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Florida

Nickname: Sunshine State
Area: 54 157 sq.mi. (140 266 km2)
Highest point: Walton County 345 ft. (105.2 m)
Population: 15 317 300
Capital: Tallahassee
Largest city: Jacksonville

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Florida is the most south state of the USA, bordered by the Gulf of Mexico from West, the Atlantic-Ocean from East and Georgia and Alabama from North. The majority of Florida is a dale-land. Its highest point is just over 100 meters above sea level. Its Northern part has a Sub-tropical; the Southern part has a Tropical climate. The state is a significant agricultural center, and is one of the largest Satsuma (orange, lemon and mandarin) growing places in the world. However, it’s also the number one place of tourism in the USA. Florida is visited by millions of people each year, who want to rest after their labor on its sandy beaches and enjoy themselves in its resort cities. The largest cities on the North are Pensacola, Tallahassee and Jacksonville; Orlando, Tampa and St. Petersburg in the middle and Fort Lauderdale and Miami in the South.

 

 

Its capital is Tallahassee, which is an administrational center. Its downtown is dominated by magnificent houses from the 19th century. It’s worth to visit both the buildings of the Old State Capitol and the giant skyscraper of the New Capitol behind it. It offers a splendid outlook from its terrace. Once in Tallahassee, do visit the Museum of Florida History, which is about the various history of the state.
Tallahassee
Photo: State Capitol, Tallahassee, Florida, USA, flickr.com, by jimmywayne22

Pensacola is located up North in the state, near the border with Alabama. It was founded as one of the first Spanish cities in the country in the 16th century. It’s worth to visit the interesting collection of the Wentworth Florida State Museum.
Pensacola
Photo: Pensacola Beach, Florida, USA, flickr.com, by divemasterking2000

 

The largest city of Florida is Jacksonville, located in the North-Eastern part of the state. It is an industrial, educational center. Its downtown is dominated by skyscrapers, which give place for many offices of famous companies’. Do visit the Museum of Contemporary Art which hides a fantastic artistic collection, and you should also visit the Palm and Cycad Arboretum, where we will find exotic plants from the Sub-Tropical regions. There are popular beaches waiting for thousands of visitors, namely the Atlantic Beach, the Neptune Beach, the Jacksonville Beach and the Ponte Vedra Beach.
Jacksonville
Photo: Jacksonville, Florida, USA, flickr.com, by by I love the Way Truth & Life

The Fernandina Beach is situated north from Jacksonville on the Amelia Island. It has a lot to show to the visitors. There are magnificent villas in the city, which were built back in the 19th century. Its main street, the Centre Street is flanked by different shops, souvenir shops and bars. It’s worth to visit the Amelia Island Museum of History, where we might get to know the history of the island, and we can also participate in a guided tour around the island.
Fernandina Beach
Photo: Post Office, Fernandina Beach, Florida, USA, flickr.com, by jimmywayne22

St. Augustine is located south of Jacksonville. It is regarded to be one of the oldest cities of the state. The city has a beautiful coastal line and old buildings, which attract many tourists throughout the year. We should miss out the St. Augustine Fortress, which was built in the 17th century, the beautiful building of the Flagler College, the Basilica Cathedral and the Lightener Museum, which hides a first-class artistic collection inside it.
St. Augustine
Photo: Fort, St. Augustine, Florida, USA, flickr.com, by Reachupforthestars

We may find one of the most popular resorts south from St. Augustine. It is Daytona Beach, famous of its charming, sandy shore. There are several first-class hotels and clubs in the city, so it’s able to serve the needs of millions of tourists visiting the city each year. You should pay a visit to the Museum of Arts and Science, where an interesting artistic collection is on display. We should also search for the Halifax Historical Museum, which introduces the history of the city to us. The city is the home town of the Daytona International Speedway, which attracts huge crowds for motor sporting events throughout the year.
Daytona Beach
Photo: Daytona Beach, Florida, USA, flickr.com, by PartsnPieces

 

The largest city of Central-Florida is the world-famous Orlando. Its downtown is dominated by skyscrapers, and its main street, the Orange Avenue is flanked with bars and special restaurants, which are actually seized by the tourists after sunset. Its popular cultural institutions are the Orlando Museum of Art and the Maitland Art Center, where we may have a look at a lot of painters work.There city has three big amusement parks, where they entertain millions of people each year.
· Sea World and Discovery Cove introduces the wildlife of the seas to us. We get to know the dolphins, seals and other marine animals as well.
· Walt Disney World Resort Complex, which is the most popular amusement park of Orlando. It consists of many parts, like the Magical Country, Epcot, Disney-MGM Studios and the Kingdom of Animals.
· Universal Studios Orlando has three parts: the Universal Studios Park, the Adventure-Islands and the Universal City Walk. It complex is an amusement park situated between sceneries from movies. It offers an unforgettable experience, recommended for people over the age of 12.
Orlando
Photo: Orlando, Florida, USA, flickr.com, by Jordi Gomara (itaca2000)

Cape Canaveral, which is situated east of Orlando, is the home of the Kennedy Space Center, which introduces the history of astronautics and the operation of the space center to us. We also get to see the life-size replica of the Explorer spaceship.

The two largest cities of West-Florida are both located on the shores of the Tampa Bay, facing each other. They are St. Petersburg and Tampa.

St. Petersburg is situated on a beautiful peninsula. Its downtown is surrounded by elegant shops and restaurants. The city is an important cultural center. We may visit the famous Salvador Dali Museum, which shows quite a lot of the creations – graphics, paintings and drawings - from the artist. It’s also worth to visit the Museum of Fine Arts, where painting from famous European, American and Asian artists are on display. The St. Petersburg Museum of History talks about the history of the city.
St. Petersburg
Photo: St. Petersburg, Florida, USA, flickr.com, by librarysarie

Click for Tampa, Florida Forecast

The city of Tampa lies just in front to St. Petersburg. It is a significant industrial, commercial and tourism center, its downtown is dominated by skyscrapers. Its main attritions are the Florida Aquarium, where one may meet the most interesting sea-creatures, and the Busch Gardens, which is one of the largest zoos in the USA, with nearly 3000 animals. It’s also worth to visit the museums of the city: the Museum of Science and Industry, which is a scientific museum with the Challenger Astronautics Training Center and a 3 dimensional cinema; and the Tampa Museum of Art, where we may see a valuable artistic exhibition.
Tampa
Photo: Tampa, Florida, USA, flickr.com, by katiew

The city of Sarasota lies south from Tampa. It is a famous cultural and recreational center. One of the largest museum-complexes of Florida can be found here, the Ringling Museum Complex, where beautiful paintings, drawing and graphics are put on exhibition. We may find several excellent beaches on the seashore, like Turtle Beach, Siesta Key Beach and the South Lido Park Beach.
Sarasota
Photo: Sarasota, Florida, USA, flickr.com, by rusty one

The South-Eastern coastline of Florida is flanked by resort cities. The most famous ones from North to South are: Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood at Florida, and of course Miami.

The world-famous Palm Beach primarily offers rest and piece for the rich and the upper ten societies. The city is full of luxurious villas and magnificent castles. The main street is called the Worth Avenue, which is flanked by galleries, well-known shops and elegant restaurants.
Palm Beach
Photo: Palm Beach, Florida, USA, flickr.com, by SteelCityHobbies

Boca Raton easily wins the heart of people with its buildings from the 19th century. Besides, we get to know some interesting cultural sites as well. It’s worth to visit the Boca Raton Museum of Art, which has creations from various artists on display. The beautiful parks and beaches of the city, which aren’t built in, are quite popular. The two most beautiful ones are the Spanish River Park and the Red Reef Park, where we can take our ease on the sandy beaches, under the palm trees.
Boca Raton
Photo: Boca Raton, Florida, USA, flickr.com, by xrrr

Fort Lauderdale is the second largest city in South-Eastern Florida, after Miami. It is a beautiful resort with popular beaches. Millions of people visit the city each year. Its cruiser-harbor, Port Everglades is the second largest in the world, several hundred yachts and pleasure boats dock here throughout the year. Its main street, the Las Olas Boulevard reaches the shore of the Atlantic-Ocean. It is flanked by the most various shops and restaurants. The Museum of Art is also to be found here, which holds a fantastic artistic collection.
Fort Lauderdale
Photo: Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA, flickr.com, by thepodger

 

The most famous and also the most popular city of Florida is Miami. The city is practically full all the time during the year with people coming from different places from all over the world. The city of two million, which spans over 5000 square kilometers, is full of life. The musical festivals reach one another, and life never stops in the concerts and clubs. Of course, the most popular areas are along the seashore. These are Miami Beach, South Beach and Coconut Groove, but its internal quarters are also interesting: Downtown, Little Havana and Coral Gables.
Miami Beach and South Beach, which are found on a huge island, are the centers of entertainment and bathing. Its coastal sectors are all beautiful and sandy.
The streets of South Beach are flanked by different bars, restaurants, pubs, night clubs and discos. It’s worth to walk along Lincoln Road, which is flanked by elegant restaurants and cafeterias, and we can also find the Lincoln Road Mall here, which is a significant cultural center. The Art Center South Florida is a part of this complex, which offers an interesting artistic collection for us.
If you’re nearby, do visit the Bass Museum of Art on Miami Beach, for it has a fantastic collection of paintings and statues. The giant statute, representing a looming hand is the Holocaust Memorial, dedicated to the victims of the Holocaust.
The North Beaches, which are north from Miami Beach, are covered with huge hotels. The Key Biscayne, which is on the Southern part of the city, has a beautiful shore, flanked by palm trees.
The Downtown lies just on the opposite side of Miami Beach. It’s the financial and commercial center of the city, dominated by enormous skyscrapers.
Little Havana, situated west from the downtown is the center of the Cuban community of Miami. There are shops selling legendary Cuban cigars and restaurants having Cuban specialties on their menu here.
Coconut Grove is found south from the downtown, where the tourists are awaited by the various shops, elegant restaurants and cafeterias and night clubs.
Coral Gables is situated west from Coconut Grove, and it offers an awe-inspiring sight with its Spanish and Italian buildings. A lot of hotels are at the service of the tourists, and there are also a lot of shops in Miracle Mile, the shopping street of the quarter. The most famous hotel is the amazing Biltmore Hotel, which was built in the early 20th century. One of the most beautiful swimming pools of the USA is the Venetian Pool.
If we have time in Miami, it’s worth to visit the Wings Over Miami, which is an exhibition with giant aircrafts. The Fairchild Tropical Garden is a wonderful botanical garden, and the Miami Metrozzo is one of the largest zoos in the USA, where the animals can wander around freely.
Miami
Photo: Miami, Florida, flickr.com, USA, by SMWalton73

The most south settlement of Florida and the USA as well is Key West, situated on the last of the beautiful Florida Keys coral-island groups. The city is a popular center of culture and tourism. It’s recommended to visit the Mel Fisher Maritime Museum, where one may find treasures from sunken ships, and the Wrecker’s Museum, where a maritime exhibition is on display. The Hemingway Home also has an interesting exhibition about the popular writer. This was his former home. The San Carlos Institute is a Cuban tradition preserving center, and the Bahamas Village cites a fantastic Caribbean atmosphere.
Key West
Photo: Key West, Florida, USA, flickr.com, by jacinda79

Florida is rich in natural beauties. The following places are definitely worth to be visited, in case we go on an excursion in the state:
· Arthur Marshall Loxahatchee National Wild Refugee features a various fauna and vegetation together in a wonderful park.
· Canaveral National Seashore wins the tourists’ heart with its amazing Atlantic-Ocean seashore.
· Ocala National Forest is a giant evergreen forest full of rivers, where we can sign up for a canoe trip or pleasure boating.
· Big Cypress National Preserve is a swampy territory, where we can take part in exciting excursions.
· Lee Island Coast is a magnificent coastline, which remained untouched.
· Everglades National Park is the largest national park of Florida. It is a famous, swampy area, created by the overflow of the Lake Okeechobee on the North. It characterizes an exceedingly rich fauna and vegetation. We can participate in exciting adventure-trips, walk on floor planked paths, and we can discover the water paths covering the park with canoes.
· Florida Keys is a magnificent group of coral-islands. It attracts many fishers, divers, bathers and people who go in for pleasure boating.
· Biscayne Bay National Park is the most north member of the Florida Keys island group. The park features the original vegetation, and the rich coral reefs are an unforgettable experience for the divers.
Everglades
Photo: Everglades, Florida, USA, flickr.com, by Pamela McCreight

Florida Keys
Photo: Florida Keys, Florida, USA, flickr.com, by Scott Kinmartin

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