Non-mainstream surfing family seeking FL beach town - Mothering Forums
Florida, Georgia, Alabama > Non-mainstream surfing family seeking FL beach town
Reblynmoore's Avatar Reblynmoore 08:33 PM 01-16-2013
My family is considering moving to FL. We surf and are looking forward to teaching our 3 boys in the warm Atlantic. Any views on a relaxed beach town on the eastern coast, where we could hopefully meet some crunchy, non-mainstream, unschooling/homeschooling, like-minded families? Who surf?? wink1.gif. Also we are looking for a community that is walkable or bike friendly. Any input would've greatly appreciated!

FloridaBorn's Avatar FloridaBorn 04:41 PM 01-17-2013
Hmmm sounds like Shangri-La! My first suggestion is St. Augustine, the oldest city. Or maybe Amelia Island. There are other towns up and down the Atlantic coast which might be a fit so hopefully others will chime in.

Please realize that Florida is still the South! I love living here, but I'm an 8th generation Floridian and the Cracker way of life suits me just fine. Others who give our state a try don't understand why people drive pick up trucks and wonder why the small town grocery store doesn't stock quinoa. Awful generalizations, but you get my drift. There is definitely a cultural disparity for those not from here. South Florida is a whole nother animal.

Right now our governor is a moron and our school systems are a laughingstock. I know you said you home/unschool, but just making you aware.

Try before you buy! LoL! Fly to Jacksonville and rent a car and go all the way down the state! Sounds like an awesome road trip to me smile.gif
LindsayEM's Avatar LindsayEM 04:36 PM 01-22-2013

Check out St. Augustine Beach, I think you may find what you are looking for there :)

Maitrima's Avatar Maitrima 08:23 AM 01-30-2013

In South (southeast) FL you'll likely find better availability of things that are crunchy, organic, etc. but where everything else is concerned it won't come so close to the kinds of towns you would find in CA, OR, etc. We're highly populated with unfriendly, high-strung people and not very bike friendly. Although to be fair, most of FL is not very bike friendly. Pockets where you may have the best chances for what you're looking for in SoFla might be Delray Beach, Deerfield Beach, Pompano Beach to Hollywood Beach.


The west coast of FL is more laid back, the water is warmer, and the beach sand is better for walking, but alas it won't be good for any kind of surfing.


Good luck! I definitely second the idea of doing a road trip to get a feel for the areas you're considering.

Bearsmom's Avatar Bearsmom 05:43 PM 02-08-2013
I live in west palm beach so I thought I would give some input. However, disclaimer, I was born here so I don't have a whole lot to compare to. That said I think you should look into Juno Beach or Jupiter area. Not exactly crunchy but it is laid back enough to find a few like minded folks regarding schooling / unschooling, organic eating, and of course surfing. The catch is the very high cost of homes near the ocean. Depends on what you are looking for. If you do end up in this area please feel free to contact me here on mothering. Or if you have any questions about this area.
Good luck!
LittleBrimBaby's Avatar LittleBrimBaby 08:16 AM 03-27-2013

Hello! Have you found what you're looking for yet? Jacksonville/Amelia Island/St. Augustine is known for some surfing in Florida. Jacksonville has several beach enclave communities, and the Fruitful Vine Midwifery Practice may have some recommendations for help through their Facebook community. Look them up & ask to join!

bellydance2290's Avatar bellydance2290 09:19 AM 03-27-2013

I grew up in Florida but currently live outside of Atlanta.  We're actually thinking about a move back and trying to decide where.  I thought I'd chime in on the original question and then ask a few of my own since I think it will also benefit them.


As far as North Florida goes (St. Augustine/Jax) it's pretty but very non crunchy in my opinion.  You are also very close to GA and with that will get more "southern" ways of thinking.  You will be limited as far as shopping for natural stuff and while I'm sure there are crunchier types in the area, they will be spread out.  But I feel like that goes for all of Florida.  My husband is from Miami and S Florida is (as someone else mentioned) a whole other world.  Every time I visit I'm amazed at how rushed and rude people are down there.  You will find a larger selection of stores to shop at since they have Whole Foods and some farmers markets.  I grew up in St Pete and it's more laid back there but it's also lacking in selection.  All of that being said, I feel that if you look hard enough you will find what you need.  


I think we would prefer the east coast and need to be in an area with good jobs and reasonable housing.  Maybe within a hour or two of Miami?  The closer to the beach the more expensive (obviously) so I don't really mind having a bit of a drive, maybe 30 mins max.  A good Farmers Market is a must for me as well as decent schools.  I think Florida is about the same educationally as Georgia and there are some decent pockets of schools around here.  Any suggestions?  We like West Palm but I'm not sure about quality of life there.     

FloridaBorn's Avatar FloridaBorn 02:25 PM 03-27-2013
Bellydance, when was the last time you were in St. Pete? A lot has changed over there! West Palm has always struck me as kind of snobby, but may offer more job opportunities for professionals, I don't know.
bellydance2290's Avatar bellydance2290 02:38 PM 03-27-2013

FloridaBorn, it's been probably a year or two since I've been to St. Pete but I still have family there.  It's definitely changed since I lived there almost 20 yrs ago (yikes, that makes me feel so old!!).  I also stick to the beaches when visiting and don't get into Tampa much.  I think I am also spoiled from living in the Atlanta area.  It's by no means super progressive here but we have such an amazing selection of CSA's & local farmers, an amazing Farmers Market, Whole Foods and Trader Joe's everywhere that it's going to be hard to lose all of that.  I think they are opening a Trader Joe's in Sarasota but that's a long drive.  


I agree that WPB can be snobby as can all of South Florida.  I feel like being there you are somewhat removed from the craziness of Miami though.  Where do you live in Florida? 

treehugginhippie's Avatar treehugginhippie 08:55 PM 03-29-2013

There's a Trader Joe's in Sarasota now :)

bellydance2290's Avatar bellydance2290 06:59 PM 09-03-2013

Just curious if you decided to move and where?