55 Fascinating Facts About Florida
15th February, 2023
Do you want to know some fascinating facts about Florida? Do you want to make the most of your trip to Florida? Then you need to know some interesting facts about this place. Over 120 million people visit Florida annually, but most of them miss out on the state’s best-kept secrets.
Fasten your seatbelts because we’re taking you on a ride through some of the Sunshine State’s best-kept secrets. Florida has an endless coastline, beautiful beaches, and stunning sunsets. But there are so many more interesting facts about Florida that make it one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world.
The Most Fascinating Facts about Florida
From hidden gems to quirky landmarks, Florida is brimming with surprises. So, if you’re planning a trip to the Sunshine State, add these 55 fascinating facts about Florida to your list. Let’s have a look at them!
1. Florida is the flattest state in the US
Here is the first of my facts about Florida- It’s no secret that Florida is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. But did you know that the Sunshine State is also the flattest in the US? With an average elevation of just 100 feet above sea level, Florida is the perfect place to enjoy a sunny beach day.
2. Florida is the only state in the US with two rivers named “Withlacoochee”
The Withlacoochee River is one of Florida’s most iconic waterways. But did you know that there are actually two rivers with this name? The Withlacoochee River in Florida is completely unrelated to the Withlacoochee River in Georgia.
3. Florida is home to the world’s largest alligator
The world’s largest alligator was found in Florida. Measuring a whopping 17 feet, 5 inches long, this massive alligator weighed in at 1,043 pounds. That’s insane!
4. Florida is the lightning capital of the US
Here is one of the most interesting facts about Florida- Florida is known for its beautiful weather, but it’s also the lightning capital of the US. With an average of 10 lightning strikes per square mile, Florida experiences more lightning than any other state in the country.
5. The Amelia Island Museum of History
It is located at 233 S 3rd St, Fernandina Beach, FL 32034, Florida. One of the most popular tourist destinations in the state. The museum is famous for its local history and artifacts collection.
6. The Daytona International Speedway
The most famous racetrack in the world, Daytona International Speedway, is located in Daytona Beach, Florida. The track is home to the Daytona 500, one of the most prestigious races in the NASCAR circuit.
7. The Florida Keys
A string of islands off the southern coast of Florida, the Florida Keys are a popular tourist destination. The islands are home to Key West, the southernmost point in the continental US. If you love to taste tropical Florida, the Florida Keys are the perfect place for you.
8. The Castillo de San Marcos
A Spanish fort built in the 16th century, the Castillo de San Marcos is one of the oldest fortifications in the US. The fort is located in St. Augustine, Florida, the oldest city in the country and is well worth a visit. And you will learn many more facts about Florida during your visit here too!
9. The Kennedy Space Center
The Kennedy Space Center is a popular tourist destination located on Florida’s Space Coast. The center is home to NASA’s launch facilities, and it’s where you can see rockets launch into space.
10. The Sunshine Skyway Bridge
This beautiful bridge spans the mouth of Tampa Bay, connecting St. Petersburg, Florida, to Bradenton, Florida. The Sunshine Skyway Bridge is another most iconic landmark you can see in the state.
11. There’s a tree in Florida that’s older than the United States
Now this is one of the most fascinating facts about Florida- The Big Tree, also known as the Senator, is a massive bald cypress in Longwood, Florida. The tree is 3,500 years old, making it even older than the United States. Can you imagine this, a tree that’s older than the country? Well, I can’t! But it’s a must-visit place, I’d say.
12. Florida is home to the world’s oldest bakery
Yeah, it’s another oldest thing found in Florida. We can say it’s the heritage of the world’s oldest things, can’t we? So the world’s oldest bakery is located in St. Augustine, Florida. The Columbia Restaurant is a Spanish-style eatery that’s been serving up delicious dishes since 1905.
13. You can find alligators in Florida’s swimming pools
Alligators are common in Florida, but did you know you can find them in swimming pools, too? In fact, there have been reports of alligators taking up residence in backyard pools. Wow, this has to be one of the most frightening facts about Florida!
14. The Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival
Held yearly in Fernandina Beach, Florida, the Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival is the most celebrated event in the state. The festival celebrates the history of shrimp fishing in Florida, and it’s a great place to sample some of the state’s best seafood.
15. The Florida Panther is the state animal
The Florida panther is a subspecies of the cougar, and it’s the official state animal. These elusive cats are rarely seen in the wild, but if you’re lucky enough to spot one, it’s sure to be a memorable experience.
16. Florida has more than 1,700 islands
One of the most interesting facts about Florida is that it has more than 1,700 islands — that’s more than any other state in the US. So, if you’re looking for a place to get away from it all, you’ll definitely find it in Florida.
17. The only state in the US with a living coral reef
Florida is home to the only living coral reef in the continental US. The reef is off the coast of Key Largo, a popular spot for diving and snorkelling.
18. There are more than 175 state parks in Florida
If you love spending time outdoors, you’ll be happy to know that there are more than 175 state parks in Florida. From camping and hiking to swimming and fishing, there’s something for everyone to enjoy!
19. Theme Parks
One of the most well-known facts about Florida is that Florida is also home to well-known theme parks worldwide, especially Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, and SeaWorld. If you’re looking for a fun-filled vacation, there’s no better place than Florida.
20. Grapefruit was first grown in Florida
Did you know that grapefruit was first grown in Florida? The state is now the largest producer of grapefruit in the US alone. If you visit Florida, sample some of the delicious grapefruit grown in the town. You’d definitely love them!
21. Florida is the largest producer of oranges in the US
Oranges are one of Florida’s most iconic crops, and the state is the largest producer of oranges in the US—besides grapefruit. Florida oranges are known for their juicy sweetness, making them a delicious addition to any breakfast or snack.
22. Everglades National Park
It’s the most unique and thrilling place in Florida. The park is home to many plant and animal life, including alligators, crocodiles, and Florida panthers. UNESCO has designated the Everglades a World Heritage Site, and it’s definitely a place you won’t want to miss.
23. St. Augustine is the oldest city in the US
St. Augustine is the oldest city in the US, full of history and charm. The city is home to many historical sites, including the Castillo de San Marcos, the oldest masonry fort in the country.
24. Miami is the only US city founded by a woman
The city was founded by Julia Tuttle, a wealthy widow from Ohio. Tuttle was instrumental in the development of Miami, and her legacy can still be seen today.
25. Key West is the southernmost city in the US
Key West is the southernmost city in the United States and is a popular destination for travelers worldwide. Key West is known for its laid-back atmosphere and is a great place to relax and enjoy the beautiful Florida Keys.
26. The largest freshwater lake in Florida is Lake Okeechobee
Lake Okeechobee is the largest freshwater lake in Florida, and it’s a famous spot for fishing and boating. The lake is also home to wildlife, including alligators, turtles, and birds.
27. Immigration population
Florida is home to a large immigrant population, and nearly one-quarter of the state’s residents are foreign-born. Miami is especially diverse, with more than half of the city’s residents being born in another country. This is certainly one of the most interesting facts about Florida.
28. More than 19 Million People Live in Florida
Florida is the third most populous state in the US, with more than 19 million residents. The state’s population is constantly growing, projected to reach 21 million by 2030.
29. Florida has the longest coastline in the contiguous US
Florida has the longest coastline of any state in the contiguous US, and it’s a popular destination for beach lovers. From the Gulf Coast to the Atlantic Coast, there are plenty of beaches to explore in Florida!
30. There are 189 public beaches in Florida
This is one of my favourite facts about Florida! If you’re looking for a place to enjoy the sun and the sand, you’ll be happy to know that there are 189 public beaches in Florida. Whether you’re looking for a quiet spot to relax or a place to relish some water sports, you’ll find it in the state.
31. Florida is known as the “Sunshine State”
Florida is appropriately nicknamed the “Sunshine State,” as it’s known for its beautiful sunny weather. The state averages more than 250 days of sunshine annually, so you’re sure to have a bright sunny day during your visit.
32. Streamline Moderne buildings and Art Deco architecture
Florida is home to an innovative blend of architecture, including Streamline Modern buildings and Art Deco architecture. You can see examples of both styles in Miami, known for its impeccable architecture.
33. No Personal Income Tax
This is perhaps one of the most important facts about Florida- One of the benefits of living in Florida is that there’s no personal income tax. This means you get to keep more of your hard-earned money, which is why Florida is such a popular state. And I believe that’s why it’s a highly populous state too.
34. Warm weather all year round
This is another one of my favourite facts about Florida. Another perk of living in Florida is the warm weather. The state has a tropical climate, so you can enjoy sunny days all year round. Even in the winter, temperatures rarely dip below freezing.
35. Home to a variety of professional sports teams
If you’re a sports enthusiast, you’ll be happy to know that Florida is home to various professional sports teams. You can root for the Miami Dolphins (NFL), the Miami Heat (NBA), the Tampa Bay Rays (MLB), or the Florida Panthers (NHL).
36. Hurricane season
Florida is in the hurricane zone, so the state experiences hurricane season from June to November. While hurricanes can be dangerous, they are also fascinating to watch.
37. Shortest donkeys in the world
In the town of Zephyrhills, you’ll find the shortest donkeys in the world. These miniature donkeys are just over two feet tall, and they’re a popular attraction in the town. This is one of the most unique facts about Florida for sure!
38. State with the largest number of golf courses
The state spotlights more golf courses than any other state in the US, so it’s a great place to tee off. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced golfer, you’ll find a course that’s just perfect for you!
39. Home of dangerous tree
Florida is home to the most dangerous tree in the world. The manchineel tree, for example, has poisonous fruit that can cause blistering and blindness. So, never dare to touch or eat its fruit!
40. The largest collection of Cuban art outside of Cuba
The Cuban Museum in Miami has the largest collection of Cuban art outside of Cuba. The museum is dedicated to preserving the culture and history of Cuban Americans, and it’s a great place to learn about the Cuban diaspora.
41. Second largest Tomato producing state
Florida is the second largest tomato-producing state in the US, behind only California. Tomatoes are a popular crop in Florida; you’ll find them in many of the state’s restaurants.
42. Bayshore Boulevard
Bayshore Boulevard in Tampa is the world’s longest continuous sidewalk. The 4.5-mile sidewalk is popular for walking, jogging, and biking, offering stunning city views.
43. Two-time Zones
Florida is one of the few states in the US in two time zones. The eastern part of the state is in the Eastern Time Zone, while the western part of the state is in the Central Time Zone.
44. Wonderworks building, Orlando
The Wonderworks building in Orlando is upside down! The “inverted” building is a popular attraction, and it’s the only upside-down building in the world. This is one of the more unusual facts about Florida.
45. Coral Gables Waterway
The Coral Gables Waterway is a man-made canal that runs through the city of Coral Gables. The canal is lined with coral, a popular spot for swimming and kayaking.
46. Florida is Peninsula
Florida is a peninsula, which means that it’s surrounded by water on three sides. The state is bounded by the Gulf of Mexico to the west, the Atlantic Ocean to the east, and the Straits of Florida to the south.
47. Castillo de San Marcos
The Castillo de San Marcos is a fort in St. Augustine built by the Spanish in the 1600s. The fort is a popular tourist destination and one of the oldest Spanish fortifications in the United States.
48. Lowest Elevation Point
Florida has the lowest elevation point of any US state. The lowest point is Lake Okeechobee, which has an elevation of just 12 feet above sea level.
49. Florida Manatees
Florida is home to the Florida manatee, a large marine mammal weighing up to 1,000 pounds. These gentle giants are a popular sight in Florida’s waterways, and they’re protected by state and federal law.
50. Florida got its name from Spanish
The name “Florida” comes from the Spanish word for “flowery,” which is felicitous given the state’s abundance of flowers and plants. The explorer Ponce de Leon named the state, and it has been known as Florida ever since.
51. Destin Beach
Destin Beach is a popular vacation destination for families, and it’s also one of the busiest fishing spots in the state. Destin is known for its sugar-white sand and clear blue waters.
52. Emerald Coast
The Emerald Coast is a stretch of coastline in Florida that gets its name from the emerald-green waters. The Emerald Coast includes the cities of Destin, Fort Walton Beach, and Panama City Beach. It is also famous for its sugar-white sand and clear blue waters.
53. The Burrowing Owl Festival
The Burrowing Owl Festival is held every year in February in Cape Coral. The festival celebrates the burrowing owl, a small bird that makes its home in the city. The festival includes owl-themed events, displays, and activities.
54. More toll bridges and roads than any other state
Florida has more toll bridges and roads than any other state, and these bridges are used to cross the many waterways in the state. The Sunshine Skyway Bridge is one of Florida’s most famous toll bridges. Don’t miss it whenever you visit there.
55. Largest wooden occupied structure in the world
Last but not least, Florida is home to the largest occupied wooden structure in the world. You will see the beautiful, old-fashioned architecture if you step into the Belleview Biltmore Resort.
Facts about Florida- further reading
Well, these are some amazing facts about Florida that you probably didn’t know. From its history and culture to its natural beauty, Florida is always a special place to visit. You could double your traveling experience if you take some time to know more about the state before your trip. And who knows, you might even find some hidden gems off the beaten path!
If you enjoyed this post on the facts about Florida, then I am sure you will love these too-
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By the way- are there any facts about Florida that I missed? Let me know your favourite facts about Florida in the comments below!