Florida, the Sunshine State ~ Fantastic Florida Attractions & Some Interesting Facts

Sunrise at Fort Walton Beach in Florida

Sunrise at Fort Walton Beach in Florida
Sunrise at Fort Walton Beach in Florida | Source

Florida Vacation


Florida's nickname is the "Sunshine State."

Is it any wonder that land-locked northerners in the dead of winter when there are piles of snow outside their doors and icicles hanging from nearby tree branches start yearning for a little respite?

Of course other southern states like Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and southern California pick up their fair share of visitors during that same time of year.

But Florida was actually designated the "Top Destination State" in the year 2011.

To me it is no wonder. Not only does it have tropical and sub-tropical weather (for the most part) to warm those bones of the cold weary, but seemingly endless beaches for those who still wish to get a golden tan and play in the surf and sand.

Within the confines of this southeastern state are attractions that are also seemingly endless...just like the pristine beaches.

Come along and take a look at some of the sites we have visited on different vacation trips to Florida.


Silver Springs, Florida

Fantastic scenery at Silver Springs, Florida.  No wonder Tarzan movies were filmed here!
Fantastic scenery at Silver Springs, Florida. No wonder Tarzan movies were filmed here! | Source

Photos regarding things to do and see in Florida.

Underwater Mermaids at Weeki Wachee Springs (old postcard photo) ~ See today's mermaids there!
Underwater Mermaids at Weeki Wachee Springs (old postcard photo) ~ See today's mermaids there! | Source
Just some of the natural sponges at the Greek diving capital of the world ~ Tarpon Springs
Just some of the natural sponges at the Greek diving capital of the world ~ Tarpon Springs | Source
See what the gorgeous Cypress Gardens looked like during our visit there.
See what the gorgeous Cypress Gardens looked like during our visit there. | Source
In addition to the winter homes of Edison and Ford, see the laboratory and old car collections plus gorgeous grounds.
In addition to the winter homes of Edison and Ford, see the laboratory and old car collections plus gorgeous grounds. | Source
Spectacular Ringling Brothers Art Museum!
Spectacular Ringling Brothers Art Museum! | Source
This is just a sampling of what you will see at the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens
This is just a sampling of what you will see at the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens | Source

Beautiful beaches of Okaloosa Island, Fort Walton Beach, & Destin, Florida

Where Florida is located...

A markerFlorida -
Florida, USA
[get directions]

Sites in Florida

Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom
Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom | Source
John and Mable Ringling winter home on the banks of Sarasota Bay in Florida.
John and Mable Ringling winter home on the banks of Sarasota Bay in Florida. | Source
Flamingos on Discovery Island.  Just one of many animals we got to see while visiting there.
Flamingos on Discovery Island. Just one of many animals we got to see while visiting there. | Source

Florida Friendly Flowers you are likely to see in this state.

Alfred B. Maclay State Gardens in Tallahassee

Alfred B. Maclay State Gardens in Tallahassee
Alfred B. Maclay State Gardens in Tallahassee | Source

Tourist Attractions in Florida


This state seems to have another tourist attraction just about every few miles or so!


While some of them are man-made like the fantastic Epcot and Magic Kingdom of Walt Disney World fame, most have simply capitalized on the natural surroundings which are unique to the area.


A good portion of Florida juts out as a peninsula separating the Atlantic Ocean from the Gulf of Mexico. That accounts for it having "the longest coastline in the contiguous United States" and providing all of those resplendent beaches which lure people from near and far.


Because of the mild climate...many people in addition to the sixty million visitors each year...have decided to call this state their home.


It is the fourth most populous state out of fifty in the U.S.


Many people of normal means live there. But people of great wealth have also settled there if even for a part of the year.


As so often happens, some of these beautiful and historic sites have been donated by these individuals or family members to the state and now they can be enjoyed by anyone wishing to visit. Those residents who live nearby can enjoy these attractions often and for various events held there throughout the year.


Such is the case with places such as the Ringling Mansion or the Ford and Edison homes and gardens. Speaking of gardens, there is no shortage of spectacular ones in Florida!


Do you like blooming orchids or hibiscus or bougainvillea? How about swaying palm trees or banana trees? Would you like to pick some fresh citrus off of your own backyard trees or see them growing in abundance in professionally grown groves? For anyone who likes to putter around in the yard and grow things year round...then Florida just might be your kind of paradise.


For those who like to walk beaches and pick up shells...some of the best seashells can be found right in Florida. I have an uncle who likes to collect sharks teeth and he has amassed quite a collection from beach-combing in Florida.

Ponce de Leon

Source

Flag of Florida

Flag of Florida
Flag of Florida | Source

Manatee

Manatee
Manatee | Source

Kayaking in the Florida Mangroves

Florida Facts


Native Americans originally roamed these lands. Evidence goes back many thousands of years of their existence in these parts of America.

Like so often happened, the Native American Indians were decimated in numbers due to disease (they had no natural immunity against diseases brought over by the Europeans) and also multiple battles with the peoples coming from across the seas.

There are Indian mounds that have been preserved in various parts of Florida that can be still be viewed.

Juan Ponce de Léon first was credited with finding what is now known as Florida in 1513. Spanish rule persisted for a while until colonists from England and France also tried to settle there.

When under British rule back in 1763, the state was actually divided and St. Augustine was the capital of East Florida and Pensacola was the capital of West Florida.

Florida became the 27th State of the United States in 1845.

It was not too many years later in 1861 that it seceded and became part of the Confederate States of America. That was the tumultuous period of the War between the States or Civil War as it was also known which lasted until 1865.

Florida's capital city is now Tallahassee.

An interesting bit of trivia...

Florida has the "lowest highpoint of any U.S. state" and it is a mere 345 feet (105 meters) above sea level.

No Rocky Mountains to be found here!

The national parks in Florida feature instead such things as mangrove forests, coral reefs, bird and marine life preservation areas, islands and sites containing fresh, brackish and salt waters.

For nature lovers and history buffs there is much to love in Florida. Of course it is also a playground for those who like the game of golf, tennis or any type of water sport. Photographers have endless possibilities of things to capture in their viewfinders.

So many reasons in addition to the moderate climate why tourism is the largest part of Florida's economy!




The Beauty of Florida

Vacationing in Florida


Perhaps this will have reminded you of some of the places you have visited in Florida? If you have never vacationed in Florida, this may encourage you to put it on your bucket list of sites to see.

It would take some time to visit this state from north to south and east to west with all of the many Florida attractions to be seen and enjoyed. It is the 22nd largest of the 50 states in the U.S.

I know that I have many more sites in Florida that still remain on my list of desired places to someday see.

If any of the locations listed above have captured your interest, just click on the highlighted links near the top of this page to learn more plus see many more photos. Enjoy!

Dazzling white sands at Fort Walton Beach

Dazzling white sands at Fort Walton Beach
Dazzling white sands at Fort Walton Beach | Source

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4.9 out of 5 stars from 10 ratings of Florida Attractions

About this author...

To read the bio of Peggy W as well as many more of her hubs which include travel, gardening, recipes and more...CLICK HERE.

© 2012 Peggy Woods

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Comments are welcomed. Thanks! 68 comments

Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 4 weeks ago from Houston, Texas Author

Hi Peg,

It must have been so much fun living in Florida with all of those many attractions to enjoy. I'll bet your home was popular with guests!


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 4 weeks ago from Dallas, Texas

All these wonderful attractions and photos remind me of the years I lived in Florida. Whenever guests would visit from out of town, we'd go to Disney World or Sea World or Weeki Wachee Springs. Fishing was great and so was the weather. Thanks for all the reminders of my home state.


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 20 months ago from Houston, Texas Author

Hi Mary,

You are lucky to live in such a gorgeous state with so many attractions. Like you, I have not seen everything in Texas either. It would be a full time job exploring every nook and cranny of both of our states. Thanks for the votes and share.


mary615 profile image

mary615 20 months ago from Florida

I have lived in Florida since 1965, and I still have not seen all the many attractions we have.

I love living here. You did a wonderful job of highlighting our many attractions. Course my favorite is Disney. I never tire of taking my grandchildren there.

Voted this UP, and shared.


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 2 years ago from Houston, Texas Author

Hi Au fait,

Yes...many people nicknamed "snowbirds" end up heading south this time of year to warmer climates and Florida gets their fair share of them. It is a beautiful state to explore. There are still many areas of that state that I would enjoy exploring! Thanks for the pin.


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