When planning your next getaway, you would be remiss in passing over a bask in the Sunshine State. Florida offers year round sun and outdoor potential, and should be at the top of your list the next time you plan a getaway. Millions of tourists, both American and foreign flock to Florida beaches every year – over 100 million reported in 2017 – and many of Florida’s outlets to the ocean routinely grace official lists of America’s best beaches. In fact, Florida scored six of US News & World Report’s “15 Best Beaches in the United States,” beating out Hawaii’s five.
An Unending Chain of Beaches
Florida beaches are some of the prettiest in the United States. The white, powdery sand that covers the coastline of Florida offers a luxury not found easily anywhere else in the country. Florida beaches offer the tropical overhead cover of endless palm trees and warm, crystal-blue waters that invite even the most hesitant bathers into their gentle current. Beach lovers must experience Florida’s Gulf Coast to know a true saltwater excursion. The Gulf stretches hundreds of miles up the western edge of Florida, with endless hidden gems along the way. You can find sleepy bungalow towns to relax in, or you can be the life of the party at a high-tempo destination.
The Florida Gulf Coast is also sheltered from mammoth ocean currents, meaning the water is noticeably warmer year-round. You can also expect to find more serene tides on this side of the state as well. The Gulf’s water conditions are ideal for water sports and adventure. Kayaking, tubing, and parasail excursions are easily enjoyed in the laid-back atmosphere of the sea.
Come for the Sand, Stay for the Lifestyle
Not only are Florida beaches the perfect spot for a well-deserved break, the surrounding towns offer a peaceful place to relax as well. Many beach towns have built up extraordinary service industries to match the yearly influx of visitors. Whether you are perusing the luxurious shopping district of St. Armands Circle or the unique theme park style boardwalk of Daytona, there is something for everyone along the Florida coast. Families and spring breakers alike are sure to enjoy their time once they leave the sand. Just as coastal areas provide relief from sunbathing, so do other, easily accessible locations in Florida. It is incredibly simple to plan a day exploring Orlando’s Disney World or Sea World before retreating back to your ocean paradise. The possibilities for fun are endless.
More Than Just a Break
Florida offers many breaks from the beach, but not all are created equal. Florida boasts a rich and unique history alongside a dizzying array of iconic theme parks. St. Augustine provides the historical experience of America’s oldest continuously settled town right alongside the beach resorts. A day out in this ancient Spanish city can provide a splash of history not found anywhere else in the United States. St. Augustine boasts massive coquina forts and the oldest fort in the United States: Castillo de San Marcos.
Likewise, Ybor City – a suburb of Tampa – is home to one of the biggest Cuban communities in America, shining through in the flair of fantastic restaurants and nightlife that rivals any other in the nation. Here, you can visit historic landmarks on the prestigious University of Tampa campus and all around the city.
Alternatively, if sports history is more your speed, Tampa is home to two champions in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Lightning, and a short trip across the Bay to St. Petersburg will bring you to the home of the Rays, a constant contender and AL East rival of both the Yankees and Red Sox. You can be sure to find an exciting match sometime in your holiday schedule.
If you haven’t had the pleasure of taking in the glorious sun in Florida, you haven’t lived. This year, make it your mission to relax in the sun and feel the incredible wealth of excitement that Florida has to offer.