"Rich Tapestry of Sand, Wetlands, & Forests" Top 5 Page for this destination Florida by deecat

Florida Travel Guide: 21,343 reviews and 47,129 photos

From Amelia Island To Key West: Florida

I've taken at least 8 vacations to different parts of Florida, including Amelia Island, Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Miami Beach, The Keys, Bonita Beach, Orlando, & Sebring.
Having spent time in all these areas really pointed out to me the wide diversity of the "Sunshine State". Florida's landscape is uncommonly lush and is punctuated by deep forests, springs, rivers, lakes, & vast wetlands. There's two separate swamplands: The Big Cypress & The Everglades. Together, these two virtually cover the southern tip of Florida.

I soon discovered that the sand beaches so popular with tourists actually account for less than 1/2 of Florida's coast. Most of the coast consists of marshes, swamps, & muddy bays.

I've noted that Florida beaches come in 3 shades of color: dazzling white, a shade of tan, & even gray. The white beaches near Panama City are nearly 100 percent quartz sand; the gray tone of Venice beach has large amounts of phosphates; the tan beaches (on the east coast) reflect high shell & iron content.

There's more than Disney World. Hopefully, visitors will discover other wonderful spots:

Pensacola in Florida's panhandle is a gold mine of history.

Tallahassee, state capital, has civil War battlefields & stately old plantation homes.

Amelia Island is stunning.

St Augustine, nation's oldest city, has restored streets, horse-drawn carriages, & old buildings.

The Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral.

Fort Lauderdale, "Venice of America" because of its many canals.

Everglades National Park, largest subtropical wilderness in the USA.

The Gulf Coast with great cities like Naples, Fort Meyers, Bonita Beach, Sanibel & Captiva Ilands..the more laid-back cities of Sarasota, Bradenton, & St. Petersburg.

Tampa has Busch Gardens; Winter Haven has Cypress Gardens.

In the middle of the state, Sebring, the golf capital.
Come visit, but see it all!

Florida: A Treasury of Wildlife

The warm weather in Florida creates the perfect environment for many types of animals. There are animals of all kinds in the water, under the water, on the land, and in the air.
This is the only place in the nation where both alligators and crocodiles live in proximity. There are more than flamingos in Florida. I captured this photo of parrots in a wildlife area near Naples.

Lovely Beaches Abound

While in Florida, one just becomes accustomed to all the beauty, especially the magnificent beaches. On a day like today in the winter in Chicago, I member fondly the glorious feeling of standing barefoot on those Florida beaches, absorbing the ever-present sunshine.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Plenty of sunshine, glorious beaches, great restaurants
  • Cons:Traffic, hordes of people, gradual ruination of the Everglades
  • In a nutshell:America's Showcase for Sun and Fun
  • Last visit to Florida: Mar 2004
  • Intro Updated Mar 4, 2005
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Reviews (20)

Comments (27)

  • jillzi's Profile Photo
    Nov 5, 2010 at 8:09 AM

    Wow! This is great and filled with so many helpful tips, beautiful photographs, and personal experiences. Lucky to be able to stay so long. Lovely stuff here.

  • Sep 22, 2010 at 9:47 AM

    Lucky to have visited Florida so often. Comprehensive and informative. Beautiful white-sand beaches. Corkscrew Swamp looks just amazing. Splendid China also looks worth a visit. Like this fresh look at Florida.

  • iandsmith's Profile Photo
    Aug 18, 2010 at 5:47 PM

    As usual, a plethora of useful tips with quality photographs.

  • hopang's Profile Photo
    Mar 17, 2010 at 11:55 AM

    Superb Florida travel page with many stunning photographs! Florida certainly ranks very high on our list of destinations to visit in USA. We are very fond of Miami, Florida Keys and Splendid China. Thanks for the virtual tour. ~ho & pang

  • Aug 18, 2009 at 6:56 AM

    My love state in USA

  • Kuznetsov_Sergey's Profile Photo
    Sep 4, 2008 at 12:06 PM

    Wow, Allan is a good tennis player! I loved your "Old" Doesn't Mean "Loser" in Tennis tip! I'd like to play a match with Allan in Florida, haha! Thanks Dee for the virtual tour.

  • blue_sky04's Profile Photo
    May 19, 2008 at 8:04 PM

    Nice page on Florida! Thanks for sharing.

  • Tijavi's Profile Photo
    Jun 26, 2007 at 10:35 AM

    My 4-yo niece has been egging me to take her to Disney World. These pages are a wonderful intro to the Sunshine State and I'm relieved to know there is more to FL than Disney. Will heed advice to visit Corkscrew Swamp if ever we make it. Thanks!

  • evaanna's Profile Photo
    Mar 30, 2007 at 12:32 PM

    Wonderful page full of enthusiasm and very informative. I think I would love the Keys and the Swamp best but you seem to be just spoilt for choice in Florida. I hope BerniShand was able to enjoy all those attractions before she died.

  • scottishvisitor's Profile Photo
    Feb 27, 2007 at 1:21 PM

    Nice to see a little bit of China in Florida - would love the natural beauties around here especially Corkscrew swamp

deecat

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