Florida is a state unlike any other. Because of Florida’s proximity to the Atlantic ocean and the equator, it is the only continental state with tropical vegetation and weather. No where else in the United States, with the exception of Hawaii, can one experience the benefits of a tropical lifestyle. Florida is unique in a number of lovable ways which keep travelers returning to Florida for a lifetime, and keep locals loyal to their roots. In specific, the reasons that Florida is the best are its scenery, its weather and its attractions.
The scenery in Florida is to die for. Everyone has seen postcards and images of Florida’s natural beauty, but unless you have been there in person, you cannot understand the sheer euphoria that the scenery in Florida promotes. The ocean and the horizon extend in front of you for an eternity, filling your vision with simple, profound beauty. The waves lap repetitively onto the sand, which is finely ground and soft from years of being pulverized by the ocean’s force. Beaches of white or light colored sand stretch for miles and miles along the coastline, producing palm trees that sway in the wind and bask in the warm, plentiful sunlight.
The weather in Florida is heavenly. It is true that, from time to time, hurricane season brings in some terrifying, destructive weather, but this is only during a specific season. The rest of the year, with little exception, the weather is nothing but agreeable and temperate. Being on the coast and near the equator means that temperatures stay largely consistent year round. There is little seasonal fluctuation, and beach visits may still occur during winter. Tropical storms may roll through, but Florida earned itself the nickname “The Sunshine State” for a reason. The sun shines in Florida much more consistently than in the average state, promoting pleasant conditions year round. The water off of Florida’s coast stays warm enough to swim in year round.
Visiting Florida is a treat for anybody. The coastal areas, and even some of the inland areas, are paradise on earth. The sun is warm, the breeze is cool, the air is moist, the beach sand is soft and the ocean water is just the right temperature for swimming. Everyone in the U.S. can recognize pictures of Florida’s palm tree covered beaches and pristine waters, but in planning a vacation to Florida, many do not know where to start. Hopefully, this article will give you some direction on what you cannot afford to miss on your Florida vacation:
The Florida Keys. Everyone loves the beautiful beaches of Florida. Nothing epitomizes the tranquil beaches of Florida better than the Florida keys. The keys are a string of islands and peninsulas that are in close proximity of each other, and in close proximity of the mainland. They are connected by a vast bridge that spans the expanse of ocean water for miles. Some of the keys are not connected to a bridge at all and require boat travel in order to access them. The keys are where Jimmy Buffet wrote many of his greatest songs, including “Cheeseburger in Paradise” about his favorite cheeseburger joint on Key Largo.
The Everglades. The Everglades is Florida’s most famous national park, known for its swamps, marshes, alligators and mangrove trees. The everglades is inland from the beach and is situated very close to some of Florida’s major cities. Vegetation grows in the everglades that does not grow anywhere else in the United States. The alligator population is not contained to the everglades, but does make a large habitat out of it. People can take walking tours and boat tours of the everglades to view its bizarre natural wonder.
Miami, Florida. For those who prefer city life to natural wonders, Miami is the place to visit. As far as tourist destination cities goes, Miami is one found near the top of the list. In Miami, one gets a feel for the natural beauty while enjoying the comforts of a major city, complete with world class shopping in the world famous Coconut Grove, astounding nightlife and fabulous restaurants.
The culture in Florida is unlike anywhere else in the world, even in the United States. Florida has a culture that attracts people from around the nation and even the world to soak up its charms. Depending on what region of the state you are in, the culture is different, but all Florida residents know they have something special in their geographical location.
When outsiders think of Florida culture, usually Jimmy Buffet is the first image to pop into people’s heads. As far as beach and island living go, this representation is not far from the truth. Florida’s beaches and islands are known for attracting a very laid back culture that does not shy away from its tropical alcoholic beverages. Musicians, writers and a variety of other people with a story to tell are attracted to these environments. They come for the inspiration of the natural beauty and the pleasure of the island and beach lifestyle, or often they come to escape the past. Many a classic “beach bum” can be found in these parts of Florida.
The metropolitan cities, on the other hand – Miami, Orlando and South Beach, to name a few – are an entirely different scene. These areas put out a party vibe that a different variety of person comes from all around the nation and world seeking. These parts of Florida are known for their opulent wealth and playground atmosphere. Every night, stunningly attractive and wealthy people flock to the clubs and bars of these metropolitan areas to live it up in style. Still close to the coast in many cases, yacht and beach house parties are very common as well.
And lastly, a less talked about culture in Florida is that found in the bayous and national forests. Florida has its types that like to rough it, just like every other state, and these environments are home to a more blue collar demographic that is as much a part of the state’s history as any other. This demographic is not as glamorous, but the states agricultural success largely belongs to them. Florida is responsible for one of the United States primary fruit crops.
Florida is an interesting state, both culturally and naturally. There are many strong tourist draws to the state of Florida, but there also many things that people do not know about Florida. The average person knows that Disneyworld and orange juice both hale from Florida, but people seldom are aware that Florida is rich in unique history, geology and eccentricities, such as:
The dive capitol of the world is considered to be Key Largo.
The alligator earned the title of being the official state reptile in the 1980’s after already representing the state in many ways for years.
A city in Florida called Niceville is home to the most celebrated mullet festival in the Unite States.
Many people mistakenly dub Florida as the southernmost state in the union, but this is incorrect. Hawaii is further south than Florida, but Florida would be considered the southernmost continental state in the United States.
Disneyworld in Orlando is the primary amusement destination of the United States, attracting international visitors from all over the world.
Miami is unique among metropolitan areas in that two national parks can be found within it. No other metropolitan city can make this claim. The two national parks are Biscayne and Everglades.
In the Florida Keys, there is a large reef called French Reef. This is where more dived shipwrecks exists than anywhere else on earth.
The highest average temperature in the United States is found in Key West. This is not to say that Key West reaches the highest temperatures, but rather there is almost a total absence of seasons so it stays warm year round.
Drivers are able to cross 4.1 miles of open water by crossing the Sunshine Skyway Bridge over Tampa Bay. This bridge was built in 1987 and rises 190 feet above the water. It is made out of concrete and cable, and offers a beautiful view of the aquamarine colored water.
Florida has a very strong draw for tourists everywhere. Florida is one of those unique states that has something for everyone, which is why its tourism industry is very strong. There are natural wonders and man-made glamours, beaches and world class restaurants, lush greenery and opulent displays of money, as well as oddities of nature and luxury spa facilities. People live permanently in Florida, but even more vacation there, which has earned the state a reputation for being somewhat lawless. When wealthy people go somewhere to have a good time, law enforcement looks the other way sometimes in order to keep the tourism revenue coming in. Despite these claims, Florida is one of the most desirable vacation destinations in the United States, with several tourist attractions standing out as its most reputable landmarks.
The beaches of Florida are one of its biggest draws to tourists. Comprised of beautiful white and multicolored sand and perfectly clear crystal blue water, people travel the world over to spend time on the beaches of Florida. Their beauty is unsurpassed. The recreational opportunities on Florida’s beaches are also a big draw, such as scuba diving, snorkeling, surfing and boat tours. Beach hospitality in the form of bars and resorts is also a favorite destination of many.
The keys and islands have a similar draw as the beaches but are more unique than a beach. They are islands off the coast of Florida that have long been destinations for song writers and local cultural figures. Jimmy Buffet is probably the most well known of these figures.
The everglades are a source of extreme fascination to many tourists. They are a swampy region with mangrove trees growing out of the water. They are probably best known for the large alligator population they support. This national park is one of the most well known in the southern half of the United States.
For those who prefer civilization to natural elements, Miami and South Beach are beautiful city destinations that feature boutique shopping, fine dining, nightclubs and bars. This area is commonly known as one of the most desirable places to do some urban exploration.
Florida is known for its excellent tourism and vacation settings, but it is also known for its world renowned therapeutic aspects. The beautiful natural environment makes it a favorite location for detoxing, counselling, rehabilitation and undergoing spa treatments. People come to Florida the world over to experience its rejuvenating qualities.
Florida detoxification centers are some of the most widely known in the U.S. Because Florida has a large, wealthy population of retirees and vacationers, the detoxification facilities are top notch. Often making use of the tropical setting, the detox centers in Florida are run by highly acclaimed medical professionals who guide clients through natural or medicated detoxing. Clients are generally seeking a lifestyle change or recovering from substance abuse.
Florida’s spas are extremely luxurious and opulent. Health and physical appearance are high values of many Floridians, and the spa industry in Florida is vast. Every kind of spa treatment is available, from skin treatments to massages to saunas. Often the clientele of Florida spas are celebrities and high-profile individuals.
Florida is also home to several world-class rehabilitation facilities. Luxury or executive rehabs, which cater to high-profile individuals, are often situated in pristine settings. This is to protect the privacy of the clients and ensure a therapeutic, restful recovery for them. Many Florida drug and alcohol rehab centers have the best of amenities and highly-regarded staff.
In a similar vein, the counselling services of Florida are some of the best in the nation. Highly trained and specialized psychologists and psychiatrists have practices in Florida because of the large health industry network that is present. All varieties of counselling services, ranging from marital to retirement to career, are available in Florida.