10th Annual Great Places in Florida People's Choice Voting is Now Open!


Great Places in Florida is a unique awards program as all nominations are submitted by communities and the public determines the winner. Each year the nominees focus on unique, memorable places that work for the good of their community and attract people to visit them. The award is an annual selection of places that represent the gold standard of having a true sense of place, cultural and historical interest, community involvement, and a vision for tomorrow. A newly restructured program includes an annual theme that incorporates planning elements that contribute to the “greatness” of a space or place. This year’s theme is Great Resilient Places. A Great Resilient Place embodies the ability to thrive amidst changing conditions and to conserve resources for present and future generations.

Contest timeline:
  • People’s Choice Award voting runs: Sept. 4 – Sept. 29, 2023
  • Winner will be announced: Monday, Oct. 2, 2023 to kick off National Community Planning Month activities. 

Check out this year's finalists below and cast your vote today!

Wellington Environmental Preserve at the Marjory Douglas Everglades (Village of Wellington)

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Exploring Wellington: Wellington Environmental Preserve

The Wellington Environmental Preserve at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Everglades Habitat is a 365-acre water impoundment area with nature trails pathways, and wetland/upland areas. It was planned, designed and constructed through a partnership between South Florida Water Management District and the Village of Wellington. In compliance with the 1994 Everglades Forever Act, rainwater from Wellington must be cleansed of phosphorus before it enters the Everglades via Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge and Water Conservation Area. Interior uplands and constructed wetlands provide a living lab of Florida flora and fauna. A six-story observation tower provides a great aerial perspective of the surrounding area including the Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge, Water Conservation 2A, the Village of Wellington, and Glades Agricultural Area. The Wellington Environmental Preserve also includes a 3.6-mile perimeter Equestrian Trail that is an extension of the approximately 65-mile Wellington bridle trail system.

The Bay (City of Sarasota)

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The Bay is a great resilient public space that fosters resilient ecological shorelines, promotes restoration efforts along Sarasota Bay, and organizes free, inclusive educational and community events. A compelling first phase following an inclusive master planning process, The Bay has become the City of Sarasota’s signature waterfront park that embodies the community-driven vision, One Park for All. Located where the city’s iconic Boulevard of the Arts meets the Sarasota Bay, The Bay is a living demonstration of 21st century sustainability principles, a memorable community gateway to and on the water, and, in its craft, a loving reflection of Sarasota’s unique natural and cultural context. The Bay Park is a 53± acre master planned park that brings together active, changing spaces for Sarasota’s diverse community, regional trail and mobility connections, and intimate places of deep nature immersion within the city for generations to come.

Downtown St. Augustine

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Resilient St. Augustine

Founded in 1565, St. Augustine is the nation’s oldest, continually occupied city. There is no shortage of history and cultural assets in the heart of downtown St. Augustine, including our Town Plan National Historic Landmark district, five local historic districts, numerous properties designated on the National Register of Historic Places and as National Historic Landmarks, an abundance of archaeological resources, and seven National Register Historic Districts extending from our city’s core. St. Augustine is committed to resiliency and protecting the community built upon our precious cultural and historical resources such as the Castillo de San Marcos, Hotel Ponce de Leon (Flagler College) and Hotel Alcazar (City Hall) and St. George Street. Remaining resilient in the face of national disasters such as hurricanes and flooding are crucial to preserve the historic integrity and diversity of the Nation’s Oldest City and keep St. Augustine a thriving community for present and future generations.