When you move to Florida, you are moving to the most unique of all the 50 states. Known for its beaches, the state also offers incredible parks and nature preserves and great venues for foodies, craft beer lovers, sports fans and (of course) people who can’t get enough of amusement parks.
You won’t be bored in Florida. Here are some of the things you need to do once you get here.
Odds are, this is one of the major reasons you came here in the first place. The wonderful thing about Florida is that it’s not like there is one beach where everyone goes. The whole outline of the state is one long, amazing beach. In South Florida alone you can choose from the beautiful people scene at South Beach in Miami to the more family-oriented Crandon Park on Key Biscayne or the more sedate beaches of Boca Raton. Whatever kind of beach experience you want, Florida has it.
If America is a melting pot, then Florida is that place in the pot where everything truly comes together. People in Florida are from everywhere – the other 50 states as well as South America, Europe, Asia and every point in between. That means every place in Florida has amazing diversity in the food, music and cultural activities. Take advantage as fast as possible.
The bigger cities – Miami, Orlando and Tampa/St. Petersburg – have become havens for foodies and craft beer fans. Caribbean cuisine and dishes from South America, Asia, Cuba and Mexico are just some of the many choices. Craft beer also has become especially popular, with new brands popping up frequently. Miami was recently named one of the top 10 cities in the country for craft beer.
You’re not going to believe all the choices you have when it comes to amusement parks. Listing them all would take pages and pages. However, these are some of the highlights. Keep in mind that many of these places have discounts for Florida residents.
Orlando is the center of the amusement park universe. It has Disney World, which includes Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom and Epcot (not to mention great hotels and Downtown Disney). It also has Universal Studios and SeaWorld. You could spend two weeks in Orlando and not see everything the amusement parks offer.
In South Florida, there is the Jungle Gardens in Miami that features exotic Florida wildlife. There is also the Miami Seaquarium.
Tampa is home to Busch Gardens, which is a roller coaster fan’s idea of heaven, while St. Petersburg is home to Sunken Gardens, which accents the natural beauty of the state. Downtown Tampa also features the Florida Aquarium.
And those are just the highlights. There are also the mermaids at Weeki Wachee Springs State Park in Spring Hill, Legoland in Winter Haven, Dinosaur World in Plant City and the glass-bottom boats in Silver Springs.
Speaking of natural beauty, Florida has it beyond what you see at the beaches. In addition to beautiful places such as Sunken Gardens and Silver Springs, you can also visit national and state parks. They include the Everglades (where you need to take an airboat ride to really experience the place), Jonathan Dickinson State Park north of Jupiter, Kissimmee Prairie Preserve, the Apalachicola National Forest and the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge.
Places like Texas or Pennsylvania have the reputation of being great for sports fans, but Florida deserves a place on that list. Whatever you like, they have you covered. You can go to games involving three legendary college football programs – University of Miami, University of Florida and Florida State University. Professional sports teams around the state include the Miami Dolphins, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Jacksonville Jaguars, Tampa Bay Rays, Miami Marlins, Miami Heat, Orlando Magic, Tampa Bay Lightning, Florida Panthers, Orlando City and the soon-to-be-playing Inter Miami soccer team.
These are just some of the things you must do when you move to Florida. It’s just a start, but this list alone will keep you busy for months to come.