25 Fun Facts about Florida
Geographically, Florida is the southeastern most U.S. state. It has hundreds of miles of beaches along the Atlantic Ocean to the east and Gulf of Mexico to the west. It is a top destination for millions of tourists each year. If visiting Florida has ever interested you, then you might find these 25 fun facts about Florida fascinating. I know I did.
1.Did you know: 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.
2.Thanks to the magic of Disney and the marvel of Universal, Orlando attracts more visitors than any other amusement park destination in the United States.
3.In case you have ever wondered, Cape Canaveral is America’s launch pad for space flights.
4.Founded in 1565 by Spanish explorers, Saint Augustine is the oldest European settlement in North America.
5.If you are interested in scuba diving, the Benwood, on French Reef in the Florida Keys, is known as one of the most dived shipwrecks in the world. However, Key Largo is known as the Dive Capital of the World.
6.If you have a fear of lightening, you might want to avoid the city of Clearwater. It is the US city with the highest rate of lightning strikes per capita.
7.Gatorade was named for the University of Florida Gators where the drink was first developed.
8.Florida is known as the Sunshine State. So, it may not be so coincidental that the first suntan cream was invented here. Miami Beach pharmacist Benjamin Green accomplished this by cooking cocoa butter in a granite coffee pot on his wife’s stove. I bet she wasn’t too happy about that.
9.The Saint John’s River is one of only 2 major U.S. rivers that flows north instead of south.
10. The largest lake in Florida is Lake Okeechobee. It is approximately 730 sq miles, making it about half the size of the state of Rhode Island.
11.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.
12.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.
13.Fort Lauderdale is known as the Venice of America because the city has 185 miles of local waterways.
14.Islamorada may be an angler’s delight as it is billed as the Sports fishing Capital of the World.
15.During the 1991 Gulf War the busiest military port in the country was Jacksonville. From this location the military moved more supplies and people than any other port in the country.
16.The Pinellas Trail, a 47 mile hiking/biking trail connecting St. Petersburg with Central and north Pinellas County, is the longest urban linear trail in the eastern United States.
17.The longest river sailboat race in the world is the Annual Mug Race. The event runs 42 miles from Palatka to Jacksonville along the St. Johns River.
18.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.
19.Two million pounds of shrimp are delivered to Fernandina docks annually. That’s nearly 80 percent of the states intake of sweet Atlantic white shrimp.
20.Key West has the highest average temperature in the United States.
21.Dr. John Gorrie of Apalachicola invented mechanical refrigeration in 1851. I wonder if that could be directly related to those highest average temperatures.
22.Safety Harbor is the home of the historic Espiritu Santo Springs. The natural springs have attracted attention worldwide for their curative powers. Espiritu Santo Springs was named in 1539 by the Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto. He was searching for the legendary Fountain of Youth.
23.Moonstone is the official state gem of Florida as adopted in 1970. Ironically, the moonstone is not found naturally in Florida…nor was it found on the moon.
24.Ybor City was once known as the Cigar Capital of the World with nearly 12,000 tabaqueros (cigar-makers) employed in 200 factories.
25.Marathon is home to Crane Point Hammock, a 63.5 acre land tract that is one of the most important historical and archaeological sites in the Keys. The area contains evidence of pre-Colombian and prehistoric Bahamian artifacts, and once was the site of an entire Indian village.