Port Arthur in Texas

18 April 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  6 minutes

Rose Hill © Michael Reed/cc-by-sa-3.0

Rose Hill © Michael Reed/cc-by-sa-3.0

Port Arthur is a city in Jefferson County within the Beaumont–Port Arthur metropolitan area of the U.S. state of Texas. A small, uninhabited portion extends into Orange County; it is 90 mi (140 km) east of Houston. The largest oil refinery in the United States, the Motiva Refinery, is located in Port Arthur. Port Arthur is vulnerable to hurricanes and extensive damage to the city has been caused several times. Port Arthur’s Museum of the Gulf Coast is recognized as the area’s definitive collection of items and displays for figures from Port Arthur and the surrounding communities.   read more…

Theme Week Florida Coasts – Big Bend Coast

24 February 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  9 minutes

Dekle Beach © DiscoverTaylor/cc-by-sa-4.0

Dekle Beach © DiscoverTaylor/cc-by-sa-4.0

The Big Bend region of Florida is an informal region of the state. Different definitions of the region include counties stretching across northern Florida from the Apalachicola River to the St. Johns River. The Big Bend Coast, however, is the marshy coast without barrier islands that extends along the Gulf of Mexico coast of Florida from the Ocklockonee River (Wakulla County) to Anclote Key (Pasco County). Visit Florida, the state’s official tourism marketing corporation, uses varying definitions of the region, including just four counties, Jefferson, Taylor, Dixie and Levy counties, in one definition, and 12 counties, including Levy, Dixie, Gilchrist, Lafayette, Suwannee, Columbia, Hamilton, Baker, Union, Bradford, Clay, and Putnam counties, in another. The Big Bend Scenic Byway is a marked route through Franklin, Leon, and Wakulla counties.   read more…

Theme Week Florida Coasts – Forgotten Coast

23 February 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  6 minutes

Fishing boats in Apalachicola © Ebyabe/cc-by-sa-3.0

Fishing boats in Apalachicola © Ebyabe/cc-by-sa-3.0

Florida’s Forgotten Coast is a registered trademark coined in the early 1990s by the Apalachicola Bay Chamber of Commerce. The name is most commonly used to refer to a relatively quiet, undeveloped and largely uninhabited section of coastline stretching from Mexico Beach on the Gulf of Mexico to St. Marks on Apalachee Bay in the U.S. state of Florida. The nearest major cities are Tallahassee, about 90 miles (145 km) northeast of Apalachicola, and Panama City, home of Tyndall Air Force Base, about 60 miles (95 km) to the northwest.   read more…

Theme Week Mexico

11 January 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Theme Weeks, UNESCO World Heritage Reading Time:  22 minutes

Cancun and the Riviera Maya © Mardetanha - www.safainla.us/cc-by-sa-3.0

Cancun and the Riviera Maya © Mardetanha – www.safainla.us/cc-by-sa-3.0

Mexico, officially the United Mexican States (Spanish: Estados Unidos Mexicanos), is a country in the southern portion of North America. It is bordered to the north by the United States; to the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; to the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and to the east by the Gulf of Mexico. Mexico has approximately 129 million inhabitants, making it the world’s 13th-largest country by area, 10th-most populous country, and most populous Spanish-speaking nation. It is a federation comprising 31 states and Mexico City, its capital city and largest metropolis. Other major urban areas include Guadalajara, Monterrey, Puebla, Toluca, Tijuana, Ciudad Juárez, and León.   read more…

Theme Week Mexico – Isla Mujeres in the Caribbean

12 July 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  6 minutes

© flickr.com - dronepicr/cc-by-2.0

© flickr.com – dronepicr/cc-by-2.0

Isla Mujeres (“Women Island”) is an island in the Gulf of Mexico, about 13 kilometres (8.1 mi) off the Yucatán Peninsula coast. The island is approximately 7 kilometres (4.3 mi) long and 650 metres (2,130 ft) wide. To the east is the Caribbean Sea with a strong surf and rocky coast, and to the west the skyline of Cancún can be seen across the clear waters. The namesake town on the island has a population of 13,000 inhabitants. The island is part of the Isla Mujeres Municipality in the State of Quintana Roo, Mexico.   read more…

Clearwater Beach in Florida

24 November 2017 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  8 minutes

© Shannon Leigh Sandusky/cc-by-sa-3.0

© Shannon Leigh Sandusky/cc-by-sa-3.0

Clearwater Beach includes a resort area and a residential area on the Gulf of Mexico in Pinellas County on the west central coast of Florida. Located just west over the Intracoastal Waterway by way of the Clearwater Memorial Causeway from the city of Clearwater, of which it is part. Clearwater Beach is characterized by white sand beaches stretching for 2.5 miles (4 km) along the Gulf and sits on a barrier island. It has a full marina on the Intracoastal Waterway side and is linked on the south by a short bridge to another barrier island called Sand Key, where Sand Key Park is located.   read more…

Saint Petersburg in the Tampa Bay

25 August 2017 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  16 minutes

Downtown_Saint_Petersburg © John O'Neill/cc-by-sa-3.0

Downtown Saint Petersburg © John O’Neill/cc-by-sa-3.0

St. Petersburg is a city in Pinellas County in Florida. The population is at 261,000, making it the fifth-most populous city in Florida and the largest in the state that is not a county seat (the city of Clearwater is the seat of Pinellas County). St. Petersburg is the second-largest city in the Tampa Bay Area, after Tampa. Together with Clearwater, these cities comprise the Tampa–St. Petersburg–Clearwater Metropolitan Statistical Area, the second-largest in Florida with a population of around 2.8 million. St. Petersburg is located on a peninsula between Tampa Bay and the Gulf of Mexico, and is connected to mainland Florida to the north. St. Petersburg was founded in 1888 by John C. Williams, who purchased the land, and by Peter Demens, who brought the railroad industry into the area. As a part of a coin toss bet, the winner, Peter Demens, named the land after Saint Petersburg in Russia, while Williams opted to name the first hotel built which was named the Detroit Hotel, both named after their home towns respectively. St. Petersburg was incorporated as a town on February 29, 1892 and re-incorporated as a city on June 6, 1903.   read more…

Fort Myers on the Gulf of Mexico

28 July 2017 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  8 minutes

Fort Myers Beach sign © Sanibel sun

Fort Myers Beach sign © Sanibel sun

Fort Myers is the county seat and commercial center of Lee County in Florida, with a population of 74,000. Fort Myers is a gateway to the Southwest Florida region and a major tourist destination within Florida. The city is located 125 miles (200 km) southwest of Tampa and 137 miles (220 km) northwest of Miami. The winter homes of Thomas Edison (“Seminole Lodge”) and Henry Ford (“The Mangoes”) are a primary tourist attraction in the region. The city is named after Colonel Abraham Myers. The geographic statistical area is serviced by Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW), located southeast of the city. Fort Myers was one of the first forts built along the Caloosahatchee River as a base of operations against the Seminole Indians during the American Indian Wars. During the Seminole Wars, Fort Myers was a strategic location for its visibility and access to Atlantic waterways. During the American Civil War, Confederate blockade runners and cattle ranchers called Fort Myers home. These settlers prospered through trading with Seminole Indians and Union Soldiers.   read more…

Siesta Key on the Gulf of Mexico

1 March 2017 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  6 minutes

© siestakeychamber.com

© siestakeychamber.com

Siesta Key is a barrier island off the southwestern coast of Florida. It is situated between Roberts Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. A portion of it lies within the city boundary of Sarasota, but the majority of the key is in Sarasota County. After the probable Amerindian name of Zarazote for the area and the bay, the key was originally named “Sarasota Key” by European cartographers during exploration beginning in 1513. That name can be seen on maps from the early 18th century as well as on all local maps drawn before the name change to “Siesta Key” in the 1920s. The population is at 6,600.   read more…

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