Tamarac, FL

Overview

Covering a wide swath of land near both the Sawgrass Expressway and Interstate 95, Tamarac sits northwest of Fort Lauderdale and serves as a popular bedroom community for workers and as a landing spot for retirees. The city's oldest houses were built in the 1960s, while most of the housing stock comes from the 1980s and after, when the fastest rate of growth took place in the area. Characterized by affordable housing prices, a low crime rate and quiet living that still puts residents close to the action, Tamarac remains popular with established families and retirees.

Restaurants & Nightlife

Like most suburbs constructed after World War II, Tamarac doesn't feature a true downtown area or a centralized commercial district for dining and entertainment. However, a large selection of eating establishments dot University Boulevard, one of the main secondary highways that runs through town. Several restaurants also sit scattered throughout other parts of town. Diversity characterizes Tamarac's dining options, which include Japanese, Thai, Peruvian and Italian. At the southeast corner of University Drive and McNab Road lies a Thai haunt that locals love, Thai Curry Restaurant. Featuring an ambiance that whisks diners away to Bangkok, great prices and a friendly staff, this Tamarac staple attracts large crowds of diners with menu options such as Eskimo shrimp and fried calamari. Sushi lovers enjoy the vast number of sushi preparations that occupy an entire page of the restaurant's menu. Milano Italian Grill rests along Northwest 57th Street and serves a broad array of Northern Italian fare. Set apart from its competitors by a true rustic Italian ambiance and a diverse menu, this local haunt specializes in fine dishes such as calamari linguine with marinara sauce and authentic New Jersey style pizza. Regulars recommend that any newcomer to Milano Italian Grill save room for a slice of New York cheesecake after dinner. Early risers don't want to miss out on the daily specials at Orange Tree Breakfast and Lunch. This small family restaurant has been serving Tamarac residents with Southern sausage biscuits and sawmill gravy, hash browns, scrambled eggs with cheese, and many other country favorites for many years. Lunch favorites include the chicken salad wrap with soup and a fresh dill pickle. Diners can expect fast and friendly service, but the diner's popularity means an inevitable wait during busy times. Bring cash because Orange Tree does not accept credit or debit cards. Being a quiet community popular with retirees, Tamarac lacks an action-packed downtown area or an expansive nightlife district. However, numerous local dives and sports bars exist throughout the city. When an occasion calls for a true night out, the bars of Las Olas in Fort Lauderdale lie a short distance to the east, and South Beach is less than a 45-minute drive away. Popular local bars include Island Cove, a small dive with a Jamaican theme.

History & Culture

Tamarac dates back to the early 1960s, when a Midwestern developer imagined an active adult community in the western reaches of Broward County and brought his vision to fruition by purchasing land and bringing in contractors to build homes. As mass development took hold of Broward County in the 1970s and 1980s, city leaders in Tamarac agreed to allow Fort Lauderdale to annex certain portions of the city that were zoned commercial, preserving Tamarac's city limits as largely residential. This accounts for the odd city boundaries that narrow to a quarter-mile wide in the middle of the county. The city doesn't have a huge art scene, but it features two art galleries: Jude DeAngelis Art Studios and Heritage Art Gallery. Tamarac contains no museums, but the Coral Springs Museum of Art lies nearby. Annual events include the Turkey Trot 5K just before Thanksgiving each year.

Transportation

Most of Tamarac's residential streets are peaceful and free from large volumes of car traffic, making them attractive to walkers, joggers and cyclists. However, outside of individual neighborhoods, most residents drive to their destinations. The city provides easy access to major highways such as the Sawgrass Expressway, Commercial Boulevard and State Route 7. Most parking in the city remains free. For those who prefer not to drive, numerous taxi companies operate in the area, but one cannot hail a cab in Tamarac. Uber also maintains a presence in the city. Public transportation includes a community bus service that transports residents along defined routes within the city limits and costs only 50 cents per ride.

Cost

The cost of living in Tamarac remains lower than the average cost of living for the Fort Lauderdale metro area. Expect to pay around $1,103 in monthly rent for an average one-bedroom apartment and $3 for a beer in a local pub. Average gas prices in the area hover around 2 percent higher than the national average.

Shopping

Tamarac doesn't have a central shopping district or high-end stores. However, the nearby Coral Square Mall in Coral Springs provides numerous big box retailers and high-end stores, and the massive Sawgrass Mills Mall rests a few miles south in Sunrise and ranks as one of the largest shopping centers in the entire nation. Shoppers also have the option of staying in Tamarac and enjoying a pleasant selection of boutiques and specialty stores. Fashion Faze North West serves the Tamarac community as a boutique store that carrys the latest in fashionable trends for teens and adults alike, while Four Star Jewelry, a family-owned and operated local jeweler, both purchases and sells fine jewelry. The Publix on West Commercial Boulevard serves Tamarac residents for large grocery shopping trips, while the Hong Kong Market on State Route 7 offers plenty of specialty Asian food items. The Tamarac Farmers Market is open every Sunday at Veterans' Memorial Park.

Parks

Tamarac provides its residents with an expansive park system, including the exercise-centric Sunset Park. At this kid-friendly and dog-friendly city park, exercise stations line a winding walking and jogging trail that leads visitors through lush South Florida scenery. Sunset Park also features an amphitheater, grills, a covered picnic area and a kiosk for studying and observing wetlands. Parking and admission both are free. Caporella Park also welcomes kids and dogs, and it provides visitors with a pier for fishing. Locals love the large covered pavilion at Caporella. Roomy enough to fit at least 25 people, it serves as the perfect spot for a birthday party or summer cookout. Each holiday season, the Tamarac Park on North University Drive hosts Rudolph's Winter Wonderland, an extravagant Christmas party for kids and families that features games, crafts and pictures with Santa.

1 Neighborhoods in Tamarac, FL

  • Westwood Community-South

    Perched on the edge of Florida’s beloved Everglades, the Westwood Communities of Tamarac were originally built for retirees, but today the area burgeons with all kinds of family activity. Laced with canals and water features, the region bustles with wildlife and water sports. Attracted by the large and well-manicured lawns of these stately single-family residences, more and more residents call this upscale neighborhood home.

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