Florida is the southernmost contiguous state in the United States. With the longest coastline and the fourth largest economy in the US, there are plenty of things to do and see here. The Sunshine State’s economy has historically been based on products like citrus fruits, strawberries, sugar cane and cattle.

Home to the iconic Walt Disney World Resort, Florida is also home to such places as the Busch Gardens and Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, perfect for activities inland and on the water. When in Florida you don’t want to miss the Florida Reef, the only living coral barrier reef in the United States, and the third-largest barrier reef system in the world.

When it comes to sports, Florida is a huge sports hub, totaling 10 pro teams in the state. They have three NFL teams (Jacksonville Jaguars, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Miami Dolphins), two MLB teams (Miami Marlins, Tampa Bay Rays), two NBA teams (Miami Heat, Orlando Magic), two NHL teams (Florida Panthers, Tampa Bay Lightning), and one newly added (2015) MLS team (Club Internacional de Fútbol Miami).

But that’s not all. Headquartered in Daytona Beach, NASCAR holds three of its major beginning racing series at Daytona International Speedway and all three series end back in Florida at the Homestead-Miami Speedway. As a major golf hub, the top three golf organizations are headquartered in Florida, the PGA of America in Palm Beach Gardens, The PGA Tour in Ponte Vedra Beach, and LPGA in Daytona Beach.

To make sure you don’t miss out on all the sports Florida has to offer, you may want to consider becoming a Dish Network customer. As a customer you can have 24/7 access to all kinds of sports coverage and games.

 

Miami, Florida

The seventh-largest metropolitan area in the United States, based on population, is located in between the Everglades to the west and Biscayne Bay to the east. Interestingly, the city of Miami was founded by a woman in 1896. Julia Tuttle, the only female founder of a major American city, went to Florida to visit her father in 1874 and liked what she saw. After her father passed and left her his land, she purchased additional land and convinced railroad builder Henry Flagler to extend tracks southward, by the 1920s it had become a bustling metropolis. Today a 10-foot tall statue of the “Mother of Miami” stands in Bayfront Park.

Miami is a major leader in everything from finance, culture and entertainment, to the arts and international trade. You can take a stroll down the famous Miami Beach or explore Jungle Island which was once visited by Winston Churchill.

For those with a keen eye for art and a hint of 1930’s nostalgia, you can wander around the Art Deco District and admire the beautifully restored buildings. Canopy covered patio areas offered relaxed dining when the sun goes down and the neon signs light up.

A favorite destination for newcomers and residents alike, the Bayside Market can fill your day with shopping, good food and plenty of entertainment. Located along the waterfront, you can sit and admire the bay while listening to the daily live music or browse one of the 150 specialty and tourist shops.

The “Captial of Latin America” offers Cuban cultural flavor to soak up in Little Havana with open air social areas and Latin music drifting throughout the air. On Calle Ocho, the heart of little Havana, street art depicts important Cuban figures and boasts the most activity, leaving you completely immersed in the cultural atmosphere.

Living as a Cuban in Florida, Dish Network makes TV watching easy with their DishLATINO packages. They offer five channel packages for Spanish speaking customers which include both English and Spanish channels.

Chances are if you have been on a cruise, you have visited Miami. Not surprisingly the Port of Miami is known as the “Cruise Capital of the World”. For the past 20 years it has been the number one cruise passenger port in the world. It can accommodate some of the world’s biggest cruise ships, and is the busiest port for both cruise lines and passenger traffic.

Tampa, Miami

Located on the west coast of Florida, Tampa is most commonly referred to as “Tampa Bay” which includes surrounding cities Petersburg and Clearwater. To the north is the alligator laden waterways and bayous of the Hillsborough River, soon translating into the exotic animal exhibits of the iconic Busch Gardens.

There is no shortage of attractions and theme parks in Tampa. Get wet at Adventure Island, visit the Lowry Park Zoo or Florida Aquarium, or spend the day adventuring around Busch Gardens. Busch Gardens is a 335-acre Africa-themed park first opened in 1959 and is famous for it’s thrill-seeking rollercoasters, rides and jungle zip lines. It also includes wildlife exhibits with everything from rhinos to hippos to giraffes to Asian elephants to, the Florida state bird, flamingos.

Tampa is home to one of the few sanctuaries dedicated to conserving and caring for big cats. The Big Cat Rescue is a not-for-profit institution that homes more than 80 leopards, tigers, lions, and bobcats that are all housed in enclosures that mimic their natural habitats. Guided tours and night safaris are given by volunteers to help keep the rescue open.

To continue your learning about the big cats and Florida wildlife, tune into Dish Network and choose from one of the many free HD channels. You can also tune into a local Tampa Bay Buccaneers game, or any game for that matter, with Dish’s 24/7 sports coverage.

For the history buff or the supernatural enthusiast, you’ll want to visit Ybor City. What used to be the largest cigar factory for all America, Cuban immigrants flocked here in the late 19th century to roll cigars in the huge brick factories, until the Great Depression slowed manufacturing and the factories shut down. The old brick factories have now transformed into bars, restaurants, nightclubs and even art galleries to become one of Tampa’s most fascinating districts, and the industrial builds on 7th Avenue have recently earned a place on America’s National Register of Historic Places.

But with a long history comes the rumors that Ybor City is hotbed of paranormal activity. People have reported sightings of ghosts in the hallways and elevators in the old theater and others claim to have heard the piano playing by itself. Tampa police officers claim to have see a ghostly woman who was shot and killed in the building at a political debate in the early 20th century.

Orlando, Florida

The third-largest metropolitan area in Florida, Orlando is best known for its many theme parks, making it one of the world’s most visited tourist destinations. The “Theme Park Capital of the World” draws in more than 72 million visitors per year making the Orlando International Airport the thirteenth busiest airport in the United States and the 29th busiest in the world.

The backbone of Orlando’s tourism industry are the two most significant attractions, Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando Resort. Disney World is comprised of four theme parks (Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom), two water parks (Typhoon Lagoon, Blizzard Beach), 27 themed resort hotels, nine non-Disney hotels, golf courses, a camping resort and other entertainment venues on its nearly 25,000 acres since opening in 1971.

Covering 541 acres of land is Universal Orlando, the second-largest resort in Orlando, which opened in June 1990. Universal Orlando consists of two theme parks (Universal Studios Florida, Islands of Adventure), a water park (Volcano Bay), a night time entertainment complex (CityWalk Orlando), and six resort hotels.

With average temperatures in the mid 80’s during the spring a stroll though the famous Lake Eola Park would be perfect. This public park is in downtown Orlando with the main feature being Lake Eola and the fountain in the center that was installed in 1912 at a cost of $10,000. The lake is actually a sinkhole that covers 23 acres and has a maximum depth of just over 23 feet. In 2009 the fountain was struck by lightning, rendering it inoperable. The city was unable to afford to replace the fountain until 2011 when they upgraded the cracked skin and installed a state-of-the-art system of lights and water jets at a cost of $2.3 million. The iconic water feature is an official symbol of Orlando.

Jacksonville, Florida

Jacksonville is the largest populous city in Florida. Centered on the banks of the St. Johns River with the Jacksonville Beaches communities along the adjacent Atlantic coast, water activities are very popular here. Fun fact, it was named after Andrew Jackson, the first military governor of the Florida Territory and yes, the seventh President of the United States.

For the golf enthusiast, one of the three top golf organizations call Jacksonville home, the Ponte Vedra Beach’s TPC Sawgrass, headquarters of the PGA tour.

A must see for the family is the Museum of Science and History. The exhibits include the history of Jacksonville, the Bryan-Gooding Planetarium, and a display about the Great Fire of 1901 that burned 146 city blocks and destroyed more than 2300 buildings in eight hours, making it on of the worst disasters in Florida history.

After finishing up at the museum make your way next door to the Friendship Fountain. At night the fountains 60 nozzles light up with colorful lights putting on a beautiful show. Built in the 1960s the nozzles shoot water as high as 120ft.

Forming the third largest military presence in the United States, Jacksonville is a major military port. Its coast facilitates Naval Station Mayport, Naval Air Station Jacksonville, the U.S. Marine Corps Blount Island Command, and the Port of Jacksonville which is Florida’s third largest seaport.

The Severe Weather

Just because it’s called the “Sunshine State” doesn’t mean its sunshine all the time. The average temperatures are nice, throughout even the coldest months the temperature rarely gets below the mid 40s in north Florida and during the spring and summer months the highs are between the mid 80s and low 90s.

Severe weather is common in the state. Central Florida is known as the lightning capital since it experiences more lightning strikes than everywhere else in the United States. During the late spring and early fall, common afternoon thunderstorms daily give Florida one of the highest average precipitation levels of any state.

Hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30 and with subtropical or tropical water on a long coastline, Florida is the most hurricane prone state. It is rare for Florida to not have at least a tropical storm hit the coast before hurricane season ends each year. In fact, out of all the major hurricanes (category 4 or higher) to have hit the United States, 83% of them have struck Florida or Texas.

As of 2019, Hurricane Andrew, which hit the coast of Florida in 1992 and caused more than $25 billion in damage, is currently the second costliest hurricane in Florida’s history.

To make sure you stay current on the weather, especially during hurricane season, get Dish Network for all the up-to-date forecasts. And if it happens to be one of those rainy days, you will appreciate having some TV shows to binge watch on your Hopper HD DVR.

Services in Florida

Using the services provided in Florida gives you plenty of time to enjoy the beautiful sunsets and walks on the beaches. You can rest easy knowing that you have access to the following Florida services:

TECO Energy

A subsidiary of Emera Inc., TECO is a leading energy company located in Tampa. While seeking a cleaner, more affordable and sustainable energy solution, they deliver cost effective and reliable energy to meet customers needs. Two of the core businesses in Florida, Tampa Electric and Peoples Gas System, serve more than 1,155,000 customers.

Florida Power Services

Founded in 2007, Florida Power Services specializes in photovoltaic design and installation of solar panels. Serving the Tampa Bay Area and the State of Florida, they currently have over eight megawatts of solar panels installed across the Sunshine State.

A few of the perks of using their services:

  • A 30% federal solar tax credit of the total system cost
  • Property tax exemption
  • Sales tax exemption
  • Lower energy bills

Dish Network

Ranked number one in customer satisfaction by JD Power, Dish Network provides pay TV service to over 12 million subscribers. They provide the most international channels and the highest quality programming with the most choices.

Employing roughly 17,000 people in the U.S., here are some of the following services you can get:

  • Smart HD DVR
  • Free standard installation
    *depending on location
  • Bundle and save with TV, internet and phone
  • dishLATINO with English and Spanish channels
  • Call 1-800-970-9509 now

Conclusion

The “Sunshine State” is a great place to call home. No matter where you are there are always plenty of activities and history all around you. After a long day at Disney World, caring for big cats, or a stroll down Miami beach, you can rest easy at home watching TV.