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Miami Fl USA


The City of Miami and its suburbs are located on a broad plain between the Florida Everglades and Biscayne Bay that also extends from Florida Bay north to Lake Okeechobee. The elevation of the area never rises above 15ft (4.5m) and averages at around 3ft (0.91m) above sea level in most neighborhoods especially near the coast. The main portion of the city lies on the shores of Biscayne Bay which contains several hundred natural and artificially created barrier islands, the largest of which contains the city of Miami Beach and its famous South Beach district. These islands are geologically considered to be part of the Florida Keys, but are not politically related to them. The Gulf Stream, a warm ocean current, runs northward just 15 miles (24.1km) off the coast, allowing the city's climate to stay warm and mild all year.

Beneath the plain lies the Biscayne Aquifer [1], a natural underground river that extends from southern Palm Beach County to Florida Bay, with its highest point peaking around the cities of Miami Springs and Hialeah. Most of the South Florida metropolitan area obtains its drinking water from this aquifer. As a result of the aquifer, it is not possible to dig more than 15 to 20ft (4.57 to 6.1m) beneath the city without hitting water, impeding underground construction.

Most of the western fringes of the city extend into the Everglades, a subtropical marshland located in the southern portion of the U.S. state of Florida. This causes occasional problems with local wildlife such as Alligators and Crocodiles venturing onto suburban communities and major highways.

In terms of land area, the city of Miami is one of the smallest major cities in the United States. According to the US Census Bureau, the city encompasses a total area of 55.27 mi2 (143.15 sq. km). Of that area, 35.67 sq. miles (92.68 sq. km) are land and 19.59 sq. miles (50.73 sq. km) are water. Miami is slightly smaller in land area than San Francisco and Boston.


Miami-Dade County is the Business Center of the Americas, attracting businesses worldwide that choose to open their Latin American headquarters in South Florida. During 2003, a total of 1,200 multinational corporations were established in South Florida.

More than 1.1 million people make up Miami-Dade County's labor force. Although slightly above the State of Florida unemployment average, the area has an unemployment rate around 7.0 percent.

The employment growth sectors in Miami-Dade County include, professional and business services, education, health services, and construction.

The Miami-Dade County economy has a gross county product exceeding $75 billion. A major economic sector driving the local economy is the tourism industry. The region saw more than 10 million overnight visitors in 2002, who infused approximately $12 billion into the local economy.

Trade, also one of Miami-Dade's largest business sectors, is an important component of the area's economy. The 2002 total merchandise trade was $50 billion. The new Trade Mission Center of the Americas, organized within the Miami-Dade Country's Mayor's office, will focus on expanding imports and exports.

In the pipeline are hundreds of millions of dollars worth of public works projects,


The origin of the name Miami is unknown. One possibility is that it comes from a Native American word for "sweet water." The area was a concentration of water because the Miami River is essentially a funnel for water from the Everglades to the Atlantic Ocean. Another theory is that the name comes from the original name of Lake Okeechobee, Lake Mayaimi, named after the Mayaimi Indian tribe that had once lived in the Lake Okeechobee area. The lake's name was replaced with the Hitchiti Indian tribe's words oka (water) and chobi (big), "big water." There is no evidence that there was any connection between the Miami Indian tribes and the southeastern United States, let alone in south Florida.

Native Americans are known to have settled in the Miami region for about 10,000 years. Its most noteworthy early inhabitants were the Tequesta people, who controlled an area covering much of Southeastern Florida including what is now Miami-Dade County, Broward County, and the southern parts of Palm Beach County.

Ponce de Leon attempted to settle the area in the early 1500s, but his men could not defend the territory against the natives, so they kept to the more sparsely populated north. For most of the colonial period, the Miami area was only briefly visited by traveling Europeans when it was visited at all.




Palm Beach Fl USA


The Town of Palm Beach is an island community located in Southeast Florida, with a total land area of approximately 3.75 square miles. Palm Beach is approximately 13 miles long and 3/4 mile wide at its widest location. The northern boundary of the Town is the Palm Beach Inlet. The incorporated limits of the Town continue south approximately 13 miles to the Town of South Palm Beach. The eastern boundary of the Town is the Atlantic Ocean and the western boundary is the Lake Worth Lagoon.


From charming turn of the century bungalows to extraordinary mansions designed by architects like Mizner, Fatio and Volk, Palm Beach offers a unique blend of life styles to suit every need.

A mere three-blocks wide and 14 miles long, Palm Beach is a barrier island connected to the mainland by three primary bridges in the center of town.

Whether you're interested in the family-oriented North End with quiet streets and sandy beaches or want to experience the "Greenwich Village" lifestyle near Main Street, where a fanciful mix of old and new houses, along with apartments and condominiums, share the walking ambiance to small shops, grocers and a host of outdoor restaurants, there are endless possibilities.

The center of town features more historic houses reflecting the boom times of the 20's and 30's - a sense of neighborhood and convenience blend into the commercial district.

The estate section features magnificent homes with spectacular views. Newer homes in this area are sensitive to the unique quality of the area and look as though they were original structures.

South of Sloan's Curve, another unique community of condominiums showcases a more casual lifestyle, with the Town's Par 3 golf course, tennis courts and access to Lake Worth near at hand.


Palm Beach is a barrier island 13 miles long, three quarters of a mile at its widest part, and contains approximately 3.75 square miles. To the east is the Atlantic Ocean and to the west is Lake Worth - the Intracoastal Waterway - which separates the Town from the City of West Palm Beach.

According to early settler accounts, Palm Beach received its name from a shipwreck named the "Providencia". The ship washed ashore in January of 1878 with a load of coconuts bound from Havana to Barcelona. Early settlers lost no time claiming salvage and planting the coconuts, which were not native to South Florida, in an effort to launch a tropical coconut industry.

In 1893 millionaire Henry M. Flagler and his second wife honeymooned in St. Augustine. Impressed with the beauty and history of the area, he envisioned an "American Riviera". Flagler left home at age 14 with an eighth grade education. Later, with John D. Rockefeller and Samuel Adams, he founded Standard Oil - and the rest is history. Having invested large sums in several hotels in the St. Augustine area, Flagler extended his holdings southward. He bought and improved existing railways anticipating the tremendous potential for South Florida. His railway was named the Florida East Coast Railway.

Flagler's agents soon were buying acres of land on the island of Palm Beach. Many early homesteaders found themselves very wealthy, as orders had been given to buy "at any price". Ground was broken May 1, 1893 and on February 11, 1894, the Royal Poinciana Hotel, the largest wood structure in the world, opened in Palm Beach, welcoming 17 guests. A month after the opening, the first train pulled from the station at Loftin Street (later used as an office and warehouse by the Town of Palm Beach) in West Palm Beach on the newly built bridge across Lake Worth to deliver vacationers, some in their own private railway cars, to the new hotel. Henry Flagler built his own house, Whitehall, in 1902 as a wedding present for his third wife, Mary Lily Kenan. Whitehall is now the Henry Morrison Flagler Museum which attracts visitors from around the world.

Flagler continued to develop the Royal Poinciana Hotel property and built a second hotel, the Palm Beach Inn, on the beachfront portion of the Royal Poinciana's property. When the Palm Beach Inn burned in 1903, the first Breakers Hotel was built. Destroyed by a fire in 1925, it was rebuilt as the splendid hotel it is today. The Breakers is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

On April 17, 1911, a meeting of the town's thirty-five registered and qualified voters was held at the Palm Beach Hotel for the purpose of incorporating the Town of Palm Beach.

In 1918, before the end of World War I, Addison Mizner, an established New York architect who was born in California and studied in Spain, accepted an invitation from Paris Singer to recuperate from a leg injury in Palm Beach. As Mizner's health improved his boredom turned into creativity, and he transformed Singer's bungalow into a Chinese villa. The conversion was a success, but Singer looked forward to a large project. Having established two hospitals in France, Paris Singer decided to build a convalescent home in Palm Beach for servicemen returning from the war. The buildings were completed, but before the opening of the club house in January 1919, the "Touchstone Convalescent Club" had been transformed into the Everglades Club on Worth Avenue where it remains today. Mizner's era had begun and was to continue along the southeast coast of Florida through the 1920's.

The Town of Palm Beach soon began long range plans to develop and protect this island paradise, and the beauty which Town residents now enjoy is due to the efforts of several generations of planning activity. In 1929, the Garden Club of Palm Beach joined the Town and formally sponsored the preparation of a Town Plan. The overall goal of the 1929 Plan stated the following:

"One attractive and well managed public bath and beach, the concentration of general traffic upon a limited number of streets, beautification without especial reference to main arteries of travel,

and a system of leisurely and convenient byways free from automobiles, punctuated with gardens; this is a plan which will localize recreation seeking crowds, discourage trespassing, and provide safety and quiet for residents of Palm Beach."

Also included in the plan was the following statement:

"There are many communities which can be said to be beautiful. The places in which charm is the additional attribute are very few. The element of charm is the thing which lifts a community out of the ordinary and makes it distinctive. The attribute of charm may be produced by an intelligent development of physical advantages in an unusual way."

Today the Town of Palm Beach has 8,210 registered voters with approximately 10,500 full time residents. The population swells to 40,000+ during the "season" which is from November through April. Residents and visitors enjoy the very best in dining, shopping, and luxurious surroundings. World famous Worth Avenue shops attract visitors worldwide. New mansions continue to be built in Palm Beach adding to the charm and ambience of the landmarked Fatio, Mizner, and Wyeth designed structures. Palm Beach continues into the 21st century as an oasis of beauty and elegance.




Our Community Profiles
The communities that we serve each have their own history, their own character and their own charm. That's why we've put together the profiles below - to help you better understand what living in each of these communities might be like for you and your family.
Miami, South Beach, Palm Beach...
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