105 Interesting Facts About Florida

Last updated on May 5th, 2024

87. According to a law in Florida, it is mandatory for all doors to open outward in public buildings.

88. North Miami has a building known as the “Miami Temple,” which resembles a Mayan pyramid. It was originally constructed as a movie theater in the 1920s and later transformed into a church.

89. There is only one state embassy in Washington and that is Florida House.

90. The onion-domed Phillips Mausoleum in Tallahassee grabs attention for its quaky mishmash of architectural styles. It generates a spooky feel as it looms large atop Oakland Cemetery’s south hill.

91. The first sightings of the Skunk Ape, a mythical creature described as a large, ape-like being, can be traced back to the early 1960s. Reports of this elusive creature began surfacing in Florida, particularly in the Everglades region, where witnesses claimed to have seen a large, foul-smelling, and hairy humanoid creature roaming in the wilderness.

Agustina's Love Tree Café & Boutique, Florida.
Agustina’s Love Tree Café & Boutique. Image credit – https://www.visitstaugustine.com/

92. Did you know that St. Augustine has number of “love trees” where two different species of trees grow on, in and through one another? There is a palm tree that grows through this oak tree. The moist climate of Florida comes to the aid of the palm tree which soaks moisture within the bark of the oak tree and continues to grow. One can spot this inseparable couple in Agustina’s Love Tree Café and Boutique in St. Augustine, Florida.

93. The U.S. state of Florida is also home to the world’s most dangerous tree – the Manchineel tree. All parts of the tree contain strong toxins. Mere contact with the sap from this tree can cause blisters on the skin. The tree is also known as “the beach apple” and “little apple of death.

citrus fruits

94. Florida is the largest producer of citrus fruits in the United States. And the majority of the harvest of citrus fruits goes into juice making.

95. Florida is the world’s leading producer of grapefruit. Florida ranks second only after Brazil in global juice production.

96. In the 18th century, Florida was home to several indigo plantations. Indigo was a valuable cash crop used to produce blue dye, and its cultivation played a significant role in the region’s economy. 

Fresh, organic, hand-picked ripe tomatoes
Fresh, organic, hand-picked ripe tomatoes for sale at a local farmer’s market.

97. Florida and California each produce fresh market tomatoes on 30,000-40,000 acres every year, which is equal to two-thirds of U.S. tomato acreage. Florida is the second-largest tomato producing state.

no tax in Florida

98. There is no personal income tax in Florida.

99. Before Hollywood, California, there was Hollywood, Florida. The city was founded in 1925 and named after the Californian city, hoping to attract motion picture production to the area.

100. People are used to seeing retailers specializing in unusual or weird merchandise to cater to a specific niche. However, one retail outlet in Miami takes specialty shopping to the next level by exclusively stocking fajas. This type of merchandise is a form of undergarment used to squeeze the fat to look slimmer.

101. Mechanical refrigeration was invented in Florida in 1851 by Dr. John Gorrie.

102. Key lime pie, the iconic dessert of Florida, has a rich history dating back to the late 1800s. It is believed to have been created by early settlers in the Florida Keys, where key limes were readily available.

103. Billy Bowlegs III, a prominent Seminole leader, resisted forced removal from Florida during the 1850s. He was instrumental in negotiating with the U.S. government and advocating for the rights of the Seminole people.

104. In the early 1960s, Operation Pedro Pan facilitated the immigration of over 14,000 Cuban children to the United States, with many settling in Florida to escape Fidel Castro’s regime.

105. In 1564, French Huguenots established Fort Caroline near present-day Jacear present-day Jacksonville. It was one of the first French colonies in North America but was later destroyed by the Spanish, who established St. Augustine in its place.

5 Facts About the Flag of Florida

1. The state flag of Florida has had several versions since the mid 19th century. During the 16th century, Florida was a Spanish territory and several different Spanish regional flags were used. One later design from 1845 displayed the sometimes controversial motto ‘Let us Alone.’

2. Florida’s flag has been voted as the 34th best design out of 72 US and Canadian flag designs from the states, provinces and territories. During the early 20th century, the diagonal red lines were added to the flag so the white background didn’t resemble the flag of surrender.

State Flag of Florida

3. The seal of the state of Florida was added to the flag in the 1860s. It depicts things often associated with the state, including palm trees, lakes and the sun, as well as a Seminole Indian woman. In 1970, the headdress was removed from the figure of the Seminole Indian.

4. Following reassigned territory in North America after the 1763 Treaty of Paris, Florida was under British rule for a period during the late 18th century. During those 20 years, the distinctive British Union Jack flew over Florida, until the Spanish regained control in 1783.

5. The flag that can be seen all over the Sunshine State today dates from 1900, when a vote meant that the diagonal red lines were added. The Cross of Burgundy, as it’s called, is a reminder of Spanish rule over the state and it also represents the cross on which St. Andrew was crucified.

Florida – quick facts and statistics

State AbbreviationFL
State CapitalTallahassee
Largest cityJacksonville
State SizeTotal (Land + Water): 65,755 sq miles; Land Only: 53,927 sq miles
Population
22,610,726 (Estimate July 1, 2023 from United States Census Bureau)
StatehoodMarch 3, 1845
State rank by population3rd
State rank by date of formation27th
State rank by area22nd
Number of Counties67
Complete list of 50 states and number of counties in each
DemonymFloridian, Floridan
Bordering StatesAlabama, Georgia
Official LanguageEnglish
Highest PointBritton Hill
345 ft (105 m)
Lowest pointAtlantic Ocean
Sea level
Mean elevation100 feet above sea level
Length 447 miles (721 km)
Width361 miles (582 km)
National ParksBiscayne National Park
Dry Tortugas National Park
Everglades National Park
GovernorRon DeSantis (R)
Lieutenant GovernorJeanette Nuñez (R)
Electoral Votes29
State MottoIn God We Trust
State NicknameSunshine State
Everglade State
Orange State
% Water17.9
Nobel Prize WinnersGeorge F. Smoot (Physics, 2006)
Famous PeopleDerrick Brooks (Linebacker. Inducted in 2014),
Tim Raines (Left Fielder. Inducted in 2017),
Mitch Richmond (Guard. Inducted in 2014),
William H. Macy (Actor)
Festival"Calle Ocho-Open House 8"
Song"Old Folks at Home"
Anthem"Florida (Where the Sawgrass Meets the Sky)"
State Fresh Water FishFlorida largemouth bass
State GemMoonstone
State FlowerOrange blossom
State BirdMockingbird
State Marine MammalFlorida manatee
State Salt Water MammalPorpoise (dolphin)
State TreeSabal palm
State WildflowerState Wildflower
State HorseFlorida Cracker Horse
State ButterflyZebra longwing
State ReptileAmerican alligator
Reptile
(salt water)
Loggerhead sea turtle
State ShellHorse conch
StoneAgatized coral
Longitude80° 02' W to 87° 38' W
Latitude24° 27' N to 31° 00' N
Time ZoneEastern Time Zone, Central Time Zone
Websitemyflorida.com
Area Codes239, 305, 321, 352, 386, 407, 561, 689, 727, 754, 772, 786, 813, 850, 863, 904, 927, 941, 954
Last updatedDecember 21, 2023