Florida is the southernmost contiguous state in the United States.
As of 1 January 2018, the population of Florida was estimated to be 21,312,211. It is the 3rd most populous state in the United States.
Florida is the 22nd largest state in the United States in terms of total area with 170,304 square kilometers (65,755 square miles).
Tallahassee is the capital and 7th-largest city of Florida. The city became the capital of Florida, then the Florida Territory, in 1824.
Jacksonville is the most populous city of Florida and the largest city by area in the contiguous United States.
The state of Florida is a peninsula – a peninsula is a piece of land surrounded by water on the majority of its border, while being connected to a mainland from which it extends.
The Florida peninsula is a diverse collection of islands, marshes, springs, swamps and hundreds of small lakes, rivers and ponds.
The land is divided into four main regions; the Gulf Coast/Atlantic Ocean coastal plains, the upland (hilly area) of the north and northwest, the swampy Everglades of the far south, and the Florida Keys.
At 105 meters (345 feet) above mean sea level, Britton Hill is the highest point in Florida and the lowest highpoint of any U.S. state.
The average mean elevation for Florida is 30 meters (100 feet) above sea level. Only one state (Delaware) has lower mean elevation at 18 meters (60 feet) above sea level.
Florida has the longest coastline in the contiguous United States, approximately 2,170 kilometers (1,350 miles), not including the contribution of the many barrier islands.
There are many beaches in Florida. Some are great for shelling. Some are great for surfing. Some are great for people watching. Others have no people in sight. All have direct access to Florida’s sunshine, but each one has its own gems to offer.
Florida has 11 national park and 164 state parks.
Everglades National Park is a U.S. National Park in Florida that protects the southern 20 percent of the original Everglades. In the United States, it is the largest tropical wilderness, the largest wilderness of any kind east of the Mississippi River, and is visited on average by one million people each year. It is the third-largest national park in the lower 48 states after Death Valley and Yellowstone.
The most popular tourist attractions in Florida is Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando. The magic of Disney has not worn off over the decades as millions of visitors flock here each year to enjoy the Magic Kingdom and the many other attractions of this mega amusement park. Today, Walt Disney World is the most visited vacation resort in the world, with an average annual attendance of over 52 million.
Universal Studios Florida is a theme park located in Orlando. Opened on June 7, 1990, the park’s theme is the entertainment industry, in particular movies and television. Universal Studios Florida inspires its guests to “ride the movies”, and it features numerous attractions and live shows. In 2016, the park hosted an estimated 9,998,000 visitors, ranking as the sixth most attended theme park in the United States, as well as the ninth most attended theme park worldwide.
SeaWorld Orlando is a theme park and marine zoological park, located in Orlando. In 2016, SeaWorld Orlando hosted an estimated 4,402,000 guests, ranking it the tenth most visited amusement park in the United States and twenty-fifth worldwide.
The Daytona 500 is a 500-mile-long (805 kilometers) NASCAR race held annually at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida. It is regarded as the most important and prestigious race on the NASCAR calendar, carrying by far the largest purse
The John F. Kennedy Space Center (KSC) is one of ten National Aeronautics and Space Administration field centers. Since December 1968, Kennedy Space Center has been NASA’s primary launch center of human spaceflight. Launch operations for the Apollo, Skylab, and Space Shuttle programs were carried out from Kennedy Space Center Launch Complex 39 and managed by Kennedy Space Center.
Miami Beach, including both the town and the actual beach, is the main attraction for most tourists heading to Miami. It is home to the world’s largest collection of Art Deco architecture.
St. Augustine, Florida is the oldest continuously occupied European settlement in the continental United States. It was founded on September 8, 1565, by Spanish admiral Pedro Menéndez de Avilés, Florida’s first governor.
The history of Florida can be traced back to when the first Native Americans began to inhabit the peninsula as early as 14,000 years ago.
The first European contact was made in 1513 by Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de León – who named it La Florida which means “land of flowers” – upon landing there in the Easter season.
Florida was under colonial rule by Spain, France, and Great Britain during the 18th and 19th centuries before becoming a territory of the United States in 1821. Two decades later, in 1845, Florida was admitted to the union as the 27th US state.
Florida is nicknamed the “Sunshine State” due to its warm climate and days of sunshine, which have attracted northern migrants and vacationers since the 1920s.
Other than Hawaii, Florida is closer to the Equator than any other American state, giving it a humid subtropical climate.
The state’s economy relies mainly on tourism, agriculture, and transportation, which developed in the late 19th century.
PortMiami is the largest passenger port in the world, and one of the largest cargo ports in the United States.
With over 1,300 golf courses, Florida has more golf courses than any other state and is home to the World Golf Hall of Fame and Museum in St. Augustine.
In 1944, airman and pharmacist Benjamin Green from Miami developed the first widely used sunscreen to protect himself and other soldiers during World War II. He later improved on this formula and this new jasmine scented cream became know as Coppertone. In 1944, Coppertone suntan cream was the first commercially mass-produced sunscreen in the United States.
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.
Key Largo is known as the Dive Capital of the World.