Oceanfront Living in Florida
The ocean is the greatest back yard you can ever have, and Florida's warm climate makes living on the ocean fun year round. Beachfront homes and condominiums line much of the coast of Florida, except where there are parks and nature reserves, and of course the Space Center. In some places, there are barrier islands and it is possible to own property that spans the island — giving you frontage on the ocean and on the adjacent inland bay or river.
It is usually possible to build docks or boat houses on the inland side. Most boats cannot safely land through the surf onto the beach, so boating opportunities are can be somewhat limited with most oceanfront properties. Homes or condos on the harbors, bays, inland waterways and rivers all offer great boating opportunities, but only oceanfront property offers that endless ocean view and an ocean beach to walk or swim.
A condominium or home on the beach itself is great, but often a property just behind an actual oceanfront home can have a great view, especially from upper floors and porches. Such homes often have virtually the same access to the beach. The beaches can become crowded, and houses or lots just off the beach can offer greater privacy at a lower price than beachfront homes.
It is amazing how the climate in Florida changes if you move just a short distance inland from the ocean. In the summer, there is always a cool breeze flowing off the ocean. OK, it feels like a warm breeze, but to native Floridians and acclimated residents, it is cool. But if you walk just a hundred yards off the beach, you enter the stagnant zone, where it feels like the hot air has never moved. In the winter the difference is not as noticeable, but it is still there. Move inland a bit, and the low temperatures are lower, the highs higher than on the coast. The afternoon sea breeze makes an oceanfront home in Florida comfortable without air conditioning or heat for much of the year; just open the windows and let the fresh ocean air flow through the house.
Not All Oceanfront Property Is the Same
When people think of oceanfront homes and condos in Florida, most seem to think of the giant buildings on Miami Beach, or the mansions of Palm Beach. But most of the coast is not like that. In places like Stuart and New Smyrna Beach you can find smaller homes and condominiums right on the ocean, with miles of beautiful beaches and houses set back among the dunes. There is also a second tier of homes and condos, just behind and usually across the street from the oceanfront properties. Life set back a step from the ocean does have advantages, both in tourist season and on weekends when the beaches are crowded, and in hurricane season when the ocean can be dangerous.
Living on the ocean means the scenery always changes. Sailboats make their way up and down the coast as small fishing boats and shrimpers seek their quarry. Flocks of birds follow migratory bluefish when they pass by on their annual trek. Sunrises paint the ocean orange, then afternoon thunderstorms turn it frothy and black. Tides go in and out, exposing and then swallowing the beach. The ocean is always there, always the same, as constant as can be, yet always changing. Best of all, you don't have to mow it (or shovel it), and babes walk by in bikinis. Greatest back yard ever.