Posts Tagged ‘Florida’
Miami is well known around the world for its glitz, glamour, beautiful people and vibrant Latin-infused nightlife. However, there’s much more to Miami than you might believe.
If you want to experience the real Miami, you have to go off the beaten path and put aside some preconceived notions. To that end, here is a list of four things you may find surprising about the Magic City.
1. Miami is not a great place to enjoy the beach. This might sound surprising, but it’s true. That most iconic of beaches, South Beach, is a perfect place to see beautiful people sunbathing, absorb local flavor and color and cruise swanky nightclubs and restaurants, but it isn’t the best spot to enjoy a tranquil day at the beach with the family. Locals rarely go there because it’s crowded and hot and parking is a real challenge. There are other, smaller beaches in the city that are nice, but if you’re really looking for a peaceful place to enjoy some sun and sand with the family, you’re better off heading to Naples on Florida’s west coast, or driving a little farther north to Hollywood or Fort Lauderdale.
2. Miami is a foodie’s dream come true. Not only does Miami have critically acclaimed five-star restaurants, it also has an untold wealth of authentic cuisine experiences just waiting to be enjoyed by food lovers. This is the best place, aside from Cuba itself, to experience Cuban food (an absolute must for foodies). Authentic, mom-and-pop style Cuban restaurants are available everywhere. And if you ask the local Cubans, they’ll point you to the best ones. If you dig a little deeper, you’ll also find authentic Jamaican, African, Puerto Rican, Colombian, Brazilian and Haitian food. In Miami, you can honestly enjoy a culinary trip around Central America, South America and the Caribbean, without ever leaving the city.
3. Miami takes pride in its beautiful and unique natural scenery. Miami is not just about palm trees. The city’s subtropical climate makes it perfect for beautiful foliage you won’t see anywhere else in the United States. The city is lush and green year round, and covered with exotic, brightly colored blossoms in spring and summer. If you enjoy exploring the natural landscape, Miami has several parks dedicated to showcasing the best of its plants and flowers. It’s also home to a number of exotic animals: You may catch a glimpse of a peacock or crane strolling down the street, or have to stop your car to let a giant iguana pass.
4. Miami is a sportsman’s paradise. Miami is a great place for those who love water sports. Serious fisherman love to test their mettle here, and serious boaters, jet skiers, swimmers and scuba divers find it a haven. From parasailing to kayaking, you can enjoy water sports all year round and, odds are, you’ll find a group that’s just as enthusiastic as you are about your particular sport.
If you plan on traveling to Miami, be sure to check Travelation for the best flight, hotel and rental car options. While not as well known as other booking sites, Travelation is simple to navigate, fast and ideal for finding the best travel deals.
The State Capital of Florida is in Tallahassee. Florida was the 27th state to enter the Union (March 3, 1845). Its nickname is The Sunshine State. It borders on Alabama, Georgia, the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. Its land area is 58,660 square miles making it the 22nd largest state and the second largest (after Georgia) east of the Mississippi River, yet the state of Florida is bigger than England. It is the southernmost state in the continental United States (Hawaii is farther south). The State Song: “Old Folks at Home” was written by Stephen C. Foster (also called “Swanee River”) in 1851, yet the composer had never visited the state and was not familiar with the Suwannee River. Foster’s song became the official state song in 1935. The Suwannee River originates in Okeefenokee Swamp in Georgia and flows south to the Gulf of Mexico in Florida. The river separates the Florida panhandle from the rest of the state.
Jumping around the list you’ll find that the Florida Panther is the most endangered of all Florida’s symbols Florida Panther are large, long-tailed, pale brown cats that grow up to six feet for females and weigh up to 100 pounds, while the males can grow up to seven feet long and weigh up to 160 pounds. Its habitat is usually where there are white-tailed deer, which is the mainstay of its diet. Human population growth has been the primary threat to the panther’s range and continues to diminish the quality of existing habitats. The Manatee, also called a sea cow, is a gray, waterplant-eating, gentle giant that reaches eight to 14 feet in length and can weigh more than a ton. Manatees are on the endangered species list, and their survival depends on controlling human activity, such as being struck by boats and barges. Also, the propeller blades of speeding boats can cut a manatee’s hide to ribbons. Regulations have limited the speed of boats in waters populated by manatees during winter months, when more than 1,500 of the creatures swim to warm bays and rivers to avoid pneumonia and death.
More than 3,000 Seminole Indians live on six reservations throughout the state of Florida: Big Cypress, Brighton, Fort Pierce, Hollywood, Immokalee and Tampa. The St. John’s River is Florida’s longest river (273 miles in length) and is one of the few rivers that flow north instead of south. Everglades National Park is 2,100 square miles and contains the largest mangrove forest and the slowest moving river in the world. Two birds synonymous with Florida get their pink color from the shrimp they eat. The Flamingo and the Roseate Spoonbill both turner darker and darker pink the more shrimp they eat. Florida is home to the largest breeding population of bald eagles in the lower 48 states. Islamorada in the Florida Keys is billed as the Sports fishing Capital of the World Nearby Key Largo is known as the Dive Capital of the World.
Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon first introduced cattle to North America in Florida in 1521. Florida ranks 12th in the nation in number of beef cows. Florida is home to four of the 10 largest cow-calf enterprises in the U.S. One specialized ranch in Florida maintains the largest herd of brood cows in the United States. Nearly one-half of all Florida Agricultural land is involved in cattle production. Florida has 4 million acres of pastureland and 1 million acres of grazed woodland. Okeechobee County has more cows than it does people. Citizens of Okeechobee County own more pick-up trucks per capita than anywhere else in the country with an average of 3.2 trucks per family, which may also mean that there are more trucks than people. Palm Beach County leads the nation in the production of sugar and fresh sweet corn. It is also Florida’s leading producer of rice, bell peppers, lettuce, radishes, Chinese vegetables, specialty leaf and celery. Palm Beach County produces roughly 18 percent of all sugar in the United States. It is the largest sugar-producing county in the nation and has roughly 400,000 acres of sugar cane, about 32 percent of the county’s overall land.
Florida was underwater for much of geological history, allowing millions of shells of sea animals to decay and form the thick layers of limestone that cover much of the state. The peninsula rose above sea level approximately 20 million years ago, yet southern portion remained largely submerged, until the buildup of coral and sand on its perimeter blocked the sea. The sedentary marine vegetation decayed and formed the peaty soil of the present-day Everglades. Today, Florida has seven floral zones: flatwoods, scrublands, grassy swamps, savannas, salt marshes, hardwood forests (hammocks), and pinelands.
Folk Lore. Sightings of the Skunk Ape have been made throughout south Florida. It has been described as large, hairy, man-like beast that roams the Everglades emitting a terrible odor. Not counting the skunk ape, there are many reasons to move to Florida and some of them are: Southern Florida is one of the warmest places in the United States in winter. There is no personal income tax in Florida, and you can get homestead tax exemptions on your home. Home prices are comparatively low and when you compare the benefits of living in Florida with any other state, you’ll see why Florida is the best choice. Entertaining and natural theme parks, hundreds of miles of beautiful beaches, active vacation lifestyle all year long. Excellent Healthcare due to the fact that Florida is a major retirement area and some of the best medical centers in the nation are here. These are just a few reasons to move to Florida, but whatever your reason, Florida is a fantastic place to live, work and play.