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BY NEIL FLYNN VERO BEACH, FL – I believe I can speak with authority on this subject. I have lived in Massachusetts, New York (3 times), Connecticut, New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia, Washington D.C., Colorado, California, and of course, Florida. I moved to Florida (Broward County) in 1996 and have owned properties in 3 counties. Three of my four children played high school and travel club soccer in Florida. As a result, I have been on every damn soccer field in the state at least once. I escaped Broward County four years ago. Vero Beach is the nicest place I have lived. I think the Toronto Star summed it up perfectly with their article “Miami without the Madness”. We have the big city amenities with the feel of a small city. I have done things here that I never have done before in my life. Pouring champagne at intermission for the symphony orchestra, First Friday gallery stroll, etc. I love Vero Beach because: 1. Limited Traffic - I frequently drive down to the Keys. Driving through Fort Liquordale and Miami is a 12 lane NASCAR experience. DO NOT drive there during rush hour. The Turnpike is jammed at 6:00 AM Monday through Friday headed into Miami. On the Gulf Coast, I-75 backs up at 3:00 in the afternoon when the snowbirds are here. Normally we don’t have a rush hour in Vero Beach. The biggest traffic jams occur when the elementary school kids are dropped off/picked up. When the snowbirds roost here, at the busiest intersection (RT 60 and 58th Ave), the worst that may happen is you may not get through the intersection with one turn of the traffic signal. 2. In a 2015 report on the best hospitals
in Florida, US News &World Report ranked the Indian River Medical Center (IRMC) in the top 5%. In that top 5% were hospitals like the Mayo Clinic and Cleveland Clinic. And now for the good news! IRMC will join the Cleveland Clinic health system! The new name of the hospital will be Cleveland Clinic Indian River Hospital. 3. Based on an Economic Policy Institute report, the Vero Beach area is less expensive than all of the major metropolitan areas of Florida including: Miami, Fort Liquordale, West Palm Beach, Tampa, and Naples. Vero Beach was noticeably less expensive in the housing and taxes categories. While you may find a small coastal area that costs less, I can assure you that you won’t find the big city amenities. 4. Four levels of shopping: Ocean Drive, Miracle Mile, Indian River Mall, and the Discount Outlet out by I-95. 5. As the Toronto Star indicates, Vero Beach has a plethora of four and five star restaurants on and off the Island. Moderately-priced restaurants are also abundant. 6. The Arts. I don’t think you can find a higher concentration of arts-related things to do. Riverside Theatre, Vero Beach Museum of Art, the Arts District are all world-class. The First Friday Gallery Stroll on 14th Ave, is one of the nicest venues in my (distorted) mind. The Vero Beach Wine and Film Festival is 4 days of Wine, Films, and Fun. The Huffington Post called it “The New Summer Sundance”. The Under the Oaks Fine Art and Crafts Show, draws 80,000 people from all over the US. I have only scratched the surface here. 7. The City forefathers laid out plenty of parks. Take a ride through Riverside Park and you’ll see tennis courts, boat
ramps, a baseball field, a dog park, cookout grills, Riverside Theatre, Vero Beach Museum of Art etc. Right next door is the City Marina where you can moor your vessel at reasonable rates. Every Saturday morning, The Farmers Market can be found at Humiston Park. Humiston Park is also where you bring your beach chairs to the Sunset Saturday Free Concerts. 8. City laws require one month minimum rental contracts for condos and homes. Because of peak demand in the winter, most owners now require a 3 month contract. Affordability therefore drives the caliber of snowbirds that flock to our shores. Construction laws restrict the height of buildings. The ambiance you feel is not a fluke. As Councilwoman Laura Moss has said “It is open space that differentiates us from others and creates the context for the civility, gentility, and livability within our beautiful City.” Hometown News, 8/31/2018 9. The beaches have received national recognition. USA Today rated our beaches as a “Top Beach Destination” and Family Vacation Critic rated Vero Beach as “One of the Top 10 Beaches in the US”. Rarely are the beaches crowded. 10. But most of all, it’s the people. For the most part, everybody is friendly and just nice people. When I first moved here, and didn’t know a soul, neighbors would wave as I drove down the street. A shopper at the grocery checkout line asked me if I wanted to cut in front of him, as I only had a gallon of milk to purchase. I told him no thank you, as I wasn’t in a hurry. He replied, “You wouldn’t be living here if you were in a hurry.” Perfect.
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