Travelrific® Travel Journal

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Archive for florida

The History of Florida Citrus

By Linda Tancs

Citrus is an integral part of Florida’s identity, and the industry was especially prominent in the 1800s in Eustis—so much so, in fact, that the town was once known worldwide as the “Orange Capital of the World.” It’s fitting, then, that the town hosts the only independently housed citrus museum in the state. Among its collection, the Citrus Museum features devices used to measure the quality of the fruit, packers’ seals, a device to convert ripe, green-skinned oranges to an orange color and memorabilia like labels and posters.

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As coronavirus proceeds, it is likely that the vast majority of us will be limited in our travels. But this, too, shall pass. Our love for travel remains, so Travelrific will continue offering travel inspiration in this medium. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

Coral Art in Florida

By Linda Tancs

The expression “solid as a rock” takes on a whole new meaning at the Coral Castle Museum just outside Miami in Homestead, Florida. Originally named Rock Gate Park, it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1984. This unique sculpture garden was carved out of 1,100 tons of coral rock, the single-handed achievement of a Latvian immigrant. He labored over the project for 28 years, motivated to create a memorial over a broken romance. Features of the castle compound include a nine-ton gate that moves with just a touch of the finger, a Polaris telescope and functioning rocking chairs – all made entirely of stone. Individual and guided tours are available.

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As coronavirus proceeds, it is likely that the vast majority of us will be limited in our travels. But this, too, shall pass. Our love for travel remains, so Travelrific will continue offering travel inspiration in this medium. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

Florida’s Treasure Coast

By Linda Tancs

Florida’s Treasure Coast is located on the state’s southeastern coast. Comprising three counties (Indian River, St. Lucie and Martin), it might be best known (as its name implies) as the place where ship-wrecked coins wash up on the shores. That’s because over 300 years ago a fleet of 11 Spanish ships wrecked offshore between the St. Lucie River and Cape Canaveral while returning to Spain with riches from the colonies. You might still dig up a few gold coins today, but don’t miss the area’s other attractions, like beaches, tournament fishing and nature reserves including the nearly 12,000-acre Jonathan Dickinson State Park.

The Little White House

By Linda Tancs

Florida’s only presidential museum, the Little White House in Key West was a sanctuary and working office for numerous U.S. presidents. It was foremost the winter White House for President Harry S. Truman and remains an occasional site for government functions. Tours are given daily. This is a great time to enjoy vintage Christmas decor from a bygone era. Merry Christmas!

All About Bones

By Linda Tancs

Located in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and Orlando, Florida, the Museum of Osteology is a unique museum focusing on the form and function of the skeletal system. The exhibits feature hundreds of real animal skeletons (no dinosaurs!) designed to foster an appreciation for the diversity of the animal kingdom existing today. America’s only skeleton museum, it’s family-owned and open year round.

Swamped in Florida

By Linda Tancs

Located just a few miles west of Daytona Beach, Florida, Tiger Bay State Forest comprises large areas of swamp with embedded pine islands and a large pine ridge area. It’s located among several publicly owned lands that create wildlife corridors for species listed as endangered, threatened or of special concern. Named for its largest feature, Tiger Bay, this extensive hydric swamp forest is dominated by pine islands. It also contains two lakes and several ponds ideal for fishing. Other recreational activities include hiking, bicycling, horseback riding, picnicking, boating, hunting and photography.

Sunshine City

By Linda Tancs

Considering that Florida is the Sunshine State, it might seem silly to call out any one locale as “Sunshine City.” But St. Petersburg makes a strong case for it, holding the title of “most consecutive days with sunshine” at 768 days! That’s good news for sun worshippers, but there’s so much more to do there. The city is home to the world-renowned Salvador Dali Museum, housing the largest collection of his works outside Europe. It also hosts Mahaffey Theater, home of the Florida Orchestra, and a fine arts museum with a collection spanning 5,000 years.

Celebrating the Sunset in Clearwater

By Linda Tancs

Florida’s Gulf Coast city of Clearwater may seem overshadowed at times by St. Petersburg (the area is, after all, frequently paired off in print as St. Petersburg/Clearwater), but that’s hardly the case at Clearwater Beach. A vibrant beach town, they’re big on sunsets—so much so that they celebrate it all year long. Sunsets at Pier 60 Daily Festival on the beach operates all year from two hours before until two hours after sunset, weather permitting. The nightly celebration features artisans, crafters, street performers and, of course, the sunset, previously voted the best sunset in America. See if you agree.

Sponge Capital of the World

By Linda Tancs

Known for its Greek culture, Tarpon Springs is a city along Florida’s Gulf Coast. Just 45 minutes north of St. Petersburg, the locale is named for the fish found in abundance in nearby waters. Greek eateries line the waterfront, a legacy of the sponge divers who settled there in the early 1900s. Walk along Dodecanese Boulevard to see docked sponge boats and shops selling sea sponges, a tribute to the city’s status as sponge capital of the world. A bit quieter is the historic downtown district, where art galleries, antique stores and specialty shops are housed in buildings dating from the late 1800s.

Wings Over Florida

By Linda Tancs

The Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail is a network of 510 premier wildlife viewing sites across the state. Crystal River Archaeological State Park is part of that trail, offering bird watchers ample viewing from the shell midden. The park is also a National Historic Landmark, its Native American mound complex being one of the longest continuously occupied sites in Florida. In fact, for 1,600 years the site served as an imposing ceremonial center for Native Americans. The visitor center/museum contains exhibits displaying artifacts related to the site.

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