Category Archives: Cocoa Beach

Driftwood Epiphyte Gardens

What We Offer

Rockledge Gardens is more than a garden center. Our loyal customers and amazing staff members have come together to form a gardening culture, equipped with social events, educational workshops, and garden talks.  From the Little Bugs Club to Plants & Pinot, there is something for everyone at Rockledge Gardens! 

Check out our garden talks & events, today!

We also offer:

  • Delivery Service
  • Planting Service
  • Plant Diagnosis
  • Plant Rental
  • Garden Design
  • Field Trips

The Farm at Rockledge Gardens is your local resource for fresh, healthy, locally grown food.  Stop in and see for yourself, the produce grown with love tastes so much better!

Looking for some plants to decorate with for a special event? We also offer plants for rent. Plus, we love sharing our knowledge with the next generation, so we offer field trips to student of all ages.

Visit our website

or Follow us on Facebook to find out more!

Pianist JD DANIEL & Friends

What We Offer

Enjoy Live Jazz With Us – Open to the Public!


Join us for an amazing time at one of our live jazz concerts throughout Brevard County. From old to new jazz, we present a variety of content for the whole family to enjoy. Click here for our Concert Schedule. Keep up to date with the latest happenings by liking Space Coast Jazz Society Facebook Page.

At Space Coast Jazz Society, we encourage and enlighten students with the joy of learning jazz music. By offering free student jazz workshops, we open the door to creative and inspirational thinking in students from elementary school through high school. Experienced musicians guide students through the workshops, unlocking the raw talent within. Click here to learn more about our Free Jazz Workshops.

Our Jazz Scholarship Program is made possible by our SCJS Members and generous donors within the community. Scholarships are awarded to graduating Brevard County high school seniors who are interested in furthering their studies in jazz music. Click here to learn more about our Jazz Scholarship Program.


Nov 11, Florida Universities and Colleges: Something for Everyone

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Category : Cocoa Beach


Florida universities and colleges range in size from giants like the University of Florida in Gainesville or the University of Central Florida in Orlando, down to the tiny new school of Ave Maria University in Collier County near Naples.

It is easy to get a good college education in Florida. You just need to figure out what to major in and which schools offer the best programs for that major. This page on Florida universities and Florida colleges is a primer that will at least give a student a place to start.

There are well over 100 Florida universities and Florida colleges, many with more than one campus location.

Florida Universities In The State University System

There are 12 universities in the State University System of Florida. This system includes the oldest public institutions in the state like the University of Florida and Florida State University.

It also includes some of the newest public schools such as Florida Gulf Coast University and Florida Polytechnic University. As of 2014, more than 341,000 students attended these Florida universities.

For most of Florida history, the University of Florida was the largest public school in the state. It has now been surpassed by the University of Central Florida and Florida International University and the University of South Florida is moving up fast.

These universities are:

  • Florida A & M University (Tallahassee)
  • Florida Atlantic University (Boca Raton)
  • Florida Gulf Coast University (Ft. Myers)
  • Florida International University (Miami)
  • Florida Polytechnic University (Lakeland)
  • Florida State University (Tallahassee)
  • New College of Florida (Sarasota)
  • University of Central Florida (Orlando)
  • University of Florida (Gainesville)
  • University of North Florida (Jacksonville)
  • University of South Florida (Tampa)
  • University of West Florida (Pensacola)
  • Florida College System

    There are 28 colleges in the Florida College system. This system used to be known as the Florida Community College System.  Many of these Florida colleges are former two year community colleges that now offer 4 year degree programs. More than 800,000 students attend these schools.

    Not so many years ago these community colleges offered two year programs and the credits could be transferred to the 11 schools in the State University system. This gave students a chance to spend their first two years of college close to home and save some money on room and board.

    The colleges in this system are:

    • Broward College (Davie)
    • Chipola College (Marianna)
    • College of Central Florida (Ocala)
    • Daytona State College (Daytona Beach)
    • Eastern Florida State College (Cocoa)
    • Florida Gateway College (Lake City)
    • Florida Keys Community College (Key West)
    • Florida Southwestern State College (Fort Myers)
    • Florida State College at Jacksonville
    • Gulf Coast State College (Panama City)
    • Hillsborough Community College (Tampa)
    • Indian River State College (Ft. Pierce)
    • Lake‑Sumter State College (Leesburg)
    • Miami Dade College (Miami)
    • North Florida Community College (Madison)
    • Northwest Florida State College (Niceville)
    • Palm Beach State College (Lake Worth)
    • Pasco‑Hernando Community College (New Port Richey)
    • Pensacola State College (Pensacola)
    • Polk State College (Winter Haven)
    • Santa Fe College (Gainesville)
    • Seminole State College of Florida (Sanford)
    • South Florida State College (Avon Park)
    • St. Johns River State College (Palatka)
    • St. Petersburg College (St. Pete)
    • State College of Florida (Bradenton)
    • Tallahassee Community College (Tallahassee)
    • Valencia College (Orlando)

    Religiously Affiliated Schools

    • Ave Maria University
    • Eckerd College
    • Adventist University of Health Sciences (Orlando)
    • Ave Maria University (Ave Maria)
    • Baptist College of Florida (Graceville)
    • Barry University (Miami Shores)
    • Bethune-Cookman University (Daytona Beach)
    • Eckerd College (St. Petersburg)
    • Edward Waters College (Jacksonville, Florida)
    • Florida College (Temple Terrace)
    • Florida Memorial University (Miami Gardens)
    • Florida Southern College (Lakeland)
    • University of Fort Lauderdale
    • Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (Jax)
    • Hobe Sound Bible College (Hobe Sound)
    • Palm Beach Atlantic University (West Palm Beach)
    • Pensacola Christian College (Pensacola)
    • Reformed Theological Seminary (Orlando)
    • Saint John Vianney College Seminary (Miami)
    • Saint Leo University (St. Leo)
    • St. Thomas University (Miami Gardens)
    • South Florida Bible College & Theological Seminary (Deerfield Beach)
    • Southeastern University (Lakeland)
    • Talmudic University of Florida (Miami Beach)
    • Trinity Baptist College (Jacksonville)
    • Trinity College (New Port Richey)
    • Warner University (Lake Wales)

    Trade and Technical Schools

    • Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale
    • CBT College – West Kendall Campus
    • Acupuncture and Massage College (Miami)
    • Adventist University of Health Sciences (Orlando)
    • Aerosim Flight Academy (Sanford)
    • American College for Medical Careers (Orlando)
    • Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale (Fort Lauderdale)
    • Atlantic Institute of Oriental Medicine (Fort Lauderdale)
    • City College (Fort Lauderdale)
    • College of Business and Technology (Miami) 
    • Digital Media Arts College (Boca Raton)
    • Dragon Rises College of Oriental Medicine (Gainesville)
    • East West College of Natural Medicine (Sarasota)
    • Everest University (Pompano Beach)
    • Everglades University (Boca Raton)
    • Florida Career College (Miami)
    • Florida College of Integrative Medicine (Orlando)
    • Florida Technical College (Cutler Bay)
    • Florida Technical College (DeLand)
    • Florida Technical College (Kissimmee)
    • Florida Technical College (Lakeland)
    • Florida Technical College (Orlando)
    • Florida Technical College (Pembroke Pines)
    • Full Sail University (Winter Park)
    • Jersey College (Tampa, Jacksonville, Fort Lauderdale)
    • Jose Maria Vargas University (Pembroke Pines)
    • Lincoln College of Technology (West Palm Beach)
    • Lincoln Technical Institute (Orlando)
    • Miami International University of Art & Design (Miami)
    • Orlando Culinary Academy (Orlando)
    • Rasmussen College (Ocala)
    • Rasmussen College (Fort Myers)
    • Rasmussen College (Holiday)
    • Remington College (Tampa, FL)
    • Ringling College of Art and Design (Sarasota)
    • Southern Technical College (Orlando)

    Other Private Institutions

    • Argosy University (Tampa)
    • Atlantis University (Miami-Dade County)[1]
    • Beacon College (Leesburg)
    • Carlos Albizu University (Miami)
    • Columbia College (Jacksonville) (Orlando)
    • DeVry University (Orlando)
    • Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (Daytona Beach)
    • Flagler College (St. Augustine)
    • Florida Institute of Technology (Melbourne)
    • Florida National University (Hialeah)
    • Herzing University (Orlando)
    • Hodges University (Naples)
    • International Fine Arts College (Miami)
    • Jacksonville University (Jacksonville)
    • Johnson & Wales University (North Miami)
    • Keiser University (Fort Lauderdale)
    • Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (Bradenton)
    • Lynn University (Boca Raton)
    • Keiser University (West Palm Beach)
    • Millennia Atlantic University (Doral)
    • Miami Regional University (Miami Springs)
    • National Louis University (Tampa)
    • National University of Medical Sciences (USA) (Naples)
    • Nova Southeastern University (Davie)
    • Okan International University (Dania Beach)
    • Rollins College (Winter Park)
    • San Ignacio University (Miami)
    • Schiller International University (Largo)
    • Southern Technical College (Orlando)
    • Springfield College (Tampa)
    • Stetson University (DeLand)
    • Thomas M. Cooley Law School (Tampa (satellite of Western Michigan University)
    • University of Miami (Coral Gables)
    • University of Phoenix (Orlando)
    • University of Tampa (Tampa)
    • Virginia College (Pensacola)
    • Webber International University (Babson Park)
    • Webster University (Ocala)

    We compiled this list from information on Wikipedia.  Schools go in and out of business, so the list changes.  You can double check our information at Wikipedia List of Florida Colleges and Universities.


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Nov 11, Naples, Florida. Naples on the Gulf

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Category : Cocoa Beach


I lived in Naples Florida for several years, and could dedicate an entire website to nothing but the town and its delights.

Maybe I will at some time in the future.

The focus of present day life in Naples are the two historic business districts: Fifth Avenue South and Third Street.

The Naples Pier is in the Third Street District.

Naples Pier

Old Naples Florida Is The Historic District

Great restaurants and shops abound in both districts, which are in the heart of what is known as Old Naples.

Downtown Naples and Old Naples feature many art shows and classic car shows in the season.

Cambier Park is a local treasure in the heart of the city that has free movies every Saturday evening in season, and free band concerts every Sunday afternoon.

Naples Beach Hotel and Golf Club

Free concerts are also held in the summers at the Naples Beach Hotel and Golf Club.

Downtown Naples also features the Sugden Theater, a community showcase for live plays, and the Norris Center, a smaller venue at Cambier Park for plays and small musical events.

Von Liebig Art Center is on the northwest corner of Cambier Park.

It features wonderful art exhibits all year long.

Naples Botanical Garden

The fountain and waterfall above is at the Naples Botanical Garden.

The Pelican Bay development just north of town features the Philharmonic Center For The Arts completed in 1989 at a cost of almost $20 million.

The “Phil”, as locals call it, has a full program of music, dance and theater. Many traveling art exhibits also stop at the adjacent art museum.

Nature lovers will enjoy visiting the Everglades, whose nearest entrance is at Everglades City. You can explore the Everglades on foot or by canoe or airboat.

Statuary in Third Street District

You can even ride in a swamp buggy. Guided tours in these uniquely Naples machines are offered by Everglades Island Airboat Tours.

The Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens is also a favorite Naples attraction.

The Naples area also has dozens of parks and wildlife preserves, and a world class botanical garden.

The town has done a great job of preserving its historic residences and commercial buildings. Check out Palm Cottage, maybe the oldest building in Naples.

Recommended Naples Restaurants

4288 Bonita Beach Road
Bonita Springs, Florida 34134
Tel:  239-498-9448

Taco Mix is a place you might never stop at if you didn’t have local information.

Taco Mix Bonita Springs, Florida

It was not even mentioned on TripAdvisor when I first visited it a few years ago, but I checked it out on Urban Spoon. It is on the right hand side of Bonita Beach Boulevard west of Tamiami Trail on the way to the beach.

The restaurant itself is almost hidden behind a convenience store of the same name. The restaurant is small and clean, and even has a drive through window that locals are well aware of but that a tourist might completely miss.

Once inside you will see a counter where you place your order from a menu on the wall above. You place your order, then sit at one of the tables or booths in the bright and open dining room to your right. A waiter or cook or owner (or all three) will bring your order to your table.

I have loved tacos since they were first introduced to me by my sister-in-law Wendy in 1973. Since then, I can’t get enough of them. Taco Mix has the best tacos I’ve ever eaten, and I’ve eaten a lot of them. In my opinion, their offerings beat the big chains all to heck.

Hard shell or soft shell ground beef tacos cost $ 0.85 each. They also have soft shell chicken tacos for $ 2.00 each. They have steak burritos, quesadillas, Cuban sandwiches and more. You can’t go wrong.

The owner and his family are Cuban, so there are plenty of dishes from that Caribbean country. One of my favorites is picadillo, a specially spiced ground beef served with rice and plantains.

This small restaurant is a place where you can feed three adults and two kids for about $20. I know it can be done because I did it. Prices are very reasonable, especially by Naples and Bonita Springs standards. There are enough locals that come in to keep prices and quality on a better level than most places that just cater to tourists.

They have beer, but no hard liquor. If you like Tex-Mex and Cuban, you will love this place.

9101 Strada Place
Naples, Florida 34108

Whole Foods Market is a great place to eat if you are in a town that is lucky enough to have one.  Although most people think of it as more of a grocery store, which it certainly is, it also has a great buffet and a separate dining area.

They are more likely to think of it as a glorified grocery store full of natural and organic foods and frequented by rich liberals and pale emaciated looking vegans. They are more than half wrong. It is also frequented by poor fat people of all political persuasions as well as dedicated meat eaters. There is something for everybody to love.

Whole Foods Market Naples, FloridaWhole Foods, Naples, Florida

For years it has been my tradition to eat lunch out. I can’t stand to stay home and eat lunch alone, and when I worked it was a good way to get out of the office and see and meet other people. There are 16 Whole Foods Markets in Florida. Having lived all over the state, I’ve been lucky to be near Whole Foods in Winter Park, Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton, Pinecrest, Coral Gables and Naples.

Whole Foods Market Naples, FloridaHalloween at Whole Foods

The Whole Foods Market in Naples is the one I’m most familiar with, and it’s one of the best I’ve seen. I had lunch there almost every day when I lived in Naples.  It’s a social event as well as a delicious nutritious meal.

Whole Foods has several huge hot soup, salad and entree bars that have just about anything you could want for $7.99/pound. I have mastered the art of building a great lunch for usually less than $ 9.00, tax included. One end of the Whole Foods Market in Naples is a sit down area where you can take your food and eat at one of dozens of tables or counter benches.

Whole Foods Market, Naples, Florida

One of my typical lunches might include delicious blackened Mahi Mahi, a large salad with cabbage, broccoli, tomatoes, spinach and any number of other fresh organic vegetables. I do drink tap water instead of the more exotic bottled waters available, and I suspect it is filtered somewhere in the building before bubbling up in the water fountains.

The ethnic delights are constantly changing from day to day. On any give day you might have Chicken Korma (Indian), Chicken Cacciatore (Italian), Country Fried Chicken (North Florida), Greek Salad (Greece), Tacos con Carne (Mexico), Yucca con Queso (somewhere south of the border), Chili Glazed Thai Chicken (Thailand), Arroz con Pollo (ditto), Picadillo (Cuba) and any number of other great dishes from around the world.

Whole Foods Market, Naples, Florida

They also have great desserts, including something affectionately named “The Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookie” because it has nothing of animal origin in it. No butter, no fat, no cream, no whatever…… and it is still delicious. Hmmmmm ……… maybe these Vegans are on to something after all.

Service at Whole Foods Market is excellent. If something is running out on the buffet, just ask. A friendly employee will run into the kitchen and get it for you. The checkout people are always smiling and friendly and act as if they love their jobs.

I am high on Whole Foods, but still do most of my grocery shopping at Publix just out of old habits and loyalty to a good old Florida firm. Grocery prices at Whole Foods are competitive in price with Publix, but I hate to spend all of my money in one place. I do, however, buy my walnuts and bison burgers at Whole Foods.


Naples Fla is in the far southwestern corner of the state at the intersection of US-41 and SR-84. These were once the main north-south and east-west routes, but have now been supplemented and replaced to some degree by I-75.


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Nov 11, Melbourne Florida: Beautiful City On The Space Coast

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Category : Cocoa Beach


Melbourne is a small city of about 80,000 people in southern Brevard County on Florida’s Space Coast about one hour east of Orlando.

The “new” Melbourne of today has two distinct “old” and renovated downtown areas: historic downtown Melbourne and Olde Eau Gallie, each with lots of restaurants and shops.

The old Melbourne Hotel shown on the postcard below still stands on US-1 and is used today as an office building.

Historic Melbourne Ice PlantHistoric Melbourne Ice Plant

The Melbourne city limits take in a large area of beach along the Atlantic Ocean and miles of shoreline on the Indian River Lagoon.  Other towns in the Melbourne area are Palm Bay, Melbourne Beach, Indialantic, Satellite Beach, and Indian Harbor Beach.

The large residential development communities of Suntree and Viera are in the north region of Melbourne.

The entire area has abundant shopping, dining, drinking, and recreational resources.

History of Melbourne, Florida

The city gets its name from Melbourne, Australia. The area began to be called Melbourne eight years before the town was officially established.

A name was needed because a post office was being established to serve families in the area.

The first postmaster, Cornthwaite John Hector, was an Englishman who spent much of his life in Melbourne, Australia, before opening a general store at Crane Creek. A local pioneer, Mrs. R. W. Goode, suggested the post office be named Melbourne.

The area began to thrive in the late 1800’s because of its advantageous location on the Indian River Lagoon. Farmers in the area had easy access to a good port and economic transport of their produce to profitable markets.

An interesting local character was Peter Wright, a black freedman (a slave freed during the Civil War) who became known as the “Sailing Mailman”. Wright sailed a regular schedule from Titusville to Malabar to deliver mail to the numerous riverside settlements.

Melbourne prospered along Crane Creek where it empties into the Indian River, and its fortunes were linked to Eau Gallie, another small town north of Melbourne with a nice port on the Indian River.

One of the interesting buildings still standing in Melbourne from the early days is the ice plant.  It was originally a power generating plant that also produced ice.  It is on US Highway 1 near downtown Melbourne, and is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Eau Gallie was settled by William Gleason and his friends. Gleason had earlier done a lot of development in the Miami area, and was prominent in state and national politics.

The railroad came to Eau Gallie and Melbourne in 1893, and the focus of commerce moved from the Indian River to the tracks on the higher land to the west.

In 1969, local voters consolidated Melbourne and Eau Gallie into one city and picked the name Melbourne for the new venture. Some wanted it to be named Eau Gallie; others wanted Melbogallie and any other variety of compromise names.

We are all grateful that the name Melbourne won out.

The edge of historic downtown Melbourne Florida near the Indian River was the location of the “Trysting Stairs, a wooden stairway leading up a bluff at the north end of Front Street.

The stairs provided a convenient way to reach residences on the higher ground above and became an informal meeting place which was especially popular among young lovers at the time.

The old Melbourne Hotel shown on the postcard below still stands on US-1 and is used today as an office building.

Melbourne Florida Hotel Postcard

Melbourne Historical Sites

Community Chapel of Melbourne Beach
Downtown Melbourne Association
Indian River Lagoon Scenic Highway
Liberty Bell Memorial Museum
Melbourne Beach Pier
Melbourne Ice Plant
Trysting Stairs

Melbourne Attractions

Brevard Zoo
8225 N. Wickham Rd, Melbourne

Honest John’s Fish Camp
750 Old Florida Trail, Melbourne Beach

Recommended Restaurant

2515 Roberts Road
Melbourne, Florida 32940

Pineda Crossing is one of the reasons I miss living in Brevard County. Its address says Roberts Road, but it is really on the west side of U.S.-1 just south of the Pineda Causeway in the Palm Shores area north of Melbourne between Suntree, Viera and Rockledge.

The menu is loaded with mostly delicious American favorites like seafood and steaks, with a few exotic specialties like Jambalaya and Blue Crab Bisque thrown in for delightful measure.

Pineda Crossing was born in 1996 from the remodeling of an old biker bar by Bob and Kathy Popp. The plain outside of the building conceals the ambiance and fine dining you will find inside. Remember the old saying “don’t judge a book by its cover”. The interior makes you feel welcome the moment you step inside. The walls and shelves are stacked with interesting artifacts including many hickory shafted golf clubs.

The magnificent wooden bar is strategically located between the two dining rooms and is a nice place to relax while waiting for our table. They serve great drinks and the ambiance is comfortable and homey.

Bob and Kathy take care of the management and hospitality, and their Chef and part owner is Rand Morgan, graduate of the CIA (Culinary Institute of America). He is arguably the best gourmet chef in Brevard County.

Pineda Crossing is open for lunch and dinner, and the lunch crowd includes local business people including the staffs of nearby Florida Today and USA Today. You know it has to be good or these newspaper people would write bad things about it.

The menu is incredibly diverse. It always features two or three fresh fish, steak and chop specials, along with some pasta dishes. These specials change nightly, and are in addition to their standard delicious seafood and steak offerings.

My favorite dinners here include their fresh daily catch. I love their blackened grouper. I also like that most ethnic of American foods, fried chicken. One of their signature dishes is Chicken Augusta, a pan-fried chicken breast served with mashed sweet potatoes and vegetables and served with pecan-honey vinaigrette.

They have wonderful large fresh salads, and many desserts including one of the best Key Lime pies in the State of Florida.

This is such a special place for me that my sweetheart of long ago held a birthday party for me here, one of those “ending in zero” birthdays that could have been gloomy except for the great food and good company in this wonderful establishment.

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The value of vodka: Cocktail sippers love it, bartenders think it's bland

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Pre Black Friday Sales Event

What We Offer

Sleepy Heads Furniture Store has a HUGE selection of furniture for bedroom, living room, dining room, children’s furniture, home office furnishings, entertainment centers, mattresses and more.  We are the Space Coast’s top choice for great furniture value!

We proudly carry top brands, such as:

  • Ashley Furniture
  • Discovery World Furniture
  • Standard Furniture
  • Innomax
  • Signature Design
  • Serta Mattress
  • Coaster Fine Furniture
  • Homelegance
  • And More!

Ask about our $1599 Complete Apartment or Condo Package!

Ask about assisted living packages.

View furniture selection on our website or call 321.956.6800 Today!

Ace Frehley

About King Center

The Maxwell C. King Center for the Performing Arts has been providing cultural and educational opportunities for residents and visitors of the Space Coast since 1988. This 100,000 square-foot facility features a 2,016-seat main theatre, 288-seat intimate studio theatre, and a Crown Club VIP room for members of the Crown Club to enjoy special benefits.

The King Center presents a variety of performing arts and entertainment, including musicals; plays; symphonies; blues; jazz; dance; children’s theatre; comedy; drama; ballet; pop; rock; country; lectures; family shows and more. Click here for our schedule of upcoming events!

The King Center offers memberships, events, and special programs to benefit the community, as well as quality shows for entertainment.

Click on the links to learn more about:

Nov 10, 6 Day Trips to Learn About Florida Seminoles and Miccosukee

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Category : Cocoa Beach


There were 12 Native American tribes who lived in Florida before the Spanish arrived in the 1500s.  

They disappeared within 200 years, either dying of European diseases or enslaved in the Caribbean.

The Seminoles emerged in the 1700s from a combination of various Native American tribes who settled in Florida. 

The dominant tribe was the northern Muscogee Creeks from Georgia and Alabama.

The word “Seminole” is derived from a Creek word or may be a corruption of the Spanish word “cimarron” which means runaway or wild one. 

Florida State University, Osceola and his horse RenegadeFlorida State University, Osceola and his horse Renegade

The Seminoles intermarried with free blacks and escaped slaves, hence the runaway designation.  Most Seminoles were relocated by 1842 to reservations west of the Mississippi River.  The remaining population fought 3 wars against the United States.  The few hundred who never surrendered moved to the Everglades.

In the twentieth century, the Miccosukee separated from the Seminoles and became a recognized tribe.


Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum
Big Cypress Seminole Indian Reservation, 34725 W. Boundary Rd., Clewiston, Fl 33440. Tel: 877-902-1113

This museum in the heart of the Big Cypress Seminole Indian Reservation has a collection of more than 180,000 artifacts, archival items, and experiences.  You will learn about the Seminole people and their rich historical and culture ties to the State of Florida and the Southeastern United States.  The museum grounds include a 1 mile raised boardwalk that meanders through a 60-acre cypress dome typical of the Everglades. You will also see a Seminole village and ceremonial grounds.


Billy Swamp Safari
30000 Gator Tail Trail, Clewiston, Florida 33440. Tel: 863-983-6101

Billie Swamp Safari is on the Big Cypress Seminole Indian Reservation.  It features tours and attractions that will teach you about the Seminole culture.  Among the experiences is a 55 minute swamp buggy eco-tour through the natural settings of the Everglades.  You can also take an airboat ride in the Everglades where you will see fish, snakes, turtles, and alligators.  The Seminoles also put on a snake show.  You will also see various animal exhibits featuring birds and reptiles.


Dade Battlefield Historic State Park
7200 CR 603, Bushnell, Florida 33513.  Tel: 352-793-4781

This park was established in 1921 to preserve and commemorate the site of Dade’s Battle of 1835.  This battle precipitated the longest and costliest Indian war in American history.  The park is the location of an annual battle reenactment in January.  The history of the event is preserved in a small museum at the Visitor Center.  The exhibits in this museum include an award winning 12- minute video about the historic battle.  The park has beautiful grounds, picnic pavilions, and hiking trails.


Florida Seminole Wars Heritage Trail
Numerous locations across the State of Florida

The Seminoles fought 3 wars from 1817 to 1858 against the United States in a struggle to remain in their Florida ancestral homeland.  The State of Florida offers a free 56-page publication that gives the history of the wars and other Florida topics. The publication also includes information and locations on battlefields, cemeteries, museum exhibits, monuments, historical markers, and other sites with direct links to the Seminole Wars.


Miccosukee Resort and Gaming
500 SW 177th Avenue, Miami, FL 33194.  Tel: 305-222-4600

The Miccosukee Tribe was part of the Seminole nation until the mid-twentieth century when they organized as an independent tribe.  This resort on the western edge of the metro Miami Area is a complete destination featuring gaming, modern hotel accommodations, numerous restaurants,  and entertainment venues. The resort is also the location for tours to Miccosukee golf courses, an Indian Village, and airboat rides.  The main Miccosukee reservation is several miles west of the resort on Tamiami Trail (US-41).


Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino
1 Seminole Way, Hollywood, Florida 33314.  Tel: 866-502-7529

This resort is in urban South Florida and close to beaches and other amenities.  It features a very large hotel, and gaming opportunities including more than 2,000 slot machines.  Entertainment is constantly on display in their 3,500 seat Hard Rock Event Center.  There are several restaurants on the property including the Hard Rock Café.  Outdoor activity includes a large beach club with a pool and bar.


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Nov 10, 250 Florida Day Trips by Theme of Your Interest.

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Category : Cocoa Beach


You may be a person who likes to plan your Florida day trip around a particular theme. 

Most websites focus on locations when discussing day trips.  There is another way to find something to do.

You may be interested in outdoor adventure, history, museums, nature centers, historic buildings, or any number of other themes. 

We can think of at least 20 themes that might interest you.

If the type of experience on the day trip is more important to you than the location, then this page is for you.

Florida Day Trip Themes

Amusement and Theme Parks.  Does your perfect day include a family visit to a giant theme park or would you rather go to a smaller and less expensive attraction? No matter your preference, there are hundreds if not thousands of fun getaways in Florida.  Orlando and Central Florida are home to some of the largest theme parks in the world.  Smaller attractions are scattered across the state.  From water parks to roller coaters to giant Ferris Wheels, it can be found in Florida. 

Beaches and Sea Shells.  Florida has one of the longest saltwater shorelines in the United States, and the Environmental Protection Agency says the state has 570 beaches with a total beach length of 902 miles.  We don’t know who can challenge that number, but it doesn’t really matter.  No matter what kind of beach you are looking for, Florida probably has it.  From just sunbathing, beach combing, long walks, treasure hunting, or searching for unique sea shells – you can find it here. 

Birds, Dolphins, Manatees, and More.  Florida’s mild climate makes it home to an amazing variety of animals.  Millions of birds stop by on their annual migratory journeys and a similar number stay here year-round.  The state is surrounded by salt water and is home to multitudes of dolphins, a friendly and smart mammal.  Manatees, also known as sea cows, are comfortable in the warmer waters around the state.  They can’t survive in waters below 60 degrees F., so they congregate in various warmer waters around the state in the cold months.  There are countless opportunities in Florida to observe and interact with these creatures especially around Florida’s many springs.

Enjoying the Water.  Florida has thousands of miles of salt water coastline, thousands of lakes, and dozens of rivers.  Getting out on the water is a traditional way to enjoy the state and get to see a lot of things you can’t see from the roads.  Tours and adventures are readily available to help you enjoy the water, or you can rent a boat and do it on you own.  Snorkeling, fishing, sailing are activities that Floridians enjoy all year long.

Everglades.  The Florida Everglades is a huge subtropical wetland of sawgrass marshes in a complex system of interdependent ecosystems. These ecosystems include cypress swamps, the estuarine mangrove forests of the Ten Thousand Islands, tropical hardwood hammocks, pine rock land, and the salt water marine environment of Florida Bay in the Keys.  The western parts of the extremely urban southeast Florida counties of Martin, Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade are in the Everglades. The rampant development in this megalopolis has created new problems for the Everglades and aggravated old ones.  Also, although Naples, Fort Myers, Labelle, Immokalee and Everglades City are in southwest Florida, the Everglades ecosystem touches their very back doors and is part of their history and future.  The Florida Everglades sprawls across 16 counties, all the way from Orlando in the north to Monroe County in the south. 

Florida History.  Native Americans were in Florida at least 12,000 years ago, but written records only began when Juan Ponce de León arrived in 1513.   Spain built St. Augustine and Pensacola in 1565 and governed Florida for most of the next 250 years until it became a territory of the United States in 1821.  The new territory attracted people from bordering southern states.  Florida became a state in 1845.  Much of Florida heritage is derived from the Old South, especially in north Florida.  Although part of the Confederacy, it suffered less damage in the Civil War than other southern states. Only one significant battle was fought in Florida. The Union army occupied most coastal towns and forts, but the state’s interior remained in Confederate hands.  After the Civil War, agriculture grew in importance, especially cattle and citrus.  Florida’s economy collapsed in 1926 and was soon followed by the Great Depression.  World War II spurred major economic development because Florida’s year-round mild climate made the state a major training center for our military.  Tourists began visiting and many stayed.  The population growth continues to this day. 

Hemingway Home, Key West

Florida Keys Adventures.  The Florida Keys are a string of coral cays that stretch from the mainland south of Miami all the way through Key West to the Dry Tortugas.  Most of these cays don’t have sand beaches, but shores of coral rock.  The Keys are not only different geologically from the rest of the state, the people have a culture that is unique and reflects a turbulent history.  The Keys were isolated from one another and only accessible by water until 1912.  In that year, the extension of Henry Flagler’s railroad all the way to Key West connected the cays for the first time.  Early settlers of The Keys were called “conchs” (conks) because of the main staple of the sea.  Many of these early settlers were Loyalists who came from the Bahamas, descendants of those who fled the United States after the Revolutionary War.  In 1982 the people of Key West had a disagreement with the U.S. government, declared their independence, and briefly became the “Conch Republic”.  Though only a stunt, it brought a lot of publicity to The Keys and cemented its reputation as home to a bunch of independent people.  The image still sticks today.  The Keys are for people who love boating, fishing, and the unusual. 

Gardens, Flowers, and Arboretums.  Florida’s mild to tropical climate makes it ideal for growing a large variety of plants.  The huge population explosion in recent state history makes these botanical gardens even more attractive.  They are peaceful oases that provide refuge and quiet among the busy state of Florida.

Good Spirits and Good Times.  Reliable sources claim that Florida has about 50,000 restaurants, wineries, bars, diners, and other establishments to enjoy good spirits and good times.  We scratch the surface here with some of the oldest and most popular establishments.  You can enjoy a wide variety of food, drinks, and entertainment at these places.

Historic Buildings and Architecture.  The oldest buildings in Florida are in St. Augustine reflecting the Spanish heritage dating back to 1565.  Many architectural masterpieces in the rest of the state were constructed during Florida’s Gilded Age of the 1880s and 1990s.  Some of the most impressive buildings were built during the real estate boom of the 1920s and are still functioning as hotels or other businesses.  Florida also has its share of historic mansions, many of which have been preserved and converted to museums. 

Historic Florida Hotels.  Most Florida historic hotels, with some exceptions,  were built in the boom days of the early to mid 1920s.  Many of them were masterpieces of architecture of that golden era;  many of them also deteriorated over the years as more modern motels and hotels popped up all over Florida.  Thanks to good old capitalism and the huge population explosion in Florida from the 1950s until now, many of these grand old ladies have been renovated and can stand up to any luxury hotel or motel in the state.

Lighthouses.  Florida lighthouses are among the state’s oldest structures.  All of them have interesting stories to tell, and some of them can be visited by tourists. These places make an entertaining destination for a Florida day trip.  The oldest lighthouse on mainland Florida is the one in St. Augustine that was built in 1824.  The tallest lighthouse in Florida is at Ponce de Leon Inlet south of Daytona Beach.  It is 175 feet tall and one of the tallest in the United States.  6 of the lighthouses in Florida are open to the public.  Some of them allow visitors to climb to the top.  A few lighthouses also serve as popular wedding locations.

Historic Carpenter Gothic Churches.  In the late 1800s Florida had tremendously large forests and lumber was used for much of the construction in those days.  An architectal form was developed so the average carpenter could build a church that replicated many of the features that other churches had in stone.  There were once about 80 such churches in Florida.  Today, about 39 of them remain.

Holy Trinity Church, Fruitland Park

Museums.  There are museums in Florida for just about any interest you might have. From fine Tiffany art to the bizarre collections in a Believe it or Not museum, you name it and it is probably somewhere in the state.  Museums range from the serious, such as the state museums of history and natural history, to the sports themed and the automobile-oriented museums, to some of the most interesting artifacts in Florida such as recovered buried Spanish treasure.

Outdoor Adventures.  Florida’s year round temperate to tropical climate makes it a perfect place for outdoor adventure. The state is bordered by 1,300 miles of saltwater coast, and its interior is bejeweled by 30,000 lakes and hundreds of miles of rivers and streams. Florida has an extensive state park system, along with national parks, local parks, and bike trails.  There are limitless places for boating, fishing, or just plain beachcombing and shell hunting.  Florida is made for enjoying the outdoors.

Parks.  Florida Parks are treasured Florida natural resources.  The Old Florida that is rapidly disappearing from the state is being preserved in local, state, and national parks.  It is because of these parks that some parts of natural Florida are still alive and well despite the proliferation of condos, theme parks, subdivisions and shopping malls that have obliterated much of the Florida landscape in the past half century or so.  Many Florida state parks have camping sites carved out of the surrounding pine woods and palmettos. The campsites are separated from each other by this natural vegetation. The privacy is much greater than in the average private campground.  Each campsite usually has an electric outlet, a water faucet, a charcoal grill and a fire ring for campfires.

Rockets, Airplanes, and Railroads.  Florida’s modern history began first with the railroads, then airplanes, and finally rockets.  After the U.S. Civil War, water routes were the main form of transportation in the state.  Railroads made the development of Florida possible by increasing export routes for its agricultural products, and ways for tourists to come down from the north.  During World Wars I and II, aviation became a large part of Florida history.  The mild climate resulted in hundreds of army air force bases being built for training pilots.  The modern space program began in Florida at Cape Canaveral with the launch of Bumper 8 In 1950.  Federal, state, and local governments along with private individuals have done a great job preserving the memories and artifacts of these eras.  

Science Museums and Nature Centers.  The rapid development of Florida has been a double-edged sword.  On the negative side, this growth has too often been rampant and careless and done a lot of environmental damage.  Native habitat has been lost forever and what remains continues to be erased or damaged by development.  On a more positive note, the financial resources generated by this growth have provided the funds for government and private organizations to buy sensitive lands and put them into preservation forever.  These preserves, along with nature centers and science museums, continue to educate the public about environmental issues and help them become good stewards of the land. 

Seminole Indian Culture.  There were 12 Native American tribes who lived in Florida before the Spanish arrived in the 1500s.  They disappeared within 200 years, either dying of European diseases or enslaved in the Caribbean.  The Seminoles emerged in the 1700s from a combination of various Native American tribes who settled in Florida.  The dominant tribe was the northern Muscogee Creeks from Georgia and Alabama.  The word “Seminole” is derived from a Creek word or may be a corruption of the Spanish word “cimarron” which means runaway or wild one. The Seminoles intermarried with free blacks and escaped slaves, hence the runaway designation.  Most Seminoles were relocated by 1842 to reservations west of the Mississippi River.  The remaining population fought 3 wars against the United States.  The few hundred who never surrendered moved to the Everglades.  In the twentieth century, the Miccosukee separated from the Seminoles and became a recognized tribe.

Springs.  Florida has about 1,000 fresh water springs, more than any other state in the country.  27 of these are first magnitude springs discharging more than 100 cubic feet of water per second.  At least 14 Florida cities have “springs” in their names, as this is where development typically began.  The largest springs discharge ground water from the Floridan aquifer, a limestone formation underlying much of the state.  Most spring water is at a constant temperature of 68 to 72 degrees F.  Many Florida springs support unique ecosystems, and they also flow into streams and rivers that depend on the flow of fresh water.  Springs are one of the few natural areas in Florida where you can encounter a large variety of plants and animals in one compact area.  A visit to a spring can not only give you a wonderful swimming hole, but a place where you can see manatees, alligators, otters, and a large variety of fish, birds, and turtles.

The Arts.  The arts in Florida include a wide variety of forms that reflect the state’s diverse culture.  In addition to hundreds of private art galleries, Florida has a large variety of museums ranging from fine art to sidewalk art.  From street musicians to symphony orchestras to Broadway musicals in modern performing arts centers, you will find it here.  Folk music is part of the cultural fabric, and the State is home to the annual Florida Folk Festival.  Dozens of community theaters add to the entertainment opportunities across the State.

Zoos.  Even if you go exploring in the Florida wilderness, you are not likely to see a lot of wild animals.  That’s because they are masters at hiding from danger and they often see humans as dangerous.  They spend most of their time looking for something to eat and drink. Hiding from other animals is hard wired into their genetic code.  In Florida zoos, a lot of their biological needs are taken care of and the animals can relax.  This lets you observe them in more detail.  Some people believe zoos are cruel because they imprison wild animals.  There are many others who believe zoos give an opportunity for millions of people to see, enjoy, and appreciate wild animals.  They feel in the long run that this exposure helps animal species survive because of human’s love and understanding of them.


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Nov 10, Florida Backroads Travel Is Your Guide to Old Florida

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Category : Cocoa Beach


Millions of people visit Florida every year and never really see it.  They travel down to the state to Orlando or Tampa or Miami on the Interstate or Turnpike and are missing the real Florida.

I-95 in Miami on a Good Day When Traffic is Moving

What they see is a crowded multi‑lane highway slashing through the woods and swamps with billboards on both sides promoting theme parks, souvenirs and smiling lawyers.

Every interchange seems to have the same gas stations, chain restaurants and tourist traps. It all the same scenery.

These Interstate travelers miss the other Florida: the serene place of natural wonders, historic sites and towns that have somehow escaped the frantic growth.

That takes a bit more time and a handy guide such as Florida Backroads Travel.

Fork in the Road in Citrus County

The first Interstate highways in Florida didnʹt begin to rear their ugly heads until the early 1960s, and I was lucky to live here when all travel around the state was on the back roads.

I created Florida Backroads Travel to tell you about those roads less traveled and guide you along the way.

This website is loaded with information on day trips you will enjoy, and maps are provided with routes clearly marked for you so you can enjoy the back roads without getting lost.

Mural in Hollywood, Florida

You will visit small towns and hear a bit about their history and will also be told about festivals, wineries, museums, heritage sites, beaches, parks, smaller attractions and quaint local restaurants and authentic old Florida inns.

New and updated articles are added to the website every day.

Naples Botanical Gardens

The website also has a section with about 250 attractions based on themes of interest.

Examples include museums, botanical gardens, outdoor adventures, Seminole culture, and many others.

Please dig around in this website to your heart’s content.  You will unearth countless treasures.


  1. Florida Backroads Travel Is Your Guide to Old Florida

    Nov 10, 18 09:20 PM

    Florida day trips are the most popular feature of Maps of scenic routes and places to visit.

    Read More

  2. 250 Florida Day Trips by Theme of Your Interest.

    Nov 10, 18 06:01 PM

    Many times people would like to plan their Florida day trip around a particular theme like outdoor adventure, history, festivals, architecture, or any number of other themes.

    Read More

  3. 6 Day Trips to Learn About Florida Seminoles and Miccosukee

    Nov 10, 18 05:57 PM

    The word “Seminole” is derived from a Creek word or may be a corruption of the Spanish word “cimarron” which means runaway or wild one. The Seminoles intermarried with free blacks and escaped slaves…

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  4. Alva, Florida: A Quiet Town on the Caloosahatchee River

    Nov 10, 18 05:07 PM

    Alva: watch the Caloosahatchee River flow by from a pretty little Florida town

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  5. Florida Carpenter Gothic Churches: Rare Historic Structures

    Nov 09, 18 10:19 PM

    There a fewer than forty historic churches remaining in Florida that were built using Carpenter Gothic architecture and construction. This website shows the location and descriptions of these churches…

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  6. Florida Fish Camps: Your Getaway to Old Florida

    Nov 09, 18 06:27 AM

    Florida fish camps and Mom & Pop motels are quite often a piece of Old Florida on the back roads.

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  7. List of 155 Florida State Parks: Camping In Natural Florida

    Nov 08, 18 07:51 PM

    In Florida state parks camping is not the only attraction. Nature walks and hiking, canoeing and swimming, are just as much fun as Florida state parks camping.

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  8. Florida Vintage Road Maps Track the Growth of the state

    Nov 08, 18 06:33 PM

    Florida has been one of the fastest growing states in America since World War Two. It is interesting to track this growth by looking at old road maps from earlier era.

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  9. Florida Festivals Celebrate Art, Music, Food and Culture

    Nov 08, 18 06:22 PM

    Just about any week of the year, you can go to one of our Florida festivals. Art, music and other annual events are always going on.

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  10. Maps For All 67 Florida Counties and a Brief History Lesson

    Nov 08, 18 06:01 PM

    A Florida county map is a lesson in Florida history. When Florida became a United States territory in 1821, there were only two counties. Now there are 67.

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Mike Miller has lived in Florida since 1960. He graduated as a civil engineer from the University of Florida and has lived and worked in most areas of the state.  He has a love of Old Florida that is reflected in the pages of this website. Mike is the author of 18 separate Florida travel books that can be previewed or purchased at Amazon.

Mike has logged more than 2,000,000 miles in a variety of vehicles on the Florida back roads


Over 67,000 followers can’t be wrong. Learn about off the beaten path Old Florida, historic towns, attractions,  festivals, scenic drives and more.

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Food & Fun for Nov. 14-21: Holiday cakes, potluck for singles, a home tour, works of art

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  10. Orlando Balloon Glow

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Upcoming Events

  1. 2018 Fall Family Festival

    October 12 @ 3:00 pm - November 14 @ 1:00 pm UTC+0
  2. Miami/Brickell Festival of the Arts

    October 20, 2018 @ 7:00 pm - January 15, 2019 @ 6:00 pm UTC+0

    November 14 @ 4:00 pm - November 18 @ 8:00 pm UTC+0
  4. SpaKitty Dinner

    November 14 @ 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm UTC+0
  5. The Festival of Trees

    November 15 @ 4:00 pm - 8:00 pm UTC+0
  6. FIU’s 32nd Festival of the Trees

    November 15 @ 6:30 pm - 9:30 pm UTC+0
  7. School Day at the 2018 Florida Tiny House MUSIC Festival

    November 16 @ 9:00 am - 12:00 pm UTC+0
  8. 10th Annual Job Fair and Career Expo

    November 16 @ 11:00 am - 3:00 pm UTC+0
  9. Florida Tiny House Music Festival (3rd Annual)

    November 16 @ 12:00 pm - November 18 @ 6:00 pm UTC+0
  10. Orlando Balloon Glow

    November 16 @ 5:00 pm - November 18 @ 10:00 pm UTC+0

Join our Fun Network

  1. 2018 Fall Family Festival

    October 12 @ 3:00 pm - November 14 @ 1:00 pm UTC+0
  2. Miami/Brickell Festival of the Arts

    October 20, 2018 @ 7:00 pm - January 15, 2019 @ 6:00 pm UTC+0

    November 14 @ 4:00 pm - November 18 @ 8:00 pm UTC+0
  4. SpaKitty Dinner

    November 14 @ 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm UTC+0
  5. The Festival of Trees

    November 15 @ 4:00 pm - 8:00 pm UTC+0
  6. FIU’s 32nd Festival of the Trees

    November 15 @ 6:30 pm - 9:30 pm UTC+0
  7. School Day at the 2018 Florida Tiny House MUSIC Festival

    November 16 @ 9:00 am - 12:00 pm UTC+0
  8. 10th Annual Job Fair and Career Expo

    November 16 @ 11:00 am - 3:00 pm UTC+0
  9. Florida Tiny House Music Festival (3rd Annual)

    November 16 @ 12:00 pm - November 18 @ 6:00 pm UTC+0
  10. Orlando Balloon Glow

    November 16 @ 5:00 pm - November 18 @ 10:00 pm UTC+0