25 Awesome Facts About Florida You Might Not Know

Posted by , Updated on January 19, 2016

Florida is the kind of place most Americans love to hate (or hate to love), but will visit at some point of their lives regardless. Almost everyone has some kind of Florida memory, whether it’s good or bad. On the one hand, Florida lovers don’t need an excuse to make their way to the Sunshine State and have fun, no matter what time of the year it may be. On the other hand, those who don’t know much about Florida and who’ve heard mainly about the high crime rate in America’s third most populous state, are a little skeptical about visiting anytime soon. Of course, it’s probably true that in its long history, Florida has inspired as much madness and murder as it has fantasies of a magical kingdom where dreams really do come true. After all, Walt Disney was right about one thing: Florida is the kind of place that captures the wildest of imaginations. The landscape is exaggerated, and invites exaggeration. Spanish explorers saw manatees and imagined them to be mermaids; Ponce de Leon saw crystal-clear springs and imagined them to be fountains of youth. Get to know the “sunshine state” a little bit more with these 25 Awesome Facts About Florida You Might Not Know. Florida truly is one of the country’s most beautiful, intriguing, and adventurous states.


Florida is the flattest state in the country. Florida’s mean elevation is just one hundred feet (thirty meters). Britton Hill is the highest natural point in the state with a summit elevation of just 345 feet (105 meters) above sea level. Britton Hill is the lowest state highest point in the United States. The lowest points of sixteen U.S. states are higher than Britton Hill.

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Florida has the longest coastline in the contiguous United States (1,350 miles or 2,170 km) and is the only state that borders both the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean.

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With over 1,300 courses, Florida has more golf courses than any other state in the country.

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Florida is the largest producer of citrus fruits in the United States and third in the world behind Brazil and China.

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The Florida Museum of Hispanic and Latin American Art in Coral Gables is the first and only museum in the United States dedicated to the preservation, diffusion, and promotion of Hispanic and Latin American Art.

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Venice, FL is known as the Shark Tooth Capital of the World. Collecting prehistoric sharks’ teeth has been a favorite pastime of visitors and residents of the area for years.

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The longest river sailboat race in the world is the Annual Mug Race. The event runs forty-two miles from Palatka to Jacksonville along the St. Johns River.

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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.

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The Fred Bear Museum in Gainesville is a tribute to the accomplishments of Fred Bear, a promoter of proper wildlife management and the founder of Bear Archery Company.

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Fort Lauderdale is known as the Venice of America because the city has 185 miles of local waterways.

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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.

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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 February 19, 1999, in McCall Park.

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Ybor City was once known as the Cigar Capital of the World with nearly 12,000 tabaqueros (cigar-makers) employed in two hundred factories. Ybor City produced an estimated 700 million cigars a year at the industry’s peak.

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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 a glass-bottom boat across Biscayne National Park.

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In 1987 the Florida legislature designated the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) the official state reptile. Long an unofficial symbol of the state, the alligator originally symbolized Florida’s extensive untamed wilderness and swamps.

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On May 20, 1970, Florida lawmakers passed and sent to the governor a bill adopting the moonstone as the official state gem. Ironically, the moonstone is not found naturally in Florida nor was it found on the moon.

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Miami Beach pharmacist Benjamin Green invented the first suntan lotion in 1944. He accomplished this by cooking cocoa butter in a granite coffee pot on his wife’s stove.

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Gatorade was named for the University of Florida Gators where the drink was first developed.

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The US city with the highest rate of lightning strikes per capita is Clearwater, Florida.

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A museum in Sanibel owns two million shells and claims to be the world’s only museum devoted solely to mollusks.

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Florida is the only state in the nation whose constitution is reviewed every twenty years.

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Florida is the only state to have an “embassy” in Washington. It is called Florida House. Having opened its doors on October 26, 1973, the purpose of Florida House is to serve the people of Florida.

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In 2014, Florida surpassed New York to become the third most populous state in the USA.

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Miami installed the first bank ATM, particularly for rollerbladers.

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The full title of the official Florida state song is “Swanee River (Old Folks at Home).” The choice makes sense if you take into account that the retirement industry is the state's second-biggest economic driver, and that by 2030, one out of every four Florida residents will be older than 65.

elders-401296_960_720Source: huffingtonpost.com, Image: pixabay.com

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