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Old 05-15-2010, 11:13 AM
 
24 posts, read 211,684 times
Reputation: 55

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Hi,

My husband and I are thinking of relocating to South Florida (he grew up here). We are open to moving anywhere as far south as Miami (if it's an affordable, safe area) to as far north as West Palm Beach.

Here's my question....

Is there a city in South Florida that could be considered the equivalent of "Berkeley"? The types of qualities we are looking for in a community are the following:

- diversity
- well educated, intellectually minded, liberal people who are more interested in social and world issues than hitting the gym and plastic surgery (not that there is anything wrong with that)
- healthy food culture (organic, community supported agriculture, etc.)
- thriving small business community
- good public schools (preferable, but not an absolute must)
- low crime
- reasonable house prices (somewhere between $280,000 - $350,000)
- close proximity to places with culture (museums, symphony, jazz clubs, etc.)

Things I HATE in a community:
- big, chain stores (think Walmart)
- people who are overly materialistic (driving an SUV doesn't count - I drive one! I'm talking about people whose daily lives are consumed by how they look and what they own)
- areas that have been taken over by developers (thus lacking in natural landscapes and habitat)

I understand that there may not be any community in Florida that will fit this criteria exactly but whatever comes closest would be much appreciated!
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Old 05-15-2010, 12:50 PM
 
3,043 posts, read 7,340,915 times
Reputation: 900
Sorry to say (because I live here) but it doesn't exist. Nothing even close.
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Old 05-15-2010, 12:55 PM
 
8,862 posts, read 16,306,228 times
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You might get 'a bit' of what you seek around Jupiter?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jupiter,_Florida

http://www.jupiter.fl.us/
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Old 05-15-2010, 01:39 PM
 
Location: Chicago, IL
328 posts, read 1,336,426 times
Reputation: 176
Quote:
Originally Posted by topaz88 View Post
Hi,

My husband and I are thinking of relocating to South Florida (he grew up here). We are open to moving anywhere as far south as Miami (if it's an affordable, safe area) to as far north as West Palm Beach.

Here's my question....

Is there a city in South Florida that could be considered the equivalent of "Berkeley"? The types of qualities we are looking for in a community are the following:

- diversity
- well educated, intellectually minded, liberal people who are more interested in social and world issues than hitting the gym and plastic surgery (not that there is anything wrong with that)
- healthy food culture (organic, community supported agriculture, etc.)
- thriving small business community
- good public schools (preferable, but not an absolute must)
- low crime
- reasonable house prices (somewhere between $280,000 - $350,000)
- close proximity to places with culture (museums, symphony, jazz clubs, etc.)

Things I HATE in a community:
- big, chain stores (think Walmart)
- people who are overly materialistic (driving an SUV doesn't count - I drive one! I'm talking about people whose daily lives are consumed by how they look and what they own)
- areas that have been taken over by developers (thus lacking in natural landscapes and habitat)

I understand that there may not be any community in Florida that will fit this criteria exactly but whatever comes closest would be much appreciated!
You definitely will not find exactly what you are looking for in South Florida. Have you been here before? South Florida is one big strip-mall after another. Sure, there are some independent stores and restaurants, but it's all about where is the closest Target, Publix, Wal-Mart.

Also, people in South Florida are very materialistic (gross generalization, I know). It's all about driving an import car, having the newest iPhone or other accessory (expensive handbags for women, expensive sunglasses for men or women), etc. It gets worse as you go down further south in Miami-Dade County and experience the epitome of superficial shallowness, South Beach.

There are plenty of safe, educated neighborhoods, but you will still do your shopping at a chain big box store and your neighbors will drive mostly Imports.
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Old 05-15-2010, 03:41 PM
 
17,288 posts, read 28,054,770 times
Reputation: 8673
Quote:
Originally Posted by TakeAhike View Post
You might get 'a bit' of what you seek around Jupiter?

Jupiter, Florida - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Town of Jupiter Home Page


Yikes, no, Jupiter has "safe" and great schools, as well as beauty, but there is a lot of superficiality.


I cannot speak for Broward or Miami-Dade, but in PBC, I would suggest parts of Lake Worth maybe, such as Parrot Cove. Lake Worth is very bohemian... kinda granola, the town manager is a transsexual, etc. The schools, though, are not the best in the "bohemain," eastern part of town.

Historic West Palm Beach area (South of Downtown) might be a good compromise...or the "South of Southern" neighborhood. Southend West Palm is a safe area to live, has charm, no gated communities, etc.... the schools are also better. You would be sandwiched between to downtown as well (Lake Worth's beachy downtown, and West Palm's larger downtown).

In West Palm , check out homes and areas in Flamingo Park, Grandview Heights, Southland Park, and South of Southern. Downtown West Palm and the South Dixie corridor have lots of independent businesses and restaurants. Berekely? No way, but it's not the superficiality of Boca or sterility of some of the Western suburbs in South Fla.


Feel free to DM if you have questions.
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Old 05-15-2010, 03:42 PM
 
3,767 posts, read 8,319,908 times
Reputation: 3751
Topaz - i dont really know of anywhere in SFL that meets your requirements. What comes to mind is the West coast, some parts of the mid west and the northeast.

One big factor as someone else mentioned is lifestyle - its difficult to find an area that as a whole is health conscious - then add in liberal and you have to rule out most of Miami. The cost of housing is also really restrictive because if you were to find an area that meets those requirements it would be a small pocket that is very expensive - Key Biscayne comes to mind.
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Old 05-15-2010, 03:50 PM
 
8,862 posts, read 16,306,228 times
Reputation: 2280
Quote:
Originally Posted by alwaystraveling25 View Post
You definitely will not find exactly what you are looking for in South Florida. Have you been here before? South Florida is one big strip-mall after another. Sure, there are some independent stores and restaurants, but it's all about where is the closest Target, Publix, Wal-Mart.

Also, people in South Florida are very materialistic (gross generalization, I know). It's all about driving an import car, having the newest iPhone or other accessory (expensive handbags for women, expensive sunglasses for men or women), etc. It gets worse as you go down further south in Miami-Dade County and experience the epitome of superficial shallowness, South Beach.

There are plenty of safe, educated neighborhoods, but you will still do your shopping at a chain big box store and your neighbors will drive mostly Imports.
Lake Park --nice historic homes--don't know about the rest.

'Gold Coast'--I went a few times to visit friends---sweltering heat in the summer--not that easy to get to the beaches. Not what I like.
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Old 05-15-2010, 04:06 PM
 
3,848 posts, read 8,802,399 times
Reputation: 2015
You'll find bits and pieces of everything you're looking for all over SoFla, but won't find everything in one town or city.

Key West has tons of history, an open minded population and from what I've heard, the schools aren't bad. There is little big box retail besides a K-Mart, Sears, two (or three?) supermarkets, an Office Max and a couple of other ones. House in your price range aren't a dime a dozen, though. You're also somewhat isolated.

Miami has more diversity, you can get more access to different providers of organic foods, and you can get a house in your price range. Schools vary depending on where you're at. There is also some culture in Miami such as museums, shows, etc.

Ft. Lauderdale is heavily Democrat, less congested then Miami and also has access to organic foods and museums/shows. Again, schools can be hit or miss. The downside is there is no mass transit at all in FTL like there is in Miami, and I don't know of any plans to put it in. Although Miami's transit isn't the greatest, there are efforts being made to expand it.

I would say Palm Beach County is probably filled with most of what you don't want... strip malls, Wal-Mart and less culture. I don't know a whole lot about PBC, though, so you'd be better advised by somebody else.

If I had to pick one city for you, and I know it's out of bounds for what you wanted, I would have to go with Key West. It checks most boxes on your list.
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Old 05-15-2010, 04:10 PM
 
183 posts, read 547,045 times
Reputation: 46
How about Coconut Grove or Brickell?
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Old 05-16-2010, 09:39 AM
 
Location: The Woodlands Tamarac, FL
154 posts, read 521,724 times
Reputation: 81
Topaz,

Sorry to say there is nothing like that in Florida. That is why we have a vacation home in in the Ashville area of North Carolina. It's very bohemian there. Artistic-minded, health conscious, and liberal......it's just a fantastic city. We look forward to all the time we spend up there during the year.

If you do find something like that down here, please post it! I love South FL and I do love that Broward county is considered a Liberal county politically speaking. But it's not the type of area you are speaking about.
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