Top 5 reasons to visit Florida now
There’s never been a better time to get down to Florida. Everything you need to recharge is there—sunny sands, blues skies, subtropical wilderness, and affordable luxury. Book ahead and find deals; that trip-of-a-lifetime could become an annual tradition.
The sunny state’s Gulf coast beaches have variety to suit every taste. Do you crave powdery white shoreline and seashells galore? In the mood for Gulf sunsets and gentle waves? Looking for seclusion, or a place to party? Fishing or snorkeling? The Gulf shore has it all, so it’s no wonder that these beaches are consistently ranked among the best in the world.
One of the top U.S. destinations, Orlando is famous for its theme parks. Universal Orlando Resort™ comprises the Islands of Adventures and Universal Studios, where the Wizarding World of Harry Potter takes you through the Hogwarts Castle and Diagon Alley. SeaWorld has some of the most unique experiences for animal lovers, such as watching waddling penguins, exploring a dolphin nursery and a glass tunnel in a shark aquarium. Less we forget, Disney World! Who wouldn’t want to live in the happiest place on earth?
How many places can you go scuba diving and meet with Jesus? (Well, two if you count Italy.) Deep into the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, a 4,000-pound sculpture of Jesus Christ of the Abyss lies submerged at sea, and scuba divers can swim around it while catching glimpses of the beautiful coral reef!John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, 102601 Overseas Hwy, Key Largo, FL, USA
The Florida peninsula is rich with wildlife. The sawgrass marshes and mangrove forests of the Everglades National Park are home to 350 bird species, 27 different kinds of snakes, fresh and saltwater fish, the bottlenose dolphin, alligators, crocodiles and the Florida panther. Bird-watching is possible in over 500 locations all over the state, and tens of millions of monarch butterflies fill the Florida sky all along their migration route from Canada to Mexico. Visitors can easily spot manatees, the gentle sea cows native to Florida, in shallow slow-moving waters (such as your neighborhood canal); they migrate each winter in large numbers where they join at the Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge.
Paddling into the Wild
With so much of Florida about water, it would be a shame not to see it at water level. Get intimate with natural Florida in a kayak or canoe and experience the place the way the early explorers did. Weedon Island Preserve shelters 3,190 acres of protected coastal wilderness in St. Petersburg. Take a leisurely two- or four-mile trail to discover the natural world flourishing on the edge of a city. South of Sarasota, Charlotte Harbor is the state’s second-largest estuary at 270 square miles. Its 830 miles of shoreline embrace a network of barrier islands, river passages, tropical hammock, pine flatwoods, freshwater marsh, and mangrove forests. Paddlers delight in finding new scenes worthy of camera, notebook, and memory. Florida is a paddlers paradise—all you need are strong arms and the spirit of adventure.