25 Interesting Facts about Florida

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Want to know more about Florida? Here are 25 Interesting Facts about Florida that you probably didn’t know before reading this!

To make this even more fun, I want to challenge you as well. How many of these Florida facts did you know before reading this? Share your result in the comment section!

1. Gatorade was invented here

It was made for the University of Florida’s football team, the Gators, which gave rise to the popular drink’s name. Gatorade was created in 1965 and has quickly become a favorite. 

2. It is home to the world’s most dangerous tree

The Manchineel tree is one of the few trees humans have to worry about. The sap is poisonous and very acidic, so even a quick touch can cause blisters. If you get the sap in your eyes, you might even turn blind.

And whatever you do, don’t eat its fruit, which looks like a small green apple. Consumption of the fruit can be fatal.

The trees can be found in the Everglades as well as the Caribbean, and they not so easy to get rid of either because if you burn them, even the smoke can cause blindness. 

Manchineel tree

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3. Florida is the most hurricane-prone state in the U.S

Since 1851, there have only been 18 years without a bigger storm causing havoc somewhere in the state. In recent years, there have been quite a few devastating hurricanes in Florida, such as Katrina in 2005, and Maria in 2017 as well as Michael and Yutu in 2018.

The hurricane season in Florida lasts approximately from June 1 to November 30.

4. Native Americans lived here for at least 12,000 years before the Europeans came

When Juan Ponce de León reached Florida, it was already inhabited by Native American tribes, just like most other places on the continent. Some of the tribes who lived here before the Europeans came were the Apalachee, Calusa, Creek, Ais, and Timucua.

5. Clearwater has the highest rate of lightning strikes per capita in the U.S

If you want to see a lightning strike up close, your best shot is to visit Clearwater, which has the highest rate of lightning strikes in all of the USA. 

Clearwater

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6. The first suntan creme was invented in Miami in 1944

Benjamin Green invented the first suntan creme after a successful formula where he cooked cocoa butter in a granite coffee pot. The sun is very strong here, so good protection is a must if you’re staying out in the sun. 

7. You will never be more than 60 miles from the ocean in Florida

No matter where you go, you will never be far away from the ocean. The State of Florida is a peninsula, and the maximum distance to the water is never more than 60 miles. 

The Beaches in Florida are some of the best in all of the U.S. 

best beaches in florida

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8. St. Augustine is the oldest continuously settled city in the United States

It was founded in 1565 on September 8 and is the oldest European settlement in the U.S.

9. It is nicknamed The Sunshine State

The nickname was officially adopted in 1970, and the State enjoys a subtropical climate and sunshine year round. In Key West, for example, there are no records of frost ever and temperatures rarely fall under 60 °F (16 °C).

The sunshine state facts

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10. There is no personal income tax

The state constitution prohibits personal income tax on a State level. However, Floridians must, of course, pay the federal income taxes.

11. It’s the flattest state in the USA

Did you know that the highest point is just 312 feet (95 meters)? That’s quite flat compared to the highest point in the continental USA, which is Mount Whitney at 14,505 ft (4,421 m).

There are no mountains in The Sunshine State, only hills. 

12. Florida has the highest Cuban-American population

This might not be one of the most surprising facts about Florida if you know geography and history, but it’s nonetheless interesting. Florida has the highest share of Cuban-Americans, and there is even a place called Little Cuba in Miami. 

Most of the Cubans arrived here somewhere between 1960 and 1979. 

Little cuba

Photo: Willowtreehouse / Shutterstock.com

13. 90% of American orange juice comes from Florida

The Floridian oranges are famous for being juicy and delicious, and if you’re drinking orange juice for breakfast and live in the U.S, there’s a likely chance that it was made in Florida.

14. Key West has the highest average temperature in the United States

The annual daily temperature on average is 77.7 degrees in Key West. July is the hottest month with an average temperature of 85°F.

15. Florida has more golf courses than any other state in the U.S

This is definitely one of the most interesting facts about Florida for golf lovers around the world. This should be your next golf destination, and you might want to stay for a while since there are 1,250 Floridian golf courses. 

Florida facts

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5 x Fun Facts about Florida

  • There is a place called Niceville
  • Oral sex is illegal in the state of Florida
  • There is a festival called the Mullet Toss where Floridians throw fish carcasses into Alabama
  • Doors of all public buildings must open outwards
  • The Skunk Ape is Florida’s version of Bigfoot, and sightings have been reported in the Everglades

5 x Florida Facts for Kids

  • Florida is a peninsula, which means that it is almost surrounded by water
  • Cape Canaveral is America’s launch pad for space flights
  • You can visit Disneyland 
  • There are alligators and crocodiles living in the Everglades
  • Florida produces more tomatoes, strawberries, sugar, and watermelons than any other state
Everglades National Park

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General Facts about Florida

Below are some general info such as total population, land area, biggest lake, highest mountain and other general facts about Florida that might be interesting to know.

  • Total Population: 21,299,325
  • Demonym: Floridian
  • Median household income: $52,594 (40th)
  • State nickname: The Sunshine State
  • Capital: Tallahassee
  • Largest City by area: Jacksonville
  • Most populated city: Miami
  • Life expectancy: 79,6 years
  • Highest Point: Britton Hill – 312 feet (95 meters)
  • Land area: 65,757.70 sq mi (170,312 km2)
  • Largest Lake: Lake Okeechobee
  • Governor: Ron DeSantis
  • State song: “Old Folks at Home”
  • Time zone: EST: UTC −5/−4 and CST: UTC −6/−5
  • Abbreviation: FL
Tallahassee

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The Biggest Cities in Florida

If you’re looking for facts about Florida, it might also be interesting to know which are the biggest cities. 

MiamiTampa-St. Petersburg
OrlandoJacksonville
Sarasota-BradentonCape Coral-Fort Myers
Palm Bay-MelbournePort St. Lucie
Palm Coast-Daytona Beach-Port OrangePensacola

Flag of Florida

florida flag

Map of Florida

Below, you can see the state territory. The Sunshine State has borders to Alabama and Georgia. It’s the southernmost state in the continental U.S. 

Florida Map

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How many of these Florida Facts did you know beforehand? Share your result in the comment section below!

April 12th, 2019|

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Swedish Nomad

Hello! I’m Alex Waltner — A Swedish Travel Blogger & Photographer.

My vision with this blog is to inspire people to travel more and better by sharing useful travel guides and tips from my adventures around the world.

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