Located in Florida's heavily populated Broward County, the city is located only about 12 miles from Fort Lauderdale, giving residents of the community easy access to numerous major retailers. Sunrise is also easily accessible via the Fort Lauderdale International airport, one of the busiest in the United States. There are also several Amtrak stations in the area, servicing the local community, the majority working outside of Sunrise.
Established by Norman Johnson in 1961 as Sunrise Golf Village, the city soon changed its name to Sunrise, at the request of developers who desired to attract retirees to the sunny community. Starting in the 1960s and throughout the 1990s, Sunrise experienced substantial growth in population and size, an expansion that has helped attract substantial corporate development over the years.
In 2009, Sunrise was named by Business Week magazine as one of Florida's top three cities in which to raise a family. The magazine's rankings took into account multiple criteria, including crime rates, diversity, job opportunities, affordability, and the number of schools, museums and parks. Sunrise is home to two post offices as well as two public libraries.
NEIGHBORHOODS AND DISTRICTS
Offering residents a variety of living options, Sunrise is home to manicured neighborhoods, ranging from private golfing communities to well-maintained rental properties. First-rate services abound, making Sunrise an attractive place to live for its residents, particularly seniors who are able to live in communities that provide exceptional quality of life services. Some neighborhoods, such as Sunrise Lakes, have a strict requirement that only allows seniors (age 55 or older) to live there.
Home to Piper High School, two middle schools, and eight elementary schools, Sunrise is also located within easy distance of several major colleges and universities, including:
- Nova Southeastern University
- Broward Community College
- Florida Atlantic University
Other nearby institutions of higher education include:
- Kaiser College
- The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale
- Barry University
- Miami-Dade Community College
The Sawgrass Mills Mall, which is the fourth-largest outlet shopping mall in the United States, invites Sunrise residents and visitors to enjoy great bargains offered by many national retailers.
Sunrise also offers its fair share of shops and retail businesses. Some of the most notable are:
- Royal Plaza Shopping & Office Complex
- Sunrise Plaza
- Sunsey Square
- University Plaza
- Welleby Plaza.
In 2007, Ikea opened a store in Sunrise. The outlet services shoppers from many miles around.
- TheBank Atlantic Center, which is the home of the Florida Panthers of the National Hockey League, is clearly the most famous sporting attraction in Sunrise. The arena, opened in 1988, is the second largest in the nation and features state-of-the-art amenities.
- TheSunrise Tennis Club, home to the BMW Tennis Championship, has earned numerous commendations, including the United States Tennis Association's 2001 "Outstanding Facility" award.
- The Sunrise Civic Center acts as an important hub for local activities and serves as home to an art gallery, banquet facilities, and a 300-seat theater.
In addition to professional sports, recreational opportunities abound in Sunrise, which offers its residents a soccer club, a tennis club, municipal swimming pools, a golf club and many playgrounds.
ECONOMY AND INDUSTRIES
Because of its centralized location and accessibility to airports, train stations, and other forms of public transportation, Sunrise has become the home of several substantial businesses and many local bank branches. Corporate offices for Motorola and Sony, among others, are located in Sunrise. Other major employers include Honeywell, Air France, and Fox Sports Television.
- Woodstock Arts & Crafts Festival: The Woodstock Arts & Crafts festival has grown significantly since its inception in 1980, drawing more than 15,000 visitors each year. The festival, best known for its handmade crafts and international food, marks the coming of the holiday season, and offers attendees of all ages a variety of entertainment opportunities, including rides and games for children.
- The 4th of July Parade & Family Fun Night: In honor of our nation's history, Sunrise has become one of South Florida's premier destinations for celebrating the independence of the United States. In recent years, as a result of a partnership between the BankAtlantic Center and Sawgrass Mills, the festivities have grown even larger and feature explosive fireworks, live music, and many other exciting events.
- The Jingle Bell Jog: Sawgrass International Office Park, one of the largest in South Florida, has played host to this 5K run and fitness walk for many years. Winding its way through the park, The Jingle Bell Jog includes a several age categories, ranging from 12 and under to 70 and above. More than 1,000 participants, often adorned in holiday-themed costumes and jingle balls, partake in the fun-filled event, which commemorates the holiday season for a good cause, as all proceeds are donated to the Wellness Center at Broward General Medical Center.
- The BMW Tennis Championship: One of the most heralded tennis events held annually in South Florida takes place right in Sunrise, affording locals the opportunity to see some of the world's top men's players in action. The BMW Tennis Championship is the only event of its kind held in Broward County and is one of only three major tournaments organized by the ATP held in the entire state.