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Welcome to Boca Raton

by Michael Goldberg

Boca Raton isn’t your average place to live, but you knew that already. That’s why you moved here. You knew the first time you came here that there was something special about this place. Maybe it’s the way the warm breeze blows over the Boca Raton Beach after a long journey across the Atlantic, warming itself in the tropical sun; or the way the water flows through the city, curling lazily about the place bringing the sunny scent of salt water everywhere; or maybe it’s just the thunderstorms reminding you that yes, you do technically live in a Tropical Rainforest, but something about the city simply relaxes you. Yet there’s so much more behind the beautiful weather -- from the fascinating history behind the town to the numerous outdoor adventures that await you in this sunny little slice of paradise, you’ll be amazed by what’s behind Boca Raton. 

One of the most interesting things is that Boca Raton wasn’t always Boca Raton. What the Spanish called Boca De Ratones was originally Biscayne Bay -- it was named that because of the rocky bottom of the bay which scraped on the ships that came in. The area around what is now called the Boca Raton Lake was named that due to mistakes by 19th-century Map-Makers.

However, what is now Boca Raton was just a small farming community with a population of 100. However, much of that changed with the arrival of a man named Addison Mizner. Addison was an architect who dreamed of turning the town into a city-resort whose entirety would rival the splendor of Palm Beach. He designed and oversaw construction on many of the historical buildings that still stand today, including the old Town Hall, which is now the Boca Raton History Museum.

This began in 1924, though, and World War II was on the horizon. Much of the land that Addison had used to build his resort was confiscated and put to use towards the war effort. A massive Air Force base was constructed as a training facility for B-29 Bombers, and the only training facility for training radar operator’s in the country. The grounds ended up being donated after the war, and much of it became the grounds for Florida Atlantic University. You can still see where some of the old runways have been turned into parking lots.

Boca Raton was home to two amusement parks through the 50’s but really exploded when IBM announced their plans to build a huge production plant in the late 1960’s. While originally adjacent to Boca Raton proper, the site was annexed into the city by 1970. By this time, the population had grown from 6,951 to 28,506, launching Boca Raton from a small town to a full-blown city.

Being a full-blown city can come with its own set of problems, but transportation isn’t an issue. Cruising around the city is easy here. If you have a car, you’re always a smooth ride away from I-95 and can navigate easily around Florida. Don’t fret if automobiles aren’t for you. There are regular buses provided by both Broward County and Palm Tran. For longer journeys, the Tri-Rail system can quickly and cheaply get you up and down the coast all the way to Miami.

With a simple transportation system, all you really need are places to go, and those are plentiful in Boca Raton. If you have kids, Sugar Sands park is a must. It’s a beautifully-kept, safe, and huge place, measuring out to 137 acres with loads of things to do to keep your little ones entertained and happy. For you, however, Mizner Park is the place to go. Here, Mizner seems to have gotten pretty close his dream, as the park named after him is a fantastically luxurious shopping center of the city. Even if you don’t buy anything, walk through here in the afternoon or evening to take in the beautiful landmarks and architecture before catching dinner and a movie. Here you can bask in the culmination of a trend started by a man with a dream over 90 years ago.

However, if you’re looking for things to do, rather than places to go -- if you’re the adventurous sort, not sated by a mere day at the gorgeous golden beaches, Boca Raton has you covered. The numerous lakes, bays, and rivers make water skiing and wakeboarding an unofficial pastime. Paintball is also fairly popular, but if that doesn’t get your adrenaline up enough, then simply head back into the Everglades. Airboat rides are all over the place, and nothing gets the blood pumping like looking into the eyes of Florida’s apex predator in its natural habitat.

There’s just so much to Boca Raton hidden behind the veneer of a tropical paradise. While, in some ways, Addison Mizner’s dreams of a city-resort have come to fruition, there’s so much history embedded in the streets here that the city has really become something greater: it’s become a home for thousands of people. Hopefully, this has given you a taste of the amazing things you can find here.

Moving to South Florida? Here’s What You Should Know

by Michael Goldberg

Moving can be a stressful process for just about anyone and can be coupled with a lengthy malaise of time in which you haven’t met new friends to ease the transition into life elsewhere or just an unawareness of things to do in the area. You’re already dealing with the moving trucks, car journeys, and all the other wonderful tasks that accompany relocation. Luckily, you’ve decided to move to one of the premier locations in the country. Whether you’re moving from the frigid winters of the North or the dry heat of the southwest, southern Florida will wrap you up in its almost perpetual sun and beautiful coastal landscape. So, here is a list of miscellaneous facts and social options to ease your transition into a new life.

Housing Market

To begin, let’s cover the housing market for those who know they are moving, but perhaps have not decided which area they prefer. To start, single-family housing has seen a 7.5% growth in sales according to The South Florida Reporter, doubling the national average. While this means that prices are rising, buying sooner rather than later can ensure that your investment climbs steadily. However, Palm Beach has seen a decrease in sales prices due to the influx of high-end condos and single-family housing developments, which can be good for those who are not looking to break the bank. Prices have also seen an increase in Tampa, though they have stagnated as of recent. Be sure to conduct extensive research before buying, of course, and remember that these trends come and go.

Sporting Events

Once you’ve begun to settle into your new situation, you may be looking around for fun things to do in the area to begin to get a feel of the city life and culture you’ve become a part of. A sure-fire way to start is the entertainment industry, and sports head up the category in Southern Florida. With Tampa and only a couple hours away, Miami, and Orlando to the North, the options are almost limitless. Miami includes the Heat (NBA), The Marlins (MLB), the Panthers (NHL), and the Dolphins (NFL). That alone puts you in a four-sport city, which suits the taste of any sports aficionado. Going to games in Miami is not only a fun experience, but the social aspect around the events will help ease the transition to a new city. Tickets can always be purchased at the venue. Be sure to head down a couple hours before each game to get the true vibe of the scene!

Nightlife

Miami is world-renowned for its fun and vibrant nightlife and is frequented by locals, travelers, and celebrities alike. For a more popular spot, check out Nikki Beach Miami, one of South Beach’s premier venues for partying. Not only does the venue boast a top-tier nightclub on its second floor, it also has an oceanfront complex which includes a beach bar, award-winning restaurant, cabana bar, and a garden café. You can essentially spend the entire day there. For a different type of nighttime experience, check out Ball & Chain, an iconic nightclub from the 1930’s which has reemerged as a live music venue. The bar also serves Cuban style food if you’re looking to delve into local cuisine!

Beaches

No list of attractions in Florida would be complete without the inclusion of perhaps its most alluring factor: beaches. After all, you aren’t excited to move to this tropical paradise just because of the clubs and sports teams! Of course, Miami Beach is the best-known area for fun in the sun, but it is certainly not alone in this area. This is not to say you cannot enjoy a trip to the popular spot, but if you’re more inclined to head somewhere relatively quieter, there are many great options to choose from in the region. A quick jaunt up to Delray, a pleasant small town on the east coast, is perfect for a day-long excursion. The oceanfront restaurants and local shops will provide a relaxing couple of hours, and the beach remains a less populated area. Spend a couple hours sunbathing, maybe some surfing, and then cap it off at the bar only 200 yards from your beach towel. Another amazing location is Sanibel Island, a historic site of colonial America. Lighthouse beach has fishing directly off the pier, the 9th-century lighthouse itself, and a boardwalk that meanders its way through the scenic marshes of the island.

 

Moving can be a great hassle, but of all the location to endure that hassle for, south Florida has to be just about the most promising area. The weather and landscape alone are enough to satisfy any homebuyer, but the real estate upticks and entertainment perks are just icing on the cake. Good luck as you make the jump into a new city, and remember that your experience is only as good as you choose to make it, so be ready to fully embrace the buzzing tropical metropolitan area of Southern Florida!

 

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Make your first call to Mike about homes for sale in Palm Beach, homes for sale in Wellington, and homes for sale in Boca Raton. Mike's experience in these communities is great asset at a time when luxury homes in Palm Beach along with upscale condos are difficult to find. Work with Mike to find the ideal property for you and your family, and enjoy the lifestyle you want.