Americas Home Place Florida State Info
Florida is located in the southeastern United States, bordering Alabama to the northwest and Georgia to the north. It was the 27th state to be added to United States. Much of the land mass of the state is a large peninsula with the Gulf of Mexico to the west, and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. Nicknamed the "eSunshine State"e for of its generally warm climate—subtropical in the northern and central regions of the state, with a true tropical climate in the southern portion. The state has four large urban areas, a number of smaller industrial cities, and many small towns. The United States Census Bureau estimates that the state population was 18,537,969 in 2009, ranking Florida as the fourth most populous state in the U.S. Tallahassee is the state capital, Jacksonville is the largest city, and the Miami metropolitan area is the largest metropolitan area.
Facts about Florida:
- The name Punta Gorda, which means,"fat point" when translated from Spanish.
The moniker was given to the city because a broad part of the land in Punta
Gorda juts into Charlotte Harbor. The harbor itself is somewhat unique, as it is
the point where the Peace River meets the ocean.
- Saint Augustine is the oldest European settlement in North America.
- Greater Miami is the only metropolitan area in the United States whose borders
encompass two national parks. You can hike through pristine Everglades National
Park or ride on glass-bottom boats across Biscayne National Park.
- Orlando attracts more visitors than any other amusement park destination in the
- New England Congregationalists who sought to bring their style of liberal arts
education to the state founded Rollins College, the oldest college in Florida,
in Winter Park in 1885.
- Florida is not the southernmost state in the United States. Hawaii is farther
- Cape Canaveral is America's launch pad for space flights.
- A museum in Sanibel owns 2 million shells and claims to be the world's only
museum devoted solely to mollusks.
- The Benwood, on French Reef in the Florida Keys, is known as one of the most
dived shipwrecks in the world.
- Safety Harbor is the home of the historic Espiritu Santo Springs. Given this
name in 1539 by the Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto. He was searching for the
legendary Fountain of Youth. The natural springs have attracted attention
worldwide for their curative powers.
- Niceville is home to the famous Boggy Bayou Mullet Festival celebrated the third
weekend in October.
- Gatorade was named for the University of Florida Gators where the drink was
- The United States city with the highest rate of lightning strikes per capita is
- Young aviator Tony Jannus made history on January 1, 1914 when he flew the
world's first scheduled passenger service airline flight from St. Petersburg's
downtown yacht basin to Tampa.
- Dr. John Gorrie of Apalachicola invented mechanical refrigeration in 1851.
- Neil Smith and his brother of Montverde developed the first Snapper riding lawn
- Miami Beach pharmacist Benjamin Green invented the first suntan cream in 1944.
He accomplished this development by cooking cocoa butter in a granite coffee pot
on his wife's stove.
- Key West has the highest average temperature in the United States.
- The Saint John's River is one of the few rivers that flows north instead of
- The largest lake in Florida is Lake Okeechobee.
- May 20, 1970 Florida lawmakers passed and sent to the Governor a bill adopting
the moonstone as the official state gem. Ironically, the moonstone is not found
naturally in Florida...nor was it found on the moon.
- In 1987 the Florida legislature designated the American alligator (Alligator
mississippiensis) the official state reptile. Long an unofficial symbol of the
state, the alligator originally symbolized Florida's extensive untamed
wilderness and swamps.
- Miami installed the first bank automated teller machine especially for
- Ybor City was once known as the Cigar Capital of the World with nearly 12,000
tabaqueros (cigar-makers) employed in 200 factories. Ybor City produced an
estimated 700 million cigars a year at the industry's peak.
- Plant City, the Winter Strawberry Capital of the World, holds the Guinness
record for the world's largest strawberry shortcake. The 827 square-foot, 6,000
pound cake was made on Feb. 19, 1999 in McCall Park.
- The Sunshine Skyway Bridge is a cable-stayed concrete bridge. Opened in 1987 the
bridge coasts through the clouds at 190 feet above water. Its bright yellow
support cables spread from the two center pillars. The structure gives drivers
unobstructed view of the water during the 4.1 mile trip over Tampa Bay.
- Nearly 80 percent of the states intake of sweet Atlantic white shrimp is
harvested in Amelia Island waters. Two million pounds of shrimp are delivered to
Fernandina docks annually.
- A swamp such as the Fakahatchee Strand in the Everglades functions in three
major ways. First, its vegetation serves as a filter to clean the water as it
makes its slow journey southward. Secondly, it's a major habitat for wildlife
and plant life. Finally, it actually prevents flooding by slowing down the flow
of water after heavy rains.
- DeFuniak Springs is home to one of the two naturally round lakes in the world.
- The Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens at Delray Beach is the only museum in
the United States dedicated exclusively to the living culture of Japan.
- Fort Lauderdale is known as the Venice of America because the city has 185 miles
of local waterways.
- Fort Meade is the oldest settlement in Polk County. It dates back to 1849 when a
settlement grew up around the United States Cavalry fort during the Seminole
- The Fred Bear Museum in Gainesville is a tribute to the accomplishments of Fred
Bear a promoter of proper wildlife management and the founder of Bear Archery
- The Hawthorne Trail a part of Florida's Rails to Trails program and attracts
many outdoor enthusiasts to walk, cycle, or ride horseback through its 17-mile
- Just north of Haines City is the Baseball City Stadium the spring training home
of the Kansas City Royals. Haines City is known as The Heart of Florida.
- The city of Hypoluxo's name comes from the Seminole expression water all 'round
-- no get out.