I grew up in Florida and sometimes forget that Florida is one of the top vacation spots for people all over the world. I forget that people love to take a break from their state or country and enjoy the hot, hot heat of Florida. I, also, forget that Florida has a lot of great places beyond the Broward and Dade county lines. Here is a list of a few places you must see while you live in Florida:
St. Augustine is America’s oldest, permanent European settlement, so for all you history majors this is a must see for you. With its centuries-old buildings and small-town atmosphere, it doesn’t feel like a tourist hotspot.
Some of the attractions you can visit in St. Augustine are: The Lightner Museum, Castillo de San Marcos, the St. Augustine Lighthouse and Museum and the Ponce de Leon Hotel. The Castillo de San Marcos is one of St. Augustine’s most memorable places. It was built by the Spanish to protect the city, and it was never defeated in battle. If you want to check out this national historical monument, it has tours year-round.
For those of you who enjoy the nightlife, Old Town is for you. Old Town has A1A Ale Works restaurant and the Mill Top Tavern. A1A Ale Works is a microbrewery that serves Caribbean, Floridian and Cuban-influenced food and has live rock and R&B on the weekends. The Mill Top Tavern is located near a 19th-century mill and offers drinks, food and live music every night of the week.
The Florida Keys is one of my favorite places to visit in Florida. If you haven’t planned a trip there yet, get out your notebook.
You can drive down to Islamorada and fish in the fishing capital of the world, where sailfish and marlin are caught on a regular basis. Islamorada also has Robbie’s Marina, where you can feed swarms of tarpon that live near the docks, and, let me tell you, the tarpon are huge.
Past Islamorada, is Big Pine Key, where you will find Bahia Honda State Park and Recreation Area. It is listed as one of the most beautiful beaches because of its white sand and abundant wildlife. It is a great place to snorkel and enjoy beach life—I can vouch for it.
Finally, if you are in the Keys, you have to make the trek to Key West—the southernmost city in the continental United States. My favorite spot in Key West is Mallory Dock, which comes alive at night with the Sunset Celebration. Jugglers, mimes, musicians and street artists come out to give you a show. There are also cafes, pubs and many restaurants lining the streets.
If you enjoy learning about space and spacecrafts, the city of Cape Canaveral should be one of your top stops in Florida. Located near the Orlando theme parks, it is home to Kennedy Space Center, where America’s adventures in space began 50 years ago. Even though the space program was suspended, it is still an amazing and historic place to visit.
There are numerous tours offered, like a Kennedy Space Center All-Access Space Pass and a Kennedy Space Center Astronaut Training Experience Tour. You can also receive group discounts for tours and area attractions, and find out where to find dinner shows and other entertainment in Cape Canaveral.
One of the most visited places in North America is located only two hours away from NSU. The Everglades is more than just a “swamp.” It is a sub-tropical wilderness with many forms of wildlife living in their natural habitat. It also has many attractions and activities for visitors of all ages.
There is Captain Doug’s Everglades Boat Tours, where you can take an hour long air boat ride that allows you to experience the Everglades up close, watching wildlife in their natural environment. You can buy a ticket for Captain Steve’s Swamp Buggy Adventures. It is a swamp buggy ride with a guide that will teach you about the Everglades’ past and future while riding high above the grasslands and through the cypress swamp.
You can also experience the Everglades with airplane, van, bicycle and walking tours. If you’re a fisherman, fishing is a popular activity in the “Mangrove Jungle.” And, most importantly, if you love food, the Everglades has some great dining options. For example, there is Captain’s Table—The Seafood Depot, which was built in 1928 inside a train depot. You can watch birds and alligators through the windows, while enjoying your meal.
While you live in Florida, it is important to remember that this state has more than just Disney World, Panama City and Bush Gardens. Florida has more than theme parks and beaches. It is the home of many historic places that any sightseer and food connoisseur would love.