Sunny Florida has a rather eccentric reputation, and it is true that in South Florida you’ll bump into people who identify as New Yorkers more often than Floridians, while in North Florida, you’re more likely to find residents who identify as Southerners. But there are also quite a few myths that everyone seems to get wrong when it comes to the sunshine state.
Florida is flat, filled with swampland and gators\
While it’s also true that this state doesn’t have a mountain range, it’s not entirely flat and there’s a lot more than gator-filled swamps. It boasts some especially picturesque rolling hills and the Everglades are a wetland. The country’s largest swamp wilderness can be found in Louisiana: Atchafalaya Basin is spread across 1.4 million acres.
Florida has a diverse landscape, with everything from post-perfect beaches and azure waters to some 11,000 miles of rivers, streams and waterways, as well over 600 named springs and one of the biggest lakes in America, 700-square-mile Lake Okeechobee. It also hosts a remarkable diversity of habitats with more than 80 distinct ecosystems. With only a few inches of elevation change, you can experience a whole new habitat. The Florida Keys showcase dense tropical forests made up of Caribbean plants, and in the Florida Panhandle there are ancient cypress trees, mountain laurel-covered ravines and Appalachian-like bluffs.
For those who are thinking about moving to Florida, you’ll have everything from Fort Lauderdale homes for sale near beautiful stretches of sand to lakeside retreats and even island delights to choose from.
Buried Treasure is Only a Legend
If you thought pirates and buried treasure were just a legend here, you should know there is a real reason that a stretch of the state is nicknamed the “Treasure Coast.” Divers have found and continue to find all sorts of gems and coins underwater and beneath the soil. One recent find included 350 gold coins worth 4.5 million dollars. Experts estimate there are trillions of dollars hidden within 60 miles of waters that surround Florida. While pirates didn’t go around with parrots on their shoulders, they were very real – they had the Jolly Roger and pirate flags used to intimidate.
There Are No Cultural Attractions to Speak Of
Florida is no cultural wasteland as some might have you believe. While there are plenty of cheesy tourist attractions and theme parks, there are many cities that boast world-class museums, a thriving art scene and more. Miami in particular has an extraordinarily dynamic creative scene with numerous galleries and institutions launched over the past few decades, like the New World School of Arts, the Museum of Contemporary Art in North Miami, the National YoungArts Foundation, the Miami City Ballet, and the Miami International Film Festival among the long list of others. Fort Lauderdale is home to the NSU Art Museum, the Naval Air Station Museum, Butterfly World and more.
In many cities throughout the state, you’ll be able to indulge your passion for cultural attractions.
Florida Lacks History
Many people are under the impression that everything in Florida is new – and while there are plenty of new, modern developments to be found, it seems they’ve forgotten an important part of America’s history that can be explored right here in this state. Saint Augustine, for example, is the oldest continuously occupied European settlement in North America, founded shortly after explorer Pedro Menendez de Aviles landed here back in 1565. Here you can gaze up at many of the original buildings that still stand today, check out the historic city gate and walk in the footsteps of the legendary conquistador Ponce de Leon at the Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park.
All the Beaches are Crowded
Florida has 1,350 miles of coastline, the second most in the nation after only Alaska. While there are crowded beaches there are also plenty of less-visited, even “secret” beaches to discover here. Hop on the ferry or take your own boat out to Cayo Costa State Park west of Fort Meyers, and you’ll not only be able to enjoy its nine miles of unspoiled sands practically all to yourself, but dolphin and manatee watching too.