Florida Guide > Miscellaneous
Fascinating Florida – Part 5
Florida is a fascinating state to visit, with its diverse attractions it can provide the perfect holiday destination, whatever your interests. On March 3rd, 1845 Florida became the 27th state to join the Union. Its capital city is Tallahassee, and its motto is ‘In God We Trust. ’ It is bordered by the states of Georgia and Alabama, and is one of the favourite states for tourists – particularly because of the attraction of the theme parks of Orlando and the wonderful beaches and temperate climate of the Gulf and south Atlantic coasts. Its state bird is the Mockingbird, and its flower is, hardly surprisingly, the orange blossom, bearing in mind that it produces approximately 75% of the US oranges. It also produces about 40% of the world’s orange juice. But here are a few facts you may not be so aware of:
1. Florida was given the name ‘la Florida’ by Juan Ponce de Leon, who landed on the shores of northeast Florida in April, 1513. Its name honours Spain’s Easter celebration, ‘Pascua Florida’ or feast of the flowers.
2. Florida’s land covers around 54, 000 square miles, with its water covering 4. 434 miles, making a total size of over 58, 000 square miles.
3. Florida’s Gulf coast covers 798 miles.
4. Florida’s Atlantic coast covers 399 miles.
5. Florida has 663 miles of beaches.
6. With this in mind it is no surprise that no part of Florida should be more than an hour and a half’s drive from the ocean. As the crow flies you are never more than 65 miles from the ocean.
7. The founder of the first theme park, Cypress Gardens was Dick Pope, and he is known as the ‘Father of Florida Tourism. ’ Sadly, Cypres s Gardens has finally closed, but it is due to be revamped by the Blackstone Group to provide a new Legoland, which will be the largest in the world.
8. Florida experiences a tropical and humid climate in most parts. The highest temperature recorded was 109 degrees Fahrenheit, and this was in June, 1932.
9. The lowest temperature ever recorded was -2 degrees Fahrenheit.
10. At one time, Ybor City produced approximately 700 million cigars a year, so it is no wonder that it was once known as the Cigar Capital of the World. It had nearly 12, 000 cigar makers who were employed in 200 factories.
11. Plant City is known as the Winter Strawberry Capital of the World. It also holds the Guinness Book of Records record for the largest strawberry shortcake in the world. This 6, 000 lb cake was made on February 19th, 1999 in Mc Call Park, and it was 827 square ft.
12. Florida is home to the loggerhead turtle and over 80% of the US population nests on its beaches.
13. It is said that the average annual commercial harvest of oysters of Apalachicola Bay would produce enough meat to cover a football field to a depth of three feet.
14. Palm trees abound in Florida, but the official state tree is the Sabal Palmetto
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