Florida fun facts
#1 Greater Miami is the only metropolitan area in the US which borders to two national parks - you can hike through pristine Everglades National Park or ride on glass-bottom boats across Biscayne National Park.
#2 The oldest European settlement in North America is Saint Augustine.
#3 Punta Gorda means "fat point" translated from Spanish and the name was given to the city because a broad part of the land in Punta Gorda juts into Charlotte Harbor.
#4 Orlando attracts more visitors than any other amusement park destination in the whole of the United States.
#5 The oldest college in Florida is in Winter Park and was founded in 1885 by New England Congregationalists who sought to bring their style of liberal arts education to the state - it is Rollins College.
#6 Cape Canaveral was America's only launch pad for space flights.
#7 Often Florida is thought of a the southernmost state in the United States - however Hawaii is farther south.
#8 The shell museum in Sanibel owns 2 million shells and is totally devoted solely to mollusks.
#9 The most dived shipwrecks in the world is in Florida - The Benwood, on French Reef in the Florida Keys.
#10 In 1539 Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto was searching for the legendary Fountain of Youth and named "Safety Harbor" after the historic Espiritu Santo Springs.
#11 The famous Boggy Bayou Mullet Festival is celebrated the third weekend in October in Niceville.
#12 Clearwater is the city with the highest rate of lightning strikes per capita, in the US.
#13 University of Florida Gators developed Gatorade.
#14 Aviator Tony Jannus made history on 1st January 1914 when he flew the world's first scheduled passenger service airline flight from St. Petersburg's yacht basin to Tampa.
#15 The mechanical refrigeration was invented in 1851 by Dr. John Gorrie of Apalachicola.
#16 Pharmacist Benjamin Green of Miami Beach invented the first suntan cream in 1944 when he cooked cocoa butter in a granite coffee pot on the stove.
#17 Montverde residents Neil Smith and his brother developed the first Snapper riding lawn mower.
#18 The highest avergae temperature is recorded in Key West.
#19 The Saint John's River actually flows north instead of south.
#20 Lake Okeechobee is the largest lake in Florida.
#21 On 20th May 1970 Florida lawmakers adpoted the moonstone as the official state gem. Bizarrely the moonstone is not found anywhere naturally in Florida or on the moon as it happens.
#22 In 1987 the American alligator became the official state reptile.
#23 The first bank automated teller machine especially for rollerbladers was installed in Miami.
#24 The Cigar Capital of the world, Ybor City employed 12,000 cigar-makers in 200 factories, making 700 million cigars a year at the industry's peak.
#25 The Guinness record for the world's largest strawberry shortcake - the 827 square-foot 6,000 pound cake - was on 19 February in Plant City at the Winter Strawberry Capital of the World.
#26 The Sunshine Skyway Bridge, opened in 1987 is a 190ft high cable-stayed concrete bridge, with its painted bright yellow support cables spread from the two center pillars it gives drivers unobstructed view of the water for the 4.1 mile trip over Tampa Bay.
#27 Nearly 80 percent of the states intake of sweet Atlantic white shrimp is harvested in Amelia Island waters. Two million pounds of shrimp are delivered to Fernandina docks annually.
#28 The Fakahatchee Strand in the Everglades has three functions - its vegetation filters to clean the water as it makes its slow journey southward. Secondly, it's a major habitat for wildlife and plant life. Finally, it actually prevents flooding by slowing down the flow of water after heavy rains.
#29 DeFuniak Springs is home to one of the two naturally round lakes in the world.
#30 The Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens at Delray Beach is the only museum in the United States dedicated exclusively to the living culture of Japan.
#31 Fort Lauderdale is known as the Venice of America because the city has 185 miles of local waterways.
#32 Fort Meade is the oldest settlement in Polk County. It dates back to 1849 when a settlement grew up around the United States Cavalry fort during the Seminole Indian Wars.
#33 The Fred Bear Museum in Gainesville is a tribute to the accomplishments of Fred Bear a promoter of proper wildlife management and the founder of Bear Archery Company.
#34 The Hawthorne Trail a part of Florida's Rails to Trails program and attracts many outdoor enthusiasts to walk, cycle, or ride horseback through its 17-mile length.
#35 Baseball City Stadium, north of Haines City, is the spring training home of the Kansas City Royals.
#36 The city of Hypoluxo's name comes from the Seminole expression water all 'round -- no get out.
#37 The Sports fishing Capital of the World Islamorada.
#38 The Dive Capital of the World is Key Largo.
#39 Marathon is home to Crane Point Hammock, a 63.5 acre land tract that is one of the most important historical and archaeological sites in the Keys. The area was once the site of an entire Indian village.
#40 Fort Zachary Taylor in Key West was built between 1845 and 1866. Controlled by the Union during the Civil War, the fort was the home base for a successful blockade of Confederate ships that some historians say shortened the conflict by a full year. The fort also was active during the Spanish-American War, World War I, and World War II.
#41 The first graded road built in Florida was Old Kings Road in 1763. It was named for King George of England.
#42 During the 1991 Gulf War the busiest military port in the country was Jacksonville. From this location the military moved more supplies and people than any other port in the country.
#43 When first completed in 1989 the Dame Point Bridge became the longest cable-stayed span in the United States, the longest concrete span of its type in the Western Hemisphere, and the third longest cable-stayed bridge in the world.
#44 The longest river sailboat race in the world is the Annual Mug Race. The event runs 42 miles from Palatka to Jacksonville along the St. Johns River.
#45 The Olustee Battlefield State Historic Site commemorates the largest battle fought in Florida during the American Civil War.
#46 Venice is known as the Shark Tooth Capital of the World. Collecting prehistoric sharks teeth has been a favorite pastime of visitors and residents of the Venice area for years
#47 The Florida Museum of Hispanic and Latin American Art in Coral Gables, is the first and only museum in the United States dedicated to the preservation, diffusion, and promotion of Hispanic and Latin American Art.
#48 The Pinellas Trail, a 47 mile hiking/biking trail connecting St. Petersburg with Central and north Pinellas County, is the longest urban linear trail in the eastern United States.
#49 Titusville, known as Space City, USA, is located on the west shore of the Indian River directly across from the John F. Kennedy Space Center.
# 50Florida is the only state that has 2 rivers both with the same name. There is a Withlacoochee in north central Florida (Madison County) and a Withlacoochee in central Florida. They have nothing in common except the name.