In our opinion, Florida offers quite simply one of the best lifestyle propositions in the world today. The obvious draws such as sun, golf and Disney, continue to pull in the visitors year after year, but we believe the little-known natural splendor of Florida’s waterways also contribute hugely to the wonderful lifestyle here.
Some of the Most Diverse Ecosystems in America
Florida boasts incredible natural flora, fauna, and habitats – something which often gets overlooked in favor of the state’s man-made attractions. In fact, the everglades – spanning 1,500,000 acres – is a world heritage site, an international biosphere reserve, and a wetland of international importance, and draws a million visitors a year to its beautiful mangrove forests and stunning waterways.
Among its 350 species of birds, 300 fish species, 40 species of mammals and 50 of reptiles are many protected and endangered species. It is also the only habitat in the world where alligators and crocodiles co-exist. The everglades can be explored by canoe, kayak, and boat, and are a truly magical other-worldly experience.
700 Natural Springs!
Further north in central and northern Florida, another spectacular natural wonder greets visitors – over 700 natural springs create magical havens for exploration and communing with nature. Wakula, Manatee and Silver Springs are some of the most famous. Authentic Florida writer Robin Draper describes a recent trip to the Ichetucknee River, just northwest of Gainesville, on her excellent blog. She says:
The gentle flow of aqua translucent water caresses you into a state of complete relaxation on a three-hour “chillaxing” drift downstream….The river is a place of natural beauty and abundant wildlife. On a recent morning drift down the river, shaded by overhanging trees and green luscious foliage, I spotted egrets, wood storks, ducks, limpkins, ibis, and scads of turtles sunning on partially submerged logs. I passed through an area of marsh river grasses dotted with blooming white lilies where beneath me otters swam and played. Nearby, on the riverbank, under a canopy of oaks, I spotted a grazing white-tailed deer. The water, the abundant wildlife, moss-draped trees against the bright blue sky – all came together so perfectly that I knew this would make this one of my favorites.
In addition to the springs and everglades, Florida boasts some stunning lakes among the 30,000 lakes which scatter almost 3 million acres of its landscape. Lake living offers an alternative water-centric lifestyle based around the many sports, nature and recreation activities the lakes and their landscape provides. If birding, kayaking, fishing, boating and swimming are activities you’d like to factor into your Florida lifestyle, along with the special peace that comes from enjoying time on the water you may want to choose an inland lake-side location for your Florida property.
You’ll no doubt benefit from lower prices away from the coastal hot spots, and lower insurance than coastal properties. And you’ll still be enjoying the incredible water-based elements of Florida living. Click here to have one of our hand selected realtors send you a personalized list of lakeside communities.
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