Florida’s beaches are very popular, drawing 35 million visitors a year, but in many cases, other opportunities for ecotourism and agritourism aren’t as well known. Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties in particular offer many opportunities for ecotourism, river recreation, biking and hiking, and visits to farmers’ markets, U-pick operations and historical landmarks. The biggest challenge has always been letting people know about the fun adventures that await them along with their beach trips. Naturally EscaRosa, a University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences website and mobile app, supports hundreds of local businesses in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties. The new app helps tour operators publicize their efforts and allows Florida visitors and residents alike to discover Florida off the beaten path. It’s just one example of the ways UF/IFAS Extension helps to support local businesses in Escambia County. In this video, Escambia Bay business owner Shawn Brown talks about the impact Naturally EscaRosa is having on the area.
Kayaking in Big Lagoon near Pensacola, Florida. UF/IFAS Photo by Tyler Jones