Northern Florida is the "quiet" part of the state, untouched by much of the frenetic development of the South and the Atlantic Coast. Here, the emphasis is on Florida's rich legacy of natural beauty, and the different ways of experiencing it: boating, canoeing, hiking and camping, cycling, and bird-watching are popular leisure activities. But that doesn't mean Northern Florida is devoid of more fast-paced excitement: the chief city, Gainesville, is home to the University of Florida, a sports mecca that boasts national championship teams in several sports. Gainesville also serves as the cultural center for the area, and is home to acclaimed galleries and theater groups.
The Gulf Coast of this region, the northern part of what is known as "the Nature Coast," is one of the most sparsely populated—and best preserved—areas of Florida. Vast wetlands near the coast provide habitat and nurseries for birds and other species. Winding through this part of the state is the famed Suwannee River.
News from Jacksonville and Northern Florida from WLTV
1.5 million expected for Bike Week
Mar 8, 2014 12:31 pm
Bikers are already roaring into Daytona Beach as Bike Week begins on Friday.
Gun show moves after announcing guest: George Zimmerman
Mar 8, 2014 10:10 am
The New Orlando Gun show is mixed up in controversy after announcing George Zimmerman will be a featured guest.
What drives a mother to harm her children
Mar 8, 2014 8:52 am
First Coast News sat down with a mental health professional to get an inside look into what makes these mothers snap.
Sheriff: 'Dangerous' fugitive off the streets
Mar 8, 2014 1:07 am
A federal fugitive is in custody Friday after surrendering to SWAT officers.
Suspects sought by JSO in reported home invasion
Mar 8, 2014 1:02 am
The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office is investigating a reported home invasion in Arlington area Friday night.
2 charged with child abuse
Mar 7, 2014 11:46 pm
Two people have been charged with neglect of a child causing great bodily harm Friday.
Family hospitalized after eating meat with LSD
Mar 7, 2014 11:27 pm
Authorities say a Tampa Bay area family was hospitalized after eating meat tainted with LSD.
'Party Down South' producers pull out of Pensacola
Mar 7, 2014 8:23 pm
Community outcry, Southern pride and the loss of key business deals drove producers to seek friendlier waters.
Car crashes into Southside business
Mar 7, 2014 7:51 pm
Tense moments inside a store, when a car came crashing through the front door of the Southern Nutrition Health Foods store.
Man stabbed in alleged domestic disturbance
Mar 7, 2014 4:57 pm
The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office investigating a domestic dispute Friday afternoon.