Florida Guide > Miscellaneous
Florida Facts and Figures
We all know and love the state of Florida, but here are some facts you may not know:
Florida was the 27th state to be admitted to the United States on March 3rd 1845. The state has 67 counties and covers 58, 560 square miles.
Florida has 663 miles of glorious beaches and over 11, 000 miles of rivers, streams and waterways. The longest river is St Johns which is 273 miles and it is one of the few rivers that flows north instead of south. St Johns River is also host to the longest river sailboat race in the world - the Annual Mug Race runs for 42 miles from Palatka to Jacksonville. Fort Lauderdale is known as the Venice of America because it has 185 miles of local waterways.
The largest lake is Lake Okeechobee at 700 square miles which is also the second largest lake in the USA.
From the tip of the north to the bottom of the south, Florida is 447 miles in length and 361 miles east to west. The longest road trip in Florida is from Pensacola in the north west of the state to Key West in the south and is 792 miles by road.
Florida was discovered in 1513 by Ponce de Leon when he landed near present day St Augustine and claimed Florida for Spain. He named it ' Pascua de Florida' which means Feast of Flowers. St Augustine was home to the first European settlement and was established in 1565 by Spain. Florida was acquired from Span as a US Territory in 1821.
The last census in 2002 showed that Jacksonville was the largest city for population with 736, 000 residents and Miami was second largest city with 362, 000. Orlando comes in 4th with a population of 186, 000.
There' s plenty of choice for travel - Florida has 19 commercial airports and 12 international airports and is the top tourist destination in the world. With over 80 million visitors in 2009, tourism accounts for over a million jobs in Florida and visitors to the state generate over $65 billion in spending.
Visitors from other parts of the US account for over 76 million of those tourists with 2. 9 million Canadians taking second place and 1. 4 million UK visitors taking third place.
The winter season from January to March brings the highest number of visitors and accounts for almost 30% of visitors. Early summer from April to June is the second busiest season, summer from July to September is third and the quietest season is from October to December.
Florida is a golfers paradise with over 1250 courses - the state has more golf courses than any other state in the USA and Palm County has more courses than any other county in the country.
Florida is famous for it' s oranges and produces around 75% of the USA oranges and supplies roughly 40% of the world' s orange juice.
Key West has the highest average temperature in the United States.
Islamorada in the Keys is well known for being the sports fishing capital of the world, Key Largo is known as the dive capital of the world and Tarpon Springs in known as the sponge capital of the world.
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