In 1993, we moved from our little town in France to the
West coast of Florida in Bradenton. We did not know a lot about this
"hot" part of the world, the always well-known Floridian places are
Miami & Orlando, and it's not fair for the Tampa Bay area so we decided to talk a
little bit more about that region in Florida.
SUN, SAND and SURF
have made FLORIDA synonymous with the word
. The hospitable climate, myriad of attractions
and exotic landscapes offer endless ways to enjoy leisure.
Tourists are not the only stimulant for the sunshine state's economy,
a growing number of national and international corporations find
Florida's climate equally favorable for business.
Florida is a low-lying peninsula separating the
Atlantic Ocean from the Gulf of Mexico. A long growing season makes
agriculture a major factor in Florida's economy: strawberries,
sugar cane, melons, orange, grapefruit and tangerine contribute to
the state's tremendous industry.
Capital city: Tallahassee
Largest city: Jacksonville, Miami is the 2nd largest
Population: 13,953,000 (1992) Area: 58,560 square miles,
Tampa is a large and growing port city on Florida's
West coast. Skyscrapers dominate much of downtown, where you will find
the Florida Aquarium and several excellent museums such as the
Salvador Dali Museum.
Near the downtown area you will find historic Ybor City, which in years
past was a booming cigar making district. Most of the Spanish
architecture has been restored and is home to coffee houses, Cuban
restaurants, art galleries & antique shops, but mostly crowed at night.
We live in "Manatee county" so we can't forget to talk about the nice
creatures. Legend relates that Indians named the Manatee River
for the gentle sea cows which are found in the area's inlets.
The manatees are large, plant eating mammals which look like a big,
smiling potato with flippers, inhabit the coastal waters of the Bradenton
& Florida's Gulf Island Beaches. Also you can find them in the mouths
of jungle rivers, lagoons and bays from Florida to Brazil.
Florida local time
Bradenton nestled between the tropical blue waters of the Gulf
of Mexico to the West and Tampa Bay to the North. This destination is a
natural choice for tropical vacationers looking for golf, tennis, water
sports, shopping plus many cultural and historical attractions.
The circus is an integral part of Sarasota's past.
In 1927 John Ringling selected the town for his
Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus and made it his
home. He exerted a major influence on the growth and development of
the city because people from all over the world came to Sarasota to star
in his show.Sarasota, including the
of Lido Key,
Longboat Key, St Armand Key and
Siesta Key, is a beach resort & an art community.
Since Sarasota is the city where golf was introduced to Florida from
Scotland and where the first course was laid out in 1886, it's
understandable that the sport remains popular, with more than 30 courses
within minutes of downtown.
Almost all of Florida has a subtropical
climate. With this climate you have long, hot rainy summers, and short &
usually mild winters. But paradoxically summertime is the bad season
with the hurricanes & heavy thunderstorms. Parts of Florida, especially
in the south are sometimes endangered in the summer & fall by hurricanes
traveling across the Atlantic Ocean.
One of the most beautiful flowering trees in Florida is the
Palms grow in the southern part of
the state, and orange trees, mostly cultivated on a commercial basis, are
concentrated in the central section.
Florida has some endangered species such as the manatee
& the florida panther. Small animals such as rabbit, opossum, squirrel and
raccoon are numerous.
The alligator is fairly common, so are snakes, turtles, frogs,
lizards, spiders & scorpions. Birds include egrets, flamingos, herons &
pelicans. Florida has some 700 species of fish on its rivers, lakes &
coastal marine waters.
And our favorite Floridian mammal is the dolphin, yes like
many other people we love dolphins. They are so cute with their smiling
faces. Most of the time you can see them along the shores of the Tampa
Tampa and its neighbor St-Petersburg are the main cities in the Tampa
region, a two-hour drive away from Orlando's theme parks.
In the 1960's, the famous Hollywood animator Walt Disney purchased
28,000 acres of Florida swampland and built the main attraction for many
Florida vacationers: Disney World.
The Orlando area has so many fantastic attractions that it would take
weeks to visit them all.