Are you interested in learning some fun facts about Florida before your trip? There are so many fun things to learn. From historical Florida facts to geographical facts and even a few cool extras thrown in, we have at least one fact that’s sure to surprise you.
Florida is gorgeous, and it’s a great place to spend a week out on the sand, in the Everglades National park, or to enjoy some fun nightlife in Miami Beach. There are so many places to visit in Florida from the Space Coast or to the Florida Keys. Before you plan your visit to Florida, enjoy these fun facts to learn more about the Sunshine State.
Fun and Interesting Facts about Florida
Are you looking towards the Sunshine State for your next traveling adventure? With 250 days of sun per year, it lives up to its reputation. To learn some more tidbits about Florida, keep reading for some of our favorite fun and interesting facts about Florida.
1. Florida has Nothing But Coastline (almost)
Florida is the only state that’s tucked between both the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. As a matter of fact, over two-thirds of the entire state’s population lives in a coastal area.
While Florida isn’t an island, it is a peninsula. This means that it’s surrounded by water on three sides. The Atlantic Ocean to the East, the Gulf of Mexico to the West and the Straits of Florida to the South.
This is the place to be if you love wide-open water. In fact, Florida has the longest coastline in the contiguous United States (lower 48). Alaska has the longest coastline in all of the United States. Check out 16 Fun and Interesting Facts About Alaska
One of our favorite places to visit in Florida is Islamorada Key, check out this part of the Florida Keys that is definitely surrounded by water.
2. The Lowest Highest Natural Point – At One With the Sea
Did you know that Florida is the flattest state in the US? Most of the state is at or around sea level.
As a matter of fact, the highest point in Florida is only 345 feet above sea level. What does that mean? Well, if you want to look smart with some fun facts to share with your friends, tell them that Florida has the lowest highest natural point in America.
Confused yet? This means, that if you stand on the State’s high point, Britton Hill at 385 feet above sea level, you are still lower than other states. You can find it near the Alabama border.
- If you are looking for some amazing activities to do in Florida check out these:
- Key West Island Adventure Eco Tour – Kayak and snorkel of the 3rd largest coral reef in the world.
- Rent a Car and Drive from Miami to Key West – Check CarRentals.com
3. Friendly Sea Cows
Florida is home to the friendly sea cow. Manatees are the best part of Florida. Have you ever seen one of those gentle and chubby underwater friends? If not, Book this Manatee swim and snorkel to swim among the manatees in Homosassa State Wildlife Park.
These animals are harmless and often friendly with humans, but you should never reach out and touch one. Luckily for you, Florida’s Crystal River lets you get up-close and personal with manatees. Crystal River is also the only refuge that’s made specifically for manatee protection!
Bonus fact: while there are no mermaids out in the deep blue sea, manatees (and their cousins, dugongs) might have been the “mermaids” that sailors saw throughout history. Needless to say, they may have been confused and overtired. Check out these Places to Visit in Florida to see where you can see mermaids performing underwater.
4. Hurricane Season
Florida is known for its hurricanes, and all Florida residents know that hurricane season is just a fact of life. If you plan on traveling, make sure that you do your due diligence and look into the weather first.
Florida, with its watery surroundings, is a prime target for these summer storms. An estimated 40% of hurricanes that head to the US hit Florida. Most hurricanes are mild enough, however, hurricanes are getting more powerful with each season, and the latest hurricanes of Irma and Ian have caused massive devastation around the state.
5. Fun In Orlando
Orlando is a prime destination for vacationers everywhere. And did you know that Florida is home to two of the biggest theme parks in the world: Universal Studios and Walt Disney World Resort? And here is another fun fact, Walt Disney World Resort is the most visited theme park in the world. Check out more theme parks in Florida at the 11 Best Theme Parks in Florida To Visit
Walt Disney World Resort is home to several theme parks of its own, including Epcot and Magic Kingdom. It’s almost the size of San Francisco! Disney World is its own city.
Universal Studios has the coveted Wizarding World of Harry Potter and is starting to rival Disney World as one of the best Florida theme parks. Super-fans of all types will love traveling through all the theme parks in Florida. I know we did! Check out these Top 10 Roller Coasters in Florida‘
6. Orlando International Airport is Busy
The Orlando International Airport is the busiest airport in Florida and the 7th busiest airport in America. That’s a pretty impressive feat considering the Orlando airport isn’t a hub like JFK, Denver, or Chicago. People fly into Orlando to enjoy all of the best things to do in and around the city.
7. Traveling on the Water
Did you know that there are parts of Florida where you can travel along waterways? There are so many boats and waterways in Florida, that Florida is often touted as the boating capital of the world.
Similar to those scenes you’ll see of the canals in Italy with people taking boats through the streets, in Cape Coral, there are 400 miles of waterways. It’s not as large or extensive as it sounds, but it’s still impressive when you see it up-close.
Looking for places to Stay in Florida? Check out these hotels in our favourite places in Florida.
- Daytona Beach – Daytona Beach Shores is located on the Atlantic Ocean. This Luxury hotel on the beach with amazing spa, service and amenities – Check it out on TripAdvisor
- Key West – Crown Plaza Key West – Located in the heart of all the action on Duval Street, it’s a little oasis with amazing amenities, spa and swimming pool. Check it out on TripAdvisor
8. Island Life
While Florida itself is mostly a mainland peninsula, there are also islands there to jazz things up all over South Florida. The Florida Keys is a set of islands that have become popular tourist destinations. From Key Largo to Key West, The Florida Keys are home to 800 keys.
In Florida, there are over 4,500 islands that are technically part of the state. That’s a lot of tropical islands to explore.
9. Join the Party
Did you know that Florida boasts the third-largest population of any state? It might not seem true, but it is! In fact, nearly 1000 people move to Florida each and every day. The state population at the time of writing is 21.78 million people! That’s very impressive considering Florida isn’t a huge landmass. The state is only 65,758 square miles (170,310 km2). To put that into perspective, Texas is 268,597 mi² nearly 4 times its size.
Florida has almost 6.5% of the entire population of the United States. It also has the highest percentage of people over the age of 65 in the entire country. You probably know a grandparent or two who has moved to Florida to enjoy their retirement. They’ve got the right idea! (My parents spend the cold months in Winterhaven, Florida and they are Canadian!)
10. Beaches, Beaches, and More Beaches
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Florida has an abundance of beaches. While some are more popular than others, most are great destinations for a day of fun in the sun. Read: The Best Places to Stay in Florida
South Beach which is the most famous portion of Miami Beach is a hotspot for partying and nightlife. Dry Tortugas is as remote as it gets, Daytona Beach is known for its racing fame, and Panama City Beach is known for its wild spring breaks.
Both on and off the beach, there’s no shortage of things to do. When you’re done soaking in the sun, you get to put on your dancing shoes and hit the town. Read more about Miami 30 Fun Things to do in Miami, Florida
Cocoa Beach has several public and private beach areas with hot sand and warm water for a more relaxing day. These areas aren’t as popular as some of the party beaches, so you should have no trouble finding some time alone to relax on a towel with a good book. Read More: Best Beaches in Florida for Fun in the Sun
11. The Space Coast
Florida is famous for its contributions to space travel. The Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral still launches rockets. It’s an active space center! They have a visitor center where anyone can come and learn all about space travel and even watch rockets launch.
In July of 1969, the famous Neil Armstrong actually launched from Kennedy Space Center! It’s a crucial fixture in our space history. Get your Skip the Line tickets to the Kennedy Space Center.
12. Aviation History
Florida not only has space in its blood, it was also home to the first commercial passenger airline flight from St. Petersburg and Tampa, on Jan. 1, 1914. The flight was only 23 minutes long, but it made history thus solidifying it in our Florida fun facts for eternity.
13. Only Coral Reefs in America
Did you know that Florida is home to the only coral barrier reef in the United States? A surprising Florida fact is that it is also the third-largest barrier reef in the entire world behind Australia and the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System that runs from Mexico to Honduras.
As a matter of fact, the Florida Keys that we mentioned before are all formed from exposed coral.
Coral reefs are crucial for our oceans and overall underwater ecosystems. You can visit these coral reefs to explore these beautiful areas for yourself, but be careful.
14. Get Out Into Nature
While we usually associate Florida with beaches and theme parks, it’s also a great destination for anyone who loves nature and wants to experience the wild side of the state.
Florida has 11 national parks, and each park contains plenty of plants and animals for you to observe and identify.
While Florida is famous for its oceanside relaxation, it’s also home to 7,700 lakes. Looking at Florida on the map doesn’t seem possible, but this state has a ton of water.
15. Reptiles Galore
One of the more intriguing fun facts we learned about Florida is that alligators and crocodiles co-exist. If you’re interested in reptiles that bite, you know that Florida is a hotspot for alligators. As a matter a fact, the offical state reptile of Florida is the alligator.
But did you know that the Florida Everglades National Park is also the only place in nature where you can see alligators and crocodiles together in one place? Are you a reptile lover who wants to see all things scaley? You’re in the right place. Florida has a variety of reptilian friends (and foes) for you to catch a glimpse of if you’re lucky.
16. Miami Has 2 National Parks
Speaking of the Everglades, this national park is located in the greater Miami area. And here is another fun fact, Miami is the only city in the United States with 2 national parks. The other is Biscayne National Park. Biscayne National Park is a marine park with coral reefs, shipwrecks and plenty of history. It is considered one of the top places to scuba dive in the United States
Everglades National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and International Biosphere. The best way to explore it is by paddling, but there are hiking and biking trails too. High-speed jet boat tours are offered in Everglades National Park, but why whizz through it when you can take a week long canoe trip in silence to see the animals up close?
You’ll find everything from flamingoes to dolphins in this protected habitat. You’ll also spot the endangered and elusive Florida panther, and the cute as a button manatee in This 1.5 million-acre wetland preserve is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Read more: the Best Places to Visit in Florida
17. Southernmost Point
Did you know that Key West boasts the southernmost point in the continental United States? While the painted marker in Key West is the most recognizable point depicting the southernmost point, it is actually the beach in Fort Zachary State Park that is the official southernmost point. It is 150 meters (500 feet) farther south than the marker.
In fact, the southernmost point of Key West is closer to Cuba than to Miami. If you hop on a yacht in Key West, you’ll be in Cuba in a short 140 km.(90 miles). Check out 11 Fun Facts About Cuba You Never Knew
18. Florida is home to the Nation’s Oldest City
And while we are on some geography facts, St. Augustine, Florida is the oldest city in the United States. Founded in 1565 by Don Pedro Menendez de Avile of Spain, the Nation’s Oldest City is the longest inhabited city in the US that was settled by Europeans.
19. Golfer’s Paradise
Did you know that Florida has over 1,000 golf courses? This fits in with the large 65+ population in the state. Why not spend retirement putting around on the green? Not only that but Florida is also considered the best state for golfers! In fact, it is considered the Golf Captial of the world.
Florida is home to the PGA headquarters and is home to the World Golf Hall of Fame and Museum in St. Augustine. Want some more fun facts about golf in Florida? The state has more golf courses than any other state and Palm Beach County has more golf courses than any other county in the country. If you love golfing, this is the place to be.
20. Sea Turtles of Florida
There are 5 types of sea turtles in Florida. The most common is the Loggerhead turtle. If you see a sea turtle nest on one of Florida’s beaches, you should know that you’re obligated to leave it alone.
Sea turtles aren’t the only friends with shells in Florida. A giant tortoise used to reside in one of Florida’s parks.
21. Get That Vitamin C
When you’re in Florida, you’ll be soaking up all of that important vitamin D from the sun. That’s not the only vitamin that you can take in, though!
There’s a reason that so many people associate oranges with Florida. Florida produces more citrus fruits than any other state in the United States due to its ideal climate for growing. In fact, it produces more than 70% of all the oranges in America.
Believe it or not, it also produces the most grapefruit of any place in the entire world. If you want a fresh glass of orange juice, Florida is the place to be.
Orange Blossom is the State Flower
Considering that oranges are such a huge part of Florida’s GDP, it’s no wonder that the orange blossom is the state flower. It was designated the state flower in 1909 with the Florida orange being the state fruit and orange juice being the state drink. Orange blossoms are fragrant flowers that bloom lovely white flowers during the orange blossom season.
22. Oldest National Wildlife Refuge is in Florida
While Yellowstone is the oldest national park in the United States, Florida boasts the nation’s first wildlife refuge. President Theodore Roosevelt established Pelican Island federal bird reservation in 1903.
Do You Love These Florida Facts?
This is only a small sample of all of the fun and interesting facts about Florida. The Sunshine State has everything from oranges to alligators. It takes people to the ocean and space. What’s not to love?
Even if you don’t think that you’ll ever call Florida home, why not take a trip and enjoy the sun and sand firsthand?
If you’re an adventurous traveler, let us guide you! Check out our destination guides and start planning your next big trip.
Read More About Florida
- Daytona: Best Things to do in Daytona Beach
- Key West: 27 of the Best Things to Do in Key West, Florida
- Islamorada Key: Things to do in Islamorada Florida Keys
- Places to Visit: the Best Places to Visit in Florida
- Best Florida Roller Coasters: Top 10 Roller Coasters in Florida
- Fort Lauderdale: 23 Best Things to Do in Fort Lauderdale