This book is extremely readable. After reading 20 Best Florida Beaches and Coastal Cities, I want to hop in my car and take the leisurely Florida road trip. I'm looking forward to the next installment. While Fort Walton was mentioned, there was not a separate section for it. My husband has fond memories of his childhood vacations there. I would like to see it through Gillian Birch's eyes, too.
A copy of this book was provided for my review by the publisher. I was not paid for the review, and the opinions are my own
From the Inside Flap
Low lying and marshy, Florida was only significantly developed with the arrival of the first railroad from Fernandina Beach to Cedar Key in the 1860s, hence most cities are less than 150 years old. The majority were primarily developed around the coastline. After the Civil War and the building of the Florida East Coast Railroad by Henry Flagler in 1885, the benefits of developing Florida as a winter haven quickly became apparent.
With a tropical climate, Florida continues to be popular all year round for visitors, but especially in the winter months when it is pleasantly warm and dry. Visitors from the northern states, Canada and northern Europe flock to Florida's beaches and coastal cities for a reprieve from the icy blasts and winter storms that prevail elsewhere.
From Amelia Island to the Florida Keys, Florida offers some wonderful beaches and the state's history is closely entwined with its coastal geology. Some beaches have powder-soft white sand such as Fort Myers Beach, which is absolutely perfect for building sandcastles, and that's official, as it hosts the World Championships of Sandsculpting every year. On the opposite coast, the firm sand at Daytona Beach packed by the relentless Atlantic breakers led to the developing of the unofficial racetrack for early motor racing.
20 Best Florida Beaches and Coastal Cities circumnavigates the Sunshine State, starting in the far northeastern tip, running down the Atlantic coast, around the Straits of Florida and up the Gulf Coast before heading west along the Panhandle where yet more beautiful beaches lie in store. Along the way, discover the history, development and unique features that make each coastal city what it is today. Learn about St Augustine, the oldest continuously inhabited city in the U.S. with its fortified castle, and Tarpon Springs, a transplanted Greek community that still has a sponge-diving industry. The coastal city of Tarpon Springs continues to delight visitors with its delicious baklava bakeries, colorful waterfront and a Greek Orthodox Church modeled on St Sophia Church in Istanbul.
Whether you are looking for a Florida city to relocate to, researching your next vacation destination in Florida or simply want an informative read from your armchair, 20 Best Florida Beaches and Coastal Cities presents interesting and informative facts with eyewitness detail about some of Florida's most charming destinations. Of course, there were many more worthy contenders that will have to wait for another volume!
Written in an informative style by a resident Florida travel writer, this book sets out to entertain, inform and inspire visitors to travel to Florida and take their pick of these delightfully unspoiled places.