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Old 03-12-2009, 10:22 PM
 
Location: Washington DC
1 posts, read 10,050 times
Reputation: 10

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My wife and I plan to purchase a second home in southern Florida within the next few months. If all goes well, the condo or a house we buy will become our permanent retirement home within just a few years.

Our main problem with Florida is that almost everywhere you are completely dependent on your car for transportation. The obvious exception is Miami Beach, South Beach in particular, and we have already begun researching the market there. But this area isn’t entirely to our taste.

Therefore our plea: please recommend other cities, towns or neighborhoods in southern Florida where you can purchase a house or condo within walking distance of shopping, restaurants, book-stores, coffee shops, etc. etc. That way we can look forward to living independently in the same place -- even when we grow too old to drive. But the idea of a walkable community appeals to us NOW.

I would welcome all your suggestions. Thank you!
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Old 03-13-2009, 01:23 AM
 
Location: western East Roman Empire
6,604 posts, read 10,669,475 times
Reputation: 5755
Florida is part of the US, so the short answer is, with few pre-1900 exceptions, drive or die.

Having said that, your best bet is so-called downtown Delray Beach.

Short of that, you may also look into retirement condo communities like Kingspoint or Century Village where they have on site community activities and/or bus service to shopping.

Finally, do a forum search for Florida and the regions you are interested in with the word "walkable" (there is also the Tampa-St. Pete area and southwestern Florida) and you will find previous threads on the issue. There are also websites dedicated to the walkable issue and you can analyze any zip code. You can find the web addresses in the walkable threads or do a Google search and you should find them.

My grandfather lived in Kingspoint, which offers bus service for shopping, yet he drove up to the age of 91 until he suffered a stroke buying his favorite food in a specialty shop and died a few weeks later.

Good luck!
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Old 03-13-2009, 07:51 AM
 
Location: Venice Florida
1,380 posts, read 5,241,625 times
Reputation: 864
I live in Venice Florida. The town was designed by John Nolan. The concepts that were built into Venice are seen in what is referred to as new urbanism.
We have an active downtown which is walkable, with adequate parking and easily to walk and bike to from many of the neighborhoods. The town was designed with many parks. We have a municipal golf course, a gulf front restaurant called Sharkys, a pet friendly beach park called PAWS, miles of walk and bike paths along the intra coastal waterway, free boat launches, a great library, active community center, a visual art center, a performing arts theater, a hospital, a hardware store, and all the things I mentioned are walkable from my house. Oh and beach access is free, the beach is not crowded.
The city is diverse in it's architecture, with the city core maintaining an Italian Renaissance architectural theme that was started in the 1920's. While not free of crime, Venice is probably one of the safest communities in Florida.
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Old 03-13-2009, 08:29 AM
 
15,189 posts, read 31,132,279 times
Reputation: 18359
Quote:
Originally Posted by FLBob View Post
I live in Venice Florida. The town was designed by John Nolan. The concepts that were built into Venice are seen in what is referred to as new urbanism.
We have an active downtown which is walkable, with adequate parking and easily to walk and bike to from many of the neighborhoods. The town was designed with many parks. We have a municipal golf course, a gulf front restaurant called Sharkys, a pet friendly beach park called PAWS, miles of walk and bike paths along the intra coastal waterway, free boat launches, a great library, active community center, a visual art center, a performing arts theater, a hospital, a hardware store, and all the things I mentioned are walkable from my house. Oh and beach access is free, the beach is not crowded.
The city is diverse in it's architecture, with the city core maintaining an Italian Renaissance architectural theme that was started in the 1920's. While not free of crime, Venice is probably one of the safest communities in Florida.
hahaha - FLBob - Venice is indeed a nice little town, with uncrowded beaches, etc. but if you keep letting the secret out it might not be that way much longer! J/K Seriously, Venice is nice, for anyone that wants that beachy small-town feel. I love the architecture downtown. I need to get down that way sometime soon - do they still have a few thrift shops downtown? I used to love St. Mark's!
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Old 03-13-2009, 08:48 AM
 
Location: Venice Florida
1,380 posts, read 5,241,625 times
Reputation: 864
The thrift shops are still on Miami street, and St. Mark's is still doing well. Althea's just finished a major remodel to bring it's appearance in line with the Italian Renaissance style.

gypsychic - I hear you, and I'm often conflicted about spreading the word about Venice. When I first moved to Naples it was a lot like Venice and then everyone discovered it and started knocking down all the old houses and building new structures that covered every buildable square inch.
I just really like living here and I love your neck of the woods too.
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Old 03-13-2009, 09:09 AM
 
Location: Miami
6,853 posts, read 19,800,931 times
Reputation: 2907
The City of South Miami is becoming more pedestrian friendly.
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Old 03-13-2009, 11:01 AM
 
17,297 posts, read 25,694,164 times
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Downtown West Palm Beach/Cityplace is an option to look into, as is the town of Palm Beach if you have the $.
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Old 03-14-2009, 09:14 PM
 
Location: Clinton Hill, Brooklyn
5 posts, read 25,243 times
Reputation: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by bale002 View Post
Florida is part of the US, so the short answer is, with few pre-1900 exceptions, drive or die.

Having said that, your best bet is so-called downtown Delray Beach.

Short of that, you may also look into retirement condo communities like Kingspoint or Century Village where they have on site community activities and/or bus service to shopping.

Finally, do a forum search for Florida and the regions you are interested in with the word "walkable" (there is also the Tampa-St. Pete area and southwestern Florida) and you will find previous threads on the issue. There are also websites dedicated to the walkable issue and you can analyze any zip code. You can find the web addresses in the walkable threads or do a Google search and you should find them.

My grandfather lived in Kingspoint, which offers bus service for shopping, yet he drove up to the age of 91 until he suffered a stroke buying his favorite food in a specialty shop and died a few weeks later.

Good luck!
Hi Bale002 - You seem pretty knowledgeable so maybe you can shed some light on something for me. I see a lot of people on the South Florida threads referring to "new urbanism" to describe where they live. Is Delray Beach like that? DB keeps popping up as a solution for all of the things I want...walkable, has a downtown area, arts, bookshops, cafes, restaurants...but I can't live in a manufactured community of entirely new construction that some development corporations got together and built 10 years ago!! Please tell me Delray Beach is not like that??

To give you some background on me: I'm 25, live in brownstone Brooklyn with my fiance, work at an internet company in Soho, love love LOVE NYC til the day I die but can't take another NYC winter

Thank you!
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Old 03-14-2009, 09:41 PM
 
Location: Clinton Hill, Brooklyn
5 posts, read 25,243 times
Reputation: 11
Hi again just wanted to say that anyone who has info/opinions to share is welcome, not just Bale. I need all the help I can get!

Also wanted to add some more about my preferences: I'm not interested in living in a gated community or on a golf course. I like old buildings, homes, and communities with real character. Is there any place in So Fl for me?

Before I discovered Delray I was looking at South Beach. Loved the architecture, walkability, shops, beaches (basically I fell in love with it after seeing "The Birdcage") etc BUT I can't live above a noisy club, I can't handle party animals rolling into town every weekend blasting loud music from their cars, basically don't want that constant party scene. Plus we want to have first kid in a few years so SoBe just didn't seem like the place for that.

Thanks again everyone!
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Old 03-15-2009, 08:05 AM
 
Location: Ohio
1,217 posts, read 2,350,109 times
Reputation: 2214
Coming from Brooklyn you will probably have more people in common on the east coast (DelrayB) than on the west coast. Venice is lovely but an older population. Delray definitely younger. I know both fairly well.

My suggestion is Sarasota, younger and hipper than almost any place in FL except South Beach. Walkable downtown (but nothing like NYC or Brooklyn). The pace on the west coast is slower than the east coast and I find the people friendlier. Just my opinion having lived on both coasts.
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