What We Miss About Florida

What We Miss About Florida

Accurately titled the Sunshine State, Florida residents get to brag that their state receives more sunny days than any other state in the Union.  Almost completely surrounded by water, Florida is also known for its pristine beaches and popular theme parks, such as Disney World, Sea World and Busch Gardens, draw tourists from around the world to the most southern of the United States each year. But the warm sun, the sparkling beaches and the theme parks are not what we miss about living in Florida.

Spring Training

Every year, Major League Baseball teams from primarily the east coast are sent to Florida for Spring Training to play in the Grapefruit League, extending baseball season by a month for Florida residents.

Miss About Florida - Spring Training - Baltimore Orioles

The Baltimore Orioles play in Florida’s Grapefruit League

Not only can we get close up to our favorite players on account of the much smaller stadiums in which they play, but we also get to check out new players before baseball season officially begins.

Miss About Florida - Spring Training - DJ Mascot

The Dunedin Blue Jays mascot, DJ

Mostly, however, it give us a chance to see our teams, the Orioles and Blue Jays, play without having to fly up to Baltimore or Toronto, respectively.

Water Activities

With the Atlantic Ocean to the east and the Gulf of Mexico to the west as well as numerous lakes and rivers in between, there are many ways to enjoy salt, fresh and brackish water in Florida. Whether you go jet-skiing or scuba-diving in the ocean, canoe down the Hillsborough River full of alligators, sun-bathing turtles and fresh water birds or take a fan boat ride through the mangroves of the Everglades, Florida will not disappoint the adventurer in you.

Miss About Florida - Fan Boat in Everglades

Fan boat ride in the Florida Everglades

Citrus Fruits

We never thought much of Florida orange juice until we moved to the Sunshine State. Suddenly, everything citrus tasted amazing, most likely due to the short travel distance from grove to mouth.

Miss About Florida - Citrus Fruit

Picking our own citrus!

Furthermore, citrus groves can be found all around the state and often you are able to go and pick your own produce. Who knew there were so many different varieties of citrus fruits!

The Proximity to the Caribbean

Being so close to the Caribbean makes taking an exotic trip very convenient as many non-stop flights leave daily to international destinations like Jamaica, the Bahamas and the Dominican. I took a trip to Puerto Rico last year and was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to simply drive to the airport and within only a few hours was in a tropical paradise.

The Strawberry Festival

With music venues, rides and millions of strawberries, the Strawberry Festival in Plant City is a great way to have a good time while chomping down on one of your favorite fruits.

Miss About Florida - Strawberry Festival

Strawberry Festival in Plant City, Florida

And of course, it’s the perfect place to buy strawberries directly from the farmers. We enjoy freezing them to bring out on a hot summer day – that is if they can avoid being eaten that long! Sometimes they don’t even make it past the ride home.

Manatees, Manatees, Manatees

And one of our favorite things to do in Florida is swim with the manatees in Homosassa Springs. Every year I have been able to, I have made my way to Crystal River early in the morning on my birthday to don a wetsuit, snorkel and fins to wake up with the rightfully-protected sea cows.

Miss About Florida - Swimming with Manatees

Swimming with manatees – a birthday tradition!

 

Coming back to the same place every winter to avoid the cold waters of the Atlantic Ocean the manatees can be considered “snow birds”, like many of the people who enjoy swimming with them.

What do you like about Florida?

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6 thoughts on “What We Miss About Florida

  1. Alex

    As a huge Florida fan myself this trip had me itching to get back to the Sunshine State! Can’t think of a better way to start a birthday than with manatees…

  2. Camels & Chocolate

    Man, I’ve always been jealous of Floridians. So many natural wonders within your own state! I’ve been lucky to go there a time or two a year for my 31 years, but I’ve still yet to get to the springs during manatee season!

    1. Bounding Over Our Steps

      Swimming with the manatees has been one of my most memorable experiences. How funny that it happened so close to home. Just goes to show that you don’t need to go far for an adventure and an amazing experience. 🙂

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