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

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. 

We Took A Trash Truck to A Daycare Not every day you get to visit a daycare with a trash truck.  Our Customer Service Manager, Nat Mize, gave a short presentation to a group of three and four year olds at the Early Learning Coalition in Gulf Breeze in March. (She’s been talking about it for the better part of two weeks – she was just as excited as the kiddos she talked to about recycling and landfills!)   These kids were prepared. Like super prepared. When we (Facebook guy Christopher went to take photos and video) showed up – the kids had created a cardboard recycling truck with our logo on the side – complete with wheels and everything!    Nat talked to the kids about the importance of reducing the materials we use when we can, re-using and repurposing the other things we use, and recycling what we can.    We even got to take them on a virtual drone tour of the Santa Rosa County landfill in East Milton!    The kids learned about how much trash we make on a daily basis (about ten pounds per person!) and how we get it to the landfill!   The kids listen while Adams Sanitation Customer Service Manager Nat Mize teaches them about recycling and landfills. The kids of Mrs. Bri’s class smile in front of a Adams Sanitation Baby Garbage Truck! Trash Q and A The kids then asked questions about all sorts of things – they were pretty curious about the trash world! Here’s just a little sample of what they asked: Do trash workers get used to the smell? Yes, they do. There are some people who try the job and realize it is a dealbreaker (it does smell bad, after all) – but most of the trash truck drivers and their helpers (called jumpers) get used to the smell after a couple of days.  Did you always want to work at a trash company? The short answer is no! Most of the members of the Adams Sanitaiton team are in the trash industry as their second or even third industry! But that diverse experiential background means we have really good ideas and opinions on making the industry even better! Where does the trash go? Our trash in Santa Rosa County goes to the Santa Rosa County Lanfill 99.99% of the time. Every once in a while – trash from Adams Sanitation ends up at the Baker Transfer station next door in Okaloosa County.  What should the French National Government do about the waste workers strike that’s taken place for more than a week now? We’re kidding, they didn’t ask that one. Honestly, we’d be in a pinch if they did!  Do you pick up the trash and recycling together? A lot of adults ask us this one, too! We do not pick up the trash and recycling together. Furthermore, our recycling goes to the recycling sorting station in northern Escambia County.    After that – we took the kids out for the best part – seeing an actual (mini) trash truck (that we cleaned thoroughly)!  The kids response was great! They loved the trash truck, listened well and had a good time learning about what we do! We had a great time and hope they did, too!   Nat goes for a ride in Adams Sanitation’s newest trash truck – supplied by the kids at the Early Learning Coalition

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Dump Fees Are Up – Here’s What That Means For Your Trash Bill

Dump Fees Are Up – Here’s What That Means For Your Trash Bill Bottom line up front: Santa Rosa County has voted to increase the cost of dumping trash at the county landfill, which will result in a slight increase in trash service costs. However, Adams Sanitation will not raise rates until their annual increase next year, and the Santa Rosa County landfill is still significantly less expensive than neighboring counties. The increase will cost Adams Sanitation approximately $6,000 per month, but they plan to absorb the cost this year without raising customer rates. Santa Rosa County’s commissioners took a 3-1 vote to raise the cost of dumping trash at the county landfill in February, which means we will all have to end up paying a little bit more to get trash service or to run a trash business.  But there are some critical takeaways from the decision we want you to know about: 🙅 Adams Sanitation will NOT raise your trash rates over this until our annual increase subsequent January 💰It will cost us about $6,000 per month MORE to dump trash every month 💵 The Santa Rosa County Landfill is still significantly LESS EXPENSIVE than taking trash to our disposal facilities in neighboring counties.  🗣️ Tell your friends and neighbors about our excellent service! The more people who sign up with us, the more we can spread costs and keep your rates down! A sky view above the Santa Rosa County Landfill in East Milton. No rate increase right now for Adams Sanitation Customers. Last year, we had to raise rates mid-year due to a doubling of diesel costs. At the same time, this increase in dump fees is not put-us-out-of-business-if-we-don’t-raise-rates bad. We are going to absorb the costs this year. Our team has already had several meetings to determine how we will do that, but it’s been made clear it won’t be through raising your monthly rate.  The total cost for this increase is about 50 cents per customer and household per month and may impact our rate calculator next year. What this costs us The good news is that we can absorb the cost of the increased dump fees for the year. The bad news is that the increased cost will work out to about $50,000 this year alone – a lot of money for a small business like ours to absorb. The Santa Rosa County landfill is significantly less expensive than everyone else’s When we heard we were about to receive a bill of an extra $50,000 from the county, we did what any other red-blooded American would do when faced with a stressful situation – we shopped and price compared.  Believe me when I tell you, despite the price increase, we still have it pretty good in Santa Rosa County. Over in Okaloosa County, the cost to dump the same ton of trash is $75. To take our trash over there, we’d need to charge about an additional $6 per month plus the cost of diesel and labor. That stuff adds up quickly – and we’d soon be forced to charge exorbitant rates just to come and get your trash.  To the west, the Perdido Landfill charges $45.06 per ton, currently $3.00 more per ton than in Santa Rosa County – only six months more. But once you add in the $52 for diesel and $50+ for labor costs, you’re looking at another pretty steep price hike for the same service.  While we’re not thrilled about losing money to this price increase, it could be a lot worse – so, a little bit of a silver lining there. What can be done to keep costs down? The good news is that some factors are keeping our costs down this year! Diesel prices have dropped some as we have matured as a business.  We have been able to keep people around longer term at Adams Sanitation – which means we are running more efficiently. Our labor costs have dropped a bit because we are not constantly looking for new employees, burning them out with overtime, or paying more for overtime work (yay!).  We are also growing! More and more people are signing up daily to get the best trash service in town! That means we can increase our routes’ density- making us more efficient. The more efficient we are, the lower we can keep our prices while still paying decent wages for a (very) hard day of work and making a fair profit.  We still need help, though. If you feel that we’ve earned it – tell your friends, coworkers, neighbors, and family about the high level of service you get from Adams Sanitation. The more people we get to serve, the better off our customers, our local employees, and our small business!

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