Florida is the southernmost state in the continental United States. It’s the 22nd largest and 3rd most populous state in the nation.
Sunny Florida is best known for its theme parks, beaches, alligators, and—of course—heat.
Related: Florida State History
Population: 21 million
Nickname: The Sunshine State
Key Cities: Orlando, Miami, Tampa, Tallahassee, Jacksonville
Postal Abbreviation: FL
Major Industries: Tourism, agriculture, aerospace, manufacturing, information technology
How did Florida get its name: Florida was named for the day it was discovered by Spanish explorer Ponce de Leon, which historians believe was on either Easter or Palm Sunday.
He called the land La Florida in honor of Pascua Florida, the Spanish Feast of the Flowers (Easter).
Date admitted to the Union: Monday, March 3, 1845
Size: 65,755 sq. miles
Lowest point: Atlantic Ocean at sea level
Highest point: Britton Hill at 345 feet
Famous locations: Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, Kennedy Space Center, Miami Beach, Everglades National Park, Daytona 500 International Speedway
Eva Mendes- actress
Ariana Grande- singer
Thomas Edison– inventor
Ernest Hemingway- author
Wesley Snipes- actor
Deion Sanders- athlete
Florida has more toll roads, bridges, and golf courses than any other state in the nation.
St. Augustine, Florida is also home to the World Golf Hall of Fame and Museum.
The only place in the world where crocodiles and alligators live together is the Florida Everglades.
They share their home with over 350 species of birds and 300 species of fish!
Florida produces more tomatoes, strawberries, sugar, and watermelons than any other state.
It also produces 70% of the oranges in the United States and supplies 40% of the world’s orange juice. Yum!
No matter where you are in Florida, you’re no more than 60 miles from the ocean. Florida boasts 1,300 miles of coastline and 800 miles of beaches.
Florida is the top travel destination in the world, with more than 90 million visitors each year. Disney World receives over 45,000 visitors per day.
On busier days, over 100,000 people may visit the park. And some people head to Florida to stay; more than 100 people move to Florida every day.
Although Florida is called the Sunshine State, it also has its share of bad weather.
Central Florida sees more lightning than anywhere else in the country, and Florida has one of the highest average precipitation (rain) levels of any of the states.