Madeira Beach's unofficial motto is "two miles long and a smile wide." It is located on a barrier island between the Gulf of Mexico and the Boca Ciega Bay on the west central Florida coast, directly west of St. Petersburg.
On Florida's southwestern coast, mellow Matlacha (Mat-la-shay) sits on and completely covers a little island that is situated between Pine Island, which is Florida's largest island, and the mainland where Fort Myers is located. Quaint and cute, it is an old fishing village.
One of Brevard County's oldest seaside communities, the mostly residential town of Melbourne Beach sits on a barrier island. It is bordered by Indialantic on the north, the Indian River Lagoon on the west and the Atlantic Ocean on the east.
Once known as Boggy Bayou, Niceville is located along the Choctawhatchee Bay on Florida's western Panhandle coast and is popular with military families and retirees. In fact, it backs up to Eglin Air Force Base, home of the Air Force Test Center and the 96th Test Wing.
The unincorporated beach town of Nokomis is between Sarasota and Venice on Florida's southwestern coast. It reminds many people of what Florida used to be and has a relaxed Gulf Coast vibe.
Fair Winds Village is in Nokomis, Florida and was built in the late 1960s and early 1970s. It is a 55+ condominium community with just 87 units.
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Leafy, suburban and reasonably priced, North Port straddles the Myakka River and is next door to the Myakka State Forest where dense forest is open for bicycling, bird watching, horseback riding, camping and more.
Harbor Cove, a casual cooperative community, boasts a riverfront setting, a 90-slip marina, heated swimming pools and more.
Ransom E. Olds, father of the Oldsmobile, purchased a large tract of land near the northern tip of Tampa Bay in 1916. His planned community looked a little bit like Detroit and was called R. E. Olds-on-the-Bay. The town was also called Tampa Shores. The name Oldsmar stuck in 1927.
Between the Atlantic Ocean and the Halifax River on Florida's northeastern coast, just north of lively Daytona Beach, Ormond Beach was the winter home of John D. Rockefeller. The industrialist and philanthropist had declared that he would survive to 100 years old and needed a healthy place to live. This was the spot he chose.
Plantation Bay Golf and Country Club is a large, beautiful master planned community in Ormond Beach, Florida. Construction started in the late-1980s and continues today. At completion, the development should have 5,000 homes spread across 3,600 acres (1,500 homes are already here). Although it is open to all ages, Plantation Bay has a large baby boomer contingent.
A quiet suburban atmosphere, wide boulevards lined with palm trees and neighborhoods interwoven with canals are Pembroke Pines' highlights.
Surrounded by a golf course, 55+ Park Place has low maintenance homes and a bounty of activities and social groups. Many homes have fairway and pond views.
Pleasant Palm Coast sits to the west of the Intracoastal Waterway on Florida's northeastern coast. It started out in the 1960s as a planned retirement community and has grown by 500% in the last decade or two, thanks to its relatively affordable housing and quiet way of life.
Park Place is a small 55+ community with single family homes. Building started in 2015 and continues today. Upon completion the development will have nearly 125 residences.
Nestled on the Intracoastal Waterway, Port Orange is a pleasant, well managed city with reasonably priced housing and safe neighborhoods. Is it a great place to retire?
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