Best Hidden Neighborhood - 2007
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.