A quiet, off-the-beaten path haven where an air of bygone simplicity combines with modern amenities and a stunning bayside border.
Palmetto Bay is one of Miami’s best-kept secrets.
Old Florida Charm
Lives On in Palmetto Bay
For people who lived in Miami during the 1960s and 1970s, a visit to Palmetto Bay almost inevitably sparks feelings of nostalgia, a flashback to a simpler time. Framed north to south by 136th Street and 184th Street, and west to east by U.S. 1 and Biscayne Bay, the neighborhood is tucked well away from the heart of Miami’s commercial and touristic centers. This low-key setting allows “The Village of Parks” to thrive as an uncomplicated oasis that reminds me of my neighborhood in the 1970s, now incorporated as Pinecrest. But is it remote and inconvenient? Not at all. U.S. 1 is easily and quickly reached from everywhere in Palmetto Bay
The village was incorporated in 2002, but the neighborhood has been around for many decades. A charming Old Florida ambiance is palpable here, yet the establishment of the area as a specific village gave its 24,000+ residents a previously lacking identity and pride of place. This inspired community leaders to put their best face forward with the enhancement and expansion of beloved landmarks, such as the historic, 445-acre bayfront Deering Estate & Nature Reserve with kayaking, nature tours, wilderness hikes, and much more; the 50-acre vibrant playground and simultaneous tranquil retreat for all ages that is Coral Reef Park; the showcase library boasting a calendar packed with activities for children, teens, and adults; and still more favorites, as well as supporting new developments that include chain and family businesses, restaurants, and more.
Among its quintessentially 21st-century aspects is Palmetto Bay’s eco-consciousness. The village leadership prioritizes respect for the environment, leading the way in Miami’s green initiatives with the first county-wide LEED-certified park building (at Coral Reef Park) and the very first statewide Platinum LEED-certified Village Hall.
Parents in the neighborhood praise the first rate schools, both public and private, with several choices for all age groups. The premier private schools are Palmer Trinity School (grades 6 – 12), Westminster Christian School (grades PK3 – 12), and Alexander Montessori School (grades Pre-School to 5). The best of the public schools include Coral Reef Elementary School, Howard Drive Elementary School, Palmetto Elementary School, Southwood Middle School, Palmetto Middle School, and Miami Palmetto Senior High School.
Wondering about ocean access? While there isn’t a marina right in the village, residents have very quick access (12-minute drive south from Town Hall) to Black Point Park marina on 248th Street. There’s also the quite reasonably close Matheson Hammock Park marina on Old Cutler Road (21 minutes north).
With a median resident income of $106,324 and a median home value of $448,000, life in Palmetto Bay is — in addition to everything else that makes it so appealing — readily accessible and down-to-earth. I suppose that’s the real secret of its Old Florida vibe. This isn’t the Miami of Hollywood productions — it’s the Miami where easy-going folks live happily in peace and quiet in their unspoiled, uncrowded little corner of paradise.
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