I moved to Florida with my parents in 1973. We stayed in a seasonal rental downtown until we found a new home.
As a 17 year I spent most of the day walking around the streets of downtown. Williams Park in the 70's was a great place to people watch. The pier was great. Did a lot of fishing from the pier. I guess you could say the more things change the more they stay the same. Present time downtown has more places to eat and buy anything you want. We didn't have a baseball team in the 70's GO RAYS! I must say the feel of the area is about the same. Still a great place to live or spend a few days walking around. Don't forget to visit the http://www.saturdaymorningmarket.com