At the beach in Koh Nang Yuan, Thailand

By Norbert Figueroa, an experienced architect, travel writer, long-term budget traveler, and photographer with over 13 years of travel experience in over 139 countries and counting. @globotreks


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If you follow the news and use social media, you’ll know that Florida has become ultra famous for its puzzling and head-scratching headlines.

This state is constantly pumping out bizarre memes, such as the “Florida man” ones, entertaining the masses to no end. This is why these interesting and fun facts about Florida are bound to at least put a smile on your face.

That said, Florida is not just a meme machine. It’s world-renowned for gorgeous beach resorts, sunny weather, amusement parks, and a diverse, vibrant landscape.

With massive urban jungles, thousands of lakes, and a melting pot of cultures – you’re bound for a bounty of adventures. The prettiest sunsets are in Florida, and it’s a place where summer never ends.

But before you visit one of the best tropical destinations in America, it’s always good to test your knowledge and learn new quirks and insights. Alrighty, let’s get into these Florida facts.

Everglades National Park in Florida

1. The Everglades National Park Is One of the Largest Wetlands in the World

The Everglades is the biggest and most visited of Florida’s three national parks. Not only that, but the Everglades National Park is also the largest remaining subtropical wilderness and continuous stand of sawgrass prairie left in North America. Now, that’s an impressive accolade, but it doesn’t stop there.

It’s also a Unesco World Heritage Site that’s home to unique, endangered, and rare species. These include the American alligator and crocodiles, flamingos, dolphins, the Florida panther, and the Eastern Indigo snake.

The Everglades is truly a place of wonder and not for the faint-hearted, especially if you have herpetophobia (a fear of reptiles).

Walt Disney World Castle

2. Florida Is Home to Two of the Biggest Amusement Parks

These two gigantic theme parks include the renowned Walt Disney World Resort and Universal Studios. And here’s an extra fact: Walt Disney World Resort is the most visited theme park worldwide. Both of these parks are located in Orlando, allowing you to have some of the most thrilling and memorable times of your life.

Think magical experiences with your favorite Disney and Universal characters, water slides, adrenaline-pushing rides, and festivities galore. These two attractions are some of the biggest reasons why people are so eager to make their way to sunny Florida.

Alligator in the water

3. The Everglades in South Florida Is the Only Place Where Alligators and Crocodiles Co-exist

To give you the full picture: The Everglades National Park in South Florida is the only place in the world where alligators and crocs co-exist in the same ecosystem. You’d think that these two reptiles would get along easily since they’re cousins, but it turns out Florida has just the right conditions to make this possible.

It’s the mixture of saltwater from the ocean and the freshwater from Lake Okeechobee that makes this unlikely dual existence a reality. 

Shuttle at Cape Canaveral Nasa

4. The Kennedy Space Center Played a Crucial Role in Landing the First Man on the Moon

The Kennedy Space Center in Florida has a rich history dating back to the 1950s. However, it will always be remembered for the huge role it played in the Apollo program that successfully landed the first man on the moon in 1969.

This stellar achievement would go on the change the course of the world and human history, resulting in the famous words of Neil Armstrong, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind”.

5. Florida Is the Only State Tucked Between Both the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico

Florida is almost nothing but coastline because it’s surrounded by water on three sides. This makes it a peninsula, and more than two-thirds of its population lives on its coast. The state has the Atlantic Ocean to the East and the Gulf of Mexico to its West, with the straits of Florida to the south.

Florida's Coast by St. Augustine

6. Florida Also Has the Longest Coastline in the United States

While Alaska has the longest coastline in the entire U.S., Florida takes the first place for the longest coastline in the contiguous United States – which basically means “sharing a common border; touching.”

The Florida coastline is 1,350 miles (2,170 km) long from one end, around the peninsula, to the other end of the state.

7. The Florida Keys Consists of 800 Keys

From Key West to Key Largo, it’s pretty astonishing how many tropical islands one can explore in South Florida. In fact, there are over 4,500 islands part of the state. No wonder it’s called the Sunshine State, as you have unlimited beaches and islands to choose from.

Key West, Florida

8. Florida’s Key West Is Located at the Southernmost Point in the Continental United States

Did you know that Key West is closer to Cuba than Miami? You can literally hop on a yacht and go to Cuba within 90 miles (140 km) of Key West.

Besides being the southernmost point in the continental U.S., it’s also one of the most beautiful beach destinations for a tranquil getaway. This is one of the many reasons why many Americans love to go to Key West for Spring Break.

Psst: Check out the intriguing facts about Cuba.

9. 95% of Florida’s Biscayne National Park Is Underwater

Biscayne National Park is a natural treasure trove brimming with a living coral reef, mangroves, shipwrecks, and hundreds of fish species. That said, nearly all of it is located underwater, but it’s also the largest protected marine park at a whopping 172,971 acres.

As a result, the park is an absolute banger for water activities, allowing visitors to take part in kayaking, scuba diving, snorkeling, and boating.

Playing Golf

10. Florida Has Over 1,000 Golf Courses  

If you love a good swing and putting around the green, then you’ll love Florida since it’s also a golfer’s paradise. Known as the golf capital of the world, it comes as no surprise that it’s home to the PGA headquarters and the “Florida Swing” tournament in late February and March.

Unfortunately, the World Golf Hall of Fame and Museum in St. Augustine, which once honored some of the greatest players yet, has closed down. Regardless, golf remains the biggest sport of Florida since it has more golf courses than any other state.

11. Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Is Home to the Original Spring Break

Today, Spring Break is a national phenomenon where college students and party-lovers flock to beaches every spring.

However, all of this fun started in this stunning coastal city during the 1960s. This is all thanks to its charming boat canals, balmy beaches, bar-packed streets, upscale dining and entertainment scene, and a laid-back beach party lifestyle.

Art Deco buildings in Miami

12. Miami Beach, Florida, Is Home to the World’s Largest Display of Art Deco Architecture

Art Deco is a rising star in the fashion and interior design industry. It’s geometrical, sleek, easy on the eye, and streamlined with extravagance. And there’s no better place than Miami Beach to soak up this fabulous architecture.

Boasting over 800 buildings featuring Art Deco designs, you can head to the historic districts of Espanola Way, Collins/Washington Avenues, Flamingo Park, and Museum for a closer look.

13. Britton Hill Is the Highest Natural Point in Florida

Despite being the flattest state in the U.S. since it’s mostly at sea level, Florida has the lowest highest natural point in America. Scratching your head? You’re not the only one.

See, this is because if you stand on Florida’s highest point, Britton Hill, which is 385 feet above sea level, you’re still lower than other states. The hill is located near the town of Lakewood, near Alabama, in case you were wondering.

Lots of Oranges

14. Florida Produces More Citrus Fruits Than Any Other State in America

One of the most interesting facts about Florida is that the state produces more than 70% of all the oranges in the U.S.

However, this production has been declining due to hurricane winds and diseases in recent years. This year has seen these famous groves churn out the smallest crop of citruses in nearly a century, with only 18 million boxes, compared to 200 million 20 years ago.

15. Florida Is the Only State Where A Channel Is Marked With Decorated Toilet Seats

Nope. This is actually true. The shallow, man-made channel is known as the Toilet Seat Cut, where you’ll see over 250 colorfully decorated toilet seats come into view as your boat approaches.

Locals believe that this quirky trend made its debut after Hurricane Donna’s destruction and re-distribution of household debris in 1960. Apparently, one toilet seat ended up hanging from a homemade post, voila, a trend was born.

16. Florida Has Been the Set of Many Famous Movies

Florida’s versatile scenery of coastlines, boating canals, bustling cities, and swampy parks makes it a hit among Hollywood directors and filmmakers. Some of the best movies shot here include Marley & Me, Moonlight, The Truman Show, My Girl, Apollo 13, Ace Ventura, and Edward Scissorhands.

St Augustine Castle in Florida

17. The Nation’s Oldest City Is in Florida

Ever wondered where America’s oldest city is? The answer is in Florida. St. Augustine was established by the Spanish settlers in 1565 and took the title of the oldest American-occupied city to date.

18. The Oldest National Wildlife Refuge Is Located in Florida

America’s first-ever wildlife refuge was founded in Florida in 1903. Interestingly, it was President Theodore Roosevelt who established the Pelican Island federal bird reservation. It was the first time ever that the federal government had allocated land to wildlife for the sake of preservation.

19. Ancient Native American Tribes Inhabited Florida 12,000 Years Ago

Native American people started entering Florida from the north about 12,000 years ago. The prehistoric groups were hunters and gatherers whose main source of food included shellfish, nuts, plants, and small animals. The exact tribes who inhabited Florida first were likely the Timucua, Calusa, and Apalache peoples.

Panther in Florida

20. The Official State Animal of Florida Is the Panther

While there is a rich diversity of fauna in Florida, the mighty Panther reigns supreme as the official state animal. Ironically, it’s also the most endangered animal, with just over 200 left in the wild. Sadly, this majestic feline almost went completely extinct in 1970, with only 20 known panthers in the wild. 

21. Florida Is Home to the Only Coral Barrier Reef in the United States

America’s only living coral reef is in the Sunshine State, protected by the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. The coral reef stretches 350 miles from the Dry Tortugas to the St. Lucie Inlet and harbors over 40 species of reef-building corals feeding millions of plants and animals.

22. As A Result, Florida Is the Boating and Fishing Capital of the World

What’s the best spot in the world to go fishing? Florida is hands-down the haven for fishing enthusiasts. This is not only due to lively coral reefs but also great efforts in resource and responsible management. There’s a vast variety of fish, water bodies, and fishing styles to choose from, plus the weather is great all year round.

Florida in Lake

23. Florida Has Tons of Water With More Than 30,000 Lakes

Now that’s a lot of lakes. To give you more perspective, the lakes of Florida cover more than 3 million acres of land. Here, you’ll find some of the nation’s smallest and largest lakes, including the massive Lake Okeechobee, which covers 730 square miles. This is the largest freshwater lake in the U.S. state of Florida and the tenth largest of all 50 states.

24. Miami, Florida Is the Only U.S. City With Two National Parks

The Everglades National Park and Biscayne National Park are both located in the bustling greater Miami area. This is why it’s considered one of the best places to explore nature, scuba dive, and spot wildlife.

25. Florida Is A Melting Pot of Cultures

Florida is literally a huge melting pot of cultures. Here, you’ll come across people from all walks of life, cultural and ethnic backgrounds. Native Americans, Greeks, Spaniards, Cubans, Japanese, and Danes have all etched their cultural footprints in the cities and towns of Florida.

Furthermore, Florida has been named one of the top ten diverse states in the country.

Florida Shape Sticker

26. Nearly 1,000 People Move To Florida Each Day

With amazing weather, endless fishing opportunities, lush golf courses, and the longest coast in the U.S., who wouldn’t want to want to be in Florida? Apparently, thousands of retirees are making their way to the sunny state daily in hopes of that relaxed and easy-going lifestyle offered here.

27. You Won’t Find Any Dinosaur Fossils in Florida

You’d think that Florida would be an excellent candidate for dinosaur fossil hunting, thanks to its diverse terrain and expansive flora and fauna. Well, good luck trying to dig up a dinosaur bone because there are zero on record in Florida.

There’s a simple reason for this, though. During the dinosaur age, the entire Florida peninsula was underwater.

28. You Have to Register Your Car in Florida, Even If You Live There Part-Time

If your vehicle spends more than 90 days per year in Florida, you’ll have to register it according to state law. Plus, these 90 days do not have to be consecutive. You also have to ensure that your car is insured and meets the state’s minimum insurance requirements.

29. Florida Ranks First For Higher Education in the USA

Who would have guessed this fact about Florida? The state is the best destination for higher education in its country thanks to low tuition fees and three universities that consistently rank in the top 100 in the country.

Sun Tan Lotion Bottle

30. Suntan Lotion Was Invented in Miami, Florida

This fun fact about Florida makes perfect sense. It is the sunshine state, after all, averaging 237 sunny days per year. So there was no better destination to have been the birthplace of suntan lotion, invented by a pharmacist during World War Two.

Fun Facts About Florida | Wrapped Up

Well, there you have it. Some of the coolest, most interesting, and mind-blowing facts about Florida. It’s a state that will continue to feature on the news or inspire memes for decades to come. Which one of these facts surprised you the most?

Read Next: You might also want to check out these fun facts about Arizona.  

30 Fun & Interesting Facts About Florida That Make It So Unique
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