Fantastic Florida Attractions - Some Interesting Facts About The Sunshine State
The Sunshine State
Florida's nickname is the "Sunshine State." Is it any wonder that landlocked 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.
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 subtropical 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 seemingly endless just like those pristine beaches.
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.
People Calling Florida Home
- Because of the mild climate many people have decided to call this state their home. They also get some sixty million visitors each year! 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 winter homes and gardens.
Gardens and Beaches
- Speaking of gardens there is no shortage of spectacular ones in Florida! I am so glad that I got to see the Cypress Gardens prior to it being turned into Legoland. 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 beachcombing in Florida.
- 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. 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.
There are so many reasons in addition to the moderate climate why tourism is the largest part of Florida's economy!
Vacationing 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.
© 2012 Peggy Woods