Florida

Laser Tag Source State of the Week
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Florida Quick Facts

  • State Nicknames: Heart of Dixie, Cotton State and Yellowhammer State (after the state bird)
  • The city with the largest population is Birmingham but the largest city by land is Huntsville
  • The oldest city is Mobile
  • The capital is Montgomery
  • Alabama experiences some of the hottest summers in the United States
  • South Florida is the only place on earth where alligators and crocodiles coexist in the wild.

Additional Florida Information

Gators
South Florida is the only place on earth where alligators and crocodiles coexist in the wild.

Daycare
A 1998 Florida law requires all state-funded daycare centers and preschools to play classical music for the children. “I want all the kids in the state of Florida to be the best and brightest,” state senator Bill Turner said. The so-called Mozart effect has since been debunked, but the law holds.

Skunk Ape
Florida has its own Bigfoot: the eight-foot tall, hairy, smelly monster known as the Skunk Ape. Sightings were so frequent in the ’70s that legislators feared it was just a matter of time before the Skunk Ape was caught or killed.

Amish Beach
Sarasota, Florida, is home to what may be the only Amish beach resort in the world.

Rockets
NASA built a rocket test facility in Homestead, Florida, in the 1960s. When the project ended, the government left the site intact—and there’s still a rocket there today.

Mullet Toss
Participants in the annual Interstate Mullet Toss throw dead fish over the state line from Florida into Alabama.

The Name
The state got its name from explorer Ponce de Leon, who called it La Florida, or “the flowery place.”

Citrus
Florida is the largest producer of citrus fruits in the United States and second in the world

Amusement Parks
Orlando attracts more visitors than any other amusement park destination in the United States.

Safety Harbor
Safety Harbor is the home of the historic Espiritu Santo Springs. Given this name in 1539 by the Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto. He was searching for the legendary Fountain of Youth. The natural springs have attracted attention worldwide for their curative powers.

Florida By the Numbers

Sq Miles

Florida is 15,409 square miles bigger than England … although a lot of that is swampland.

Days in Jail

As cuddly as they might look, keep your distance from the state’s beloved (and endangered) manatees. The Florida Manatee Sanctuary Act makes it illegal to disturb the creatures in any way; violators may face fines up to $500 and be sentenced to up to 60 days in jail.

Lightning Deaths

Florida once boasted the dubious distinction of “lightning capital of the world,” until NASA discovered that Rwanda actually deserves the title. Still, approximately nine people are killed by lightning strikes in Florida each year.

Miles

Florida has the longest coastline in the contiguous United States (1,350 miles or 2,170 km), and is the only state in the United States that borders both the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean.

feet of elevation

Florida’s mean elevation is just 100 ft (30 meters) Britton Hill is the highest natural point in the state with a summit elevation of just 345 feet (105 meters) above mean sea level.

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