TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (August 10, 2020): Recently, Miami Dade County celebrated the 75th anniversary of Virginia Key Beach, historically a Black-only beach established in 1945 and the site of a new civil rights museum set to break ground in 2021. Today, of course, things have changed, and the state boasts a thriving Black population, especially in cities like Jacksonville where nearly one third of the population identifies as Black.
Below is a sampling of the many Black-owned businesses that await travelers who are prepared to engage in safe and responsible travel to Florida.
For some good eating in Key West, Mo’s Restaurant serves up Creole flavors while Yahman’s Authentic Jamaican Jerk Shack makes its offer clear by its name. Food trucks like One Love Food Truck bring more island flare to Key West. Chef Melly’s in St. Petersburg features Cajun and island tastes with enough fried fish to break any diet.
Tallahassee’s food scene includes Q-Ti Cakes for delicious gourmet cupcakes and Pineappetit, a food truck that prepares unique pineapple bowls with meat and rice. Mo Betta BBQ is the truck of reference for succulent barbeque options, and seafood lovers will want to head to Leola’s Crab Shack. Try the Cajun fried turkey wings at Chelle’s Special Touch in Fort Myers and Sanibel. St. Augustine’s Corner Market provides all-natural groceries with community programs. Crystal River is home to Oysters’ Restaurant for some of the freshest shucked shellfish.
Look no further than Jacksonville for dozens of Black-owned restaurants, like gluten-free Grenville Kitchen or Not Your Daddy’s Ribs. There is a diversity of flavors and cooking styles that would sustain an entire story on their own.
For some culture in Punta Gorda and Englewood Beach, the Blanchard House Museum of African American History and Culture of Charlotte County features a local look at Black history. Daytona Beach features the Howard Thurman Home, former home of Martin Luther King Jr.’s mentor, while the African American Museum of the Arts highlights contributions by Caribbean cultures. The Lincolnville Museum and Cultural Center in St. Augustine looks back at 450 years of Black history.
For some activities in Amelia Island, cycle on the river with Amelia River Cycle and enjoy the marine life while supporting a Black-owned business. Consider a unique experience on a trolley with Newtown Alive Trolley Tours in Sarasota County. If visitors want to head back indoors, the innovative Sk8city Jacksonville welcomes skaters of all levels into its skating rink.
We have a rich well of other Black-owned businesses and experiences to pull from, so get in touch if you’d like to highlight this important side of Florida. It’s been overlooked in the travel media, but we want to get everyone talking about the state’s diverse Black-owned businesses.
For more information on the Sunshine State or to plan a 2020/21 vacation to Florida, visit www.VISITFLORIDA.com.
Symeria Palmer, Publicist
About VISIT FLORIDA
As the Sunshine State’s No. 1 industry, tourism was responsible for welcoming 131.4 million visitors in 2019. Based on the latest economic impact study, Florida visitors contributed $91.3 billion to Florida's economy and supported 1.5 million Florida jobs in 2018. According to the Office of Economic and Demographic Research, for every $1 the state invests in VISIT FLORIDA, the official tourism marketing corporation for the State of Florida, $2.15 in tax revenue is generated. VISIT FLORIDA promotes tourism to Florida through sales, advertising, promotions, public relations and visitor services programs. As a public/private partnership, VISIT FLORIDA serves more than 13,000 tourism industry businesses, including major strategic alliance partnerships with Busch Gardens Tampa, Disney Destinations, The Hertz Corporation, Hilton, LEGOLAND Florida Resort, SeaWorld Parks & Resorts Orlando, Simon Shopping Destinations and Universal Orlando Resort.