⃣

Jacksonville fl

💥Violent Crime • 6️⃣4️⃣3️⃣

🏚 Property Crime • 3️⃣,3️⃣0️⃣5️⃣

Quantico va

💥Violent Crime • 1️⃣3️⃣3️⃣

🏚 Property Crime • 7️⃣7️⃣9️⃣

Fort Worth Tx

💥Violent Crime • 4️⃣4️⃣4️⃣

🏚 Property Crime • 2️⃣,6️⃣8️⃣8️⃣

Coronado Ca

💥Violent Crime • 4️⃣3️⃣

🏚 Property Crime • 1️⃣,5️⃣3️⃣4️⃣

Because Pace is not a city, it does not have a local police force. Insead, the residents of the area rely on the Santa Rosa county Sheriff’s Office to deter crime.

Taxes in Pace Florida

Florida is a very low-tax state to live in. The State of Florida does not levy a state income tax on its citizens – and chooses instead to collect money through sales taxes, corporate taxes and other fees for services it provides. Because of the way the state funds itself, Florida has the fewest number of state employees per resident in the country. It has about half the number of state employees per resident as the average state. 

Taxes for Pace, Florida tether to the county. So, what county is Pace Fl in? Santa Rosa County! Santa Rosa County follows a similar fiscal plan the the State of Florida – it tries to keep taxes as low as possible without harming essential services like the Sheriff’s Office. Santa Rosa County charges about $764 per capita in property taxes – about half of what the average is statewide, according to Florida Tax Watch. 

While it may seem like a built up area – Pace, Florida is not actually a city – it is still an unincorporated area, which means there are no city taxes, but also no city services as well. 


woman doing taxes

Getting Trashy

All in all, Pace is a good bang-for-your-buck kind of place to live. It is also becoming a more and more free place to live.

Recently, the Elected leaders of the county voted to eliminate an improper trash franchise in the northern part of the county – which includes Pace.

This means that you, the free market consumer, get to pick what trash service you want to have! Adams Sanitation (that’s us) offers both twice-weekly pickup, as well as recycling services for you at an affordable cost.

You can sign up today with a couple of clicks of a mouse. We will get your trash cart right to you – often the very next day. Then you can start thinking about the million other things you have to take care of, and we will take care of the trash! 

A graphic representation of an Adams Sanitation Trash Cart
Christopher Saul - Chief Impact Officer at Adams Sanitation

Christopher Saul manages the Adams Sanitation Blog and writes the lion’s share of the content for Friendliest Little Garbage Company Around’s website and social media. When he isn’t slinging hot garbage for Adams Sanitation, he spends time with his wife and two kids. 

Christopher can’t resist a good dad joke. Just know that most, if not all, of the puns on Adams Sanitation website are his and will stay up until they are reported to the boss for being so bad they are good. 

Adams Sanitation Service in Pensacola?

Adams Sanitation Service in Pensacola? Here’s What Happened. So, you might have heard from Jim Little’s story in the Pensacola News Journal earlier this week that the City of Pensacola announced a 14% increase in trash hauling prices.  Naturally, we at Adams Sanitation thought this price increase was worth a closer look. Pensacola’s city-operated services are more expensive than ours on a per pick-up basis and this latest increase will drive up prices for their once-weekly service even more! Heck, they don’t even pick up bulk items.  Long story short – it sounded like the potential that government inefficiency was giving the taxpayers a pretty raw deal.  So, we took one of our trucks down to Pensacola City Hall to make our case. Before that – we were able to get with a local television news station about the issue. We explained that the customers of Pensacola probably deserve better than a 14% increase in price at the beginning of a recession – and that we hoped that we might be able to get the Pensacola City Council to consider privatizing an inefficient and unpopular government department – which currently spends more money than it brings in.  Pensacola Press Release on Trash Cost Increase Talking Trash With the Pensacola City Council The Cliff’s Notes on this meeting are important – and we definitely didnt know what we were signing up for by attending the meeting. Finally, after approximately four hours of policy and procedure on everything from disability ramps to micromobility scooters (which is all important!) we were able to plead our case for private trash service to the women and men of the Pensacola City Council.    Here’s what we said – in written and video form! Good evening Mr. President, Mr. Mayor, Council members,   My wife and I are longtime admirers and regular visitors to your wonderful community. As the CRA chair within the City of Crestview, I have particular admiration for your thriving downtown district. Amenties like Wahoos Stadium and events like gallery night speak well to the long way the city has come in the last 20 years. This evening, however, I am here on behalf of Adams Sanitation. Adams is a growing waste management company with operations in Okaloosa, Santa Rosa and Walton Counties. Having carefully reviewed the Sanitation Rate Study and Business Plan supporting the pending rate increase proposal, I felt it important to share an industry perspective before you make your decision.   I believe strongly in the value of local government. Cities and counties perform important functions that the private sector is poorly suited to provide. No one wants for-profit police or parks. However, I believe equally strongly that there are services the private sector is better equipped to provide. Having reviewed your rate and service model, I can say unequivocally that Adams Sanitation could match your current service levels at your current pricing, and do so while delivering high customer service and earning a fair profit without the proposed rate increase you’ll discuss tonight.  However, I am not here to pitch Adams Sanitation. Instead, I’d simply like to suggest the study you are relying on is insufficient in its scope for an informed decision. The consultant didn’t evaluate the department’s efficiency or performance compared to other municipal solid waste services. Additionally,  the scope of the report did not allow for the benchmarking of the department against the private sector.  The only thing this report did do was quantify how much more money your citizens would need to pay in order to maintain the status quo.  It’s a bleak status quo, too. One which involves a department operating at a financial loss. One where less than 70% of customers rate the department with 4 or 5 stars.  As a private enterprise, we are driven to operate efficiently so as to be profitable while maintaining excellent customer service. Indeed, in our last customer survey over 88% of respondents awarded our team with 4 or 5 stars. Again, the point here is that for you to be able to make a fully informed decision, a more thorough comparison of alternatives is required.  There are many options to be explored and no shortage of competitors within the market to make proposals. It could be that a hybrid system is most appropriate with the City maintaining those portions of the operation that it truly excels at. Maybe that’s picking up yard waste collection as they do in the City of Niceville or maybe it is some other variation. It is also entirely possible that after a thorough analysis this Council makes the decision to raise rates and maintain the status quo. However, without a broader analysis, I am not sure that citizens can have confidence in the decision to raise rates so drastically.  Should the City decide to re-evaluate and seek input from the industry, our team would certainly be honored to participate in that conversation. Again, thank you for the opportunity to address you this evening and thank you for your service. I am well aware that it can often be a thankless role.    The Results Of Our Discussion With The Pensacola City Council About Trash, Garbage and Waste Hauling Will the City of Pensacola use Adams Sanitation to pick up trash in the immediate future?  Probably not. In our humble estimation – it looks like only one of the members of the Pensacola City Council seemed agreeable to the idea that a privitazation change should be made.  That’s ok though – because we accomplished our objective! We went down to Pensacola City Hall with the goal to protect the pocketbooks of our neighbors in Pensacola – especially during these trying times. That message definitely did not fall on deaf ears. The City Council decided to delay their decision on price increases until August the 18th.  As far as we are concerned – that’s a win.

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Is Pace Florida a Good Place to Live?

Have you just gotten orders to Pensacola NAS or Whiting Field – or even Hurlburt Field or Eglin Air Force Base? Are you looking for a great place to live with good schools, safe neighborhoods and high quality of life?

Read More »