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Posted: 6/16/2021 3:34:23 PM EDT
We have never been to Florida and are driving down to Jacksonville & then down the coast to NASA, spending a week at a armed forces vacation "resort" in Orlando as a base to check out the state & then going down to the keys for a couple days, across the Everglades & following along the coast as much as possible to Pensacola & the air museum and then home.

We are looking at retiring in Florida (among a couple other states) and thus doing our homework checking out the state & seeing what it's like.

I've got LEOSA credentials and was wondering what if any tourist areas that do not allow firearms, or other places that guns are bad.

While we are staying in Orlando, it's as a base to drive all over the state, it seems semi centrally located to check out things.

Good places to eat all over the state, fresh fish, unique food stufs, I understand Cuban coffee is most excellent and worth tracking down

Places to say away from, high crime areas, places where idiots out exploring with out of state plates on a truck could get in trouble???

Beaches to check out, understand we can drive on only a couple

VA Hospitals, major hospitals & health care centers, I'm a disabled vet and use the VA for my health care while also going to specialists at non VA hospitals

Trying to pre plan as much as possible as 2 weeks in not a lot of time to learn about a state
Link Posted: 6/16/2021 3:53:59 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/16/2021 3:54:31 PM EDT by kissfan]
I'm up near Gainesville, so if you want to know anything about "Real Florida" just hit me up. Anything south of Interstate 4 is actually heading north again.

That being said, here is the carry statute for CCW holders:

(12)(a)A license issued under this section does not authorize any person to openly carry a handgun or carry a concealed weapon or firearm into:1.Any place of nuisance as defined in s. 823.05;
2.Any police, sheriff, or highway patrol station;
3.Any detention facility, prison, or jail;
4.Any courthouse;
5.Any courtroom, except that nothing in this section would preclude a judge from carrying a concealed weapon or determining who will carry a concealed weapon in his or her courtroom;
6.Any polling place;
7.Any meeting of the governing body of a county, public school district, municipality, or special district;
8.Any meeting of the Legislature or a committee thereof;
9.Any school, college, or professional athletic event not related to firearms;
10.Any elementary or secondary school facility or administration building;
11.Any career center;
12.Any portion of an establishment licensed to dispense alcoholic beverages for consumption on the premises, which portion of the establishment is primarily devoted to such purpose;
13.Any college or university facility unless the licensee is a registered student, employee, or faculty member of such college or university and the weapon is a stun gun or nonlethal electric weapon or device designed solely for defensive purposes and the weapon does not fire a dart or projectile;
14.The inside of the passenger terminal and sterile area of any airport, provided that no person shall be prohibited from carrying any legal firearm into the terminal, which firearm is encased for shipment for purposes of checking such firearm as baggage to be lawfully transported on any aircraft; or
15.Any place where the carrying of firearms is prohibited by federal law.

How this holds for LEOSA I do not know... someone will come along and address that I'm sure.

Orlando, Miami and Tampa Bay are traffic nightmares, so be prepared for that.  They're also the areas where most of the 'yankees' tend to migrate.
Crime is highest in south Florida and the Orlando area.  Not so bad in Tampa and much less in the north part of the state.  The exception being certain parts of Jacksonville.

Feel free to message me if you have questions about north/central (Ocala/Gainesville/Lake City).

ETA:  We have good VA facilities here in Gainesville and in Lake City.
Link Posted: 6/16/2021 4:59:45 PM EDT
...then going down to the keys for a couple days,...
View Quote

Plan this out carefully.  Once you get on the road/bridges south of Miami, it's all 1 lane each direction to Key West.  If you go at prime times (Friday or Sat southbound, Sunday afternoon/Monday northbound) it's stop and go traffic.
Link Posted: 6/16/2021 5:09:04 PM EDT
Keep this in mind...you are coming down at the hottest time of year (June to August).  Orlando is the hottest place (no sea breezes and surrounded by shallow ponds and lakes to increase the humidity).  Orlando weather is nothing like the other parts (J'Ville, Daytona, Tampa, Naples, etc.).

Northern FL can still get cold in the winter, even down to below freezing for short periods.  I avoid Pensacola/Tallahassee/Jacksonville for that reason.

The gulf side is pretty, but has no surf.  It's also the most expensive part of FL other than Miami.  It does have the best golf courses, but those are pretty much everywhere.

Miami and the panhandle are, historically, the most likely to get a hurricane.  Miami is also a madhouse when they declare an evacuation.

Be aware of sinkholes.  The Tampa area of the gulf through to about Orlando is pretty much houses that have had a sinkhole and ones that will.  It's the nature of the type of rock/sediment in that area that is prone to being dissolved.

Away from the coasts, the real estate is cheaper.  But you come to FL for the beach, unless you have horses or cattle.

Link Posted: 6/16/2021 5:44:27 PM EDT
What kissfan said about Real Florida.  I draw the line separating Real Florida from S. Florida between Crystal River or a tad south across to Ormond or maybe Daytona.

For real serious health stuff Gainesville has Shands/UF Health.

Gulf Coast is expensive in the S. and up near Pensacola, dirt cheap in Cedar Key, Steinhatchee, etc.

If like me you are not a fan of the beach (I hate the sand, sun w/o shade and surf... ) I strongly recommending checking out our wonderful springs here in Real Florida.

Crystal River, Homasassa, Manatee, the Rainbow and Silver rivers, Itchetucknee, Ginnie, 3 different places named Blue Springs, etc.
Link Posted: 6/16/2021 5:52:00 PM EDT
Link Posted: 6/16/2021 11:42:07 PM EDT
Thanks, some great info, will need to pull op a map and see what lines ya are talking about, know the orlando area is a tourist hellhole & just staying their due to the stupid low price for a week

Having a really good VA is a primary concern & do not want to drive more than 50ish miles to one & a closer clinic would be nice, as long as it's a good clinic

Guess I need to get some monkey butt, don't want to get swamp ass while I'm running around in the heat of the summer in jeans

Link Posted: 6/17/2021 6:02:30 AM EDT
VA in Lake city which roughly 1 hr from Gainesville and Jax respectively for specialty medical services, etc.
Link Posted: 6/17/2021 9:23:51 AM EDT
My BIL uses the VA clinic in Viera. I plan to start using them next year.
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