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Fantastic Florida Attractions and Facts About The Sunshine State

The southern states have a charm all their own. From beaches to deserts, there is a wide array of landscapes to please almost anyone!

Dazzling white sands at Fort Walton Beach

Dazzling white sands at Fort Walton Beach

The Sunshine State

Florida's nickname is the "Sunshine State." Is it any wonder that landlocked northerners in the dead of winter, when there are piles of snow outside their doors and icicles hanging from nearby tree branches, start yearning for a respite? Of course, other southern states like Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and Southern California pick up their fair share of visitors during that same time of year.

Florida is designated a "Top Destination State" year after year. To me, it is no wonder. Not only does it have tropical and subtropical weather (for the most part) to warm those bones of the cold weary, but seemingly endless beaches for those who still wish to get a golden tan and play in the surf and sand.

Within the confines of this southeastern state are seemingly endless attractions, like those pristine beaches. For nature lovers and history buffs, there is much to love in Florida. It is also a playground for those who like the game of golf, tennis, or any water sport. Photographers have endless possibilities of things to capture in their viewfinders.

This state seems to have another tourist attraction just about every few miles or so! While some are human-made, like the fantastic Epcot and Magic Kingdom of Walt Disney World fame, most have capitalized on the natural surroundings unique to the area. In addition to the moderate climate, there are so many reasons why tourism is a massive part of Florida's economy!

Longest Coastline!

A good portion of Florida juts out as a peninsula. It separates the Atlantic Ocean from the Gulf of Mexico. That accounts for it having "the longest coastline in the contiguous United States" and providing all of those splendid beaches which lure people from near and far.

Topographic map of the State of Florida, USA (2000 Census).

Topographic map of the State of Florida, USA (2000 Census).

People Calling Florida Home

Because of the mild climate, many people have decided to call this state their home. They also get some sixty million visitors each year! It is the fourth most populous state out of fifty in the U.S.

Many people of moderate means live there. But people of great wealth have also settled there, if even for a part of the year. As so often happens, some beautiful and historical sites have become donations by these individuals or family members to the state. Now, anyone wishing to visit can enjoy them. Those residents who live nearby enjoy these attractions often and for various events held there throughout the year. Such is the case with places such as the Ringling Mansion or the Ford and Edison winter homes and gardens.

Gardens and Beaches

There is no shortage of spectacular gardens in Florida! I am so glad that I got to see the Cypress Gardens before it turned into Legoland. Do you like blooming orchids, hibiscus, or bougainvillea? How about swaying palm trees or banana trees? Would you like to pick some fresh citrus off of your backyard trees or see them growing in abundance in professionally managed groves? For anyone who enjoys puttering around in the yard and growing things year-round, then Florida might be your kind of paradise.

Some of the best seashells are on beaches in Florida. I have an uncle who likes to collect sharks' teeth, and he has amassed quite a collection from beachcombing in Florida.

Some Florida Facts

Native Americans originally roamed these lands. Evidence goes back many thousands of years of their existence in these parts of America.

Like so often happened, Native American population numbers declined due to disease. They had no natural immunity against diseases brought over by the Europeans. They also died in multiple battles with the peoples coming from across the seas. There are preserved Indian burial mounds in various parts of Florida to see.

Juan Ponce de Léon gets the credit for finding what is now known as Florida in 1513. Spanish rule persisted for a while until colonists from England and France also tried to settle there.

When under British rule back in 1763, the state was divided. St. Augustine was the capital of East Florida, and Pensacola was the capital of West Florida.

Florida became the 27th State of the United States in 1845. It was not too many years later, in 1861, that it seceded and became part of the Confederate States of America. That was the tumultuous period of the War between the States or Civil War as it was also known. That period lasted until 1865.

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Florida's capital city is now Tallahassee.

Here is an interesting bit of trivia: Florida has the "lowest highpoint of any U.S. state." It is a mere 345 feet (105 meters) above sea level.

The national parks in Florida feature many things such as mangrove forests, coral reefs, bird and marine life preservation areas, islands, and sites containing fresh, brackish, and salt waters.

Ponce de Leon

Ponce de Leon

Vacationing in Florida

If you have never vacationed in Florida, this may encourage you to put it on your bucket list of sites to see. It would take some time to visit this state from north to south and east to west, with all the many Florida attractions to be seen and enjoyed.

It is the 22nd largest of the 50 states in the U.S. I know that I have many more sites that remain on my desired list of places to see someday.


This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2012 Peggy Woods

Comments are welcomed. Thanks!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 17, 2021:

Hi Devika,

Thanks! Florida has so many attractions, natural beauty, and a mild climate the majority of the time. It is no wonder people like living there and visiting that state.

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on April 17, 2021:

Your overview of Florida sounds fantastic!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 16, 2021:

Hi Devika,

Florida is attractive to people for so many reasons. I am glad to share an overview of it here. Thanks for your visit and comment.

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on April 16, 2021:

Beautiful place and filled with great attractions. I like that you share a lot about such places. The beaches and gardens, also the climate sounds good to me.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 16, 2021:

Hi Dennis,

It sounds like you have some good memories of visiting the Sunshine State on at least several occasions. There would be many sites in which to conduct business. And, of course, almost the entire state offers pleasurable places to enjoy. Thanks for your comment.

Dennis on April 15, 2021:

Having visited Florida for business and pleasure, it is easy to see what attracts others.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 15, 2021:

Florida is still a top tourist destination! I have enjoyed visiting that spectacular state several times and would enjoy going back again someday. There is so much to do and see there!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on December 28, 2018:

Hi Rajan,

The beaches and gardens in Florida are indeed lovely. Hope you get to visit there someday.

Rajan Singh Jolly from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on December 28, 2018:

I'd certainly love to visit Florida because of its mild climate as well as its beaches and gardens.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on August 31, 2018:

Hi Ethel,

Florida is a popular vacation spot as well as retirement area for many seniors who wish to escape the cold winters up north. It is filled with many beautiful attractions.

Ethel Smith from Kingston-Upon-Hull on August 31, 2018:

Thanks Peggy. Have never visited the USA but I know Florida is very popular with British tourists

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on November 04, 2016:

Hi Peg,

It must have been so much fun living in Florida with all of those many attractions to enjoy. I'll bet your home was popular with guests!

Peg Cole from North Dallas, Texas on November 04, 2016:

All these wonderful attractions and photos remind me of the years I lived in Florida. Whenever guests would visit from out of town, we'd go to Disney World or Sea World or Weeki Wachee Springs. Fishing was great and so was the weather. Thanks for all the reminders of my home state.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on March 22, 2015:

Hi Mary,

You are lucky to live in such a gorgeous state with so many attractions. Like you, I have not seen everything in Texas either. It would be a full time job exploring every nook and cranny of both of our states. Thanks for the votes and share.

Mary Hyatt from Florida on March 21, 2015:

I have lived in Florida since 1965, and I still have not seen all the many attractions we have.

I love living here. You did a wonderful job of highlighting our many attractions. Course my favorite is Disney. I never tire of taking my grandchildren there.

Voted this UP, and shared.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on January 10, 2014:

Hi Au fait,

Yes...many people nicknamed "snowbirds" end up heading south this time of year to warmer climates and Florida gets their fair share of them. It is a beautiful state to explore. There are still many areas of that state that I would enjoy exploring! Thanks for the pin.

C E Clark from North Texas on January 03, 2014:

Lots of people go to Florida (from the northern states) this time of year to get out of the deep freeze. It's a good time to go, although it is 'the season,' when lots of people do, so prices are often a little on the high side. Still, there are lots of things to see and do as you have listed here. I've been to FL several times and it's well worth the trip. Hope you're having a good day!

Pinning this to 'Awesome Hubpages.'

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on August 12, 2013:

Hi KoffeeKlatch Gals,

Nice that you also have these as some of your favorite places in

Florida. Thanks for your comment.

Susan Hazelton from Northern New York on August 12, 2013:

You've named my favorite places in Florida. My girls also like Ripleys elieve It Or Not Museum in Orlando when they were growing up.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on August 10, 2013:

Hi Au fait,

Anyone planning a summer vacation better get busy! Not much left of it although with the heat we are having in Houston, it seems endless. Ha! Florida is such a beautiful state filled to the brim with attractions. Nice that you have seen many of these...and probably others as well. Thanks for the pin and the share.

C E Clark from North Texas on August 08, 2013:

Been to a lot of the places you talk about here and all are well worth taking the time to see and experience. As always, packed with great information and superb photos. Pinning this to my 'Travel' board (should probably call it Peggy's Travel Board! :) ) and will share again with my followers, some of whom may be planning summer vacations right now.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 05, 2013:

Hi Rajan,

Many people love Florida for its mild weather, scenery and the numerous attractions...both natural and man-made. Hope you get to see it someday. Thanks for your visit to this hub, the votes and share.

Rajan Singh Jolly from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on July 04, 2013:

I haven't been to Florida but would love to, to experience the beautiful attractions it has to offer.

Voted up, interesting, beautiful and shared.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on May 26, 2013:

Hi Au fait,

So many parts of Florida are wonderful to visit. This gives people some ideas of some of the places that they might wish to explore. Obviously there are others as well. Thanks for the share.

C E Clark from North Texas on May 23, 2013:

With vacation time for many people just around the corner, wanted to share this excellent article again on all the fantastic things to do in Florida. This hub can be so helpful to people planning their itinerary and activities.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on February 17, 2013:

Hi Au fait,

You have seen quite a bit of Florida from your comment. It is a fantastic state in which to enjoy vacationing and/or living. Thanks for your comment, votes and the share.

C E Clark from North Texas on February 16, 2013:

Lots of great information here to help people plan their vacation to Florida. I've been to Silver Springs, Cypress Gardens, the Miami Seaquarium, and twice to Disney World. Disney World in Florida is far superior to Disney Land in CA it seems to me. Great hub, excellent photos as usual. Up, UBI, 5 more stars, and will share!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on November 02, 2012:

Hi pstraubie48,

We have always enjoyed our visits to Florida. We have also seen the manatees and they are amazing animals. Will look forward to reading your article when you get it written. Perhaps we can then link our manatee hubs together. Thanks for your comment.

Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on November 02, 2012:

Good evening Peggy

Thanks for this lovely salute to Florida. There is so much to see and do much of it is often missed.

Tarpon Springs is a favorite of ours and Blue Springs State Park where the manatee come up in my neck of the woods. I will be writing about them this winter.

This is so nicely done. Voted up up and away.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on October 19, 2012:

Hi Stacy,

The mermaid show in Weeki Wachee Springs is one of the oldest attractions in Florida. My grandparents saw it back when they were traveling south for the winter months escaping the cold Wisconsin weather. The fact of it still being shown attests to its obvious popularity. Sounds like you should write a hub about what you think are the major differences between DisneyWorld and DisneyLand from your perspective. What do you think? Thanks for your comment.

Stacy Harris from Hemet, Ca on October 19, 2012:

I have been to Florida a couple of times. Once when I was in High School for a band trip and once when I was older to visit a friend from the military. Both times were fun trips. I have to say though one of the biggest draws is DisneyWorld and Universal. I know that sounds funny coming from someone who lives in California. But it just isnt' the same as Disneyland. I know my husband has never been there and I really didn't think we would make time to go back, but I am curious about the mermaids!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on October 16, 2012:

Hi ignugent17,

I also hope that you get to see the many Florida attractions for yourself someday. It would take quite some time to see them all. I have many more on my wish list. Thanks for your comment.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on October 16, 2012:

Hi Jools99,

Florida truly is a great place to visit and vacation as it is so chuck full of attractions as well as natural beauty. Glad you liked this hub. Appreciate your comment.

ignugent17 on October 16, 2012:

Wow! Very beautiful. I do hope I can visit Florida and enjoy the different attractions.

Thanks for sharing. :-)

Jools Hogg from North-East UK on October 16, 2012:

Peggy, Florida is one of my favourite places to visit and I hope to get back there someday. You have given so much advice in this hub about its history (and some of its quirkier features too) :o), excellent hub, really enjoyed it

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on October 15, 2012:

Hi Sunshine625,

You live in a fabulous state! Next time you drive through Tallahassee take time to see the Alfred B. Maclay State Gardens. Am sure that you will be pleased. Oh those white sand beaches at Fort Walton...amazing! So glad that you liked this! Thanks for your comment.

Linda Bilyeu from Orlando, FL on October 15, 2012:

Thank you for the fabulous shout-out to Florida! I've been to most of the places on your list. I don't remember stopping in Tallahassee, but I've driven through it many times. Fort Walton Beach, real good memories :)

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on October 06, 2012:

Hi RTalloni,

Florida is a great place to call "home." You are fortunate to be able to call it that and enjoy swimming in those warm Atlantic waters. We have certainly enjoyed our visits to your fine state and enjoyed the many attractions it has to offer. Thanks for your comment.

RTalloni on October 06, 2012:

Florida has so much to offer visitors, but it will always be "home" to me. From the serene to the exciting my home seems to have it all. :) For all the history, the attractions, the food, and the wildlife, I love just swimming in the warm waters of the Atlantic the best. Thanks for a look at home!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on September 27, 2012:

Hi rajan jolly,

Mumbai must be beautiful if it is anything like the State of Florida. Would be lovely to visit Mumbai someday. In the meantime I will continue enjoying your hubs. Nice knowing that you enjoyed getting a feel for the many attractions in Florida. Thanks for your comment and votes.

Rajan Singh Jolly from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on September 27, 2012:

I'm enamoured by these photos and sights to see in Florida. I wish I get a chance to visit Florida once. The climate seems to be much like Mumbai which too has innumerable tourist places to visit.

Voted up and awesome.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on September 14, 2012:

Hello Vega Vallari,

In what part of Florida do you intend to live? That will be quite a switch in climate from where you are now living in Berlin. Welcome to the USA and so happy that you found this hub about sites in Florida of good use to you. Thanks for your comment.

Nicole Paschal from Saint Petersburg, Florida on September 14, 2012:

I'm moving to Florida soon. Great information!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on September 13, 2012:

Hello jenbeach21,

Isn't that always the case! Vacationers often plan to see things that residents of a state take for granted as possibly not being as interesting. Am sure since you live in Florida, you have seen many other attractions of note. The state is filled to the brim with them! Appreciate your comment.

jenbeach21 from Orlando, FL on September 13, 2012: