Best Suburban Neighborhood (2006)
Jacaranda in Plantation
Sure, Plantation's Jacaranda neighborhood doesn't have the Old Florida charm of neighborhoods close to downtown Fort Lauderdale, such as Victoria Park. And it lacks the tree canopy you'll find -- or, ahem, used to find -- in Sailboat Bend, also in America's Venice. But Jacaranda has a way of blending big-city amenities with the slower pace and convenience of suburbia. Jacaranda -- which runs roughly from Broward Boulevard to Sunrise Boulevard and between Pine Island Road to Hiatus Road -- is a collection of single-family homes, townhouses, and condominiums, most built from the '80s to mid-'90s. They orbit one of Plantation's greatest assets, Central Park, between Broward Boulevard and Cleary Boulevard, just west of Pine Island Road. The park hosts sports leagues for kids and adults and has a well-maintained gym available for Plantation residents. Grocery stores and chain restaurants abound. There is, of course, a Starbucks around the corner. And many Jacaranda residents are within walking distance of one of Broward's finest restaurants, Josef's. Amenity for amenity, house for house, it's hard to find a suburban neighborhood better than Jacaranda.