North Florida

North Florida is the laid back cousin to its Central and South Florida counterparts. Often overshadowed by its larger neighbors, the region has a remarkably diverse culture and vibrant history. Synonymous with "Old Florida", the area is a treasure trove of natural beauty, southern charm, and unavoidable history lessons.

Regions

Regions of North Florida
Northeast Florida
Often referred to as the "First Coast", the region is located along the Atlantic coast and includes the entire Jacksonville area. Understood as the coastal areas north of Daytona Beach and south of the Georgia state line, it also includes communities in the lower basin of the St. Johns River.
North Central Florida
Generally viewed as the portion of the state east of the Aucilla River all the way east to Baker County and as far south as Ocala, excepting the coastal counties.
Nature Coast
Rural coastal communities, including Dixie, Levy and Taylor counties.

Cities

Some of the major cities in North Florida are:

Other destinations

Castillo de San Marcos in St. Augustine

Understand

North Florida is "Old Florida" in that it exhibits what the culture of the entire state used to be like only a few decades ago. It is more akin to the Deep South in culture. It is mostly rural and is not as metropolitan as parts of Central or South Florida. The landscape and environment of the region does not typify the sub-tropical environment that most think of Florida. The region is more known for its magnolias and live oaks then palm trees and beaches.

Talk

English is spoken almost without exception in North Florida. Most native north Floridians speak with a Southern dialect. The old saying that Florida is the only state in the Union that gets more southern the farther north you go is certainly true in terms of accent.

Get in

By plane

By bus

By train

By car

Get around

Public transportation - Jacksonville Transportation Authority (JTA), Gainesville Regional Transit System (RTS), and Ride Solution provide bus service for much of the region. The JTA operates the Jacksonville Skyway in the immediate downtown area. The elevated monorail is useful for travelers looking to explore Jacksonville's urban environment.

Vehicle rental - If you are planning on exploring the depths of this vast region it is advised to rent a vehicle. Many of the areas charming cities and scenic places are inaccessible otherwise.

See

St. Augustine Lighthouse

Do

Due to it being relatively undeveloped compared to the rest of the state, North Florida is paradise for anyone who likes to enjoy nature. Hunting and fishing are the favorite activities for both residents and many visitors to the region. North Florida is also home to one major professional sports team, the NFL's Jacksonville Jaguars.

Eat

North Florida is a very diversified region for food. One could enjoy fresh seafood in St. Augustine or in Cedar Key. The region is also known for its Barbecue. Sonny's Real Pit BBQ, the largest barbecue chain in America, was started in Gainesville. The region is also known for specializing in "Cracker Cuisine" which is the traditional food eaten by the early pioneers of Florida. Two well known cracker restaurants is the Yearling in Gainesville and Stumpknockers in Ocala.

Drink

North Florida is home to two of Florida's four dry counties where the sale of alcohol is prohibited (Lafayette and Suwannee). However, alcohol of any variety can be found in abundance in the cosmopolitan city of Jacksonville and the college town of Gainesville.

Stay safe

Be warned that Jacksonville has the highest murder rate in the state, however, only certain neighborhoods are deemed "unsafe" while most other areas of the city are tourist friendly.

Go next

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Wednesday, March 16, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.