Have you lived in or visited Florida? Tell us about it!
Boca Raton, Palm Beach County, Florida, USA (North America) – April 2019 — Boca Raton, Florida is a suburban town that is considered rather wealthy. Typical suburb with many communities and stores are spaced out into plazas. I grew up in the 2000s and it is rather homogenous in the race. Due to the wealth of the city it is known for its high Jewish and White population, so I grew up as a minority in the city which was different. Most schools I went to were 90% white individuals so being a minority was rather different; however, the individuals were nice and no clear racism from the city in general. My favorite part about Boca Raton is that it is known for its safety and growing up I have always been cautious and worried about crime. Boca Raton was very safe and you could go out in most communities and walk around at 11 or 12 and not feel threatened. I moved out of the city but some times I go back to view it and what I see from it is that it is rather much the same no clear difference, of course stores change but the atmosphere stays the same. The special memories from the town was that when we were in school not only did we get traditional holidays off we would get the Jewish holidays off and schools would decorate for Jewish holidays as well.
Miami, Miami-Dade County, Florida, USA (North America) – April 2019 —I spent most of my childhood and teen years in Miami, Florida. I was a very different city in the late fifties and early 60’s. For one thing, south Miami was not FIU, Dade Jr. College and the Tamiami Airport. There was no sprawling suburbia there. Only tomato fields and other “U-Pick-It” vegetable fields. We learned to shoot tin cans off of logs with our brothers’ .22 rifles, out in those endless fields. Miami Beach, and South Beach in particular, were not glittering hot spots for the world’s jet setters, but streets of sleepy art deco hotels turned into apartments for elderly folks, who sat dozing on patios facing the streets. Crandon Park and Key Biscayne were not luxury destinations, but wonderful places for high school beach parties, with bonfires and budweiser.
PLANT CITY, Hillsborough County, Florida, USA (North America) – February 2019 — I grew up in Plant City in the 90’s and early 2000’s. It was a good experience, in my opinion, to grow up in this small town even though it was boring at times. However, growing up in a small town meant the sense of community was very strong! My sister and I were involved with the local community theater throughout our childhoods and that allowed me to be involved in events such as our annual Christmas Parade, performing on stage with artists such as Lee Greenwood at our local Strawberry Festival, and many more events that would seem small to an outsider, but were important to our town. I would say that I didn’t like how small out town was because it didn’t offer an expansive view of opportunities unless your family had money to get you out of town. I hear now that the city is getting more shops to try and keep up with the times but, it seems to be turning into a retirement village. Although Plant City is the winter strawberry capital of the world and home to my childhood, it’s not a place I would recommend by any means if you find yourself searching for new and exciting experiences but, I wouldn’t hesitate to raise my kid there for a second.
DELTONA, Volusia County, Florida, USA (North America) – December 2018 — Deltona, Florida. Deltona was a quiet area when I moved here 24 years ago but now it has become a melting pot from people from all areas moving here. It has become a crime area. Coming from New York I felt safe but here it is different. There are a lot of sexual predators here and although my children are grown that is something to be concerned about. There is not much to do in this area. If you want to do things you need to go to the big areas like Daytona or Orlando. You need a car to get around. There is not much in walking distance. They continue to grow and expand and hopefully one day we will have a mall in the area. They did just build a hospital down the road. And we do have a grocery store and gas station around the corner so those are pluses. There are also fast food restaurants in the areas. But as far as things to do and activities and clubs that kind of stuff you have to go to Daytona or Orlando. Our area is not known for that. We have local bars and pubs but nothing major in the area.
SARASOTA, Sarasota County, Florida, USA (North America) – December 2018 — I live in Sarasota, Florida. I absolutely love this town. It is rated the 5th best for retirement and it certainly lives up to its reputation for retired people. There are cultural events geared to the baby boomers. The atmosphere of the town is similar going back to the 60’s when the baby boomers were growing up. I visited this town when I was a child with my parents and we spent many summers here. Now I am a permanent resident as a retiree. The town is old-school in values and the atmosphere. There is a beautiful noteworthy beach here. Everyone centers a lot of activities around the bay and the drive around the town offers the best views of nature that one could ever want. You are able to experience wildlife even in the middle of the town. We have large sandcranes that wander around all over the town and you must stop when they feel the need to cross the street. There are even deer around town. There are even bobcats that will walk down the sidewalks around town occasionally. If you enjoy wildlife, Sarasota offers this experience and living in this town is unique in this way. The one thing that I do not like is the narrow streets. Sarasota was not designed for the number of people now that call this town home. There is no room for expanding the streets around town. It is strictly a 60’s town in that respect. I have lived here for 10 years now and the most notable thing that has changed is the population. The population for many years was around 50,000. With the added population now, come traffic problems and the city council must find ways to deal with the traffic. Huge condo communities have also brought change to the town. The condos are beautiful and expensive, but there are somewhat too many now. I have very sentimental feelings for this town even with all of the changes. I love this town more than any other place that I have ever lived.
NICEVILLE, Okaloosa County, Florida, USA (North America) – December 2018 – I live in Niceville, Florida. That”s right-NICEVILLE! It is nice. I’ve lived here since the late 1980’s and boy has it changed. Back then we were a little country town in NW Florida. Now we are booming. We are a very large military community, with diverse people from all over the world. Our schools are top rated in the state. We even have a State College in town. This is a lovely place to raise your children. We are a mere 10 minute drive to the most beautiful beaches in the world, Destin. However you don’t need to leave Niceville at all. We have beautiful Parks and recreation. Rocky Bayou State Park has great walking trails, water activities on the Boggy Bayou, camping and activities for the children. Turkey Creek is another lovely place to spend an afternoon outside cooking out and walking the trail. Our weather is interesting. It gets hot and humid but we do have winters too. Minus the snow!
VENICE, Sarasota County, Florida, USA (North America) – December 2018 – Venice, Florida started off many many many years ago as a very small quaint little town on the Western side of Florida. Now it has grown expeditiously and so many people flock here during what they call season? Season starts in November and goes all the way through till April it is the absolute beautiful time of Florida where there’s no heat there’s no humidity ocean is here and there’s lots of water activities for people to be able to do. You can go out deep sea fishing. You can go out kayaking. Para sailing. There’s a lot of wind here so you can actually do the para sailing with very fun results. Going peach coming. Venice florida’s known as a shark tooth capital as search the history of finding very large amount of shark teeth when you walk along the beach which is also a fun and exciting thing to be able to do. The oh town history of Venice makes it a fun place to come and go shopping there is lots of artist type one of a kind unique items that you can find in the area it makes it a treasure trove. 1 or the other things that makes it fun and exciting is the number of thrift stores that around the area everybody loves to go find a good deal. And you can spend your days going from 1 thrift store to another and partake of all that fun. The seafood here is phenomenal there are so many wonderful restaurants that you can find within a matter of minutes of no matter where you’re at in this town.
But unfortunately what some people don’t know is the toll that so many people coming to the area is taking on the environment. With all these people that are coming everybody wants to have that beautiful yard in the toxic chemicals from the yard to fertilize it make it look all pretty is now when it rains running off into RSU Aires and flowing off into the ocean as well as sewage so now we’ve had this horrible record of a red tide this year we’ve had it for 9 months we have We have lost tons and tons of wildlife manatees dolphins fish blowfish C horses you name it the stench of death is horrible on the beach. Not to mention government is not even warning all these tourist of the toxins that they are walking on R swimming in a cell for the mighty tourist dollar. They’re gonna wait till people start die in in demanding answers before though actually do anything.
JACKSONVILLE, Duval County, Florida, USA (North America) — August 2018 —I was born and grew the first years of my life in the city of Jacksonville, Florida. A small city but with an atmosphere that I have always liked. Those hot summers I enjoyed very much, in my family we used to go almost every Sunday in the afternoon to Atlantic beach, it was our family recreation time, my dad gave me a metal detector and told me to look for some hidden treasure and I spent hours searching the entire beach with my dog Toby. I used to play basketball with neighbors on my street, always the biggest played first and then us . When i was 12 years old I watch my first football game ,was a Jaguars game, although i was not a big fan of football , but really enjoyed the that game with my dad, who always told me that he had a good arm to be quarter back. I’ve always liked to live in warm cities with long summers and friendly people, and that’s how Jacksonville was, my hometown
NORTH LAUDERDALE, Broward County, Florida, USA (North America) – March 2018 — I live in North Lauderdale, Florida in the United States of America. I’ve lived here for about 7 years now after moving here from Indiana. This city is much different than the small town I grew up in. It’s much bigger, and much more diverse. There are so many different cultures in North Lauderdale, which I absolutely love. However, being that there are more people and more cultures, you don’t get that small town feel that I’m used to from growing up in Indiana which I dislike. This city has many things to do such as go to parks, night clubs, fishing, swimming, and many more activities. Because there are so many activities, it is very hard to get bored and very easy to have a fun night out with friends. One thing that I personally love about North Lauderdale is that there are so many animal rescue programs to get involved in, as I love animals and enjoy volunteering for such organizations. Although I do miss the friendliness and small town feel of where I grew up, I do mostly enjoy living here in North Lauderdale.
JACKSONVILLE, Duval County, Florida, USA (North America) – March 2018 — Jacksonville, Florida is a very large city in northeast Florida. It is the largest city in the United States in terms of land area. The population is very spread out. Two major interstates intersect in the center of Jacksonville, Interstates I-10 and I-95. Many bridges connect sections of town, the longest of which is the Buckman Bridge which crosses the St. John’s River. There are two navy bases in Jacksonville, the Naval Air Station and Naval Station Mayport. The Jacksonville Zoo has a large collection of animals and plants for the visitor to enjoy. At one end of the city are the beaches on the Atlantic Ocean, giving way to marshlands and forests as one crosses the county going west. At the north end of the city is the Jacksonville International Airport which has domestic and international flights. Amtrak runs through the city, as does the public transit system, Jacksonville Transit Authority.
I enjoy living in Jacksonville because of the many trees and parks and the variety of wildlife living throughout the city. On nearly every city block, one can see ancient oak trees with Spanish moss, and squirrels darting back and forth among their branches. The trees in the city are filled with birds of every type. In the marshlands and along the rivers and lakes there are many beautiful wading birds. Depending on the season, one can see great blue herons, giant snowy egrets, wood storks, little blue herons, cormorants, anhingas, and just about every other wading bird native to the southeast. There are a great many museums and attractions in Jacksonville. The Jacksonville Jaguars make a home here, and bring other NFL teams to town to compete at the football stadium. Many concerts visit Jacksonville, both indoor and outdoor. All in all, Jacksonville, Florida is a beautiful place to make a home.
GIBSONTON, Hillsborough County, Florida, USA (North America) – March 2018 — I have recently moved to Gibsonton, Florida about 4 months ago. I love how close it is to Tampa Bay but do not like the area I am in. Where I am there are a bunch of highways connecting to a lot of areas which makes driving stressful. The people in Florida drive more aggressively from where I lived before (Portland, OR) and they are not scared to lay on the horn for anything. I recently stopped at a stop sign, where I could clearly see that no one was coming but the person behind me laid on the horn because I still stopped. I will say I hate driving here because every time you are out you will get honked at for driving safely. What I do really like is the customer service you get from the workers in the supermarkets. I have had multiple times where the employee has gone out of their way to help me out and made me feel like a valued customer. Overall I would give this city a 4/10 because it is a little rough around the edges but since there are so many highways you have easy access in driving to another town right up the road. If you rely on public transportation this is not the city for you.
BEVERLY HILLS, Citrus County, Florida, USA – March 2018 — Beverly Hills is actually broken up into two different cities, one is beverly hills and the other is pine ridge. Its a pretty small town. We have a walmart, dollar store and a gas station that shuts down at 11pm every night. The closest big city we have is Ocala, FL which is about a 30-40 minute drive. I have not lived here very long. The people I have had the pleasure of meeting are all super friendly. Ive made a few friends just down the street from where I live. Its really quiet, which I like alot becasue I have 3 small children so it helps alot with nap times and bed times. What I dont like about this town is that all the houses are really old. Most of them are the same design, which the really old shades that you can pull down on all the windows of all the houses. They just have a really old design, some of them are nice but not alot of them. It almost seems like the town is starting to turn a little ghetto, i remember when i would drive through this town when i was younger it was alot nicer then it is now. i dont plan on staying here very long though so itll be ok.
MILTON, Santa Rosa County, USA (North America) – February 2018 — The weather is usually very hot and humid during the summer months and winter lends a few months of cooler temperatures. There are usually only a few days a year that fall below freezing. The summer months lend plenty of rain but the rain storms are usually brief and the rest of the day is beautifully sunny. The strength of UV rays is marginally high here. We are far enough inland that we do not see major effects from hurricanes. We do fall under tornado warnings quite frequently but none have ever hit this area. It is very muggy here 95% of the year. It makes it very difficult to enjoy the outdoors unless access to swimming is involved. Businesses are always very air conditioned so day to day operations can continue comfortably. The few months that it is cooler provide a welcomed relief to the heat.
WESTON, Broward County, Florida, USA (North America) — January 2018 — I grew up in a town called Weston, which was a suburb of Fort Lauderdale, in the state of Florida. I grew up there during the 2000s and early 2010s. Weston was a quiet suburban town with not much to do. Most of my friends lived in some of the many gated communities in Weston, which were constructed in a very labyrinthine manner. As a result, travelling between neighborhoods or to some other activity, like a restaurant or park, was too time-consuming to do on foot or by bike. This made it especially difficult to get around when I was too young to drive. Once I and my friends/siblings came of age, however, this was no longer too much of a problem. Despite the lack of accessibility for most of my childhood, I definitely appreciate having grown up in Weston when I look back on my younger years. The town was very calm and peaceful, with almost no crime. Buildings and roads were well-kept. The many parks around town also gave us many places to hang out or just socialize. It also probably prompted me to make more friends in and around my neighborhood so that I could avoid problems of distance.
ST PETERSBURG/TAMPA December 2016 — We have traveled for years to the Tampa/St. Petersburg area of Florida to stay for the winter months and we have always enjoyed it so much. The average temp and feeling of the ocean breeze is great. Watch out for the sea wildlife like barracuda, ask around about the places to avoid. Otherwise just head to the beach or out to a dinner or both
TAMPA, Hillsborough County, USA (North America)– February 2017 — If you are an animal lover, there are two gems in Tampa, Florida, that you will love: Busch Gardens and the Big Cat Rescue. Big Cat Rescue provides a home to lions, tigers, and other big cats that come from a variety of circumstances. Some are retired circus animals. Some were used by drug dealers to guard stashes of drugs. Others began life as pets of rich people who then realized that a grown tiger or lion does not make the ideal pet. The nonprofit Big Cat Rescue provides a 67-acre haven for these unfortunate animals. It also does a lot of advocacy to prevent abuse of big cats. Big Cat Rescue is not a zoo, so you cannot just show up and walk around. However, they do provide guided tours at set times of the day and even have occasional tours at night! The tours are fun and informative. Among their big cats are lions, tigers, panthers, cougars, bobcats, lynx, ocelots and caracals.
Big Cat Rescue is located at 12802 Easy Street, Tampa, FL 33625. https://bigcatrescue.org/ Busch Gardens https://seaworldparks.com/en/buschgardens-tampa is a combination amusement park with rides and an incredible zoo. The animals are given enough space so that they feel as if they are free. The zoo includes lions, tigers, cheetahs, rhinos, giraffes, elephants, and gorillas. If you can, set aside a couple of days to see this park rather than trying to cram it into one day. My only gripe about the park is the white tigers. I learned from the tour at the Big Cat Rescue that inbreeding is necessary to produce them and they usually suffer from other defects. https://bigcatrescue.org/abuse-issues/issues/white-tigers/.
According to its website Busch Gardens does not breed its white tigers, but I still think that by displaying them, the park promotes interest in them. I thought the white tigers were wonderful until I learned the truth about them!