There are hundreds of reasons to visit Florida. The world’s best theme parks, wildlife, and other sights are only appetizers. Hence, there is no surprise why Florida remains one of the top leaders of tourism in the United States. Find out what makes this place so beloved with these Florida facts.
- Florida became the 27th state of the U.S. on March 3, 1845.
- Its state nickname is ‘The Sunshine State.
- Florida is the 3rd-most populated state in the United States.
- Florida’s state motto is ‘In God We Trust.’
- The state has over 130 airports. The Orlando International Airport is its busiest, serving over 45 million passengers each year.
- There are 67 counties in the state of Florida.
- Tallahassee is Florida’s capital.
- The most popular counties in Florida are Palm Beach County and Miami-Dade County.
- Tourism, agriculture, aerospace, and yachting are the major industries of Florida.
- Spanish explorer, Ponce de Leon named ‘Florida’ in the year 1513.
- Many historians believe that the discovery of Florida occured on Easter or Palm Sunday. Furthermore, the word “Florida” comes from the Spanish word “Florida,” which means “full of flowers.”
- Florida is the second most visited state in the U.S. after California.
- Florida is the flattest state in the United States.
- Britton Hill is the highest point of the state with only 345 feet above sea level.
- Located in the northeastern part of the state, St. Augustine, Florida is the oldest city in the United States.
- Palm Beach, Florida is a favorite getaway for tourists all over the world.
- Florida’s Fort Lauderdale is the “Yachting Capital of the World.”
- Orlando, Florida is home to the world’s best theme parks.
- The panther is the state animal of Florida.
- Florida has more toll roads and bridges than any other state in the United States.
Americans visit Florida the most.
Over 10 million international or overseas tourists visit Florida every year. However, this number is nothing compared to the number of local Americans that visit the Sunshine State. Every year, around 112 million Americans travel to Florida which is roughly a third of the United State’s population.
The Everglades is a popular tourist destination in Southern Florida.
Florida has 1.5-million-acre wetland reserves on the southern tip of the state, known as the Everglades National Park. The Everglades is the only place on earth where crocodiles and alligators live together. It is also home to over a hundred different species of animals and plants.
The Everglades helps protect endangered species.
Everglades is also home to some of the most endangered species such as the leatherback turtle, West Indian manatee, and Florida panther. Back in the year 1970, the panthers in Florida almost became extinct with only 10 to 20 individuals left. With all the efforts of preserving them, Everglades managed to maintain its ecology with over 130 panthers as of today.
The St. Johns River is the longest river in Florida.
Stretching close to 500 kilometers long, the St. Johns River connects around 3.5 million people within its watersheds. Furthermore, in contrast to most rivers where water flows from north to south, the St. Johns River’s water flows from the south going to the north.
Florida is one of the world's leading agricultural states.
The Sunshine State is the biggest producer of watermelons in the United States. Because of Florida’s perpetually sunny weather, the state can also grow different varieties of crops like tomatoes, strawberries. However, it does not stop there. The state’s major crops include citrus, sugarcane, peppers, cotton, peanuts, snap beans, and potatoes.
There are minor differences in the climate of the north and south Florida.
Florida’s climate in the north and central parts is humid subtropical, characterized by hot and humid summers and cold to mild winters. On the other hand, Southern Florida has a tropical climate with a wet season and a dry season.
Tallahassee and Monticello had the coldest and hottest temperatures recorded in Florida.
Tallahassee recorded the coldest temperature on Feb 13, 1899, at -19°C. Meanwhile, Monticello in Jefferson County recorded the hottest temperature of a scorching 43°C on June 29, 1931.
Florida houses the biggest city in the US.
Jacksonville, Florida is the biggest city in the United States with an area of 2,265 km² and a population of almost 1 million. Jacksonville got its name after Andrew Jackson, the 7th U.S. President from 1829 to 1837.
Florida has the most golf courses in the country.
Home to over 1,300 golf courses, many consider that Florida is the golf capital of the world. Palm Beach County has more golf courses than any other county in the entire US.
Florida has 2 NBA teams.
Miami Heat and the Orlando Magic are the two NBA teams that hail from Florida. The Miami Heat was launched in 1988, while Orlando Magic joined the most popular basketball league in the world a year later.
Orlando is the most visited city in Florida.
No wonder why the NBA team Orlando Magic is called “Magic.” The name “Magic” stems from Orlando’s iconic theme park, Disney World. The theme park attracts over 50 million visitors each year. With this in mind, Orlando’s total visitors every year skyrockets to 75 million annual visitors.
There are 10 major theme parks in Orlando.
Disney World has a total of 4 theme parks, including the Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Epcot, and Hollywood Studios. On the other hand, Universal Orlando has 2 theme parks which are Universal Studios and the Islands of Adventure. Outside these two main tourist spots, SeaWorld, Discovery Cove, Legoland, and Busch Gardens are also found in Florida.
Ten million people visit Universal Studios Orlando every year.
Universal Studios is not very far from Disney World – it’s just a 20-minute drive away. Compared to Disney World, which is the most visited vacation resort in the world, Universal Studios also gets a fair share of 10 million visitors every year.
Florida is the 2nd most popular state retirees move to.
Due to its great weather, state lifestyle and environment, roughly 1,000 people move to Florida every day. The Sunshine State attracts well over 300,000 new residents every year, across its counties. After New Mexico, Florida is the 2nd most popular state retirees move to. How’s that for neat Florida facts?
Florida has the oldest population in the United States.
Since Florida is a popular state for retirement, one might think it’s why Florida has the oldest population of any US state. Out of its population of 22 million, 19% of them are over 65 years old. This is followed by Maine with 18%. Surprisingly, New Mexico falls on the 21st spot with the oldest population at 15% even if it is the most popular state to retire to.
The Orange blossom is Florida's state flower.
The 1909 legislature selected the orange blossom as the state flower of Florida. Orange blossoms are one of the most fragrant flowers in the state. Many of these white flowers spread their fragrance throughout central and south Florida during orange blossom time.
Hurricane Michael is the strongest hurricane that ever hit Florida.
The most powerful hurricane to hit the Sunshine State was Hurricane Michael, striking 260 kilometers per hour. Hurricane Michael formed on October 7, 2018, and dissipated on October 16, 2018, amassing a total damage of $25.1 billion.
It is uncommon for Florida to have earthquakes.
Florida sits far from any tectonic plate boundaries. Because of this. earthquakes are very rare in the state, although they may still occur. Along with North Dakota, Florida experiences the fewest earthquakes of all US states.
Florida came out of the ocean around 30 million years ago.
In prehistoric times, Florida was submerged underwater. However, due to geological changes over time, Florida finally emerged from the sea some 30 million years ago.
The ocean may "claim" Florida again.
According to studies, over next the hundred years, the ocean may submerge Florida again. As sea levels continue to rise, Miami, for instance, is at the risk of flooding over by 2060.