Florida is a land of enchantment and excitement. For many, it is a tropical vacation paradise with turquoise and emerald waters that wash on sandy white beaches shaded by palm trees that sway in the warm sea breeze. For others, it is a land of fascinating theme parks and attractions. Yet others are drawn to the exciting cultural diversity of its modern metropolitan cities.
Still others seek Florida for its natural beauty - its varied terrain of hardwood, pine and cypress forests, swamps, rivers, springs and mangrove waterways where within live hundreds of species of fish, birds, unique plants and interesting animals. Plan repeat vacations with any of these different themes for a wide variety of experiences!
From Pensacola to Apalachicola stretch over a hundred miles of some of the most beautiful dazzling white beaches in world. Along the "Panhandle", the Gulf of Mexico frequently displays a rich emerald green color providing unparalleled beauty for beach vacation goers. Panama City Beach is one of the more popular beaches in this area.
Further inland is the capital city of Tallahassee. This elegant
city has a distinct southern air. It is set within rolling hills
decorated with majestic moss draped southern live oak and magnolia
trees. Although a modern city by any measure it retains much of
its historic flavor with numerous 19th century homes and mansions.
This region claims to have the oldest
permanent settlement in America. St. Augustine was founded in
1565 more than 50 years before the first Pilgrims came to New
England. Much of the historic district has been restored providing
a fascinating insight to life from this era.
Jacksonville, just north of St. Augustine, is home to several interesting areas including Jacksonville Landing and Riverwalk along the picturesque St. Johns river. Jacksonville also has numerous beaches that stretch more than 20 miles along the Atlantic coast.
Gainesville is a small college town in north central part of the state with a spirit as big as all Florida.
The west central area offers natural wilderness beauty to the north and miles of sandy white beaches and modern cities in the central to south areas. From Clearwater through Bradenton and Sarasota and areas within, have some of the nicest beaches.
Tampa and St. Petersburg are both contemporary cities, with sports, arts, museums and attractions including the Florida Aquarium and the Busch Gardens theme parks in Tampa. Within Tampa's limits is colorful Ybor City which is known for its cigar industry heritage and still retains its Cuban and Spanish flair. Ybor has a party atmosphere which comes to life in the evenings and weekends. This region has a lot to offer.
Tarpon Springs has a rich Greek heritage and is an interesting place to visit, particularly the Sponge Docks where Greek fishing boats dock.
The east coast of Florida is an exciting blend of beaches, space ports and theme parks. Daytona Beach is world renowned for its beaches and festive atmosphere, and of course, the Daytona International Speedway. Cape Canaveral and the Kennedy Space center is the launch point for most of America's spacecraft. Kennedy Space Center offers an impressive array of rocket displays and tours.
Orlando is ground zero for an awesome number of interesting theme parks and attractions - Disney World, Epcot Center, Disney's Hollywood Studios, Universal Studios, and Sea World just to name a few!
Fort Myers was put on the map by genius and inventor Thomas Edison during the late 1800s. His winter home still exists today and is available for tour. Along the coast are the beautiful islands of Sanibel and Captiva. This area is rapidly becoming a new vacation hot spot.
Naples, an affluent beach city, is one of the last cities of size before the Everglades. Naples is the self-proclaimed "Golf Capital of the World" by having a great concentration of golf courses.
The Everglades in the southern most area is without exception a natural wonder of the world. One can tour or drive through the Everglades to appreciate this natural wonder.
From West Palm Beach through Fort Lauderdale, Miami and into the Keys exists a phenomenal line of cities and ocean front interests. Miami is a melting pot of architecture and cultures with a strong Latin and Caribbean influence. Miami Beach has been a long-time vacation favorite and is famous for its superb sandy beaches and its Art Deco buildings.
The Keys, including Key West and Key Largo, are a string of islands connected by the Overseas Highway. The water sports along this narrow chain of islands is nothing less than spectacular and a favorite for water-sports enthusiasts!
Courtesy National Atlas
of the United States®