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Old 02-07-2010, 08:48 AM
20 posts, read 93,939 times
Reputation: 14


My hus and I visited Florida with an eye for buying something in the $300,000 to $450,000 range now, so we wouldn't have to freeze our butts off in the frigid NE when he retires in 6 or 7 years. These were my impressions:

Fernandina Beach - Loved the town and the town beach. The housing stock didn't seem to have much to offer. Also, not really near anything else. Liked that they don't allow driving on the beach.

St. Augustine - Touristy town but still nice. Hate the driving on the beach.

New Smyrna Beach - Not much to the town yet. Nice housing stock in the north of the beach area. Hate that they drive on the beach. Note that the Irish Pub in town has the best soup in Florida, maybe the best in the US, maybe the best in the world. It's made in a special pot that they use in the Oyster Bar in Grand Central Terminal. Definitely go there for the soup.

Winter Park - Just beautiful. Loved the brick streets, the lovely shopping district, the trees draped with Spanish moss. Such a pretty place. Lots of housing stock in our price range. Big Drawback - no beach nearby. Being so close to Orlando could be a disadvantage or an advantage (lots of things to do?)

So my big question is: Are there any alternatives to Winter Park that are as nice but elsewhere in Florida closer to a beach? Especially on the Gulf side where the beaches are supposedly so much nicer.

I would greatly appreciate comments on these areas and suggestions of where else to look.

Snowed in in NJ!
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Old 02-07-2010, 10:50 AM
Location: Lake Mary, Florida
793 posts, read 2,084,498 times
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Short of living in typically retirement areas on the coast with old town feel and excitement like Ft. Myers (pictures of a wine Festival) and walking along the beaches of Sanibel & Captiva which are an island or the Sarasota area and it's beaches, Winter Park will be hard to duplicate.

My wife lived in Ft. Myers for a number of years and you couldn't get her back there due to the number of retirees, she feels to stay young in mind you need a mix of ages. Winter Park with Rollins College, young urbanites, City Center and proximity to Orlando and what the area offers keep you on your toes.

The wife is into the beach scene, shopping you know the typical Florida things I’m just one of the lucky guys that she lets me do/have my toys. Don’t get me wrong we have helped early retirees and friends locate to the above mentioned Cities and places like the Villages but until they offer motor heads that like to get together to polish, work and tell tall stories well we’ll stay put in Orlando spend the weekends at the beach and keep looking for our retirement mecca.

You could always go for the best of both worlds, a home in Winter Park and friends with a beach house, just kidding,

Hope this helps,
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Old 02-07-2010, 11:16 AM
20 posts, read 93,939 times
Reputation: 14
Default Wondered about Sarasota

Thanks BD. Your thinking is pretty much in line with ours. I've only looked at Sarasota online and I'm not sure I should bother taking a trip there. We like nice older neighborhoods with a mix of housing stock. On the maps Sarasota seems really packed in. But Winter Park is packed in by Orlando.

Thanks for your thoughts.....
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