Reasons to Vacation in Florida

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10 Reasons to Vacation in Florida

Theme Parks – Many individuals would say this is their number one reason for taking a vacation Florida.  Theme park fanatics, most especially Disney fans, often head to The Sunshine State every year to get their dose of magic. Orlando, of course, is at the center of the theme park kingdom, with the four parks of the Walt Disney World complex, Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure, and SeaWorld Orlando.  However do not forget about Tampa’s Busch Gardens Africa, which is also an excellent amusement park, almost always landing on annual top 10 lists for theme park enthusiasts.

Beaches, beaches and more beaches – according to many people, this is the number one reason for coming to Florida.  The ability to sit on The Sunshine State’s incredible beaches and enjoy the soft sand, warm water, and beautiful sunsets you will find there.  Florida has thousands of miles of coastline and the beaches are many and quite varied in their type.  Choose your favorite, from Tony South Beach in Miami, the place to see and be seen, to the white sanded family oriented beaches of Siesta Key, near Sarasota.  There are also the Panhandle beaches like popular Destin or the beaches of the northeast, including Fernandina and Ponte Vedra, as well as the beaches of the Keys and those in the southwest, like Sanibel and Marco Islands.  Wherever you go, you will find a Florida beach where you can sun, swim, and enjoy the view.

Sports – Major league sports are a very important part of life in Florida.  With teams like the American League champion Tampa Bay Rays calling Florida home, it is no wonder some visitors head to The Sunshine State annually just to enjoy the sports that take place there all year round.  From NFL football to NHL hockey to pre-season and regular season baseball.  Add to that all the wonderful college teams in the state and it’s easy to understand why Florida is a sportsman’s mecca.

Nightlife – Nightlife sizzles in many parts of the Sunshine State.  On the east coast, the most popular nightlife spots are Miami Beach, Ft. Lauderdale (especially during Spring Break), West Palm Beach, and the other towns in that area.  In central Florida, the Walt Disney World complex has its Pleasure Island area 9currently being refurbished), where adults can party as if it is New Year’s Eve each and every night.  Universal’s City Walk appeals to nighttime revelers as well, with its many restaurants and bars.  On the west coast, Tampa’s lively Ybor City area is a favorite with the under 30 crowd, but the remainder of Gulf Coast beach towns also offer a good collection of nightclubs and other popular party spots geared towards various age groups.

National Parks/Natural Sites – Florida is home to about a dozen national parks, monuments, and seashores, all of which are a joy for the visitor to explore.  A must see is expansive Everglades National Park, which occupies much of the southwest portion of the state.  The largest subtropical wilderness in the U.S., the Everglades is home to many rare species of animals, birds, and plants, and an airboat ride to view them is a must.  State Parks throughout Florida are excellent as well, like Sarasota’s Myakka River Park where guests can experience a diverse natural area of wetlands, prairies, hammocks, and pinelands; or the Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park, where visitors can take a prairie buggy ride along one of Florida’s largest stretches of dry prairie.

Watersports – Florida is a state surrounded by water and for this reason you will no doubt want to take advantage of the many watersports available there.  You can take your pick, from calm water related pursuits like fishing or sailing to more exciting adventures, such as jet skiing, SCUBA diving, kite or wind surfing, wake boarding, parasailing, and more.  With 8,500 miles of shoreline, 7,800 lakes, 320 springs and 35 rivers, the possibilities are endless!  Many beach hotels offer free use of non motorized watercraft and outfitters throughout the state peddle charter fishing cruises, dive lessons, and other opportunities which enable you to enjoy Florida’s beautifully warm waters.

Shopping – Every good vacation has a little shopping time built in (and why not).  In Florida, the shopping options are many and varied, ranging from upscale shops in ritzy South Beach, Miami and beautiful St. Armand’s Circle near Sarasota to popular outlets in Ellenton (near Tampa), St. Augustine, Naples, Florida City, and Orlando.  You’ll also find everything in between at the many malls that dot the Florida landscape.  For real bargains also try the Farmers Markets and Flea Markets dotted all around the state.

Key Lime Pie – Okay, you can get this pie in some other parts of the South too but this delightful confection originally had its start in the Florida Keys.  In fact, nearly every restaurant in the Keys, especially in Key West, serves this dessert.  The key lime tree arrived in Florida in the 1500s and recipes for the pie began appearing as early as the late 1800s, though it became really popular in the 1930s.  Some restaurants make it with graham cracker crust, others with pastry crust.  Either way, it’s a Florida must have several times over.

History – While most people tend to visit Florida for the recreation, the state’s interesting history is one of those side perks visitors can experience while exploring the region.  From the Spanish style architecture of St. Augustine, the oldest continuously occupied European established city in the U.S., to Tampa and its ties to the cigar industry, to the rich military history of the Panhandle, Florida excites and educates visitors who enjoy gaining a little knowledge while on vacation.

Arts and Culture – Florida is filled with museums and entertainment venues both up and down both the East and West coasts and everywhere in between.  Visitors can buy tickets for rock concerts, Broadway style shows, dinner theatre, and much more, in major cities like Tampa, Sarasota, Miami, Orlando, Tallahassee, Jacksonville etc.  Other cultural sites include incredible art museums (check out the Ringling Museum in Sarasota), history museums (found in nearly every county), aviation museums (like the National Museum of Naval Aviation in Pensacola), and science museums (including Tampa’s excellent Museum of Science and Industry).

This article was written by Phil Cornish.  Designer and owner of Orlando Florida private vacation villas and Disney World rental homes web sites and also where you can get great deals on Florida vacation villas

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