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Florida has always been a gleam in every vacationer’s eye, and why not? With its extreme diversity from top to bottom, it’s a state straddling two time zones and offering destinations that are worlds apart, from quiet rural farming towns to cosmopolitan cities packed with the glitterati. It’s America’s oldest settlement, and its youngest at heart, with archaeological sites dating back tens of thousands of years and “modern” European settlements in Pensacola and St. Augustine more than four centuries old. From the Spanish and French explorers who claimed this land to today's immigrants, Florida is a melting pot of cultures, many deeply ...

Florida has always been a gleam in every vacationer’s eye, and why not? With its extreme diversity from top to bottom, it’s a state straddling two time zones and offering destinations that are worlds apart, from quiet rural farming towns to cosmopolitan cities packed with the glitterati. It’s America’s oldest settlement, and its youngest at heart, with archaeological sites dating back tens of thousands of years and “modern” European settlements in Pensacola and St. Augustine more than four centuries old. From the Spanish and French explorers who claimed this land to today's immigrants, Florida is a melting pot of cultures, many deeply rooted in European and Caribbean traditions.

With its sunny skies and year-round moderate temperatures, Florida is also the land of flowers, with botanical wonders in formal gardens and wilderness areas, including some of the world’s rarest orchids and the world’s only Everglades. Agricultural bounty abounds, from fresh strawberries in the dead of winter to the famous orange groves that sweetly scent the air each spring. Whereas theme parks are a modern attraction, Florida’s engaging outdoors, including world-class beaches stretching nearly 2,000 miles and vast natural areas where migratory birds settle during the winter months, offer visitors the opportunity to reconnect with nature while hiking, paddling, and bicycling. Florida’s magic is real, providing a kaleidoscope of experiences to choose from in any season.

Sandra Friend
About the Expert

Sandra Friend has written 12 books about Florida, including the Explorer's Guide (Countryman Press) series to Florida.

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Sandra Friend for Triporati

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