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Briny Breezes, Florida
On the Southeastern Florida Coast, Little Briny Breezes is a Mobile Home Park and an Incorporated Town with a Beautiful, Uncrowded Oceanfront Beach
Directly east of Boynton Beach on Florida's southeastern coast, friendly little Briny Breezes is a mobile home park that is an incorporated town. It is one of only two such mobile home towns in Florida and is wedged between the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) and the Atlantic Ocean. The demographic is very mature.
This tiny place got its start as a strawberry field in the 1920s. The owner of the field began leasing lots to Northerners ("tin can tourists") who had come down to camp for the winter, and in the 1950s, he sold the lots to those campers for $2,000 to $2,500 per lot. In 1963, the campers incorporated the trailer park into a town with a post office and a mayor. Briny Breezes has not changed much since then, although today it is comprised of white colored mobile homes instead of trailers. Properties are neatly laid out and tightly packed together. Some back to one of several canals and have a boat dock. The private, white sand oceanfront beach is 600 feet long and rarely crowded, while the ICW side has 1,100 feet of waterfront.
Locals, called Brinyites, enjoy a clubhouse and a lot of clubs and planned activities. A pharmacy and a beauty salon are also here, but restaurants, shops, groceries, banks, gas stations, churches and the like are found next door in Boynton Beach.
The Curtain Raisers produce a theatrical event each season. The Beach Club hosts Wednesday happy hours and has a long, oceanfront deck. The Art League offers painting classes. The Travel Club lets residents give presentations about their recent travel adventures. Town government offices are open three days a week.
Population: 875 (city proper)
Age 45 or Better: 90% (the median age is 74)
Cost of Living: 1% below the national average
Median Home Price: $375,000
Climate: Summer temperatures are in the 80s and 90s, and winter temperatures are in the 60s and 70s. On average, the area receives 58 inches of rain per year.
At Least One Hospital Accepts Medicare Patients? No, but Bethesda Memorial in Boynton Beach accepts Medicare patients.
At Least One Accredited by Joint Commission? No, but Bethesda Memorial in Boynton Beach is accredited.
Public Transit: No
Crime Rate: Below the national average
Public Library: No
Political Leanings: Liberal
College Educated: 40%
Is Florida Considered Tax Friendly for Retirement? Yes
Cons: The hurricane threat is real. In 1964, Hurricane Isbell caused significant damage. In 2010, Hurricane Wilma did the same. In 2017, Hurricane Matthew caused some flooding. In 2019, Hurricane Dorian brought little damage, but a direct hit from a future hurricane could probably destroy Briny Breezes, as many of the homes are older without a lot of upgrades.
Notes: Many residents are "snowbirds," down from the Northeast and Canada for the winter. A few years ago, a developer wanted to buy the town for $510 million dollars, making each resident rich. Alas, the deal fell through at the last minute. Briny Breezes has 488 homes on 43 acres, and every homeowner owns shares in the town. Homeowners also pay an HOA fee of about $300 per month. Racial diversity has not yet arrived. Home prices have increased 50% since a year ago.
Recommended as a Retirement Spot? Yes, although the hurricane threat should be considered.
Sticking out into Hurricane Alley, Florida was a land no nation seemed to want. Ruled successively by Spain, France, England, and the Confederate States of America, the state had a backwater reputation. Other than St. Augustine and Pensacola, there were few cities. The area was rural and populated by frontier farmers.
In the late-1800s, changes came when railroads began chugging down both coasts. Industrialist Henry Flagler's Florida Easy Coast Railway even made it all the way to Key West. The Great Florida Land Boom, the build-up to World War II, and the space industry also helped turn Florida into one of the nation's most populous states. In 1900, there were about 500,000 residents. Today, there are more than 20 million, almost 351 people per square mile.
Why do people keep coming? Tourism marketing is one reason. Annually, millions visit Orlando's theme parks and the state's 663 miles of white sand beaches. Taxes generated by the billion dollar vacation industry allow Florida to prosper without a personal income tax. Budget-sensitive retirees have flocked to its cities and shorelines.
If you can ignore the hurricanes, the state's climate is relatively mild. Only five other states are sunnier. Florida's system of state universities and community colleges is sizable, and its big cities are meccas for culture and the arts. Sarasota is a good example. Its Ringling Museum Complex contains internationally known art museum, a circus museum, an historic theater, and a 66-acre garden. Museums near Orlando range from a Zora Neale Hurston gallery to a Madame Tussauds.
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