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Old 10-20-2018, 12:50 AM
2 posts, read 1,926 times
Reputation: 15


I have been reading the Tal forum to try and get a 'flavor' of the small coastal towns near Tal. Lived in Bradenton for elementary school years. I was young, so memories include awesome weather and beaches! Parents moved back to Michigan (freeze every winter) where I still live @ 50 years old now. Want to return to FL in next few years. Moving my business to mostly online work, so I will have flexibility with work options. Looking at small towns since I'm NOT a city person who needs close or sophisticated entertainment, art, cultural events; hour drive is fine for my needs Sounds like Tal would have all I would need. I prefer beaches, land, and dogs. Well educated (Masters degree), but would enjoy the simplicity of small town life.

What I would like to find in a small town: 10 min or less to beach; 30 minutes or less to Wal-Mart or grocery store; restaurant options in small town that include more than just seafood restraunts; restraunts and/or pubs where people are friendly enough to have conversation with people, other than those they came with and low crime.

Towns I am considering visiting to narrow my options: St Mark's; Carabelle; Keaton beach (not near Ta l-in Taylor County). I do understand the recent hurricane damage may impact these towns, but info about their pre-hurricane feel is fine. All feedback appreciated and welcome!
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Old 10-20-2018, 08:40 PM
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All of those towns are pretty backwoods.. I would probably opt for Tallahassee
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Old 11-30-2018, 05:22 PM
479 posts, read 423,197 times
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You need to understand that the options, if any for internet service in these areas sucks. No lie. DSL, copper wire analog, patchy broadband, awful satellite .
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Old 11-30-2018, 05:27 PM
479 posts, read 423,197 times
Reputation: 658
Really you might be better waiting for the rebuild further west where the infrastructure will be new. In rural areas don't expect quality internet overall. Working online from home that is vital.
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Old 12-01-2018, 10:56 AM
5 posts, read 3,915 times
Reputation: 25
I agree that those areas mentioned are all backwoods with no shopping centers aside from IGA, Dollar General, and the occasional Piggly. I find Taylor County to be the most depressing place of all mentioned . Keaton Beach is not a beach - you can launch a boat but there is no beach. I have to go there on business and hate it. It’s a place that makes me think “there’s got to be a moral to the story.” St. Marks is mostly national forest and has serious flooding and surge issues. Wakulla has reasonable home prices, Wal Mart, chain restaurants. Shell Point (aka Hell Point) is used as a beach by some but is more of an entrance to the water and not what one would think of as a traditional beach. From Wakulla it’s one hour to the beach (SGI).

Carabelle has a subway restaurant at the gas station , a few mom and pop places and an IGA. Apalachicola is small, charming, and closer to the beach but it’s relatively cut off with not much in the way of good infrastructure or industry . I’m not sure if the hospital in PSJ has reopened since the storm but it’s an important factor to consider and Franklin County is sadly lacking in medical care. Much of the forgotten coast (98) is populated by seasonal and weekend residents (2nd vacation homes). There is not much industry since St Joe closed. It’s geared primarily towards tourists.

It will be several years before Bay County gets back on its feet (outside of the beach which sustained little damage). Same for a lot of the 8 counties impacted by Michael. (Bay, Gulf, Calhoun, Liberty, Holmes, Washington, Jackson, Gadsden). None of these counties have the capital to rebuild and are seeking state and federal assistance to rebuild the infrastructure. Don’t know if or when it will happen. Some towns are functioning better than others. This part of Florida is nothing like any other part of the state.

Alligator Point is a place I have not mentioned as it only has the “beach.” They have no road at present and that road gets ruined in each storm. The county and state are saying that they will not pick up the 7 million dollar tab to replace the road and residents are threatening legal recourse.there is an obvious moral to that story and it’s that areas routinely damaged by the all too frequent storms will be on their own and are best avoided. “Let the buyer beware.”

Tallahassee has most of what you’re seeking but it’s 90 minutes or longer to a traditional beach.

If it was me I would look in Pensacola- it has everything you’re looking for. Ft. Walton Beach is another location that isn’t very charming but it has what you’re looking for.

My obversation is this: look at areas with solid infrastructure and industry. I personally think that some of the places impacted by the storm will become ghost towns as they were small, had little to offer job wise, are too costly to rebuild. I do business in all these places and the Panhandle has many areas once booming but now mostly abandoned. Choose wisely.
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