TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) – VISIT FLORIDA and Google are giving “couch surfing” a whole new meaning.
With the new Florida Beach Finder website, visitors can now use any computer or tablet to digitally dig their toes in the sand and tour more than 740 miles of the 825 miles of the state’s shoreline.
It’s part of a venture between VISIT FLORIDA, the state’s official marketing tourism agency, and Google’s Street Trekker Loan Program.
From Miami Beach to St. George Island, visitors can now walk every inch of Florida’s sandy shores.
WTXL was there in the summer of 2013 as Google trekkers were capturing images of St. George Island in Franklin County. It was part of a four-month long trek to capture Florida’s beaches to create a 360 degree panoramic experience.
VIDEO (August 6, 2013)
The tours are posted on www.VisitFlorida.com/beachfinder. Here’s how it works.
Visitors can “tune” their preferences based on four categories, basing results on your interest in a beach. The more “tune” your preference, the variation of results you’ll get.
VIDEO (Paul Phipps with VISIT FLORIDA appeared on WTXL Sunrise on May 21, 2014 to talk about the new website and the impact it'll have on the state's tourism industry.)
PHOTOS:See more photos from Google Trekkers capturing photos from St. Georgia Island. (Courtesy: All photos by Colin Hackley for VISIT FLORIDA)
Just like Google Maps’ traditional street view program, you can then digitally walk the beach of your choice. Along the way you’ll be able to see some of the attractions and learn about vacation at that area.
“For potential visitors, it’s an opportunity to dig their virtual toes into any of Florida’s beaches – and find their dream beach before they come. For Florida, it’s an opportunity to showcase that we have the greatest variety of beach experiences in the world,” said Susannah Costello, VISIT FLORIDA Vice President, Global Brand.
READ MORE: VISIT FLORIDA and Google team up to map Florida Beaches (August 6, 2013)