There are various regions of Florida, like the Space
Coast, the Florida Keys, the Panhandle and so on. But where exactly are
they? And what are some of the cities you might find there?
Regions of Florida -- The Coasts
First in our look of regions of Florida, let's take a peek at the Florida coasts. Different parts of the
state's coastline go by different names, and I get a big kick out of some of
them. Here are some of the best-known names:
On the Atlantic Ocean side we have:
First Coast -- So named because the St. Augustine is the nation's
oldest continuously-occupied city (thus the "First"). While Daytona Beach is kind of between the First and Space coasts, I'll put it here. I've also heard of Daytona Beach labeled as "the Fun Coast".
Space Coast -- This name is pretty self-explanatory! It's
the place where all the Apollo, Mercury, Gemini and Space Shuttle rockets
Treasure Coast -- Hmm, could it be that there were plenty of
ships carrying treasure foundered off this coast? Or is it named for
the natural beauty of the area?
Gold Coast -- This is the highly-populated southeastern portion
of Florida. Think Palm Beach, Ft. Lauderdale and Miami, and you have
the Gold Coast.
Florida Keys -- Not really a "coast" at all, but it is sometimes
known as the "Conch Republic".
On the Florida Gulf Coast we have:
Sun Coast -- Stretching from just above the Everglades in the south to Tampa
in the north, the Sun Coast is world-renown for it's gorgeous white sand
beaches and fabulous shelling (especially Sanibel and Captiva Islands).
Nature Coast -- Probably the least-developed portion of the Florida
coastline, maybe because it doesn't have the same kind of beaches you find a
little further south, like around Tampa. But what it lacks in beaches
(and there really are a few), it makes up for in springs, rivers and parks.
Forgotten Coast -- I got a kick when I learned that there was a
part of the Florida Gulf Coast called "The Forgotten Coast"! It's on
the Florida Panhandle, in an area of marshes, wetlands and some awesome
scenery. It's squeezed in between the Nature Coast and the Emerald Coast, and It really does deserve to be remembered!
Emerald Coast -- Ahh, the Florida Panhandle with the sugar-sand
beaches, wonderful fishing, parks, places to go on Spring Break and also to
see the Navy's Blue Angels. A wonderful vacation destination on the Emerald Coast is Destin.
Regions of Florida -- The Parts of the State
Then we have the general parts of Florida, which includes the interior
portions of the state:
Florida Panhandle: From Pensacola in the west, Marianna in
the north, Perry in the east and the Gulf of Mexico in the south, it's the
part of the Sunshine State that actually gets seasons! Other cities
you might be familiar with are Panama City, Tallahassee and Destin. If
you have a choice, go there in the spring and truly understand why our state was
called "La Florida -- the Feast of Flowers".
North Florida -- From Perry in the west to the Georgia border in
the north, to New Smyrna Beach in the southeast and Crystal River in the
southwest, you have North Florida. Jacksonville and St. Augustine are
on the Atlantic side. Throw in Gainesville and Ocala on the interior
too! Sometimes people put Daytona and New Smyrna Beach in Central
Florida, but I say "not!"
Central Florida -- In the North there is Leesburg, to the south
there is Lake Okeechobee. On the east coast you have Cocoa Beach,
Melbourne and all the way down to Port St. Lucie. On the Gulf coast you
have Sarasota, Tampa and St. Petersburg. And we can't forget the
number one Florida destination -- Orlando (and its satellite city
Kissimmee)! There are plenty of things to do in Orlando, Florida.