Introduction Training Florida Home Front Floridian Service Impact on Florida
Florida on the Eve of War
Pearl Harbor and its Impact
Military Training in Florida
Aviation
Land Warfare
Amphibious
WAAC Training at Daytona Beach
The German Submarine Threat
Civil Defense & Patrols
Rationing & Government Effort
Scrap, Gardens & Kids' Activities
War Bonds & Women's Roles
Homegrown Armor: The Alligator
National Guard & State Guard
United States Army
Navy & Marines
Coast Guard
Army Air Force
Women on Duty
African Americans
War Heroes
War's Impact on Florida
Citrus Goes to War
Industry and War Products
Tourism During the War Years
The War Ends
How WWII Changed the State

War's Impact on Florida: Tourism During the War Years
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Restrictions on travel, and a blackout along the coast hurt Florida's tourism industry during the early months of the war. To compensate for the loss of tourist dollars, however, the military took over hotels and restaurants for use as barracks and mess halls. By the end of 1942, for example, more than 70,000 trainees attending various schools run by the Army Air Force were staying in hotel rooms in Miami and Miami Beach. Servicemen were eventually billeted in hotels throughout the state, such as St. Augustine's luxurious Ponce de Leon, while the Women's Army Corps "invaded" Daytona Beach.

Later in the war, the tourist trade returned, with Florida promoting itself as a vacation getaway for hardworking, and now highly paid, civilian workers. In 1943, tourism in Florida increased by twenty percent over the previous year, and gambling at south Florida racetracks reached all-time highs. Florida's state government publicized the availability of hotel rooms for civilians, and even secured additional trains to transport tourists. The state's promotion of its tourist industry drew criticism in some quarters for its inappropriateness during a period of national sacrifice, but in general Americans recognized the need for relaxation and recreation, even in time of war.

Florida Remembers WWII
Palm-shaded Surfside Park, Miami Beach -- (Collections of the Museum of Florida History)
 Palm-shaded Surfside Park, Miami Beach
(Collections of the Museum of Florida History)
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