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Living a Beach Lifestyle in Stuart, Florida

Stuart, Florida is an extremely charming community on the beach in mid-Florida. There is a very ample coastline thanks to the surrounding beaches, bays, and ocean that surround the town.  It has a lovely downtown that is fun to walk around in, with interesting shops and restaurants with a small town feel. The median age is 49.

Stuart is the most northerly place on the Florida Coast that is positively affected by the Gulf Stream. As a result it is considerably warmer in winter than other communities to the north. According to the wikipedia entry on Stuart, in the 1700s, several Spanish galleons shipwrecked in the Martin County area of Florida's Treasure Coast. The multiple wrecks were reportedly the result of a hurricane, and the ships were carrying unknown quantities of gold and silver. Some of this treasure has since been recovered. Photo of downtown Stuart courtesy of Wikipedia and Gregory Maxwell.

Where to Retire in Stuart and Home Prices

Living by the water is possible for those who have the resources to do so.  Some of it nicest neighborhoods, like those on Sewall Point or Sailfish Point, are difficult to find without a guide or good real estate agent. There are a lot of active adult and gated communities, some of them extremely luxurious (see link at top right).
Real estate prices on homes in the area vary tremendously depending on neighborhood and proximity to the water. According to Zillow, the median home value was $224,000 in early 2018. In the nicest developments homes sell for millions of dollars. We think the reported median prices do not reflect the kind of home that the average retiree is looking for. 

What is special about Stuart

• Stuart is the Sailfish capital of the world • Walkable, charming downtown • Great shopping and restaurants • Many great neighborhoods and developments • Long shoreline and barrier island beaches • Warm winters • Great golf courses • Intracoastal •  Many state parks and Hobe Sound • Nearby and funky Jensens Beach is interesting

What is not special about Stuart

• There is lot traffic in season • Overdevelopment • History of hurricanes

Climate and Physical Environment

Stuart is in the middle of the Atlantic coast of Florida, about where the Gulf Stream starts to move east. There are many rivers, bays, and barrier islands that make this a complex network of land and water. Winters are warm and summers have almost daily rains.

Restaurants & Cultural Scene

The Martin County Library is well funded and features a collection of over 250,000 books. The Lyric Theatre is an historic theatre on the National Register of Historic Places. The Stuart Heritage Museum.  There are a lot of interesting shops and galleries in this affluent community.

Crime

Crime in Stuart is slightly lower than the national average.

Medical facilities

Saint Lucie Medical Center (Port Saint Lucie, FL, 8 miles);Savannas Hospital (Port Saint Lucie, FL, 8 miles); Lawnwood Regional Medical Center (Fort Pierce, FL, 19 Miles). Martin Memorial has two locations - the main hospital downtown and a smaller facility in the south end of town (thnaks to hhmomdad for including these).

Transportation

Vero Beach Muni Airport (34 Miles) • Palm Beach International (38 Miles).

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