50+ Fun Facts About Florida That Anyone Can Appreciate

We all know Florida to be the state for sun, sand, alligators, and prime Spring Break locations or where old people go to retire. And we love it! What else is there to know about Florida, though? Oh, so much more:

  1. Florida was named for the day on which it was first seen (April 2, 1513) by Spanish explorer Ponce de Leon, who called it La Florida in honor of Pascua Florida, the Spanish Feast of the Flowers.
  2. Florida became a part of the U.S. in 1821.
  3. It’s warm year-round. The average temperature in Florida ranges from 65-80 degrees, depending on if you’re in the north or the south.
  4. No matter where you are in Florida, you’re no more than 60 miles from the ocean.
  5. Florida is the top travel destination in the world, with more than 90 million visitors each year.
  6. Florida has the highest percentage of people over 65. That’s where people go to retire!
  7. Although Florida is known for being the Sunshine State, it rains a lot. Like, every day.
  8. Central Florida sees more lightning than anywhere else in the USA. And hurricanes.
  9. Florida has more toll roads and bridges than any other state.
  10. Florida produces more than 70 percent of the nation’s oranges.
  11. It has 175 state parks, 37 state forests, 12 national parks, preserves, seashores or monuments, three national forests, and one national scenic trail.
  12. Florida has not only alligators and crocodiles but also panthers, sea turtles, manatees, and dolphins.
  13. You can find alligators and crocodiles co-existing in the Everglades National Park.
  14. There are at least 516 species of birds that can be found in Florida.
  15. It’s the only state that borders both the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico.
  16. The city of Fort Lauderdale is known as the Venice of America because of its canal system, with 165 miles of local waterways.
  17. Florida has all the theme parks you dream about: Disney, Universal, SeaWorld, LEGOLAND, Busch Gardens.
  18. Miami Beach is home to one of only four international Art Basel exhibitions.
  19. St. Augustine is commonly called the nation’s oldest city. We’re talking the year 1565!
  20. Cape Canaveral is the world’s launchpad for space flight, including the Apollo and space shuttle missions.
  21. Florida is the flattest state — the highest point in Florida is only 345 feet above sea level!
  22. Florida has more golf courses than any other state.
  23. The World Golf Hall of Fame and Museum is in St. Augustine.
  24. Florida is the largest producer of watermelons, tomatoes, strawberries, and sugar in the country.
  25. Sunscreen was invented in 1944 in Miami Beach.
  26. Jacksonville, Florida is the largest city in the United States.
  27. Florida’s largest river, the St. Johns River, is one of only a few major rivers that flow from south to north.
  28. The “world’s most famous beach” is in Florida–Daytona Beach.
  29. The tallest lighthouse in Florida is located at the southernmost tip of the Daytona Beach area in the town of Ponce Inlet.
  30. Florida is similar in size to England and Wales combined.
  31. In 1987, Siesta Key beach won an award for having the whitest beach sand.
  32. Florida has 663 miles of beaches and 1194 miles of coastline.
  33. It’s illegal to skateboard in Florida without a license.
  34. Key West has more bars than any other place in the country.
  35. Gatorade was developed at the University of Florida. That’s where the Gators get their name from!
  36. The state flower is an Orange Blossom.
  37. Florida is a peninsula (surrounded by 3 sides of water), meaning it is almost completely surrounded by water.
  38. The largest tortoise that ever lived, Goliath, lived in Florida. He weighed 417 kg, was a little over 4 feet long, a little over 3 ft wide, and about 2 ft high.
  39. Florida is home to the world’s most dangerous tree – the Manchineel tree. It can cause blisters on your skin if you touch it.
  40. According to a law in Florida, it is mandatory for all doors to open outward in public buildings – this is in precaution for the hurricanes.
  41. The state animals: a manatee (marine), a dolphin (saltwater), a mockingbird (bird), and a largemouth bass (fish).
  42. The world’s tallest cross, at 208 feet tall, can be found in St. Augustine.
  43. The number of visitors in Orlando EVERY DAY is the equivalent of the population of Atlanta, GA.
  44. Over 7% of Florida’s total area is water.
  45. Hurricane season lasts about 6 months and starts in June.
  46. There’s a museum that is supposedly the world’s only museum dedicated solely to mollusks.
  47. The first ATM was installed in Miami, designed for rollerbladers who couldn’t go into the banks.
  48. The state flag has had several versions since the mid 19th century.
  49. In Sarasota, it is illegal to sing in a public place whilst wearing a bikini or swimsuit.
  50. Florida has 26 officially designated scenic highways, and seven of them run parallel to the Atlantic Ocean.
  51. Florida has no State Income Tax at all.
  52. Only 25 feet off the coast of Key Largo, Florida lies a giant 9-ton sunken statue of Jesus Christ with outstretched arms. It’s called “Christ of the Abyss.”
  53. In Miami, it’s illegal to sell oranges on the street.

January Nelson is a writer, editor, and dreamer. She writes about astrology, games, love, relationships, and entertainment. January graduated with an English and Literature degree from Columbia University.