The Miami area is certainly among the better known cultural draws, with its international mix of artists, musicians and architectural marvels. Miami Beach’s Historic Art Deco District is a mecca of architectural gems, evoking nostalgia for the days of simple symmetry, glass block windows and neon lights. Take a walking tour to learn more about these unique designs.
Coconut Grove’s Vizcaya Museum & Gardens is another breathtaking wonder, not just in the 1920s estate’s Mediterraneanmeets- subtropical style but in the stories Vizcaya tells of socialite and industrial executive James Deering. Go when the gardens are in full bloom for the most picturesque experience, though Vizcaya’s ornate décor needs no embellishments.
Seventy miles west of Key West are seven tiny islands that make up Dry Tortugas National Park where the brick and iron remains of the 19th-century’s Fort Jefferson still stand. The fort survived the Spanish-American War, the Civil War, the housing of several prisoners including the doctor who set the broken leg of Abraham Lincoln’s assassin, as well as the beatings the fort has taken from centuries of saltwater and sun.
St. Augustine is America’s oldest city. The grounds of the Mission Nombre de Dios commemorate the first Christian church with a rustic altar. A small 1700s stone chapel still welcomes people daily.
Florida is home to a number of hip independent movie houses, such as Tampa Theatre, recently ranked by Fodor’s Travel as one of America’s best historic theaters. Pensacola’s Palafox Street is a bustling retail district lined with historic buildings, with a farmer’s market and art show every Saturday.
Florida’s land, water and sunshine have attracted travelers from all over the world for 500 years. Those who have stayed, built and thrived have left their mark, creating a diverse blend of culture that is all its own, ready for today’s visitors to enjoy.
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