the Definitive guide to
Moving To & Living in Plantation
Considered a suburb of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Plantation is a desirable area that is packed with beauty, things to do, and a quiet way of life. It’s the perfect option for those who want that small-town atmosphere with access to big-city amenities. If you’re looking for the best of both worlds, Plantation could be the place for you. Here is the complete guide to moving to and living in Plantation, Florida.
Where is Plantation?
Situated just eight miles west of Fort Lauderdale, Plantation is a small city in Broward County. It’s a suburb of around 95,000 people, but it has a strong sense of community and feels the size of a village. Fort Lauderdale is just 15 minutes away, so many people opt to purchase a home in Plantation and commute for work. Miami is just 40 minutes by car, and West Palm Beach is 50 minutes away.
The city is authentic suburban living with an unexpected food scene full of amazing local surprises. There are many community events to participate in and have fun with your neighbors.
Plantation has a rich but recent history, as the city didn’t have inhabitants until the 1940s.
In an attempt to escape the brutal Midwestern winters, Frederick Peters moved his family to the Plantation area. They purchased 10,000 acres of land along State Road 7/441. The area was built to connect Miami to Palm Beach County, which was very isolated at the time. Frederick Peters decided to hire Russell Pancoast, who was a notable architect, to start city planning. His vision included spacious lots, unique and distinctive homes, and commercial zoning districts.
Initial construction was by Chauncey Clark on East Acre Drive. The plan was to have buyers invest in ’long acres’, which were single-acre lots with two-thirds of the land earmarked for fruit trees and gardens. Eventually, they wanted a co-op farmers’ market where the community could pool their resources and sell the freshest produce for a profit.
Plantation was incorporated in 1953 with 500 residents and a budget of $1,288. The first Mayor of the city was Ellsworth D. Gage. The official Plantation City Seal has a Latin phrase that translates to “Out of the Wilderness, This City.” In 1955, the Plantation police department was organized, and the volunteer fire department was founded two years later. They initially raised funds for the department with a barbecue, which they still do to this day.
The city saw some explosive growth between the 1970s to the 1990s, but the initial village atmosphere and warmth remained throughout the expansion. As the population grew, the park system grew, with Central and Deicke Auditorium parks being established.
About Plantation Today
Today, there are around 95,000 residents in the small community with over 55 cultures. It’s a place rich in diversity and values. The city also continues to expand the park system, adding Plantation Woods and Camp Everglades. Plantation is a designated “Tree City USA” by the Arbor Day Foundation as the city prides itself on the beautiful parks and active lifestyle it affords its residents.
The Helen B. Hoffman Plantation Library is a staple in the community. It’s run municipally, which is unusual because the majority of libraries are run regionally.
There are around 200 members on the police force, and the volunteer fire department is one of the highest-rated in the state and one of the largest around.
Plantation is home to 10 public schools, many charter schools, private schools, and daycares. The local government is committed to developing the best recreational facilities and neighborhood stabilization.
The business districts of Plantation Midtown, Plantation Gateway, and Plantation Technology Park are alive and thriving. They’re an excellent alternative for those who don’t want to commute to Fort Lauderdale.
While Plantation has grown into its own, it still holds that village atmosphere with a tight-knit community. The charming city has a lot to offer while staying connected to its roots. With a focus on tradition and values, Plantation is a great place to call home for newcomers and those who have lived there their whole lives.
Plantation has some incredible weather, which is one of the reasons so many people relocate to Florida, and it’s a popular destination for retirees. The summer months are long, humid, and hot, with some rain, while winter tends to be much shorter. The area also gets zero snow with the tropical climate, so you can say goodbye to shoveling as long as you stay.
The average temperature ranges from 61 degrees to 89 degrees. There are around 134 days of rain per year, typically between the months of May to October, with September being the worst of it.
The Plantation housing market is diverse and has something for everyone. Some of the most desirable communities in the city are Jacaranda, Plantation Acres, Central Park, Plantation Park, Plantation Gardens, Westport, and Hawks Landing. Plantation Acres is actually the only community in Plantation where you’ll get acreage and can keep horses! Central Park is home to the Plantation Aquatic Complex and the Veltri Tennis Center, along with various soccer fields, baseball fields, and basketball courts.
Homes range in price from $70,000 to $7 million, and there’s a healthy mix of home styles, including single-family homes, condos, townhomes, and luxury estate homes.
There are some fantastic amenities for those living in Plantation, Fl. It's a short drive from the beach and there are some excellent activities for children, like day camps, Kidtastic Corner, and sports camps, especially during the summer months.
The Plantation Aquatics Complex is home to two outdoor pools: a training pool and a competition pool. The Equestrian Center has a significant history in the city. It is home to two stables, 85 acres of green space with pathways, and recreational areas.
There are three privately-owned golf courses and one city-owned golf course in the city. The Plantation Preserve Golf Course & Club, Ft. Lauderdale Country Club, Jacaranda Golf Club, and Lago Mar Country Club are popular destinations for golf lovers.
There is an abundance of parks, green spaces, playgrounds, athletic fields, and dog parks that are all available for resident use. If you love to spend time outdoors, exercise outdoors, or participate in organized sports, you’ll have plenty of options in Plantation.
The Veltri Tennis Center offers one of the best tennis and pickleball programs in Florida and hosts championship tournaments and events.
Senior residents have access to some wonderful programs. Each weekday, 55+ residents can do an exercise class, such as aerobics, dance, and stretching. There are activities like bingo, movie times, game time, and occasional group trips.
Residents have access to some fantastic grocery stores, local markets, and the Plantation Farmers Market. If you like to eat organic or support local, you can find plenty of great options like locally made honey, cheeses, and olive oils.
Business & Jobs in Plantation
Due to Plantation’s fantastic location in south Florida, it’s an excellent place for those looking for work. There’s quick access to all the major highways, so commuting around the area is convenient. Fort Lauderdale is just 15 minutes away, opening up the doors for even more job opportunities beyond Plantation’s already thriving economy.
With a population of 95,000, there are approximately 56,000 workers in Plantation. The average salary is about $37,000 annually. There are over 5,000 businesses that have chosen Plantation for their head offices, ranging from manufacturing and customer service to tech companies and health services. Businesses of all sizes can flourish in Plantation.
There are three distinct business parks in the city. The Technology Park has over 160 acres of business space and 200 businesses like Goodwin Technology, e.Builder, and Kenig Aerospace.
Plantation has a great business environment because of its location, lifestyle, and residents. The two other business districts are Plantation Midtown and Plantation Gateway, which were established in 1988. All three districts are the perfect place for businesses to grow and for new businesses to form. The highest paying jobs include sales, administration, insurance, marketing, healthcare, border services, and real estate.
Plantation Top Employers
The top employers in the city are:
The Best Schools in Plantation
Students in Plantation have access to some wonderful educational options. While only 10 public schools serve elementary to grade 12 students, they offer quality education and extracurricular activities. There are charter schools and private schools in the area as well.
Mirror Lake Elementary
Mirror Lake Elementary features small class sizes and a fantastic curriculum for young students.
Plantation Elementary aims to provide the best education for each student and to help them reach their full potential. Their vision is “To provide an equitable learning environment conducive to learning through STEM integration.”
Tropical Elementary is another high-rated school known for diversity and for providing an excellent educational experience for elementary school students.
Seminole Middle is ranked among the top Florida middle schools for diversity. Students love the learning environment and the teachers at Seminole Middle.
South Plantation High School
South Plantation High School aims to provide a safe and inclusive environment for students to develop their character and become lifelong learners while preparing them for the next stage of their life. It’s further a magnet school for environmental science, even being recognized by Magnet Schools of America as a National School of Excellence in 2014 and recognized multiple times as a School of Distinction. This unique environmental program is dedicated to preserving the Florida Everglades.
On top of this, South Plantation High also has an Animal Science program, which is a favorite of many students and Alumni. This program fosters a sense of belonging as students enrolled in the Animal Science Program take care of an animal each year (with many of the students staying after school and dedicating time on the weekends to care for their animals, such as miniature horses, alligators, ferrets, pigs, opossum, fish, ducks, parrots, rabbits, chinchillas, snakes, and more). Lastly, South Plantation High boasts a nationally recognized horticulture program which won the National Solar Car Challenge.
Central Park Elementary
Central Park Elementary is a highly-rated elementary school known for its diversity and the impressive development of young children through learning experiences. The staff members have glowing reviews from happy parents.
Peters Elementary has an amazing PTA and great teachers that put in real effort to ensure all their students are thriving. Peters Elementary is highly-rated and a fantastic school in Plantation.
Plantation Park Elementary
Plantation Park Elementary is a great school with fantastic staff members and a diverse community for children. The school aims to provide a safe environment that fosters lifelong learning.
Plantation Middle aims to prepare middle school students for college or another post-secondary quest to be ready for the future marketplace. The school’s mission is to eradicate limitations and create an environment of multiculturalism and excellence.
Plantation High is a top-rated school that helps students decide their career paths. They encourage being involved in the community, participating in extracurricular activities, and achieving academic excellence. They offer several specialized classes to help students figure out what they want to do in post-secondary.
Where to Live in Plantation
Plantation may only have a few distinct neighborhoods, but they all have something fantastic to offer.
Jacaranda is a popular neighborhood surrounded by schools, parks, and beautiful homes. The community clubhouse offers residents a bit of luxury, and the Jacaranda Golf Club is perfect for golf lovers. The two expansive golf courses attract a lot of attention as they hold events and tournaments each year.
The neighborhood is primarily residential, but it’s not far from everyday amenities, restaurants, and major roadways, so getting around is easy. Properties in the area are diverse, and there’s something for every budget.
Prices range from $500,000 to $1.7 million, and you can find condos, townhomes, but primarily single-family homes in the area.
The equestrian community of Plantation Acres is one of the most sought-after in the city. Established in 1973, the community has always offered unique architecture, green spaces, and access to amenities. Located in the western part of the city, Plantation Acres is the largest single-family home community. With over 1,500 single-family homes, there are plenty of options for those seeking one.
Equestrian friendly Plantation Acres offers a serene suburban environment that’s great for most lifestyles. With no HOA, homes in the community range from old Florida ranch style homes to gorgeous sprawling estates. Most lot sizes are between one and two acres.
Homes in Plantation Acres range in price from $1 million to $6 million. Whether you’re looking for an upgraded single-family home or a luxury estate property, Plantation Acres will deliver.
This upscale community encompasses the Lago Mar Golf and Country Club behind its gated entrance. There are just over 100 single-family homes built in the 1980s, and they are sizable properties. Most homes have between three and six bedrooms, two and five bathrooms, and up to 5,000 square feet of living space.
Look out onto views of the pristine golf course or crystal blue waters with incredible views from most homes. Just outside the gated community is the Sawgrass Mills Mall, one of South Florida’s largest. Across from the mall, there’s a selection of retail stores for groceries, office supplies, and more. American Heritage Private School students can walk to school daily as it’s located minutes away.
Lago Mar offers the ultimate resort lifestyle. With the premier country club, tennis courts, and golf courses, it’s a dream for most homeowners. Property prices range from $300,000 to $1 million.
For 55+ members of the Plantation community, Lauderdale West is a vibrant community that is fantastic for older, active adults. The community has 850 single-family homes and was built in the 1970s. Most homes have two bedrooms and two bathrooms with up to 1,500 square feet of living space.
Lauderdale West offers a low-maintenance lifestyle. For older adults, having an active HOA is essential because all the outdoor responsibilities are taken care of, like lawn maintenance, exterior home maintenance, and roof repair. The HOA fees are around $300 per month.
The community offers a range of benefits to residents to help them live a fulfilled, social, and active lifestyle. Outdoor amenities include two clubhouses, outdoor pools, community shuttle services, two bocce ball courts, and six shuffleboard courts. The clubhouse amenities include a fitness center, billiards room, card rooms, art studio, library, and ballroom.
Homes in Lauderdale West are more affordable, considering all the benefits that come along with homeownership. Properties range in price from $350,000 to $475,000. The community is close to every convenience needs, like grocery stores, markets, restaurants, and Jacaranda Plaza. The Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport is a short 20-minute drive, and the Miami International Airport is just 45 minutes away.
If upscale living is on your checklist, Hawks Landing is a community that will fit the bill. It’s the pinnacle of Southeastern Florida living. Located in the central-western section of the city, Hawks Landing is a gated community with 24-hour security.
Hawks Landing was established in 1997, and the construction of 547 homes was completed in 2007. The beautiful community has everything you could want and more. You’ll find custom luxury and custom homes with up to seven bedrooms and 9,000 square feet of living space. Most homes have private pools and are waterfront.
The community is immaculate, with pristine lawn care, perfectly landscaped greenery, and beautiful views. The hub of the neighborhood is the multi-million dollar Mediterranean-style clubhouse. It has a swimming pool, spa services, fitness center, and more. It’s the perfect spot to gather with your neighbors, socialize, and have a good time.
There is a community social calendar that includes the book club, casino nights, and wine tasting. Parents can ensure their children have a great time as well with kids’ movie nights, pizza parties, playgrounds, yoga, and swimming.
Residents aren’t far from grocery stores, shopping, the Sawgrass Mills Mall, schools, and the Jacaranda Golf Course.
Homes in Hawks Landing range in price from $1.1 million to $3.5 million.
The ever-popular Sunset Cove is a single-family home community with over 200 homes built between 1990 and 1996. Sunset Cove is a gated neighborhood with a guard on site. Homes have up to 2,200 square feet of living space, a two-car garage, and beautiful water views.
Sunset Cove is meticulously maintained, and the tree-lined streets make it truly feel like home. There are plenty of walking paths for keeping active and a community pool. Sunset Park and Central Park are nearby, and residents can shop at the Plantation Promenade, Vizcaya Square, or Nob Hill Pavilion. There are excellent schools in the area for students.
Homes in Sunset Cove range in price from $525,000 to $675,000.
Bridgewater is a popular single-family home community built between 1990 to 1993. There are three phases within the community, called Bridgewater I, II, and III. Each phase has a separate entrance into the neighborhood.
You’ll find homes with up to 3,000 square feet of living space, garages, and water views. Properties range in price from $495,000 to $635,000. There are many waterfront properties and plenty of lush nature to enjoy.
The community has two pools, playgrounds, and a clubhouse perfect for social gatherings and neighborhood events. The HOA fees include the maintenance of the pools, common areas, sprinklers, and lawn care. There are plenty of great parks and shopping nearby.
Nightlife & Popular Restaurants in Plantation
Residents not only have excellent options for dining in Plantation but aren’t far from all that Fort Lauderdale has to offer. Plantation has a surprising amount of unforgettable culinary experiences and entertainment for such a small city.
Restaurants & Cafes
Padrino’s Cuban Plantation
Florida’s famous Cuban chain Padrino’s Cuban Plantation has daily promotions and delicious eats on its lunch and dinner menus. Grab a cubano, picadillo, or pollo asado. Locals love this spot for a satisfying meal.
Brio Italian Grille and Vivace
Who doesn’t love Italian cuisine? Check out Brio Italian Grille and Vivace for an upscale meal with incredible plates of pasta, pizzas, salads, and appetizers. These spots are perfect for date night, girls’ night, or family dinners.
Ceviche 595 serves up incredible Peruvian cuisine and is one of the top-rated restaurants in Plantation. Locals love the delicious meal, and many people passing through stop here for a quick and flavourful nosh.
Plantation is home to a prolific coffee community with plenty of chains like Dunkin’ and Starbucks and some fantastic locally-owned cafes.
Flanigan's Seafood Bar and Grill
If you love classic seafood dishes and pub food, look no further than Flanigan's Seafood Bar and Grill. It’s a local favorite with mouth-watering burgers and baby back ribs at affordable prices. Located in the Tower Shops (where Plantation meets Davie), you’ll also find other restaurants in addition to Flanigans, including Miller’s Ale House, Twin Peaks, Chipotle, Chick-Fil-A, and more.
The Mustard Seed Bistro
The Mustard Seed Bistro is a locally-owned restaurant that features European-style dishes created by Chef Tim Boyd. The atmosphere of the restaurant is the perfect place to spend date night.
Breakfast lovers will adore the Plantation Diner. Grab a breakfast sandwich on the go or have a full spread. It’s very popular among locals.
Ella Cafe is a cute and cozy cafe that feels like home. The rustic decor and incredible pastries make it a favorite of many. 22 Bliss Cafe and 660 Coffee House are two local spots that residents adore.
If you are after exciting nightlife, Plantation has a few options that are loved in the community. The ‘best little secret in Plantation’ is The New J Bar, and it’s a neighborhood pub that has daily specials and is open late. Bokampers Sports Bar & Grill is the place in the city to watch sports, grab some brews and eat pub food.
Entertainment isn’t far away, as there’s much more to do in nearby Fort Lauderdale and Davie. The Round Up Night Club in Davie is a great place to go dancing and even offers free lessons for two-stepping and line dancing.
How To Get Around Plantation
Broward County Transit (BCT) has a robust transit system that links with the Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties’ transit as well. It’s easy to get around anywhere you want to go in the Fort Lauderdale area, although a car is strongly encouraged for the easiest transportation possible.
Buses also provide service to the multimodal transportation network of Broward County with service at the Broward Central Terminal (downtown Fort Lauderdale), West Regional Terminal (Plantation), and Lauderhill Mall Transfer Facility (Lauderhill).
The city offers multiple express routes, breeze routes, and fixed routes to get around. While you can walk to many places in the city, it only has a walk score of 58. This means a car is the most ideal transportation option. However, if you have the time and want to enjoy nature, there’s an abundance of great trails to choose from and explore as well.
Plantation is all about community events and hosts several events and celebrations each year. For major holidays, you’ll always find something going on. At Christmas time, the Historical Society puts on an incredible Winter Wonderland show by decorating trees in lights and including all cultures. In October, the Halloween and Safety Festival is an event for all ages that features live music, a children’s carnival, a haunted house, and prizes.
Fun Things To Do in Plantation
Beyond Plantation, there are endless opportunities for fun and entertainment. Sports fans can take a short drive to Fort Lauderdale to see Major League Baseball’s Baltimore Orioles practice spring training. Get in the car and head to Sunrise to see the Florida Panthers play at the FLA Live Arena.
Miami has some fantastic sporting events, and residents can get there in under an hour. Watch the Miami Dolphins play an NFL game, the Miami Heat play an NBA game, and the Florida Marlins play an MLB game. There are so many great options for sports fans living in Plantation.
If you love to spend the day relaxing and shopping, there are some great malls around the city and day spas to visit. Get a massage, your nails done, pamper yourself and then visit the outlet shops at Sawgrass Mills.
The Lockbox Escape room has become a popular attraction in the city recently. Grab your friends and have a stressful yet fun time trying to solve puzzles and riddles to escape your chosen room.
The City of Plantation Historical Museum is a wealth of knowledge with humble beginnings. What started as a small room in the back of City Hall in 1985 has now grown to be one of the most popular attractions in the city.
The museum has some fantastic permanent exhibits with city memorabilia and artifacts from the Tequesta and Seminole tribes. There’s also a beautiful butterfly garden and the Young at Art Museum, which is an excellent experience for children.
It can be very convenient to maintain an active lifestyle with all the outdoor amenities Plantation offers, but if you like to work out inside, especially in the intense heat, there are plenty of options for that, too. With major gyms like LA Fitness, 24-Hour Fitness, Planet Fitness, and Orangetheory, you can find a great place to get a good sweat going.
If you’re looking to improve your fitness with the assistance of a trainer or group class, visit Pure Muscle Fitness. There are also a few yoga studios around the city if yoga is more your pace.
Happy Tails Dog Park | Fig Tree Park
Bring your dog to Happy Tails Dog Park to let them have the time of their lives. Fig Tree Park is another community park with various amenities for all ages, including basketball courts, pavilions, baseball diamonds, and playgrounds.
Plantation Preserve Linear Trail
The Plantation Preserve Linear Trail is a scenic walking area with various plants to admire and identify. It’s one of the top things to do in the city.
Other popular outdoor attractions include Flamingo Gardens in nearby Davie, where you can view over 3000 different species of plants and wildlife.
Central Park | Plantation Heritage Park
Plantation has all the necessities to be the ideal place to spend time outdoors. With the incredible climate and many beautiful parks, you can explore the area and never get bored. Central Park and Plantation Heritage Park are great options to have a picnic, spend time reading or go for a jog or walk. Central Park has a swimming pool, sports courts, and trails.
Florida is known for its world-class golf courses, and Plantation’s facilities don’t disappoint. The Jacaranda Golf Club and the Plantation Preserve Golf Course are two public courses that the community loves.
Plantation is a fantastic suburb of the Fort Lauderdale area. It's a great option for residents who may work in the big city but want to live in a quieter, more community-focused area. With beautiful communities, excellent housing options, and unbeatable amenities, Plantation is a must-see city when searching for your next southern Florida home.