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Hillsboro Beach, first settled in the early 1920’s, is a tiny little town on an amazing sliver of waterfront property in SE Florida nestled between the Atlantic Ocean and the Intracoastal Waterway with Hillsboro Inlet in Pompano Beach on the south border and Deerfield Beach on the north. The total population according to the 2021 Census was just under 2,000. There are no commercial properties on Hillsboro Beach. A1A is the only road. The population of this tiny town literally doubles in the winter months as “snow birds” come back to enjoy the beautiful weather. This special beachside community enjoys their privacy, security and rests easy with their own police force.

This exclusive community of approximately 60 residences boasts the lowest crime rate in the area and is also known as “Millionaire Mile” or “Hillsboro Mile”. The widest area of the island is approximately 900 feet (from ocean to Intracoastal) and the length only 3.2 miles with only 1.5 square miles of area. There is no commercial property here at all.

Hillsboro Beach is home to most of Broward County’s most exquisite, luxurious and expensive real estate. Surely, this is one very unique “niche” with some of the most desirable estates in the world enjoying both deep water dockage on a “no wake zone” on the Intracoastal for their mega-yachts and picturesque, private direct ocean frontage. Most of these opulent residences offer a guest or pool house on the Intracoastal waterway so the fortunate owners can enjoy both the sunrise and the sunset in the most luxurious way possible. In the past 3 years list prices for these ultra- luxurious oceanfront estates have been from 10 million to just shy of 43 million dollars.

The beaches here are pristine as there are literally no public access points. This serene environment has helped to entice the leatherback, loggerhead and green sea turtles in the quest to nest and lay their delicate eggs on the quiet, undisturbed shores. Hillsboro Beach is one of the Florida’s “highest density per mile” of sea turtle nests on the East Coast.

At the south end of Hillsboro Beach you’ll find the historic Hillsboro Lighthouse; the most powerful (5,500,000 candlepower light) on the east coast of the United States which was first lit in 1907. This sturdy icon sits 136 feet above the ocean and it can be seen by ships as far as 28 miles out to sea. The location of the Lighthouse marks the northern end of the Florida Reef.

Part of the lighthouse property on the edge of the inlet is home to three turn of the century Recreational Cottages that were formerly occupied by the US Coast Guard Light Keepers until the Lighthouse was fully automated in 1974. Now those charming cottages are part of the US Coast Guard Morale, Well-Being and Recreation Program (MWR). They are available for reservations by Coast Guard and their families. These darling cottages are fully furnished, appointed and equipped with recreational items as well. The mission of this program is to uplift the spirits of the Coast Guard Family and be an essential element of Coast Guard readiness, retention and resiliency through customer-owned and driven MWR programs and services.

Also on the property with the Hillsboro Light house, is the wonderfully charming private club called The Hillsboro Club. This beautiful beachside club is a private residence club founded in 1925 for members and their guests. This magical property is comprised of 15 lushly landscaped acres of lush, tropical landscaping set between the Atlantic Ocean and the Intracoastal Waterway with over 1,000 feet of gorgeous, private beach. The Hillsboro Club has been operating with their select membership having folks of the same cultural, ethical and social values that have been the basis of membership since the very beginning. There are less than 1,000 members in this group of people who maintain close friendships rooted in past traditions and commitment to family values. Many of those traditions include the Sunday hymn sing, the Hillsboro Prayer, ties and jackets at dinner, all white sports attire for tennis, Christmas celebrations and so many more special little things that make The Hillsboro Club an absolute treasure in the lives of so many people here.

Another little piece of history that you may hear in the area is the story of The Barefoot Mailman. You can even find statues placed around the landscape honoring the 11 barefoot mailmen who carried the mail between Palm Beach and Miami (ended in Lemon City what is now called Little Haiti) from 1885 to 1893 when the US Postal Service first began the route. This trip was 136 miles round trip. They went partially by boat (about 56 miles by boat) and the rest of the route was accomplished by walking (about 80 miles on foot) on the beach and wading through brush, inlets and such.

The men were barefoot as the landscapes that they covered were so varied and wet. One of the mailmen, James “Ed” Hamilton disappeared in 1887 near the Hillsboro Beach Inlet. Rumor is that Ed was swept away by a strong current while swimming a portion of his route or he was eaten by alligators which here plentiful in the area. Ed was honored with the original Barefoot Mailman statue which was created in 1973 and placed in the front yard of the Barefoot Mailman Hotel on Hillsboro Beach. At some point, the statue was relocated to the roof. In the 1980’s the hotel closed and the statue was moved to the front of the Town Hall. A larger version of the original statue was made and the original was moved to the US Coast Guard Grounds beside the lighthouse. The original statue became worn and corroded and damaged to the point it was once again replaced by a new, larger bronze version. The old, worn statue was acquired by a local dive shop, Dixie Divers. If you are a diver you can go visit this original Barefoot Mailman Statue just off of Angels Reef in 38 feet of water, one half of a mile south of the pier at Deerfield Beach.

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