Alachua got its start in the late-1880s, and the origins of the town's name are open to debate. Alachua may be a Native American term for "rolling prairie." If so, it is an apt description for the land surrounding this small town.
At the western edge of the Okeechobee Waterway, Alva has a landscape of grazing cattle, citrus groves and large oak trees with hanging moss, evoking Old Florida.
Single family homes are for sale in this quiet, gated 55+ neighborhood, and many of them have water views.
Wedged between the Intracoastal Waterway and the Atlantic Ocean, sleepy Briny Breezes is a mobile home park and an incorporated town with an oceanfront beach.
Reminiscent of Old Florida, Brooksville boasts a cute downtown, canopy lanes and a nearby state forest perfect for biking, fishing and picnicing.
Built by the Walt Disney Company, Celebration boasts tree-lined neighborhoods with New Urbanism architecture and white picket fences, a brightly-colored town center, a pretty waterfront and more. It is a great place to retire?
Bordered by Everglades National Park, Coral Springs started out as a master planned development and today is known for its well managed government and rich quality of life.
Laced with canals and dotted with manicured grounds, Heron Bay has single family homes, condos, town homes and a TPC golf course.
Once home to Florida's largest sailing fleet, today Dunedin is known for its cute, walkable downtown, pretty marina and five miles of beautiful beaches. Is it a great place to retire?
On a "Forgotten Coast," Eastpoint, a secluded little village, sits next to a state forest, across from a barrier island and close to pristine beaches.
Quiet Edgewater is a waterfront town just north of the Mosquito Lagoon Aquatic Preserve and has a country quality.
Named Pascua Florida by Juan Ponce De Leon, the Sunshine State did not enter the Union until March 3, 1845. Balmy mild winters began attracting snowbirds to the state in the late 19th century. Retirees continue to flock to the state. It's not hard to see why tourism has become the leading industry.
International trade and citrus are also major contributors to the state's economy. Eighty percent of the nation's oranges and grapefruits are grown here, and 40 percent of all U.S. exports to Latin America flow through Florida.
Florida's landscape includes uplands and coastal plains. It contains more than 11,000 miles of waterways and about 4,500 islands spread across 10 acres.
The state has 1,040 golf courses, more than any other state in the Union. The 47 mile Pinellas Trail is the longest urban trail on the east coast. Orlando theme parks attract more visitors than any other theme parks in the U.S. The only place in the world where alligators and crocodiles co-exist is in National Everglades Park.
Florida, particularly the Keys and the Gulf Coast, was struck by Category 4 Hurricane Irma in early September, 2017. Towns will rebuild, perhaps this time with climate change in mind, making them safer and better equipped to handle major hurricanes going forward.
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