Brian and I spent 2014 driving all around the country. We visited 47 out of the 50 U.S. states. Some states surprised us and some states disappointed us (and some were just as you’d expect them to be: Iowa and Kansas are good examples).
But one of the states that surprised us the most was Florida. Florida gets a bad rap because of its propensity to attract retired folks. It’s also really hot and there are a lot of sprawling big cities.
But only seeing Florida from that lens means you’re missing out on all that Florida does have to offer, and it’s a lot. Below are my 3 favorite things about the state of Florida.
Okay, I know it seems crazy to start out with a crazy place like Disney World, but I visited when I was a child and it honestly changed my life. One of my earliest memories is roaming around the Swiss Family Tree House. From that moment on I dreamed of living outdoors and in some ways I never let go of that dream. It’s easy to find tickets to Disney World in Florida so don’t miss out on visiting at least once in your life.
Little Talbot Island
Brian and I ended up camping on Little Talbot Island for a week in April and it was one of the most enjoyable weeks we had all year. The Island is uninhabited and quiet and the beaches are absolutely pristine. From our campground we were able to put our paddleboards in to the saltwater marsh and paddle around searching for marine life and sea otters. It was a wonderful experience.
One of the most unique and diverse pieces of land in the U.S. is in Florida in the Everglades National Park. The Everglades are a natural region of tropical wetlands in southern Florida. Human history in this area dates back to 15,000 years ago and UNESCO has deemed the Everglades one of only three worldwide wetland areas of global importance. But the most impressive thing about the Everglades is the wildlife. A number of endangered and elusive animals call the Everglades home including the manatee, the American crocodile and the rare Florida panther.
If you’re looking for beautiful beaches and green golf courses, Florida certainly has those things too. But if you want to dig a little deeper into this diverse and gorgeous state I think you’ll find that there’s a lot more to Florida lurking just below the surface.