I’ve heard that most people in the U.S. have only visited an average of eight states! That’s insane right? While I’m not super close to visiting ALL of them, I did get to visit two new ones this past summer, thanks to the filming of The Great Food Truck Race.
One state that is highly recommended for both travel and living is Florida. I thought I’d share some ideas for vacations in Florida if you have not visited before, or if you are even thinking of moving to the Sunshine State. Here are a few other Florida cities to love (and to consider moving to, if you are in search of a new home or vacation property):
The Paradise Coast is a beautiful area and consists of Naples, Marco Island, and The Everglades. These cities are fantastic when it comes to living in and vacationing to. Why? Because Florida’s paradise coast (the Naples area) has been ranked the happiest and healthiest city in the U.S. for four years in a row. It is actually the only destination within the United States to have been awarded this consecutively for four years. I’d say that’s a pretty cool reason to check it out.
As a native Floridian, Rachel Simmonds, my fellow O Mag Insider, and former Miami Dolphins Cheerleader, said “Naples is the closest place to experience a restful staycation was in Naples – a quick 90 minute drive to the west coast. There is something about the ambience there that is serene and rejuvenating at the same time. I loved going to Third Street South to grab lunch al fresco, browse the shops, and people watch. The other major highlights are the beaches and delicious seafood where you can get just about anywhere!”
The Naples culinary scene is off the charts good.They have fresh gulf-to-table food almost everywhere you go, most of their restaurants source fresh and local food, and they have tons of fun foodie-themed events such as the Everglades Seafood Festival. Every February, during Restaurant Week, dozens of restaurants participate in 3-course meals at discounted prices, and of course, plenty of events around the Stone Crab season, as well (which is October-May).
Another fellow O Mag Insider and Florida resident, Eileen Fruithandler, said “I visit Naples often. The beaches, especially sunsets, are beautiful. It’s a great investment and vacation home that still has an opportunity of value in Florida.”
The Tampa Bay and Clearwater areas are known for their beaches and rightfully so – they look absolutely beautiful! It’s laid-back and the beach has the most amazing soft, white sand and calm, crystal clear waters. Visitors visit Tampa Bay and Clearwater beach year-round and apparently, the weather is pretty amazing year-round (for the most part), too. Offering jet-skiing, parasailing, stand-up paddleboarding, cycling, rollerblading, and more, you can find plenty of outdoor and indoor activities alike and Pier 60 hosts nightly festivals with street performers and craft vendors, which sounds like a total blast, too.
Jacksonville! This is definitely a fantastic city to consider. According to Google, “Jacksonville is a large city in northeastern Florida where the St. John’s River meets the Atlantic Ocean. A regional business center, it has many museums and cultural offerings. Swimming and surfing are popular at nearby barrier island beaches such as Jacksonville Beach and Neptune Beach. Championship golf courses in the area include Ponte Vedra Beach’s TPC Sawgrass, headquarters of the PGA Tour.” Jacksonville truly does bring it all – a large airport, beautiful beaches, plenty of great food, and a slew of many other great perks within its city limits.
If you are looking to move, I would suggest taking a look at the San Marco real estate, the historical areas within the city of Jacksonville look absolutely beautiful. You could do so many things with those houses! The easy part about it is that there is a real estate agent in Jacksonville that has a passion for historical homes – buying, selling, and renovating them! Erin King with Jax Historic Realty says, “historic homes feel a bit like kindred spirits.”
For the past two decades, Erin has been passionate about telling their unique histories and restoring them to new life. Today, he helps other old home aficionados do the same. He has restored his own 1924 Avondale home, so he has personal experience with the process of buying, selling, and restoring, as well as a deep knowledge about the entire home buying and selling process. “Erin, who prides himself on close attention to detail and quick response to clients, has put together a support team of contractors and other professionals who help transactions go smoothly.”
Last but not least, St. Augustine. Everyone has heard about St. Augustine and it is such a vivacious and gorgeous city. Although it is pretty touristy (especially the downtown area of St. Augustine), it can also be really fun. The downtown area looks like it has plenty to do, and the beaches look pretty nice, as well. St. Augustine has a lot of history within its city limits and sounds like it would be interesting to explore that side of the city.
There are plenty of amazing cities in Florida, and these are just a few Florida cities to love. Even though I only spent a short time in the state, I’m sure I’ll be back someday to explore even more, and visit some amazing people and places.
What is your favorite city in Florida? I would love to hear about it!
Cheers to travels and new adventures!
This post was created in a partnership with Murray Hills Real Estate and Jax Historic Realty.