Wandering Around America One State at a Time – Florida

State 7:

Welcome to the next post in my series highlighting states we have visited throughout the years. I hope you will enjoy coming along for the ride!

I will be featuring the states we have visited alphabetically. If you are looking for Connecticut or Delaware, we’ve never been to either of those states (except to drive through the Delmarva Peninsula without stopping) so the next state is

Florida

Florida became the 27th state on March 3, 1845. The capital is Tallahassee.

We started vacationing in Florida back in the 70’s and have traveled all around the state both before and after our RV travels began. For many years we traveled to the Florida Keys at least once a year. We’ve traveled all along the Atlantic Coast, Gulf Coast, to small towns and big cities, gone scuba diving and snorkeling in the beautiful coral reefs, caught many fish, boated to remote islands, visited museums and lighthouses, attended sporting events, tasted amazing seafood and key lime pie, explored two national parks and a national seashore, observed graceful birds and other wildlife, kayaked and canoed in the rivers, swam in the springs, watched many sunsets, and walked on some of America’s most beautiful beaches.

Florida is famous for it’s beautiful beaches  and theme parks.

Gulf Islands National Seashore
Gulf Islands National Seashore
Micky welcomes us to the Magic Kingdom
Mickey welcomes everyone to the Magic Kingdom at Disney World

There’s so much more to the Sunshine State than it’s beaches and theme parks.

With it’s many birds, wildlife, and beautiful landscapes, Everglades National Park is one of my favorite national parks.

Pa-Hay-Otee Overlook in Everglades National Park
Pa-Hay-Otee Overlook in Everglades National Park

The only way to get to Dry Tortugas National Park is to take a boat ride or seaplane trip from Key West.

Fort Jefferson in Dry Tortugas National Park
Fort Jefferson in Dry Tortugas National Park

Explore Fort Pickens and walk on miles of sugar white sand beaches in Gulf Islands National Seashore .

One of the cannons atop Fort Pickens
One of the cannons atop Fort Pickens

There are many small islands accessible only by boat. Picnic Island in the lower keys was one of our favorites.

Popular boating destination in the lower Florida Keys
Popular boating destination in the lower Florida Keys

Cedar Key is one of the small waterfront towns we love to visit.

Honeymoon Cottage, Cedar Key, Florida
Honeymoon Cottage, Cedar Key, Florida

I loved the  Art Deco buildings in South Beach Miami.

South Beach, Miami, Florida
South Beach, Miami, Florida

It’s always fun to stroll along the waterfronts.

Shrimp boats on the Appalachacola Waterfront
Shrimp boats on the Appalachacola Waterfront

There are interesting structures to discover. The Perky Bat Tower on Sugarloaf Key was built in 1929 to house bats to help control the mosquito population. Unfortunately, the bats flew away and never returned.

The Bat Tower, Sugarloaf Key
The Perky Bat Tower, Sugarloaf Key was built in 1929

The Spring House in White Springs on the Suwanee River was a huge tourist destination in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s.

Spring House at White Springs, Florida
Spring House at White Springs, Florida

There’s a famous headstone in the Key West Cemetery.

Famous headstone in the Key West Cemetery
Famous headstone in the Key West Cemetery

U.S. Highway 1 goes from Fort Kent, Maine to Key West and we’ve been to both ends. The Southernmost Point in the continental United States is also in Key West.

Mile Marker Zero
Mile Marker Zero in Key West

The variety of birds never ceases to amaze me.

White Pelicans and Cormorants around Cedar Key
White Pelicans and Cormorants around Cedar Key
Green Heron with fish in mouth Everglades National Park
Green Heron with fish in mouth Everglades National Park
Red Shouldered Hawg Big Cypress Preserve
Red Shouldered Hawk Big Cypress Preserve

Tiny key deer, endangered gopher tortoise, manatees, and of course alligators are some of the wildlife to be found.

Key Deer
The Key Deer located around Big Pine Key are just a little bit bigger than a Labrador Retriever
Gopher Tortoise at our campsite Silver River State Park
Gopher Tortoise at our campsite Silver River State Park
Aligators along the Anhinga Trial, Everglades National Park 2012
Alligators along the Anhinga Trial, Everglades National Park 2012
Manatee in Homossassa Springs
Manatee eating a carrot in Homossassa Springs Wildlife State Park

Florida is home to beautiful springs and rivers.

Salt Springs
Salt Springs
Hillsborough River
Hillsborough River
Big Shoals on the Suwanee River
Big Shoals on the Suwanee River

Don’t forget the lighthouses.

Cape Florida Lighthouse
Cape Florida Lighthouse

Nothing better than freshly caught fish for dinner! We cooked up this grouper after one of our most memorable fishing trips many years ago.

Henry with the biggest catch of the day!
Henry with the biggest catch of the day!

Many Major League Baseball teams play their spring training games in Florida.

Atlanta Braves Spring Training at Disney's Wide World of Sports
Atlanta Braves Spring Training at Disney’s Wide World of Sports

The historic Fort Gates Ferry carries people and vehicles across the St. Johns River.

Waiting to cross the St. John's River on the Fort Gates Ferry
Waiting to cross the St. John’s River on the Fort Gates Ferry

To read previous posts about the states featured in this series just click on the state name: Alabama      Alaska      Arizona      Arkansas      California     Colorado

15 thoughts on “Wandering Around America One State at a Time – Florida

  1. Great post. 🙂 We’ve been to Florida several times. I was lucky enough to work for a family that had a condo in Marco Island and my yearly bonus was a couple of weeks there. Not bad. We visited the Manatees one year, and they are amazing creatures. The alligators, well, I stay far away from them. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Looks like you have seen a LOT of Florida! There is so much variety. Your photo of “honeymoon cottage” made me laugh. What a funny name 🙂 I love the wildlife shots, too. They have a nice assortment of birds and beasts down there!

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Beautiful review. We just did our together tour of areas in Florida but now see though your eyes there are so many more places to explore. When my parents lived there I traveled the area extensively from N to S and E to W but there is so much more as you note.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Great summary of our home state!!! We visited so many wonderful places, but you mentioned a few we’ll have to visit!
    Have you thought of some how publishing this, even just your own via shutterfly for example? Such a great legacy for your grandchildren!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. We’ve been exploring Florida for just about a month now and have only seen a teeny tiny fraction of it. I feel like we could easily spend six months here and still not see everything. Your post really proves that. It really is a great state to wander around. (And the weather’s not bad, either. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. You really captured Florida’s beauty and variety well. I have been going there since I was 5 years old, when it seemed like pure magic to a little New England girl. It’s a bit crowded for me now, but it still retains some of that magical quality.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Brenda, thank you. Yes, most of Florida is crowded and the traffic can be awful. We have discovered a few places that not many tourists visit and that’s where we like to go now. The Forgotten Coast along the Gulf is one of our favorite places. We love the Florida state parks where we can walk on trails that always make me think of “The Yearling”. Our choices now usually revolve along not wanting to drive on I75 or I95! We’ve towed the RV down the middle of Florida many times just to avoid the interstates!

      Liked by 1 person

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