Florida is called the sunshine state for obvious reasons; it gets lots of sunshine! It is a popular travel destination with over 120 million annual visitors. However, there is much more to Florida than its coastline and attractions. We will reveal 25 fun and interesting facts about Florida that will help you learn more about the state and make your visit worthwhile.
Overview Statistics And Facts About Florida
- Capital: Tallahassee
- Population: 21.78 Million (3rd Populous State in the U.S)
- Land Area: 65,758 sq mi / 170,310 km² (22nd Largest in the U.S)
- Nickname: The Sunshine State
- Abbreviation: FL
- Statehood: March 3, 1845 (27th U.S State)
- State Bird: Northern Mockingbird
- State Flower: Orange Blossom
Historical Facts About Florida
Although not much is known about Florida’s history compared to other states, the state has a rich past dating back to prehistoric times.
The Native Americans Were The First People To Inhabit The Region
Florida had an extensive history of human inhabitation. The native American people were the first to settle in Florida. They lived there for thousands of years, had complex societies, and set up government and trade systems before the arrival of Europeans.
Some of them include the Apalachee, Timucua, and Calusa. You can still find many of these native American communities in Florida, and they continue to influence the cultures and traditions of the state.
The Oldest Inhabited City In The United States Is In Florida
This is one of the most exciting historical facts about Florida. The oldest inhabited city in the United States is none other than St. Augustine.
Spanish explorer Pedro Menéndez de Avilés founded the city of St. Augustine in 1565. He established it as a military fort, serving as the Spanish capital of Florida.
That said, St. Augustine has a rich and interesting history. It played an essential role in early Florida and you will find many historical landmarks and monuments there.
Juan Ponce De Leon Was The First European To Explore The State
Juan Ponce De Leon, a Spanish nobleman, was the first European to explore the region. He was supposedly searching for the legendary fountain of youth when he landed on Florida’s shores.
Ponce De Leon named the area “la Florida” for the abundance of flowers he saw there and the Easter season, known to the Spanish as Pascua Florida, the festival of flowers.
This Spanish explorer is credited with discovering and naming Florida.
Florida Was Once Spanish Territory
One of the significant historical Florida facts is that it was Spanish territory from 1565 until 1763. The area was handed over to Great Britain as a part of the treaty of Paris. Britain returned Florida to Spain in 1783, and it remained Spanish territory until it was acquired by the United States.
Florida Was A Significant Battle Site During the Civil War
Florida played a significant role in the civil war as a confederate state and battle site. It was home to several military installations and forts used to defend against attacks and shipping into the Gulf of Mexico.
The state also provided food and other supplies for the civil war and was the site of many significant battles, including the battle of Olustee. Some of these are famous historic sites and landmarks in Florida.
It Became The 27th State In 1845
Another historical fact about Florida is that it was acquired by the United States in 1821 through the Adams-Onis treaty and became the 27th US state in 1845.
Florida became a state through the process of statehood, which was approved by the United States Congress in 1845.
Cultural Facts About Florida
Florida is a culturally rich state with a unique history and a diverse population. The state’s cultures and traditions have been significantly influenced by the communities within the state; African, Haitian, American, and European communities.
Florida’s diverse culture is deeply reflected in its food, festivals, music, and art. Here are a few cultural facts about Florida state.
The State Has Been Significantly Influenced By The Spanish
One of the interesting things you will observe in Florida is the Spanish influence on the state all around. Being a Spanish colony for nearly 200 years, Florida has adopted many things from the Spanish, and you can see this influence in the state’s culture, food, and architecture.
It Played An Essential Role In The Civil Rights Movement
Many key events of the civil rights movement, including the St. Augustine movement and the Tallahassee bus boycott, took place in Florida. Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks frequently visited the state to organize and participate in the Movement.
Today, Florida honors the civil rights movement through memorials and monuments. It is one of the deep cultural Florida state facts.
Florida Is Known For Its Diverse Cuisine
One of the fun facts about Florida for foodies is the diversity of cuisines available in the state. The wide variety of dishes is in small part due to the various cultural communities in the state. You’ll find an abundance of delicious food made with local ingredients. Florida is especially known for its citrus fruits and seafood.
The State Hosts Several Annual Festivals
Florida plays host to plenty of annual festivals celebrating culture, music, food, and art. These celebrations are great opportunities for people of various cultural backgrounds to come together, ranging from small local events to huge popular ones.
Some of Florida’s festivals include SunFest, Florida Strawberry Festival, Okeechobee Music and Arts Festival, and many others. These events are good options for getting a feel of the local vibes while enjoying a good time. Nothing better than a fun, cultural experience!
It Is The Birthplace Of Southern Rock
Southern rock is a unique music genre blending rock and blues, and Florida is considered its birthplace. The state has produced notable southern rock bands that have significantly impacted the music genre. This is one of the unique cultural facts about Florida, and if you have yet to listen to southern rock, you should definitely give it a shot. It’s amazing.
Florida Has A Rich Art History
Literature, music, and art are all important aspects of Florida’s culture. Credit to its past, the state features a diverse range of art styles. This is because Florida’s extensive art history started with the first Native American tribes that lived there.
Over time, the art scene has been influenced by a diverse population of people with different cultural backgrounds. There are several art galleries and museums in Florida that showcase the work of local artisans and many other notable artists.
Interesting Facts About Florida for Kids
Florida Has The Highest Alligator Population In The United States
There are more alligators than any other animal in Florida. The state is home to over 1.3 million alligators, which is more than any other state in the country. It’s almost impossible not to have seen one while in Florida.
These alligators can be found in many parts of the state from national parks to swamps. What’s even more impressive is that the largest alligator in the world was found in Florida. Unsurprisingly, the Florida state reptile is the American alligator.
Apart from seeing them, you can also taste them if you are up for it. Fried gator tail is one the most unique foods from Florida.
It Is Home To A Phone Box Police Station
One of the fun Florida facts for kids is that its city Carrabelle is home to the world’s smallest police station, which is a phone box. The phone box was used initially as just a police phone box but was quickly upgraded to a full police station due to its performance. Whenever you visit Carrabelle, be sure to have a look at it.
The Skunk Ape Myth
If you’ve never heard about the skunk ape myth or Florida’s bigfoot, then you don’t know all about Florida. The skunk ape is a mythical creature roaming the forests and swamps of Florida.
According to the myth, the skunk ape is a large hairy animal that looks like an ape and has a very unpleasant smell. Some have claimed to have seen the skunk ape, but it remains a legend to this day.
It Is The Second-Largest Producer Of Oranges In The World
Here’s one of the interesting facts about Florida for kids that love oranges. Florida produces about 70 percent of American oranges and 40 percent of the world’s orange juice. Florida’s oranges are known to be delicious and juicy so whenever you think about Florida, think about oranges.
Florida Is the Flattest State In The United States
Another fun fact about Florida is that it is so flat that its highest point is the lowest among all the states in the US. Florida’s highest point is Britton hill. It stands at 345 feet and is lower than any skyscraper in Miami.
Fun Florida Facts for Travelers
With the exotic and beautiful beaches in Florida, there is no surprise that the state is a popular destination for tourists. The natural landscape and attractions draws millions yearly, promising tons of fun and adventure.
Florida’s Coastline Is the Second Longest In The United States
Florida’s coastline is the second longest in the United States, just after Alaska. As a state known for its beaches, this probably comes as no surprise. You will be forgiven to think that Florida is almost just coastlines. The state’s coast stretches over 8,436 miles with various plant and animal species.
Florida’s coastline offers a wide range of outdoor recreational activities, including fishing, sunbathing, and boating, among several others. The state’s coastline and warm weather is also its biggest selling point.
Florida Is One of Two States In The Us To Have A Tropical Climate
Florida and Hawaii are the only two states in the United States with tropical climates. It is relatively warm in Florida all year round. That is why this state is one of the most popular spots in the country for escaping the winter cold. Nevertheless, the peak tourist season here is still in summer.
Florida Has More Than 1,700 Islands
Florida features over 1,700 islands known for their allure and clear waters. If you’re looking for an ideal summer vacation destination, visiting one of Florida’s islands is undoubtedly a great option. Best of all, they offer a wide range of beaches and plenty of notable outdoor activities.
In addition, Florida Keys is home to the largest living coral reef in the United States. You will have an enjoyable time there while visiting Florida’s islands.
Common Facts About Florida
Here are some general but interesting facts about Florida.
Florida Has The Largest Butterfly Habitat In The World
The Butterfly Rainforest at The Florida Museum of Natural History is home to the largest butterfly habitat in the world. The exhibit stretches across 6,400-square-foot and showcases over 50 species of butterflies. You can also watch birds at this popular attraction and learn more information on Florida.
It Is The Fishing Capital Of The World
One trivia about Florida is that it is an excellent fishing location and has earned the title of the world’s fishing capital. Florida has numerous rivers, lakes, streams, and an extensive coastline that offer fishing opportunities for different marine species. The state also hosts many professional fishing tournaments.
Grape Fruit Was First Grown In Florida
Did you know that grapefruit was first grown in Florida? In addition, it is also the biggest producer of grapefruit in the country.
Florida is known for its citrus fruit production, and you can sample a variety of delicious grapefruits in the state. Be sure to give them a try when you visit, it will be a treat for your tastebuds. Nothing better than fresh from the source.
Other Interesting Facts About Florida
Every state has its weird facts, and Florida Is not exempt. Here are some funny things about Florida you should know.
Florida Is Home To The Shortest Donkeys In The World
One of the unique, weird facts about Florida is the curious miniature donkeys in Zephyrhills. These donkeys are some of the shortest in the world, standing over two feet tall. You can imagine they are popular attractions. These donkeys are not just cute but also really interesting to check out.
Florida Has A Tree Older Than The United States
The senator, a large bald cypress tree in Longwood, is the oldest in the United States. What’s even more fascinating is that the tree is older than the United States. It is estimated to be over a whopping 3,500 years old.
The big tree, as it is often and uncreatively nicknamed, is a treasured landmark in Florida and one of the main natural tourist attractions.
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Discovering More Fun Facts About Florida
Florida is fascinating and rich in history, food, culture, and recreational opportunities. But there’s a lot more about the state to discover.
Florida state is more than its coastline, fantastic weather, and landscape. It is home to weird myths, funny facts, and many more. Explore the state to discover many more exciting and fun facts about Florida you would absolutely love.