Best Hidden Neighborhood (2007)

Biscayne Gardens

It's only nine miles from downtown Miami, but the leafy and low-key Biscayne Gardens might as well be a continent away. This unincorporated community (read: low taxes) of big lawns (many houses are platted for one-acre lots) and modest Forties-era ranch houses is one of those truly rare creatures in South Florida: a well-kept real estate secret. "It's a hidden paradise," says proud longtime resident and civic association member Krim Hackman. Little more than a collection of pineapple plantations over 50 years ago, Biscayne Gardens has held onto its semi-rural charm and relatively affordable house prices. Homes here go for about half what you'll pay in nearby Miami Shores. Don't wait, though. Developers are increasingly looking to the area — one of the last stretches of green east of I-95 — with lust in their eyes. Biscayne Gardens is bordered by Opa-locka and Miami Gardens to the west, Northwest 167th Street to the north, North Miami Beach to the east, and North Miami and 135th Street to the south.

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