66 Interesting Facts About Florida

Last updated on May 6th, 2020

50. Castillo de San Marcos (a symbol of former Spanish power, a national monument now), built in 1672-95 in St. Augustine, Florida is the oldest masonry fort standing in the United States.[15]

51. The world’s first scheduled passenger airline service operated between St. Petersburg and Tampa, Florida. The first flight on this route took place on January 1, 1914. The flight’s pilot was Tony Jannus and the first paying passenger was Abram C. Pheil, former mayor of St. Petersburg. The 21-mile (34-kilometer) flight across the bay to Tampa took 23 minutes.[8,24]

The world's first scheduled flight.
The world’s first scheduled flight. Image number SI-00133278

52. Located near Tallahassee, Florida, the Wakulla Springs is the world’s largest and deepest freshwater spring.[9]

53. Florida has more golf courses than any other U.S. state. The number exceeds 1,250.[7]

54. Cape Coral hosts a mind-boggling number of burrowing owls, which are known for their tiny frames. It comes as no surprise that locals host the Burrowing Owl Festival every year to celebrate the species.

55. Chihuly Collection in St. Petersburg, FL, is a stunning set of large-scale glass artworks and installations created by Dale Chihuly. The collection includes several massive chandeliers that resemble giant crystalline tube worms. Some of the outstanding works include electric Tumbleweeds suspended from the roof in a building designed to host the Chihuly’s world-class collection.

56. Port Saint Lucie is undoubtedly a Halloween wonderland that never fails to captivate the imagination. It hosts countless haunted venues that will keep visitors intrigued. The city compares favorably with top venues in Boca Raton, West Palm Beach, and Fort Lauderdale.

57. There is only one state embassy in Washington and that is Florida House.[10]

58. Rip currents kill more people in Florida during an average year than hurricanes, tornadoes, and lightning combined.[11]

59. Florida has more toll roads and bridges than any other state in the Union.[12]

60. St Johns River, Florida’s largest river is one of only a few major rivers that flow from south to north.[12]

61. Florida has the world’s largest occupied wooden structure – The Belleview Biltmore Resort and Spa.[12]

Belleview-Biltmore Hotel, in Clearwater, Florida.
Belleview-Biltmore Hotel, in Clearwater, Florida. Image credit – Wikipedia.org

62. Jacksonville, Florida is the largest city in the conterminous United States. It is also the most populous municipality in the state. Anaconda, Montana is the second largest city in the contiguous United States.[23]

63. Mechanical refrigeration was invented in Florida in 1851 by Dr. John Gorrie.[12]

64. In Florida, it is illegal to confine a pregnant pig to a cage.[13]

65. According to a law in Florida, it is mandatory for all doors to open outward in public buildings.[13] 

66. In 2018, Florida was home to 52 billionaires. 

Florida – Quick facts and State symbols

State AbbreviationFL
State CapitalTallahassee
Largest cityJacksonville
State SizeTotal (Land + Water): 65,755 sq miles; Land Only: 53,927 sq miles
Population
21,299,325
(Estimate July 1, 2018 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)
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
Table last updated8 June, 2020