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Old 05-21-2008, 11:25 AM
165 posts, read 590,315 times
Reputation: 29


Hey, just wanted to know from the locals IF there is another South Florida city that is safe and pretty like Boca, but has more going for it in terms of nightlife, a funky Old-Florida style charm, and cultural diversity. Proximity of the beach is sort of a must as well.

I just got back from a trip to Boca for about 4 days to check out the area. It was very nice and everything, but when I was told that there were mostly retirees in the city, they weren't lying. As a matter of fact, they didn't say enough. Although I am in my early 20s, I love being around older people, but not THAT much, lol. Ethnic diversity is almost non-existant in the city too, as one race pretty much dominates. Boca reminds me VERY much of Sarasota, except not as laid back.

I went up to Delray Beach to check it out too because I was told that it was better than Boca and safe too (Although there was a certain section in the middle part of the city to watch out for). However, when I got there, most of what I seen could be classified as slums. I don't think I could ever find myself living there. Atlantic Ave. wasn't as pretty as it looked in the pictures that I've seen online either, which was somewhat of a disappointment. It was the same thing when I went down to Deerfield Beach.

I didn't have too much time to check out other cities, as I was busy those 4 days between Fort Lauderdale and Boca back and forth (Which killed most of my free time to explore more cities, due to family activities).

Even though it's been years since I've actually ventured out in the city, I like the funky, 1960's charm of Hollywood, but I'm not so sure about the safety in that city.

I heard some good things about Palm Beach Gardens. I didn't get the chance to actually venture into the city though. I stopped at a gas station there on the way back home, but that was it. I would love to check it out, but I somewhat doubt it has EVERYTHING I'm looking for.

Basically, I just want to know if anyone can recommend some other South Florida cities that have what I'm looking for. Except for Fort Lauderdale and anywhere in Dade County.
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Old 05-21-2008, 11:30 AM
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First of all, Boca is not even close to the safest city in South Florida. The following cities are safer...

Coral Springs
Coconut Creek
Cooper City
Pembroke Pines
Deerfield Beach (wow, I had to double check that but I believe it)
Palm Beach Gardens
North Lauderdale

Referenced from- http://www.fdle.state.fl.us/FSAC/UCR...2007annual.pdf

If you think Boca was homogeneous, just wait until you see North County (Palm Beach Gardens). If you want diversity without armed robbery, than you probably went to look into the western communities further south. Out of those on the "safer" list, Pembroke Pines is by and far the most diverse. The envrionment is basically like West Boca, a lot of cookie cutter homes and congested streets but nice landscaping and communities. But the envrionment is blaaaaaannnnndddddd. The majority of the cities that I named are actually more diverse than Boca, but also blaaaaannnnnnddd. We actually have two or three clubs in Weston though, in the town center. There is one called "Swig" that is relatively popular. You will find diversity and you will find an almost pristinely clean envrionment but you won't find any charm here LOL.

So you have a lot of choosing, because there are cities that ARE more "dangerous" than Boca that are still "safe". Also if you were to stay east of US1 in Hollywood you would be fine. That's the only city in South FL that still has it's 60s charm somewhat preserved, save for Miami Shores, Coral Gables, and some of the southern neighborhoods in West Palm Beach. There are sketchy areas west of US1 and far west in the city limits but you can learn to stay away from them pretty easily, and none of them are the kind of places that you are going to get jacked just passing through.

Last edited by compelled to reply; 05-21-2008 at 11:52 AM.. Reason: rechecked my data
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Old 05-21-2008, 12:00 PM
165 posts, read 590,315 times
Reputation: 29
Thanx for the reply.

I'm aware that alot of the western cities you named off are more safe than Boca, but they don't have everything that I'm lookin for. I was told that Palm Beach Gardens was a little more ethnically diverse than Boca, but I guess from wat yur saying, it's not the case.

As far as Hollywood goes, I heard that there are alot more areas than just out west that you have to stay away from. Most namely, Carver ranches. If it weren't for those bad areas, I would go for this city instead. I dunno, there something about that 60s vibe that I just dig.

Pembroke Pines would seem ideal due to it's proximity to Hollywood, but YES, it is VERY bland. I'm not attracted to it at all. It has absolutely no charm to it whatsoever. Plus there are not too many homes that you will find under $250 there either.
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Old 05-21-2008, 12:03 PM
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Do you want to see where Carver Ranches is relative to the rest of Hollywood?
Carver Ranches, West Park, FL, USA - Google Maps
It's off of State Road 7 right a little before the Dade Conty. You have pretty much no reason to be there and unless you are there at night, it's not THAT bad. Everyone in Hollywood knows to stay off of Pembroke Rd and there is no reason to be there anyway.
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Old 05-21-2008, 12:22 PM
165 posts, read 590,315 times
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I seen the location of it from that link you posted. Seriously though, I heard some people talk about it like it actually struck fear in their hearts or something. I'm pretty sure some people will exaggerate, but I don't live there, so I don't know.

As far as staying east of US-1 in Hollywood for more safety, it is not that easy, being as I would be looking into moving into the western part of a oceanfront city, due to less cost of insurance.

So what about the TYPE of people that are in the city, are they mostly old retirees, or the young thug type? Or a mix of both, like what you will find in Delray?
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Old 05-21-2008, 12:27 PM
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Neither really. You will a mixture of various oddballs, regular working class people, a few young thug types, a few immigrants, a few beach bums, a few upper middle class families, quite a few Israeli Jewish families, and a few uptight snotty wealthy people. Not many retirees. People in the stores there tend to be rough edged but in a blue collar kind of way. Generally a completely different demographic from Delray. You will also be fine if you stay north of Hollywood Blvd. There are some rough neighborhoods mixed in there, but nothing I would worry about passing through as long as you don't LIVE there except for maybe the neighborhood a few blocks north of downtown where all the social centers are. And of course, take basic precautions like not leaving valuables in your car, burglar proofing your house, and being aware of your surroundings. Look into Hollywood Hills, that's a nice established 60s neighborhood and you should be able to find something in your price range. Yes it's an inconsistent area but unless you are completely paranoid, I think you will be fine and you will find a better deal for the type of envrionment you want.

Last edited by compelled to reply; 05-21-2008 at 12:37 PM..
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Old 05-21-2008, 01:06 PM
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Does it have to be in Florida for I heard Asheville, N.C. is the new 60's hippy-type relocation area. You might want to check it out.

As for Atlantic Ave., did you visit on the weekend? It is totally beautiful w/all the bistros, clubs, lights, action and nightlife. I'm a local and was blown away. Wonder if you visited on an off night? Even revelers need a night off. lol

As for Boca, there are lots of clubs, party bars and singles night functions. (Apt. communities alone have a variety of people and ages). I get the area's newsletter and can't keep up with all. I can e-you a copy if you decide to come back down. Also, did you visit the FAU area and the University Commons? Many "dudes", progressive thinkers and cross-section of ethnicity there. I'm disappointed you weren't able to find what you were looking for, but hey, looking and seeking is part of the adventure.

How about Orlando? Then again I hear it has become more unsafe.

As for older folk, that might be what keeps crime down. And there is no Utopia. Close but not 100%. As in all things in life, there will be comprimises.

Best of luck in your ventures.
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Old 05-21-2008, 01:16 PM
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Originally Posted by House4Sale View Post
How about Orlando? Then again I hear it has become more unsafe.
Wow, anything to keep him from going further south, right? LOL! Orlando?!?!? If I was going to send him further north, I would direct him to downtown St. Petersburg or the south Tampa area. More in his price range too.

Seriously, if you can find a job out there, check it out sometime, I think you would be impressed with those areas. I think you would be impressed with Asheville too.
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Old 05-21-2008, 01:39 PM
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Nah, Asheville will not work out. Sorry. I live right up at the border of South and North Carolina and I'm pretty much sick of both. The carolinas are too rural, old-timey, and run down. Nothing going for them.

Orlando won't work out either. South Florida is the only place that has the right atmosphere for me, being as I have caribbean culture (NOT ALL, but most caribbeans aren't happy if they are too far away from the southern tropical climate).

When I checked Delray, it was this past weekend. Sat. morning, as a matter of fact. The beach was PACKED, all I could do was ride through. I couldn't even park. I only checked the eastern half of the city, so I can't speak for what the whole city is like, but I do know that although it had a small charm to it (Mainly because Delray is colorful), it could be considered somewhat of a ghetto. I didn't feel that safe at all.

Yes, I visited FAU, as one of my uncles works there as an engineer. Honestly, that is the ONLY place in Boca where I seen different ethnic groups.
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Old 05-21-2008, 02:07 PM
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Do you have to live up in Broward of Palm Beach Counties? If you consider Miami-Dade County, there are plenty of diverse (mix of Anglo, Jewish, Hispanic, Brazilian) areas like Aventura, Sunny Isles Beach, Surfside, North Bay Village, Bay Harbor Islands, and even Miami Beach (both "South Beach" and "North Beach.") In Broward I would recommend eastern Hollywood or the Las Olas area of Fort Lauderdale, and in Palm Beach I would recommend Boca Raton or Delray Beach. If you want an affordable, younger and more diverse area of Boca, try West Boca. It is more ethnically diverse than Central or East Boca (lots of Hispanics, Brazilians, more Italians and Anglos instead of majority Jewish, etc.) and has more families and apartment complexes (where there are some singles living).
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