Best Places to Live: Nocatee in Ponte Vedra, FL

Few areas around Jacksonville can compete with the beauty and prestige of Ponte Vedra. This seaside community is home to the PGA’s THE PLAYERS Championship, world-class resorts and acres of natural Florida wetlands. It’s within this exclusive zip code that you’ll find Nocatee, one of northeast Florida’s most popular communities.

Mom and twins in stroller on Greenway Trails, Ponte VedraNocatee’s combination of exceptional new homes, attractive schools, neighborhood shopping and dining, recreational opportunities, location and overall walkability have helped the master plan earn recognition as the “Best Green Community of the Year” and “Best Master Planned Community of the Year” from the Florida Home Builders Association. The community’s developer, the PARC Group, has enjoyed the “Developer of the Year” status from the Northeast Florida Builder’s Association for four years, thanks to Nocatee’s inspired design. Here are just a few of the reasons homebuyers are flocking to Nocatee.

Shopping & entertainment

Nocatee is just 20 miles from downtown Jacksonville, 12 miles from St. Augustine, 4 miles from the upscale shopping and dining at Sawgrass Village, and twenty minutes from The Avenues Mall and Southside Boulevard shopping. But, by far the most convenient shopping, dining and entertainment venues are within the Nocatee community itself.

Town Center, the community’s commercial hub, was designed to host a variety of specialty boutiques, restaurants, banks, salons, gas stations, dry cleaners and more. Already, Town Center is home to the largest Publix grocery store in northeast Florida, as well as several neighborhood conveniences.

Future plans for development include additional retail space, a corporate office park totaling up to 675,000 square feet and a 60,000 square foot Baptist Health facility that will offer family and pediatric health care services.

Recreational opportunities

Many master-planned communities strive to provide a total live-work-play experience for residents. At Nocatee, there seems to be a special commitment to play inherent in the design. Residents enjoy access to a 5,000 square foot fitness center with state-of-the-art cardio and strength-training equipment, personal trainers on staff and a variety of group fitness classes from Yoga to Pilates.

Nocatee Splash Water Park in Ponte Vedra Nocatee is one of only a handful of master-planned communities in the country to offer a Splash Water Park. This resort-style water park offers thrilling water slides, a Splash Cove shallow-access pool for small children, an all-ages lagoon pool, and a Lazy Tides River for those who want to tube through a scenic waterway on a slow current. A pool-side cabana provides a covered, open-air venue for parties and other gatherings. A 300-foot zipline over the park provides added excitement for thrill-seekers.

In addition to the water park, Nocatee is home to two other community parks, plus natural preserves and the Trails for Tails dog park. Facilities include athletic fields, playgrounds, tennis courts and picnic pavilions. Its 5,000 acres of parks and natural preserves are connected by an award-winning system of walking and biking paths called Greenway Trails. When completed, this system will be the county’s largest network of trails on public land, and will include 14 miles of single-track and off-road biking trials.

If you’re still looking for more ways to enjoy the natural beauty of the area, remember that Nocatee is just 3 miles from the Atlantic coast, and has 3.5 miles of frontage along the Intracoastal Waterway.

St. Johns County schools

The Nocatee community is located within the A-rated St. Johns County School District (top pick on Trulia’s list of attractive school districts in Florida for 2012). It’s currently served by Rawlings Elementary School, Alice B. Landrum Middle School and Allen D. Nease and Ponte Vedra high schools, with plans to add additional schools as needed.

Brian floor plan at Nocatee in Ponte VedraAll the community’s current schools are outstanding, but Nease High School deserves special notice. It was ranked #46 on the Washington Post’s list of America’s Best High Schools in 2012, and has frequently appeared on Newsweek’s list of America’s 1,000 best public high schools (#126 in 2012).

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