When I say Florida, what comes to mind? Miami, Orlando, maybe even Tampa, images of crowded beaches and theme parks pop up. What if I told you there`s a whole "other side" to Florida and I mean that both literally and figuratively. A few months ago I had the opportunity to discover the west coast of Florida, a destination many first time visitors tend to forget.
Landing in Pensacola I did a road trip along the coast all the way to Fort Myers and Sanibel with beautiful stops along the way.There`s so much to see and do, and here are a few of the must-visit highlights.
At the top of the list is a visit to the National Naval Aviation Museum, where they welcome you with open arms to discover more about the history of naval aviation with more than 150 aircrafts on display. There are more than enough exhibits to keep you entertained for a few hours and best of all it`s free. Not to mention, if you are lucky and the United States Navy`s Blue Angels are around (as they share a home with the museum) you will be able to see them practice air shows. These practices are also free and open to the public.
Did you know that St. Petersburg has a Salvador Dali Museum? I didn`t until I arrived. The Salvador Dali Museum houses the largest collection of Salvador Dali works outside Europe and is a treat for the senses. The museum is located on the waterfront at Downtown St. Petersburg.
Wandering the streets of Downtown Fort Myers is a lovely experience, just browsing the shops and enjoying some Key Lime Pie. But make sure you stop at one of the nation`s top ten most visited sites, the Winter Estates of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford,definitely a must see when visiting Florida.
These are just a few of the places I discovered and there are plenty more out there. Like seeing the sunset over Apalachicola Bay or crossing the Sunshine Skyway Bridge, which is rated one of the top ten bridges in the world.
Sometimes you can even discover new sights in your own backyard or in places you overlook at first. There is definitely an "other side" to Florida and I can only recommend you to go an explore it.
Have you been to the west coast of Florida yet?