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Florida: A Radiant Guide to the Sunshine State

Florida: A Radiant Guide to the Sunshine State

Known for the heat, beach, orange trees and wildlife (especially the alligators!) amongst many other things, it’s no surprise that Florida is a tourist hotspot. Millions of people visit the Sunshine State each year to take in the scenic beauty and activities available. Let’s take a look at some of the many exciting sites Florida has to offer.

View of downtown Tampa, Florida from the harbor.

BEACH

It’d be hard to go to Florida without considering at least a day or two sunning yourself on the beach. It just doesn’t happen. There’s so much coastline to explore, so it’s just a matter of narrowing down exactly where you want to be. The climate between north and south in the state varies, with warm temperate regions in the former and subtropical in the latter. Don’t forget to include it in your list to Things to do in USA

The city of Tampa, on the western coast of the state, is situated on beautiful Tampa Bay, near the Gulf of Mexico. With flights to Tampa available from most major cities, this area of Florida is easily accessible to travelers — and for a good reason. Tampa Bay features several scenic beaches including Clearwater Beach, Treasure Island and Indian Shores, home to the Sun coast Seabird Sanctuary.

Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA skyline over Barrier Island.

The sandy shores of Miami, on the southeastern coast of Florida, are also a welcoming recipient of tourists. Miami Beach includes a beachside boardwalk to stroll down as well as countless restaurants and luxury accommodation. The quieter Bal Harbor Beach is an excellent spot for walking, jogging and wading into the clear, turquoise waters.

THEME PARKS

Walt Disney World, in Lake Buena Vista, is a significant draw for vacationing families, as are the numerous other theme parks located in or near the city of Orlando. The Universal Orlando Resort is a massive theme park made up of a multitude of individual parks, including Universal Studios, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and Wet ‘n Wild, a many waterpark designed to help you and the kids beat the heat, to name just a few. With so many theme parks on offer, it’s easy to find a perfect fit for you and your family.

NATURE

Florida is no stranger to natural beauty, either. From the palm tree-lined beaches to the Everglade swamps, the Floridian landscape won’t wear you down into slumber. Home to many of the state’s alligators, the tropical wetlands of the Everglades span from near Orlando down to the very southern part of the country. You’ll see sawgrass prairie, limestone rock, and rivers, lakes and floodplains.

The forests in the Florida Panhandle offer another view of the varied landscape. The Blackwater River State Forest, known for its longleaf pines and rich plant and animal life, is a great place to go camping, hiking and canoeing.

SPORTS

To sample more of Florida’s outdoor culture, head to the Florida Keys for some fishing, boating, snorkelling and diving. The beautiful barrier reef is home to some amazing marine life, as well as several shipwrecks just waiting to be explored. The Florida Keys’ chain of islands features numerous diving sites for divers with a range of experience. The well-preserved reef, with its brightly-colored fish and natural coral formations, is simply a must-see.

OFF THE BEATEN PATH

Finally, if you’re looking for something more than a beach or theme park holiday, visit the Kennedy Space Center, which is just an hour’s drive from Orlando. The center has been used for NASA space flights since the late 1960s, and you can choose from self-guided or guided tours of the center, which include the impressive space shuttle launch pad.

History buffs might also enjoy the Fort Matanzas National Monument, an 18th Century Spanish fort located on the northeast coast of Florida, or the Kingsley Plantation, an old plantation — now a historic site — located in Jacksonville.

So, whether you’re seeking the sunny outdoors, beautiful natural scenery, bustling theme parks or historical attractions, Florida has it all.

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