The Garden Guide

Florida holiday homes

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As the most mobile nation, Americans have been journeying to vacation property for a long time. It is easier to obtain permission to build in 'the land of the free' then in most countries and so a wide range of high-quality relatively inexpensive property is available. Since air travel became cheap, this has been attracting holiday home buyers from overseas. Florida has captured a large share of the business. It has sunshine and good beaches with golf courses and other tourist attractions, like Disney World. America also has a stable legal system for property ownership, free from the pitfalls which make life difficult for foreigners in many countries. American also has a highly developed landscape and garden industry with highly skilled designers and craftsmen.

Florida has over 1,700 kms of beaches and year round sunshine. The Spanish discovered Florida in the 16th century and established citrus gardens (citrus fruits were very important to protect against scurvy).

South East Florida

Miami is famous for its beaches and cultural diversity. Miami Beach is an island across the bay from the city itself. The island's South Beach has an impressive collection of resorted Art Deco architecture. Florida Keys is a chain of 800 islands 200 kms south of the Florida peninsula linked to the mainland and each other by the Overseas Highway. Florida Keys are surrounded by the only coral reef in North America. The most southerly of the islands is Key West. It is a very popular for holiday homes but property prices, as well as the general cost of living are high.

Cental Florida

As one of the fastest growing cities in the US, Orlando has a very buoyant property market and prices remain below both the national and state average. If you plan to rent out your holiday home while you are not there, Orlando has an almost year round rental season. Disney World is just under 40 kms from downtown Orlando. Universal Studios, SeaWorld and Wet 'n Wild are also nearby. The Harry P Leu Gardens are famous for their camellias and roses.

South West Florida

Naples is a sophisticated and affluent city with more than its fair share of beautiful sandy beaches. On the downside, its location in the Gulf of Mexico means Naples is victim to hurricanes. Venice has some attractive northern Italian Renaissance architecture. The Everglades National Park is the largest remaining subtropical wilderness in the US. This vast wetland is home to unique flora and fauna. Waterfront houses on stilts are very popular. The Everglades is great if you are loooking for a tranquil reteat but be aware that the infrastructure of the area is not highly developed and property prices are high as demand exceeds supply.

East Florida

Vero Beach is an artistic city not far from Orlando on the east coast of Florida. There are only 18,000 residents and the city is green and open. The McKee Botanical Garden is a famous jungle garden at Vero Beach.

Beach girl, Florida

Florida Garden

Florida Seaside

Florida Mansion