South Florida is the south-eastern portion of the state of Florida. It is one of Florida’s top three most widely referred to geographical areas, the other two being Central Florida and North Florida, located on the west side of Florida. It contains the largest urban Miami metropolitan area, also known as the Florida Keys, along with the several other localities in the area. The majority of South Florida is comprised of counties, and the area has a significantly larger economic presence than other Florida counties. As a result, it is often the seat of governmental and civic affairs and banking, including both commercial banking and government savings and loan, throughout the area.
Unlike many other states, south Florida separates the peninsula of south Florida proper from the mainland of south Florida, which means that the peninsula itself is broken into six counties – Hillsborough, Tallahassee, Manatee, Citrus, Seminole, and Wakiee. These counties are all diverse in terms of culture and landscape, but they all serve to a central economic purpose. Of course, all of these counties benefit from having access to the Miami Metropolitan Area. In particular, all six counties have been granted city status, with the cities of Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, Hollywood, and Fort Lauderdale being among the most populous in the state. Since so much money is generated by these cities, they all have excellent reputations for being hospitable to tourists and residents alike.
Because of this, south Florida has much more to offer visitors, including its natural beauty, entertainment options, and cultural activities. Many of its most famous attractions draw thousands of tourists each year. The Florida Keys contains the world-famous Key West, one of the most luxurious islands in the world, as well as the world-famous Pensacola Beach, which offer scuba diving, windsurfing, snorkeling, and an abundance of historic architecture. Sarasota’s famous Keys Port, home to the well-known Sailing Tourists’ attraction, brings in vacationers from across the nation.
Other popular attractions in south Florida include the Florida Everglades, with its extensive network of shallow lakes and rivers teeming with various species of birds and mammals, as well as the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, home to a massive variety of tropical fish and coral reefs. The Tampa Bay-St. Petersburg-Clearwater area provides plenty of local activities, such as theatrical productions, music concerts, marathons, and sporting events. Orlando and its surrounding area are home to the Disney MGM Studios and Universal Studios. Orlando’s Magic Kingdom is one of the premier theme parks in the world and also includes a massive theme park, the Wet and Wild Waterpark, plus a water tower and more.
Miami, on the Gulf of Mexico, is another hot spot, with its highly acclaimed skyline, sizzling nightlife, and tropical climate. Miami Beach has been ranked as the number one tourist destination in the United States by Travel & Leisure. Also located in south Florida are several major cities, including Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, Boynton Beach, Naples, San Antonio, and others. These include some of the most notable, prestigious universities in the country, such as the University of Florida, which are located on prominent Biscayne Bay, in Coconut Grove, and the Florida State University, which are located on the University of Miami campus in the heart of downtown Miami.
Not far from the Everglades are two of Florida’s most popular beaches, Ft. Lauderdale and Fort Lauderdale. Both are known for their charming ambiance and great deals for water sports travelers. Ft. Lauderdale’s World Famous Waterpark and its adjacent Amway Park feature some of America’s favorite theme park rides and roller coasters. In addition, the world-famous Walt Disney World Resort is located in central Florida, right on the Gulf of Mexico. Many other tourist attractions are scattered throughout south Florida, such as the popular Naples International Airport, which offers flights to many tropical countries.
The warm and humid climate of south Florida helps to attract a diverse population, which is both a positive and negative aspect. The influx of people who want a relaxing beach lifestyle has resulted in problems with land preservation, resulting in many low-quality Miami-Dade County public school districts. The influx of people from other counties and states has resulted in less money for maintaining the quality of those public schools, which in turn has resulted in lower property values and lower taxes. Unfortunately, these troubles have also resulted in less money for buying homes and property in the south Florida area.
The south Florida real estate market, however, has begun to pick up in the past year or so, which bodes well for those looking to buy their own home. Many different types of home are available, including single family units in communities such as Apopka and Flagler, and condominiums and townhouses in the Miami-Dade County and neighboring Broward County. In addition, new subdivisions such as Coral Gables, Hollywood North Miami and Downtown Miami have recently sprung up in some areas. South Florida also has some of the most unique homes and neighborhoods, which may appeal to retirees or young families looking to make a home in the sunshine state.