Florida East Coast
East Coast Florida- A Truly Multi-Cultural Trip
Looking on a map you might think what connects East Coast Florida is Interstate 95, but the real connection is U.S. Route 1, which runs 547 miles along its east coast from Georgia to Key West. If you really want to see this area of Florida, that is the route to take. From US 1 branch you can branch off to Florida A1A which brings you even closer to the coast. It isn’t the fastest way, but what there is to see in Florida as it pertains to the Atlantic Coast will connect all of the following areas (check out our website http://whattoseeinflorida.com/).
- History. St. Augustine, in the northeast section of Florida, is the oldest continuously occupied European-established city in the continental United States. This dates back to 1565 when it was founded by the Spanish. Owned alternately by the Spanish, British and then Spanish again, it finally became part of the territory of Florida in 1822. You can experience it at the St. Augustine History Museum, a combination of historical and private displays bringing more than 400 years of Florida history to life.
- Space. The 70-acre Visitor Complex at Kennedy Space Center is now a comprehensive space program experience. Here you can explore the past, present and future of America’s space program, and if you can’t take it all in with one day, your second day is free. It is half-way between Miami and Jacksonville, and is only a one hour drive from Orlando, and is well worth making it part of your visit to Florida. Read more about it in Florida Travel.
- Culture. South Beach, which is in Miami Beach, has a very diverse, lively atmosphere that is quite unique. Ft. Lauderdale, which is compared to Venice, is really an interesting place to visit. You can see much of this area by water taxi. Quite a long way to drive to is Key West, but once you get there it’s worth it if you just want a care-free relaxing place that seems its own little world. Because of the large Cuban population in many of these areas, you will find much of there wonderful culture in there shops, restaurants and entertainment. These places on the East Coast Florida extending to the south of Florida are quite unique to most any place you’ll find in America.
- Daytona Beach. There is more to do in Daytona Beach than NASCAR, but that and its hard-packed sand beaches that allows motorized vehicles to drive on the beach is what it is historically known for. The Daytona International Speedway and the headquarters for NASCAR and the Grand American Road Racing Association are also there. But if you are into fishing, Daytona Beach like many of coastal cities and towns in Florida has great fishing. From the Ponce Inlet marinas, a fleet of offshore deep-sea fishing crafts depart daily. Also, the DeLand/River of Lakes Corridor area has some of the best bass fishing in Florida.
- Golf. I think the courses in the Northeast part of the state are among the best you will find anywhere. I would highly recommend Amelia Island Plantation and TPC Sawgrass, as they always get high reviews. Courses in the Vero Beach area are also top-notch. But like almost every part of Florida, you will find top-notch courses everywhere. The Greater Miami area has some of the best anywhere, and a number of great professional golf tournaments are held there. Doral is one I would highly recommend, as it is not only beautiful and challenging but has a long history marking it as one of the top golf course resorts in the country.
- The Ocean. The Atlantic Ocean side of Florida is much more turbulent than the gulf side, which means that more caution must be taken if you are on those beaches. However, if you are looking for surf-sized waves, the East Coast is where you want to head. Another factor you may consider: if you are basing in the Orlando area and perhaps just want a day at the beach, the east coast Florida beaches will be a little closer.
The real value in exploring the east coast Florida, I think, is the range and diversity of the area. Traveling this route you will pass through many interesting worlds, and the best way to do it is get in a car and drive it.