People always talk about what to do in Florida and the longest list boasts over thousands of attractions and activities. We asked the question ‘What Not To Do in Florida.’ Here are the top 10 answers:
1. Don’t go to the beach without sunblock. Though that’s a given, many people do not realize that even on a cloudy day, the sun’s UV rays can cause irreversible damage to the skin. “A tan is literally your body’s response to being injured by UV exposure,” says Darrell Rigel, MD, a clinical professor of dermatology at New York University Medical Center.
2. Don’t walk barefoot. The pavement, roads and sand get so hot, they can ill singe the bottom of your feet and cause 2nd degree burns. That also goes for your pet. You might not notice it, but if you can’t put the back of your hand on the hot surface for more than five seconds, it’s too hot.
3. Don’t ignore warning flags at the beach. The ocean is always unpredictable, and even on clear and calm days, hazards still exist A green flag is an all clear, but even on calm days, dangers and hazards still exist. Be aware, use caution and watch your children. A red flag warns of hazards in the water and two red flags means the water is closed to swimming; even for the strongest swimmer.
4. Don’t swim where there are warning signs of alligators. Despite clear yellow or green warning signs, many people are often too hot and too careless to take those warnings seriously and dip their feet or hands into unsafe waters. Beware, there are 1.3 million alligators in the state.
5. Don’t swim with wild dolphins. No matter how tempting this experience is, swimming with dolphins can be dangerous. Remember that people are visitors in their home and while their behavior in the water looks like play to us, it is integral to their pod structure and survival.
6. Don’t take turtle eggs or disturb a turtle nest on the beach. Florida’s turtle season runs from May 1 to October 31 when females turtles crawl out of the water, build a nest and lay their eggs. Disturbing this fragile process is a crime. There are special viewing tours that can be booked online.
7. Don’t put your hands under rocks or in bushes as there are 50 species of snakes in Florida. Only 6 are venomous, but the safest thing to do when encountering a snake is to leave it alone. Snakes play an important and beneficial role in the natural ecosystem.
8. Don’t drink and drive. Just don’t do it. Florida imposes heavy penalties on drunk drivers including a term of imprisonment of up six months for first-time offenders and a fine ranging from $500 to $1000.
9. If you have a short temper, high blood pressure or little patience for “bad drivers” or “slow drivers”, don’t come to Florida. It has been dubbed the road rage capital of the US and defines road rage as speeding, unsafe or improper lane change, following too closely, failure to yield right of way, improper passing, etc.
10. Don’t go surfing, kayaking or near water during a hurricane warning. Hurricanes bring high winds, heavy rainfall, storm surges, coastal and inland flooding and rip currents. In fact, always be prepared for a hurricane in Florida, have a plan and extra supplies on hand. The season runs June 1 - November 30.
Floridians are warm and welcoming. They know people come to their beaches and attractions and for their great food and diverse culture. Be mindful, respectful and a great guest.