With sugar-sand beaches, stunning sunsets, and a soft sea breeze, Florida offers an enticing respite with its slow pace of life. Whether you’re headed to Rosemary Beach, full of gourmet bistros and Colonial charm, or Miami, with its famed nightlife and Cuban flare, get in the mood for a seaside escape with these selections.
Read: Hoot by Carl Hiaasen
Celebrated Florida native Carl Hiaasen captures the wild and wacky side of the state in his many satirical novels. But his first foray into children’s literature won millions of hearts with its 2002 debut—and it’s still plenty entertaining for adults. Montana transplant Roy moves with his family to South Florida. Soon, the middle-schooler finds himself entangled in an ecological battle to save a colony of burrowing owls from the construction of a pancake house on their nesting grounds.
Read: Florida by Lauren Groff
A little on the heavier side, the Sunshine State gets cast in a gloomier pall with this anthology of 11 short stories from author Lauren Groff. Spanning different towns and decades, selections include a woman hunkering down from a hurricane, a man stuck in a canoe, and a college student living out of her car—all under the watchful eye of the state’s lush backdrop, a character of its own. (Florida was also former President Obama’s pick for Book of the Year in 2018.)
Watch: The Truman Show
Filmed on the scenic 30A Corridor in Seaside, this pop culture stronghold follows Truman Burbank (Jim Carrey), the unwitting subject of a 24-hour television show about his daily life. Watch as Truman begins to discover the truth about the circumstances of his existence amid idyllic views of the Florida coast—Seaside poses as a stand-in for the Hollywood set of “Seahaven Island.”