15 Reasons Why Florida is Hotter Than Ever from 15 Reasons Why Florida is Hotter Than Ever

15 Reasons Why Florida is Hotter Than Ever

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15 Reasons Why Florida is Hotter Than Ever

The Sunshine State is mostly associated with Spring Break binge partying and theme parks based on comic books and children’s movies when it comes to vacation destinations. But Florida has a lot more to offer. Imagine what you can do with a coastline of a total of 1,197 statute miles, tidal shoreline of 2,276 miles, 663 miles of beaches and more than 11,000 miles of rivers, streams and waterways, according to official figures.

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The Everglades and its diversity

The Everglades made the Top 4 in the best national parks ranking this year. There is a lot more to do in the largest subtropical wilderness in the country. The park is astoundingly diverse which is amazing considering there is rarely ever a change in altitude. You can see certain places only by kayak, wildlife is like nowhere else, and it’s perfect for paddling and camping.

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The Keys

The Florida Keys are a coral cay archipelago of tropical islands. They form about 120 miles of the southernmost portion of the country, between the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico. Visit Dry Tortugas National Park, which is accessible only by boat or seaplane but has some of the best beaches in the country, go on a boat tour, or learn about nature by visiting the Key West Butterfly Conservatory. Adventure –seekers can go scuba diving to explore shipwrecks or snorkeling to see amazing marine life.

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Underwater caves

Visiting a water-filled cave is a thrill. North-central Florida is a leading cave diving destination when it comes to diver-traffic, according to Dive Advisor. The Devil’s Eye cave system is on all cave divers’ lists of places to explore. Ginnie Springs is usually referred to as "the world's favorite freshwater dive” because of its pristine water and astonishing natural exquisiteness.

Walt Disney World

Walt Disney World is where the magic happens. It’s mind-blowing how many parks you get to explore. A week will not be enough. Start with thrilling rides like the Space Mountain; then bring your kids to lunch with their favorite characters. Visit Animal Kingdom and go on the Kilimanjaro Safari. Tip: Visit Walt Disney World March 2 – May 30 for the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival.

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Universal Studios attractions

Universal Studios has a large selection of unforgettable attractions for adults as well as kids. Everyone will enjoy the Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem, heartwarming, hilarious, 3D ride. Play as an alien-catching agent during the Men in Black: Alien Attack ride; and don’t miss the Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, one of the most popular rides in the park.

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Cuban food (and all food in general)

Cuban culture infuses Miami's dining scene; in fact, more than 34 percent of the city's population hails from the Caribbean island, according to the Travel Channel. Go to Miami's Little Havana neighborhood to eat at one of the tastiest Cuban restaurants, Puerto Sagua. Other good choices are Las Olas Café, Moreno Cuba, and Havana 1957, according to reviews on Yelp. The sea food in Florida is out-of-this world delicious. Some iconic dishes include the Key Lime pie, gator bites, conch fritters, swamp cabbage, and rock shrimp.

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Nightlife

Start the day by relaxing on the beach or by the poolside and save your energy for wild nights. For an unforgettable entertainment experience, head to Miami, Sarasota , Key West or Tampa on Florida's west coast. Whether you go to Ybor City, Bay Street, SoHo, or Downtown, bars, restaurants, clubs and friendly people will expand your imagination of what “fun” is. The only five-level nightclub in Tampa’s Ybor City district with a rooftop patio is Club Prana. Each floor has a different style and music.

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Sanibel and other islands

Sanibel Island & Captiva provide the perfect vacation spot – 15 miles of beaches, 25 miles of bike paths, 50 kinds of fish, 230 kinds of birds, 250 kinds of shells and, very importantly, zero traffic lights. Amelia Island is home to Fernandina Beach, a delightful shrimping village with 50 blocks of historic buildings from the Civil War-era, enjoyable bistros, and unique lodging. You don’t need to go to the Caribbean for a remarkable tropical experience. Florida’s islands with breathtaking coastlines and resorts are some of the state’s secret gems. Visit Marco Island where you're on the edge of the Everglades.

Apalachicola National Forest

Apalachicola National Forest is the largest of Florida’s three national forests –about 938 square miles of the Panhandle. The more adventurous tourists can hike and bike among ethereal cypress trees, dunes, swamps, sinks and karst landscape. The forest also has an abundance of fresh water streams, rivers, lakes, and natural springs. Make sure to visit Leon Sinks, an unusual geological area of caverns and sinkholes, or the Apalachee Savannas Scenic Byway, with its stunning displays of wildflowers in open prairies near the Apalachicola River, according to the Forest Service.

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Miami

The reasons are endless. Beach parties, perfect weather, South Beach, coditions for ideal guys-only and girls-only getaways. Miami has something to offer for everyone. You can find affordable hotels and some of the most luxurious resorts in the world. The culture of Miami is among the most diverse in the country – Cuban, Brazilian, Turkish, Israeli, or French. The city is like its own small world. Don’t forget to visit Ocean Drive, Haulover Beach Park, the Ancient Spanish Monastery and Metro Zoo, which has more than 2,000 animals, representing more than 500 different species. South Beach's name is synonymous with fun times. Stretches of sugar-white sands at the southernmost tip of Miami Beach, spring break parties, celebrities, architecture, bars and fashionable restaurants are all reasons to go. Some of the hotels – like Aloft South Beach Hotel and Sense Beach House – are worth a special visit. Go on a Deco Walking Tour; visit the Lincoln Road Mall; and hit the beach to swim in the turquoise crystal-clear water.

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Tampa

A lot of young people have been moving to Tampa. Between 2000 and 2012, the population of 25- to 34-year-olds with a college degree in Tampa Bay grew nearly 41 percent, from 74,341 to 104,532. The city boast some of the most beautiful beaches, busch gardens, and thrilling theme parks. Tampa is also an ideal city for boaters with its great weather, an avid boating community and plenty of coastlines.

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Festivals

Go to Florida in the summer and you may feel like you’re participating in a never-ending festival. One ends, another one begins. The International Hispanic Theatre Festival of Miami (July 7-31) turns 31 this year and will present offerings from Argentina, Mexico, Peru, Uruguay, Spain and the U.S.; The Key Lime Festival (July 2-4) is a must-see; visit the Palm Beach Shakespeare Festival (July 7-10 and July 14-17) is you’re in the mood for romantic comedies on the beach; dance the day and night away during the Miami Salsa Congress (July 27-31), the largest festivals of its kind. The annual Underwater Festival and the action-packed, family-friendly circus show Cirque Éloize should also be in your itinerary.  

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Cool races

Runners won’t be bored. Sign up for the 7 Mile Bridge Run, the only known race that is completely surrounded by water from start to finish. Start training for the South Beach Marathon in March 2017 now. Look at the Down2Earth calendar filled with short, long, challenging and fun runs, and take your pick. Sign up for the Dopey Challenge, a 5K, 10K, half marathon and full marathon all over the course of four consecutive days through Disney World.

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Water sports

With a coastline of 1,197 statute miles, tidal shoreline of 2,276 miles, 663 miles of beaches and more than 11,000 miles of rivers, streams & waterways, according to official figures, Florida is the place to be for water sports. Peanut Island, situated in the Intracoastal Waterway, is one of the most fascinating parks in Florida for snorkeling. You can see squid, rays, octopus, and brilliantly colored tropical fish. Key Largo, Marathon, Key West, and Crystal River are just a few others. Visitors’ other favorite water activities are parasailing, flyboarding, jet skiing, boating, kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding.

15 Reasons Why Florida is Hotter Than Ever