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Fun Facts About Florida

Updated on April 4, 2017
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Since completing university, Paul has worked as a bookseller; librarian; and freelance writer. Born in the UK, he now lives in Florida.

The Miami skyline.  The city has a population of 419,777, and is the 42nd most populated city proper in the US.  The wider the Miami metropolitan area is the  fourth-largest urban area in the US, and has a population of about 5.5 million.
The Miami skyline. The city has a population of 419,777, and is the 42nd most populated city proper in the US. The wider the Miami metropolitan area is the fourth-largest urban area in the US, and has a population of about 5.5 million. | Source

The "Sunshine State" is internationally famous as a tourist destination, the production of citrus fruits such as oranges, its sports teams and facilities, and many other things.

A peninsula located in the southeastern USA, Florida has the Gulf of Mexico to its west, the Atlantic ocean to its east, and the Straits of Florida to the south. To the north are the US states of Georgia and Alabama.

I hope that you enjoy reading my fun facts about Florida and find them interesting.

1. Florida became the 27th state to be admitted to United States in 1845.

2. The state’s nickname is “The Sunshine State”.

Florida isn't so much a place where one goes to reinvent oneself, as it is a place where one goes if one no longer wished to be found.

— Douglas Coupland

3. The state capital is Panhandle city of Tallahassee, the 125th largest city in the United States and home to Florida State University.

4. Saint Augustine is the oldest continuously inhabited settlement in the USA, having been founded in 1565 by the Spanish explorer, Pedro Menéndez de Avilés. It was the capital of Spanish Florida for more than two centuries.

Cannons on top of the Castillo de San Marcos, St Augustine.  The oldest masonry fort in the continental United States, construction of the fort began in 1672, following the designs of  Spanish engineer Ignacio Daza.
Cannons on top of the Castillo de San Marcos, St Augustine. The oldest masonry fort in the continental United States, construction of the fort began in 1672, following the designs of Spanish engineer Ignacio Daza. | Source

5. Gatorade originally comes from Gainesville and takes its name from the University of Florida Gators, where the drink was first made in 1965.

6. Key West is the hottest place in the USA, if measured by average temperature.

I kinda like Florida. It's hot as hell, but we moved to Tallahassee, which is so close to Georgia. It really wasn't Florida the way people think of Florida. It wasn't south Florida. But you could still easily drive to Panama City Beach and get a little bit of Redneck Riviera if you want that. Get some airbrushed T-shirts on, and you're done.

— Tony Hale

7. Florida has 663 miles of beaches.

8. The state’s largest lake is Lake Okeechobee, which covers an areas of 700 square miles. It is the second largest freshwater lake in the USA.

9. Residents of the state are known as “Floridians”.

American crocodile.  Alligators are common throughout Florida, but crocodiles can only be found at the southernmost tip of the state.  Florida is the only place where crocodiles and alligators can be found living side by side.
American crocodile. Alligators are common throughout Florida, but crocodiles can only be found at the southernmost tip of the state. Florida is the only place where crocodiles and alligators can be found living side by side. | Source

The Florida peninsula is, in fact, an emerging plateau, honeycombed with voids and vents, caves and underground waterways. Travelers on Interstate Highway I-75 have no idea that, beneath them, are cave labyrinths still being mapped by speleologists - 'cavers,' they prefer to be called.

— Randy Wayne White

10. The state is generally very flat with the highest hill measuring just 345 feet, or 105 meters above sea level.

Juan Ponce de León led the first European expedition to Florida and named it.  He was also the first Governor of Puerto Rico and is associated the legend of the Fountain of Youth.
Juan Ponce de León led the first European expedition to Florida and named it. He was also the first Governor of Puerto Rico and is associated the legend of the Fountain of Youth. | Source

11. The state gets its name from Ponce de Leon, a Spanish explorer, who called it La Florida (Flowery Land) when he arrived in 1513.

12. The state song is the “Swanee River”.

I go to Florida sometimes for vacation. I actually really like Florida. It's a weird place, it's surreal. It's so close, but you feel like you're in another world or on an island.

— Jemima Kirke

13. One of the most interesting facts about Florida is that it is the only place in the world where you will find alligators and crocodiles living side by side.

14. The state is the 4th most populated in the U.S. after California, Texas and New York.

Key West
Key West | Source

15. The population of Florida was estimated to be 18,801,310 in 2010.

16. Clearwater experiences more lightning strikes per capita than any other city in the USA.

"Florida is a crazy place, and I have played some of the wildest shows of my life here."

— Henry Rollins

17. The Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral has been the launch site for every American manned space flight since 1968. The NASA installation also features the VehicleAssemblyBuilding, which was the largest structure in the world when it was built in 1965 (it is now the fourth-largest).

St Augustine Beach.  The state has numerous world class beaches situated on both the Atlantic and Gulf sides.  Surfing and sailing are also popular in the Sunshine State.
St Augustine Beach. The state has numerous world class beaches situated on both the Atlantic and Gulf sides. Surfing and sailing are also popular in the Sunshine State. | Source

18. The Saint John's River is one of the very few rivers in the USA that flows north, rather than south.

Florida is a place of unparalleled diversity of backgrounds, experiences and vision. It makes our culture unique, but it can also make it difficult to define a common identity and create a sense of community that reaches beyond our neighborhoods to all corners of our state.

— Jeb Bush

19. Jacksonville is the largest city in the state with a population count of 821,784. Miami is the second largest city with 399,457 people.

The Florida flag.  It shows a red St. Andrew’s cross on a white background, with the Florida seal at the center of the cross.  The seal consists of a Semiole woman with flowers, a shining sun, a steamboat, shoreline and palm trees.
The Florida flag. It shows a red St. Andrew’s cross on a white background, with the Florida seal at the center of the cross. The seal consists of a Semiole woman with flowers, a shining sun, a steamboat, shoreline and palm trees. | Source

20. Florida’s flag consists of a red St. Andrew’s cross on a white background, with the state seal in the center, which shows a Semiole woman spreading flowers, a multi-rayed sun, a steamboat, shoreline and palm trees.

Have you been to Florida?

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© 2012 Paul Askew

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    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 

      6 years ago from Massachusetts

      interesting and informative article. Always good to learn something new about the sunshine state. Welcome to hubpages.

    • suzettenaples profile image

      Suzette Walker 

      6 years ago from Taos, NM

      Another neat article! I enjoyed reading this - thanks!

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