FLORIDA DIGITAL BOOKS

By  Mike Miller  November 26, 2021

I started FloridaBackroadsTravel.com back in 2009.  During the years since then I have written more than 700 articles, many of which are still available on the website.

Those articles have been incorporated into the many books I've published since the website began. Some of the articles have been combined into PDF books available for sale on this page.



PDF BOOKS AVAILABLE


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This is a book of color photographs depicting the exterior of the known Carpenter Gothic Churches in Florida. The book contains photographs and historical information about 39 such churches in Florida.

Most of these wooden churches were built in the period from 1870 to 1910. They are a link to Florida’s heritage and history and a reminder that you can still enjoy Old Florida amidst all of the modern development of recent years.

Most of the churches are still active and extend a welcome to visitors. The book also includes a location map for each church.

Carpenter Gothic was an architectural style and construction technique that took advantage of Florida’s abundant timber resources and the fact that there were plenty of skilled house carpenters in the state.

The elements of this architecture replicate in wood some of the elegant gothic features of larger stone and masonry churches in other parts of the country. These elements include narrow pointed stained glass windows and wooden siding.

The buildings were typically made from old growth pine with steeply pitched roofs. Some churches had steeples, some did not. Quite often the siding was of board and batten construction.

There may have been more than 60 such churches in Florida at one time, and they were usually among the first buildings constructed in a town.

The book also contains photos and historical information about 5 other Florida churches that are probably not Carpenter Gothic, but are interesting nonetheless.


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Florida Festivals is a guide to Florida annual events and festivals that is organized into calendar months. You can select the month and click down to the event that interests you.

Florida is a huge state with 20 million permanent residents and more than 100 million visitors a year. The state probably has more festivals, art shows, craft fairs and historic annual events than any other state in the country.

Florida Festivals tells you about 17 significant annual events that capture the flavor and heritage of the state. You will also learn about statewide art and craft festivals in the 8 geographical regions of Florida.


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FLORIDA WINERIES is a guide book that introduces you to some certified Florida wineries, some with vineyards.

Many people are surprised to learn that Florida has so many wineries. Only a few of them make citrus wine; most make wine from various varieties of grapes or blueberries.

I visited each of the wineries and in my reviews include photographs and tells what to expect.  I chose to review only certified wineries.

This is because to become certified by the State of Florida, a winery has to publish the days and times they are open so that visitors can plan accordingly.


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This small book provides valuable information to potential liveaboards to help them decide if it's the right lifestyle for them.

The book covers a wide range of information including the pros and cons of living aboard; types of liveaboard boats and where to live; liveaboard expenses; and tips for what to do once you decide to live aboard.

It also offers advice for what you need in a galley, sleeping quarters, boat systems, boat propulsion, dining and living space, bathroom advice, and comfort items.

The book includes a glossary of terms and a list of useful books and web links for liveaboard wannabes. The book is illustrated with 44 photographs.


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This is a short book about the Everglades designed to be read in an hour or less. The mission of the book is to help interested people learn the basics of the problems facing the Florida Everglades.

Many years of development, agricultural activity and neglect have created a situation that endangers the viability of this valuable natural resource.

The book explores the history of the natural ecosystem and shows what happened to upset the natural order of things. It also presents a hopeful look at what is being done to reverse the damage done over the past 130 or more years.


THE FLORIDA BACKROADS TRAVEL SERIES is a collection of 8 books based on the geographical regions of the state.

The books take you off the beaten path on day trips to the quieter roads that defined the state in earlier years. Millions of people visit Florida every year and never really see it.

Things look pretty much the same from the interstate highways and toll roads. You see the same old billboards, gas stations, chain restaurants and tacky tourist trips all along your heavily traveled route.

These books will rescue you from interstate monotony and take you to what is called Old Florida, a part of the fastest growing state that is still a place of serenity, natural wonders and historic places.

There are eight geographic regions in Florida.  The lengthy table of contents allows you to click on anything that interests you in any of the regions.

The books cover historic towns, beaches, state parks and other places of interest. If a town has a good restaurant, the books will mention it along with some favorite lodging choices.

Each book has maps of recommended day trips with driving routes plainly marked.  You will learn where the best beaches are.

You will also learn about Florida State Parks. These parks are quiet treasures that will make your visit even more interesting.

The books don't spend much time on the major tourist attractions like Walt Disney World, Universal Studios and SeaWorld although it gives you enough information to find your way around those places.

Florida heritage and history is an important part of the state culture so each book has a brief regional history. The book also tells you about Florida festivals, including art shows and musical events, and gives you times and places so you can enjoy them during your visit.

You will also find a list of all 1,300 Florida heritage sites divided among the individual regional books.


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FLORIDA HERITAGE TRAVEL VOLUMES I, II, and III will entertain you with tidbits about Florida places off the beaten path and off beat people. Each book is a collection of articles from the Florida Heritage Ezine, the free newsletter emailed monthly by Mike Miller, the author of the travel website, FLORIDA-BACKROADS-TRAVEL.COM.

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Volume 1 contains 42 articles from the years 2009 through 2012.  Examples of places you will read about include Wigwam Village in Orlando; boom town Indialantic; The Kapok Tree restaurant in Clearwater; Doc Webb’s drugstore in St. Petersburg; St. Augustine’s Old Slave Market; Frank Lloyd Wright and the large collection of his buildings at Florida Southern College and a host of other eclectic meanderings throughout the state.


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Volume II contains 24 articles from the years 2013 and 2014. Examples of places you will read about include Yankeetown where Elvis made a movie; Cabbage Key where Jimmy Buffet was falsely reported to receive the inspiration to Cheeseburger in Paradise; Mandarin, the winter home of Harriett Beecher Stowe, Green Cove Springs and the U.S. Navy mothball fleet and many other eclectic adventures across the state.


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Volume III contains 12 articles from 2015 and a special article about Hurricane Charley in Punta Gorda. Examples of places you will read about include Carrabelle and its role in World War Two’s D-Day invasion; St. Leo University and Lee Marvin’s prep school; Ocklawaha and Ma Barker and the FBI shootout; Florida Scenic Highway 30A and the Gulf beaches and many other interesting places around the state.


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