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Old 02-26-2013, 04:54 PM
 
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Hello all,

Was hoping some of you might have some suggestions on areas of Florida to consider moving to given my situation. Boyfriend (who already lives in FL) and I are planning to relocate in the near future.

Looking for an area that:
- Is not too far from quality animal facilities (Pet shelters, zoos and sanctuaries) We both have animal careers.
- Is an easy commute to a largely populated area (but is preferably a small to average-size town feel)
- Contains a fair percentage of educated, professional residents
- Has open outdoor spaces (for hiking, biking, swimming, etc)
- Has vegetarian/gluten-free friendly restaurants and grocery stores

I'm from Mass. and would say a city most like what I'd be looking for would be Northampton, MA. (In terms of educated professionals, small-town feel, lots of outdoor spaces, progressive, etc.)

If you've any recommendations, they'd be very much appreciated!

Many thanks,
Liz
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Old 02-26-2013, 06:44 PM
 
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Gainesville?
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Old 02-26-2013, 07:09 PM
 
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I'm a vegetarian too and go to Florida frequently. All I know is that there are numerous of vegetarian restaurants or vegetarian options on the menus in Palm Beach County. They also have a Whole Foods and locally owned health foods stores in Palm Beach County. But everything is spread out so much that you definitely need a vehicle to transport you to places.
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Old 02-26-2013, 07:40 PM
 
Location: US
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You need to look into Palm Beach County... specifically Palm Beach Gardens, West Palm Beach, and Boca Raton.
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Old 02-26-2013, 08:16 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmw335xi View Post
You need to look into Palm Beach County... specifically Palm Beach Gardens, West Palm Beach, and Boca Raton.
Yeah, your right~! I know there is a "Greenwise" Market which is excellent in so many ways, but what else is up there~? I know that shopping area where "Greenwise" is and PBG Mall, but is there anything else~?
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Old 02-26-2013, 08:22 PM
 
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Sarasota. there is Whole Foods, Trader Joes, independent health stores, farmer's market, organic farms, etc. etc. Lot of art and cultural amenities in this fairly small city as well. And three colleges including Ringling College of Art and Design.

No one addressed your requirement of animal facilities - there are several here:

Big Cat Habitat and Gulf Coast Sanctuary in Sarasota, Florida | A Safe Place for Animals

Save our Seabirds, Inc | Rescue, Rehabilitate, and Release

Nate’s Place on Cooper Creek Blvd, Sarasota, FL : Nate's Honor Animal Rescue

Sarasota is a bit more than an hour to Tampa which also has Lowry Park Zoo.

Don't know what kind of animal careers you have but this is a start, by no means a comprehensive list.
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Old 02-26-2013, 08:49 PM
 
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Wow, thank you all so much for your information and thoughtful suggestions! Really appreciate your helping me out. Many, many thanks, looks like I have lots to look into already.
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Old 02-27-2013, 05:45 AM
 
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For an actual small town feel I would recommend St Augustine and St Augustine Beach. There is a strong community feel of well-educated locals (nearly half of the residents in St Augustine Beach hold a 4 year degree or higher) who are involved in area events and who care strongly about preserving what they have. Vegetarians/Vegans have a number of good options given the population (just 20K between the two communities). There are animal rescue/shelter/zoo options within 40-45 minutes in Jacksonville (The Jacksonville Zoo and the Catty Shack Ranch), plus a sanctuary in town called the St Augustine Wild Reserve. There's also a great no-kill shelter west of town doing some great work called Ayla's Acres.

St. Augustine Wild Reserve Mission
Catty Shack Ranch Wildlife Sanctuary
Jacksonville Zoo
Vegan/Vegetarian Restaurants St Augustine, FL, Healthy, Organic, Florida -HappyCow
http://www.aylasacres.org/
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Old 02-27-2013, 06:19 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kyle19125 View Post
For an actual small town feel I would recommend St Augustine and St Augustine Beach. There is a strong community feel of well-educated locals (nearly half of the residents in St Augustine Beach hold a 4 year degree or higher) who are involved in area events and who care strongly about preserving what they have. Vegetarians/Vegans have a number of good options given the population (just 20K between the two communities). There are animal rescue/shelter/zoo options within 40-45 minutes in Jacksonville (The Jacksonville Zoo and the Catty Shack Ranch), plus a sanctuary in town called the St Augustine Wild Reserve. There's also a great no-kill shelter west of town doing some great work called Ayla's Acres.

St. Augustine Wild Reserve Mission
Catty Shack Ranch Wildlife Sanctuary
Jacksonville Zoo
Vegan/Vegetarian Restaurants St Augustine, FL, Healthy, Organic, Florida -HappyCow
http://www.aylasacres.org/
Seems better than the South FL recs on this thread

The OP wanted educated population with outdoorsy activities and a small-town feel. Gainesville seems perfect to me. You've got Payne's Prarie preserve nearby, lots of lakes and springs to go tubing kayaking etc. Gainesville has a pretty educated population as a college-town and will soon be home to the 3rd Trader Joe's in the state.
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Old 02-27-2013, 09:56 AM
 
Location: US
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Quote:
Originally Posted by veggienut View Post
Yeah, your right~! I know there is a "Greenwise" Market which is excellent in so many ways, but what else is up there~? I know that shopping area where "Greenwise" is and PBG Mall, but is there anything else~?
Whole Foods is the best organic option in Florida. Trader Joes is slowing moving into Florida, which is a cheaper, smaller version of Whole Foods. South Florida is the liberal and progressive stronghold of Florida.

I would definitely NOT recommend St. Augustine for you since you are looking for a progressive city. That area is solid red. I also wouldn't recommend Gainesville because you are basically surrounded by rednecks outside the university. I don't mean this in a negative way, but it's simply the opposite of progressives. There is really no point to move to Gainesville unless you are attending UF. You are in the middle of nowhere in a town full of franchises that revolves around the university. I don't even consider myself a progressive or a liberal, but these areas feel way too "country" for me, so I can't imagine how you would feel lol.

I would visit before making your decision, but I'm confident you will end up choosing a city between Jupiter and Miami. I personally think you will like Palm Beach Gardens, Delray Beach or Boca Raton.
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