Business Florida 2018 - The Regions
LIFE & LEISURE
Florida’s Legislature, consisting of the 120-member House of Representatives and 40-member Senate, convenes in regular session for 60 consecutive days each spring at the State Capitol in Tallahassee; starting dates may vary and sessions are open to the public.
Florida House of Representatives, opening session in 2017
Down home appeal
With natural springs and abundant pine forests, Florida’s northwest is a natural draw for tourists seeking a respite from mega-theme parks and city bustle. Unique sights here include the old and new state capitols in Tallahassee; the underwater Panhandle Shipwreck Trail; Florida’s highest natural point, Britton Hill (345 feet tall!); alleged site of the real Garden of Eden in Liberty County; and practice runs by the Blue Angels precision flying team over Pensacola Beach.
Northwest Florida beaches never fail to delight. Stephen Leatherman (aka Dr. Beach) ranked Walton County’s Grayton State Park Beach No. 4 on his 2017 list of America’s best beaches, and on TripAdvisor’s “2017 Top 25 Beaches, U.S.,” the Beach at Panama City and Pensacola Beach were No. 5 and No. 7. What makes them special? Sugar white sand made from quartz crystals bleached and polished over centuries of washing down from the Appalachians to the sea.
Live and learn
Higher education venues in Northwest Florida include: Florida State University, No. 49 among universities worldwide for patents granted in 2016 (48 in all); Florida A&M University, ranked 7th among historically black colleges/universities by U.S. News & World Report in 2016; and University of West Florida, recently named the National Center of Academic Excellence Cybersecurity Regional Resource Center for the Southeast region by the National Security Agency. Also of note: two Tallahassee high schools that earned gold medals in U.S. News & World Report’s “2017 Best High Schools” rankings.
FAMU students in front of historical marker