Most tourists seem to gravitate towards expensive theme parks or hot beaches, but if you're looking to get off the beaten track when traveling to Florida, the history and some of the Sunshine State's most cultural offerings should be considered. From northern Florida, with the southern hospitality of Panhandle, to the thrilling cultural influences at the bottom of the state, a Florida vacation offers endless possibilities for unusual places to visit.
Each coast, in fact, from the Atlantic to the Pacific, including the Gulf Coast, exudes history related not only to America, but also globally. From Keys to Tallahassee, the importance of Florida's dynamic history and state history is immediately evident and residents hope to share their many cultural assets with you.
Where to go and what to do during your Florida vacation:
Tropical treasures in the keys
Key West, just off the coast of Florida and connected by a bridge, is a continually sunny destination that has fascinated everyone from President Harry Truman and Tennessee Williams to Ernest Hemingway and the U.S. Navy. The famous author Hemingway, after vacationing in Florida, decided to live in Key West, and his house has now become a museum with the descendants of his polydactyl cat still roaming the gardens.
With the proximity of the ocean, residents and tourists enjoy activities that incorporate the blue water of the sea, including rescuing ships and diving for ancient sunken treasures. Many U.S. presidents, including Harry Truman and Franklin Roosevelt, have reinforced local folklore and Florida history, calling Key West home in the winter months at the Southernmost House Grand Hotel and Museum.
First industrialists in Fort Myers
Thomas Edison and Henry Ford decided to call Fort Myers at home in the winter months, after taking a vacation in Florida. Edison's house, called "Seminole Lodge", has been precisely refurbished to reflect the period in which it was built and resided, and includes one of the first modern pools in Florida history and its laboratory, just as he would remain a good example of one of the best historic places in Florida.
Located next to Edison's beautifully designed home is "The Mangoes", Henry Ford's recently renovated winter home. After a vacation in Florida, Ford decided that Fort Myers would be better than Michigan's cold. A garage full of vintage restored Ford cars completes the serene atmosphere. Both historic houses have lush gardens along the Caloosahatchee River.
The contrasts of Palm Beach
From industrial influences to charming gardens, Palm Beach is a city of contrasts illuminated by the sun. Henry Flagler connected the cities of Florida after realizing that a sophisticated transportation system could help revitalize the state and take more tourists on vacation in Florida. From the late 1880s, Flagler began to buy railroads, combine routes and install more tracks up and down the back and, eventually, right in the middle. The Henry Flagler Museum, located in its large winter home called "Whitehall", announces its achievements and its idea of bringing the first tourists to the state to make a profit, the first in Florida history.
Located outside the city limits in Delray Beach, the extensive and serene Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens take Japan to the coast of Florida. Exhibitions include galleries featuring ancient and modern Japanese art and culture, tea ceremonies, festival celebrations, tasting events and special exhibitions in the gardens. While on vacation in Florida, Morikami is a must.
Family fun in Sunny Sarasota
Sarasota is another historic center for historic places in Florida. The city has a detailed cultural history, complete with Native American and Spanish influences. Historic Spanish Point, highlighting 5,000 years of Florida history, features prehistoric Indian hills, live history performances, archaeological tours, a butterfly garden and buildings from the pioneer era. Cruises on historic-inspired ships sail on Sarasota Bay for a fun ending to your Florida vacation.
The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art and the Ringling Museum of the American Circus are centered in the home of the honored names of the museum who designed their mansion imitating European architecture, a beautiful example of one of the most elaborate historic sites in Florida. Ca d & # 39; Zan, completed in 1926, saw the largest and most expensive parties of the early 20th century in Sarasota. The art museum, from the Ringling collection, displays old and new American, European and Asian works of art. The circus museum, which opened to the public in 1948 and has since become a popular stop during Florida vacations, has a large collection of leaflets, posters, clothing and accessories since the early days of the circus. Also on site is a miniature circus built by Howard Tibbals, which was an integral part of the design of the small circus ensemble that is now part of Florida history.
Military origins in Pensacola
Home of the Blue Angels, Pensacola, a must for a Florida vacation, is proud to be home to naval aviation. More than 150 restored Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard aircraft are displayed at the National Naval Aviation Museum, where visitors can experience the flight simulator or learn more about naval aviation in Florida history and the rest of the world in Memorial Theater. In addition, the museum features an IMAX screen, a tour of the catering hangar, cockpit trainers and Blue Angels events on select days.
Located nearby is the historic Fort Pickens, which was built in 1834 and used until the 1940s. The fort, significant in Florida history, was influential during the Civil War and, in the mid-1880s, the famous Apache warrior , Geronimo, was incarcerated in the fort, where he became a sight for tourists on vacation in Florida. A Visitors Center displays objects of art, art and books that enhance the history of the Fort.
The beautiful gulf of the Panhandle
Surprisingly, Apalachicola, the charming and secluded city on the Gulf Coast, which is mired in Florida history, offers many options for things to see and do. The Camp Gordon Johnston Museum offers a glimpse into the lives of World War II soldiers and their intensive training. Opened in 1942, the camp, a permanent reminder of the impact of the armed forces on Florida history, trained American amphibious soldiers before they went to war, and the remnants of the training camps and the camp still survive. The exhibits include photographs, articles and trinkets from the height of the camp.
In the city center, the historic old quarter has more than 900 buildings, built since the beginning of the 19th century, listed on the National Register. Walking tours allow visitors to explore each location in depth and include an old cotton warehouse, three parks and rows of oak and magnolia trees. A Visitor Center provides maps, ideas and directions for getting to know the historic center of Apalachicola during your Florida vacation.
Coast to Coast History
When on vacation in Florida, the Sunshine State offers much more than just beautiful beaches and warm weather. From coast to coast, Florida and the history of its people and culture still influence its society and lifestyle. You shouldn't have to worry about the endless options of where to go or what to do – if you're looking for history of any kind, Florida has it!