Florida City Surprises
Filed Under: FloridaFlorida is one of those states that a lot of people have a connection to, even if they don’t live there. Maybe you went to Disney World as a kid or have relatives who moved down south. But if you think you know the Sunshine State, think again -- especially about Florida’s smaller cities. They may not get the buzz of Miami or Orlando, but they still hold plenty of surprises. Did you know that Tampa Bay was once the cigar-making capital of the world? Or that Tallahassee is one of the most biologically diverse regions in the US? For more surprises about Florida’s smaller cities, read on.
Blue Angels streak across the sky at 700 miles per hour. This US Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron practices twice a week at the Naval Air Station in Pensacola. See the squadron’s sleek fleet of blue and yellow jets perform aerial stunts in the clear Florida sky every Tuesday and Wednesday morning from March to November. On Wednesdays, ask the pilots questions (and get their autographs) during a meet-and-greet session after the show.
Kathryn Hanna Abbey Park and Huguenot Memorial Park. On the history (and shopping!) front, view historic bungalows and Spanish-Mediterranean style homes in Riverside and Avondale, both listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Along their oak-shrouded streets, you’ll find cafes such as Biscottis and such upscale shops as Bark Boutique, which sells designer collars and hair bows for your dog.
Tampa Sweethearts Cigar Company.
Melbourne Independent Filmmakers Festival, held every fall, shows films made by Florida students and international filmmakers. The annual Indiafest hosts cultural dances and exhibits at Wickham Park Pavilion, where you can learn the Indian art of henna tattooing and shop for Bollywood fashions such as colorful saris and glittering bangle bracelets. Every April, the Melbourne Art Festival attracts nearly 50,000 people to browse and shop for artwork in the historic downtown.