submit to reddit GoNOMAD Travel
Tags: Destinations Florida
A surf skipper running on the beach in Vero Beach, Florida - photo by Max Hartshorne
A surf skipper running on the beach in Vero Beach, Florida - photo by Max Hartshorne

Read More About Florida on GoNOMAD

Vero Beach Florida: Far From Miami

Vero Beach and the rest of Indian River County Florida are a far cry from the fashionista-laden, self conscious show-off atmosphere that can make Miami a bummer. And the beaches are just as nice, even if they're not topless.

Ok, ok, there are those who love Miami's hipness. That cool South Florida feeling, those many Cubanos, and that sizzling nightlife. Contrast that with 'Zero Beach,' as some locals jokingly referred to the city of 21,000. Here the lights go out at 10 pm, and there's more emphasis on outdoor activities like kayaking or early morning beach strolling.

Florida's Gulf Islands: An Old-Fashioned Family Vacation

Sand dune, sea oats, and evergreen trees. When I look back from the water’s edge at Coquina Beach, on Anna Maria Island, that’s all I see. No high-rise condo buildings or hotels, no concrete boxes looming over the sea. If it weren’t for the modern playground near the snack shop, this scene could be from a 1940s postcard. Read Florida hotel reviews

In the early days of Florida’s development, there were lots of laid-back beaches like this, where families rented a little apartment for a week and spent time reconnecting through days on the shore.

The Gulf Islands of Florida, at the bottom of Tampa Bay, have fought off the twin temptations of massive tourism development and large-scale retirement development, however. They have managed to retain the feel of a laid-back old Florida.

Gainesville is home to the Florida Museum of Natural History. Shown here are the skeletons of a mammoth and a mastodon. Photo by Shady Hartshorne
Gainesville is home to the Florida Museum of Natural History. Shown here are the skeletons of a mammoth and a mastodon.

Gainesville, Florida: More Than Just Gators

For college football fans, Gainesville needs no introduction. It’s the home of the University of Florida’s famous Gators, archrivals of FSU’s Seminoles. In 1911, the University of Florida chose the alligator as their mascot and Gator Pride has ruled the city ever since. The 90,000-seat stadium is sold out for every game of the season.

I don’t follow college football all that closely, but I recently had the opportunity to visit Gainesville and I can tell you that the city is loaded with fun, interesting activities that don’t involve painting your body orange.

 

Sunset on the Suwannee River - photo by Shady Hartshorne
Sunset on the Suwannee River - photo by Shady Hartshorne

By the Banks of the Suwannee: Natural North Florida

When people think of Florida, they often think of Disneyworld, the Keys, or Miami’s South Beach. But I decided to take a trip to Florida’s northern region to get an alternative view of the Sunshine State. I found excellent hiking, boating, fishing and birding as well as historic mansions and farms, great food and places to stay.

A coordinated effort by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the Suwannee River Water Management District in collaboration with county governments and private partners has produced an ambitious project that will allow boaters to travel the entire length of the Suwannee from the Georgia border to the Gulf of Mexico.

 

An alligator in the Everglades - photo by J. Lang Wood
An alligator in the Everglades - photo by J. Lang Wood

The Everglades: Filled With Beauty and History

Picture a ‘river of grass.’ Wide and shallow, not like other rivers. A river lush with vegetation. It has no current, no falls or rapids, and no sound of moving water. As this river moves, it passes through swamps, sawgrass prairies, and mangrove-rooted islands, which separate and distinct species of plants, and where animals flourish.

It moves at a rate of 100 feet a day, and its depths vary from just a few inches to almost two feet high. Barely enough to support its variety of life, yet this inhospitable beauty has survived many, many assaults from both nature and man. It is the one of the richest, densest and most subtle eco-systems the world has ever seen.

 

Read more GoNOMAD stories about Florida:

Apalachicola and Florida's Not Altogether Forgotten Coast

Miami on Wheels: Traveling With a Disability

Haulover Beach, Florida: The Ultimate Nude Beach

Northwest Florida's Gulf Coast: Abundant Wildlife and Unspoiled Beauty

Little Havana, Miami, Florida

Raw Nature, Rawhide: Touring Florida's Eco-Ranches

Way Down Upon The Suwannee River: Houseboating in Florida

Find airfares to Florida

 

Florida

Apalachicola, Florida from the air. Click to return to the story.
A surf skipper running on the beach in Vero Beach, Florida - photo by Max Hartshorne
View of South Beach, Miami, Florida. Photo by Sony Stark. Click on photo to return to Sony Stark's story about Miami.
a restaurant for canines only? While I was traveling to research my upcoming book, Fido's Florida
Natural North Florida By Shady Hartshorne AWay down upon the Swannee River far, far awayAA You
A couple enjoys nude sunbathing at Haulover Beach State Park, Bal Harbour Florida. Photos by Max
Gainesville is home to the Florida Museum of Natural History. Shown here are the skeletons
A Digital detox at a farm called Paradise in South Florida. Mary Nelen photos. Florida Natural
. Sarah Robertson photos. Florida in Citrus County By Sarah Robertson As the manatee capital
Miramar Beach Chairs in South Walton Florida. In Search of the Old Florida A traveler ruminatesA
A surf skipper running on the beach in Vero Beach, Florida - photo by Max Hartshorne
A posse of ATV riders in Croom ATV Park near Tampa Florida. photos by Peter Sacco
Skipping the waves on Orchid Island, in Vero Beach, Florida. Photos by Max Hartshorne
. This is the Everglades No trip to Florida should be without a visit to this wonder of the natural world. Now half its

New Travel Articles
Follow GoNOMAD.com Travel's board Destination Guides on Pinterest.
 
 
 


Subscribe to GoNOMAD's monthly enewsletter for all of our new travel articlesGet our free monthly travel newsletter
and help support sustainable and responsible tourism.
No spam, no selling
your email, we promise!

Subscribe to our monthly newsletter!

Call Now: 855-784-1659 csa-03 300x250-04

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...