Need a break from mountain living? If you fancy a beach holiday, Florida has miles of beautiful beaches like Lake Worth Beach in Palm Beach County. Photo credit: Palm Beach County CVB.
Charlotte wrote this guest post about seeing the real Florida. She writes for Ocean Florida and blogs about travel, beauty, food & drink, covering everything from the latest fashion to food trends.
If you’re looking for the ‘real’ Florida, a holiday exploring some of its many natural parks and preserves could be just the holiday for you.
Of course, it’s not the usual choice of holidays which typically send you to the theme parks or the coast. One of the things you’ll notice about Florida is that it is devoid of hills in the main part. Its geography is definitely closer to flat than anything else. Surrounded on three sides by sea, it also has plenty of water inland too.
Water, water everywhere
Florida boasts a coastline of almost 2,000 miles of which 663 miles are some of the most beautiful beaches. It has almost 8,000 lakes of 10 acres or more, the largest being Lake Okeechobee which covers 700 square miles. Florida also has 11,000 miles of rivers and waterways. No wonder at every turn there are opportunities to fish or kayak or take part in other water sports.
In Florida’s St. Petersburg/Clearwater area, there are thirty-five miles of white-sand, island beaches. Photo credit: VISIT Florida.
Parks and preserves
Florida also has more than 160 state parks and preserves, where you can get a real feel for the Sunshine State, whether it is inland and near a lake or on the shore. The biggest preserve is of course, The Everglades. There are many ways to explore this great expanse of natural Florida swamps and prairies.
Florida villa holidays offer you the opportunity to visit The Everglades and see this amazing landscape, its flora and fauna such as American crocodiles, the Florida Panther and manatees. There are many tours you can take. You can explore the Everglades in airboats which skim the surface of land or water to ‘show you round’. Or on a fun swamp buggy, or by canoe or kayak. If you’re a keen walker, then there are many self-guided hiking trails, which will give you a good tour of the preserve. Two shorter trails which are great for wildlife spotting are the Gumbo Limbo and the Anhinga. You can find out more about these at one of The Everglades four visitor centres.
Hills are less easy to find. The highest point in the state is in the North West at Briton Hill in Lakewood Park. Briton Hill rises to 345 ft above sea level. It’s true to say that many of Florida’s skyscrapers are taller than this!
It has no real competitors either. One that doesn’t even come close is Caldwell Point which sits on the northern edge of Lake Jesup just over 20 miles north of Orlando. Caldwell Point is essentially a cliff which rises a whole 6 ft above the lake. The lake itself is home to a huge population of alligators, osprey and bald eagles.
One thing is for sure, wherever you choose to take your Florida holiday you will have plenty of opportunities to take in the natural scenery.