Florida natives

Old Oct 7th, 2009, 08:10 AM
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Florida natives

I posted a message a couple days ago asking about ideas for places to stop on a road trip I'm planning for for next summer which will begin and end in Bradenton, FL (about 50 miles south of Tampa). One very helpful poster gave me a number of ideas for the Florida Panhandle - and I confessed that although I was born and raised in Bradenton and moved back 15 years ago my only experience with the Panhandle was I-10. She posted back , " I, on the other hand, grew up in the Panhandle and can count on one hand the number of times I have been south of Orlando/Cape Canaveral (and I haven't been to Orlando or the Cape that much, either)! LOL!" I just wondered how common this is with other natives (or long time residents) - and why or why not.
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Old Oct 7th, 2009, 12:18 PM
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It is a huge state and people working may not get around much? I am an innkeeper and definately don't get around much!
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Old Oct 7th, 2009, 12:30 PM
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I live in Miami and I travel all the time. Half the time it is for work, the other half it is for fun. I love to travel! I took a day trip for the fun of it two weeks ago from Miami to Tampa. I think it just depends on the persons personality.

-Jonathan
http://www.askoncall.com
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Old Oct 7th, 2009, 01:24 PM
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bellhouse-

I appreciate the kind words, but actually I am a he!

Jonathan-

I think geography plays as much of a role as personality, if not more. Tampa might be a day trip from Miami, but from Pensacola (at the other end of the state) it is over 7 hours if you do not stop - plus you lose an hour crossing from Central Time to Eastern Time. Orlando also is at least 7 hours away - I laugh every time I encounter people who think because I grew up in Florida I must have visited Disney World a lot!

Miami is nearly 11 hours of driving away, and Key West is 14. Mileage-wise, it is half the distance from Pensacola to Key West by air that it is by car.

Put another way, it takes less time to drive from Pensacola to Houston, Louisville, or Charlotte than it does to Miami. Oklahoma City, Saint Louis, and Richmond take less driving time than Key West.

Of course, northern Florida (from Pensacola to Jacksonville and down about as far as Ocala) at least historically has resembled Alabama and Georgia culturally more than southern Florida, so I am sure that enters into it as well. And my parents were transplants to Florida from another Southern state, so vacations often were spent visiting relatives in the opposite direction from south Florida.
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Old Oct 7th, 2009, 01:26 PM
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I live in the panhandle and definitely travel north more often than south. There is just nothing in south Florida that appeals to me. (I lived in Miami for several years and enjoyed it, but I don't care to go back.)

I love the beach but the most beautiful beaches in the state are in the pandandle so no need to travel south for that.

I guess the bottom line is that if I am going on vacation the last place I want to go is Florida!
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Old Oct 7th, 2009, 01:32 PM
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Cranachin,

I live in Tallahassee so that cuts off a few hours but, I agree with you. There are appealing places closer. I can be in Atlanta as quickly as I can be in Orlando. (And, quite frankly, I would rather take a beating than drive through Florida on I-75.)
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Old Oct 7th, 2009, 01:39 PM
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Live in Ft. Lauderdale, but have had kids in school in both Gainesville and Tallahassee, so have made those drives many times. Visit the West coast all the time, have been to St. Augustine and J'ville, of course Orlando. Never further west than Tallahassee, but you could say we know our way around Florida. Oh, the Keys too. It is a big, geographically diverse state.
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Old Oct 9th, 2009, 09:39 AM
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Don't know why I made that assumption Cranachin - my apologies! Looking back at my childhood - my parents/grandparents headed to the mountains whenever possible, especailly pre-a/c. So, growing up, escept for Gainesville for football games, Venice for a couple years so Dad could could take over while the store manager went
on vacation (probably out of FL!),a trip to Miami/the upper Keys/the Everglades (combination Dad's business and pleasure), and a few weekend trips to Daytona - we always went out of state. Since I've been back, DH and I have gone on a few in-state weekend trips - Mount Dora, St. Augustine, and Orlando for the kids. Mount Dora and St. Augustine are great, but once was enough for Orlando.
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Old Oct 9th, 2009, 10:36 AM
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Growing up in Miami, if we did a long driving vacation in was up the Atlantic coast and continuing thru coastal Georgia, SC (South of the Border!) etc. I am sure that the fact that my parents were liberal Democrats entered into why we did not venture west into the Redneck Riviera.

We did take shorter trips across the Everglades & Cypress Swamp to places like Marco Island, Captiva, etc. Marco Island was at the time a big mudflat with excellent shelling.
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Old Oct 9th, 2009, 12:20 PM
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Keep in mind, there is so much more to "Orlando" than Disney! There are upscale shopping areas, fabulous dining, botanical gardens, museums, state parks.... Disney is not actually "physically" in Orlando, but in Lake Buena Vista, which is just SW of Orlando.
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Old Oct 9th, 2009, 03:31 PM
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I was talking with a friend last night who spent at least part of his growing-up years in the Tampa Bay area and is back there now. He went to college out of state but did a graduate degree at FSU, and he still has never been to Pensacola. (Some of this I knew already, but the never in P'cola part came out during our conversation - with no mention of this Fodor's thread).

So there is another data point!
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Old Oct 9th, 2009, 03:32 PM
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No need to apologize, bellhouse!
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Old Oct 9th, 2009, 03:34 PM
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I just figured I should set the record straight.
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Old Oct 9th, 2009, 06:33 PM
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I live in P'cola, and have been to south Florida only a handful of times. Visted Fort Lauderdale, Miami, and the Keys when my sister and her husband lived in Fort Lauderdale. I've been to Disney once. I've been to Tampa to return dogs to Southeastern Guide dogs, or go to Puppy Raiser Day there. Other than that I've been to Daytona and St. Augustine.
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Old Oct 10th, 2009, 08:17 AM
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I really do know there's more to Orlando than Disney - it's just that cities are not my thing and I-4 traffic is horrible. My great-aunt lived in Winter Park and I always enjoyed visiting her - that was back in the '60s to early '70s. The main shopping street was so much fun, especially coming from a small town like Bradenton.
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Old Oct 10th, 2009, 12:29 PM
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I am right next to Winter Park and it is a lovely area, especially Park Avenue. I rarely need to go I-4 for anything, just stay in Maitland/Winter Park area mostly.
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Old Oct 10th, 2009, 12:51 PM
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I'm not a Florida native. I've only lived there for 35 years, but I've pretty much traveled all over the state. That's just me. I have traveler's curiosity which is an incurable disease.
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