Great Places in Florida – 2015 Nominees
VOTING FOR THE SECONDÂ ANNUAL GREAT PLACES IN FLORIDA AWARD IS OPEN!
REVIEW EACH OF THE FINALISTS BELOW, PICK YOUR CHOICE, AND VOTE HERE:
Welcome to downtown Lake Worth, a colorful, artistic, and vibrant cultural landscape! Our eclectic mix of shops, restaurants, art galleries, music venues and unique specialty shops means that there is never a shortage of things to do.
Lake Worth, long known for its charming eccentricities in art deco architecture, culture and people has opened its arms to a rebirth dedicated to the arts. This rebirth is reflected in the many locally-owned boutiques, art galleries, vintage shops specialty and jewelry stores.
Home to the Cultural Council of Palm Beach County, the Lake Worth Playhouse, Stonzek Theatre, Bamboo Room & LULA Lake Worth Arts, Lake Worth is a true hub for the creative mind.
Lake Worth has the intimacy of a small town with the convenience of a thriving urban center.
Residents and visitors alike all believe that Lake Worth is one of the Great Places in Florida!
Stories of the past beckon from every corner of Historic Downtown Fernandina Beach. This enchanting Victorian seaport village was once a stomping ground for pirates, Gilded Age millionaires, bootleggers, shrimpers, and other colorful characters. Today, the National Historic District spans over 50 blocks and is rich with eclectic shops, a diverse mix of restaurants, and lovingly preserved architecture. Tour in a horse-drawn carriage, book a room in one of the elegant B&Bs, or take a boat ride from the harbor to watch the sunset. Snap a picture in front of a statue of a pirate or one with David Yulee, known as the Father of the Florida Railroad who designed downtown to make it “the Manhattan of the South.” He sits in front of the historic Train Depot, now the Amelia Island Welcome Center where historic preservation meets 21st century technology, all enabled by friendly ambassadors.
Nowhere in Florida is the power of good urban planning embodied more than on Gaines Street in Tallahassee. In less than a decade, the corridor has been transformed from a mere thoroughfare to a destination. People no longer travel DOWN Gaines Street, they travel TO Gaines Street.
A road diet, exceptional urban design guidelines, and $28 million of infrastructure improvements have led to over $250 million in private investment along the corridor. What was once a high speed urban arterial lined with aged industrial buildings and vacant brownfields is now a pedestrian-oriented destination district replete with residential, retail, and cultural uses.
Where only automobiles dared to tread before, one can now find students, families, and visitors strolling along wide, tree-lined sidewalks, visiting restaurants and local businesses, and sharing in the marvel that is good urban design.
One of Polk County’s treasured Environmental Areas, Circle B Bar Reserve on the northwest shore of Lake Hancock, is a former cattle ranch that today boasts a wide variety of plants and animals. You can see several distinct ecosystems in this reserve of only 1,267 acres. You’re almost guaranteed to see alligators in Lake Hancock, often considered the headwaters of the Peace River, which flows more than 100 miles from Polk County southwest to the Gulf of Mexico. Additional to the trails, outlooks and gazebo, it also includes the Polk’s Nature Discovery Center, a free education and information center that was opened November 2008. Activities on the site include hiking, jogging, bicycling, wildlife viewing and photography, picnicking, horseback riding, fishing, canoeing, environmental and cultural education and interpretation, astronomy, tram tours, geocaching, play areas, nature festivals. This special place provides nature-based recreation and education to Polk County residents and visitors.