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26 Florida Facts: Fun Facts About Florida You Need to Know

Victoria Green

If you’re looking for weird and wonderful Florida facts, you’re in luck because there’s plenty to learn! 

It is America’s 27th state, home to millions of people, but there’s more to it than general information. 

Whether you live in the state or want to know more about it, these interesting facts about Florida I put together may surprise you. 

The Sunshine State has a unique history, culture, wildlife, and more. These facts provide ample information that will charm your curiosity and are worth knowing about. 

From the state’s Spanish name to the alligators and Disney World, you may learn some things that Floridians themselves don’t know!

26 Florida Facts: Fun Facts About Florida You Need to Know

1. It Is Known As The Sunshine State

This Florida fact may not surprise you, but why is it called that? 

Despite being only the 10th most sunny state in America, it is called The Sunshine State because it has sunshine almost all year and has a tropical climate due to its geography. 

Although famous for sunshine, the state does have rain in winter, but when it does, it doesn’t pour for long! 

The nickname was made official in 1970, but its other nicknames are “The Alligator State,” “The Orange State,” and “The Everglade State” – more on that later! 

2. The State Is Almost Completely Surrounded By Water

The state is a peninsula, with the west side being the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean on the east. 

You’ll be met with the Straits of Florida on the south coast. The state’s north is the only part connected with land, bordering Alabama and Georgia. 

This means almost everyone living in the Sunshine State is close to a coastline, and you best believe there are endless beaches to visit!

Some of the best places to visit in Florida for a beach vacation are Fort Lauderdale, Miami Beach, Palm Beach, Daytona Beach, Anna Maria Island, and Key Largo.

3. The State Is An Impressive Tourist Destination

Nothing says “fun facts about Florida” like actual fun – and it has plenty! Whether you live in America or want to visit the country, the Sunshine State is a tourism hotspot for multiple reasons. 

The Sunshine State has gorgeous weather, endless beaches with watersport opportunities, and famous attractions like Walt Disney World Resort. 

There is also plenty of wildlife to admire, like Everglades, an epic national park in Florida with a subtropical wilderness, or Mote Marine Aquarium with sea life. 

The state is also well known for its artsy flair, like urban graffiti in South Florida at Miami’s Wynwood Walls, or you can visit St. Petersburg’s SHINE Mural Festival and Dali Museum.

4. The Name Is Spanish

Florida was named by the Spanish explorer Juan Ponce De León, who discovered the land in 1513. He called it Pascua Florida, meaning “Feast of Flowers.” 

Some believe he named the state after the beautiful wildflowers he saw, but more factually, it is the name of Spanish Easter, which was around the time when Juan Ponce De León discovered the land. 

5. It Is The Most Southernmost State

In the name of Interesting facts about Florida, you’ll be interested to know that the state is the southernmost point of the entire continent!

Key West Island is the southernmost city where you can find the concrete Southernmost Point Buoy and snap a selfie to say you were there. 

You’ll find the buoy on the corner of South Street and Whitehead Street. 

You can drive to Key West and admire the scenery from the bridges or catch a ferry from the mainland. 

6. It Provides America With Plenty Of Oranges

One of the most interesting facts about Florida is the sheer amount of oranges they produce! The state’s most significant agricultural produce is oranges, supplying 70% of the United States’ oranges! 

It’s no wonder the state beverage is orange juice, and why the nickname “The Orange State” came about. The state has a rich history behind the beloved citrus fruit brought to the state by Spanish settlers. 

7. The State Is The Third Most Populated

Florida had 21.78 million living there as of 2021 and has expanded to around 22.66 million in 2023. 

This positions The Sunshine State in 3rd place after Texas, which has a population of 30.5 million. 

The state was also the fastest-growing one of 2022 and is rated the top choice for Americans who move interstate. 

Floridians fear population density and the downsides of overcrowding, but the truth is that the world’s population is growing in general, and everybody is looking for room!

8. The State Ranks 22nd In Area

If you’re looking for shocking Florida facts, you’d be surprised that the state ranks 22nd in land area while being the 3rd most populous state. 

The Sunshine State is 65,758 square miles, and 18.5% is covered by water. The state covers 1.82% of America. 

Although the population to land area may seem a bit too much, Florida is similar in size to the countries Uruguay and Cambodia. It is relatively spacious, given the circumstances.

9. The State Has A High Hurricane Risk

Since the state is subtropical, the state is subject to hectic storms and weather adversities. These weather extremities include lightning strikes, heavy rain showers, mild tornadoes, and hurricanes. 

The most recent hurricane was in September 2022, a Category 5 named Hurricane Ian – the worst Florida has seen since 1935! 

The people living close to the coastline are the most impacted by storms, while inland is safer. The hurricanes are typically manageable, but be wary of the weather when visiting.

10. The State Has Many Islands

As mentioned earlier in the list of Florida fun facts, there is Key West Island, but it’s not the only one

Off the south point of the state lays the Florida Keys, a group of around 1,700 small islands known as an archipelago. 

Some of the Florida Keys are joined by 42 bridges, and you can drive to them; otherwise, you can take a ferry. 

That’s not all – the state has a total of 4,510 islands of at least 10 acres! Besides the Florida Keys island chain, there are the Ten Thousand Islands, the Sea Islands, the Barrier Islands of the Atlantic, the Panhandle Gulf of Mexico, the Tampa Bay Area, and the Southwest Gulf.

11. The State Contributes To Space Travel

The Sunshine State is home to the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral. They have a visitors’ center where you can learn about space, and if you’re lucky, you can watch a rocket launch! 

One of the most fascinating Florida facts is that NASA launched its first communication satellite from the state. Even the famous Niel Armstrong launched from the Kennedy Center in July 1969. 

12. It Is The Only State With Coral Reefs

One of the most astounding Florida facts is that the state is the only one in America that has a coral reef

The reef is 360 miles between the Dry Tortugas and the St. Lucie Inlet, which is along the Florida Keys. 

Over 45 coral and 35 octocorals, species breathe life to millions of other organisms. 

13. The Official State Reptile Is An Alligator

In this list of Florida fun facts, you’ll be intrigued to know just how special alligators are to Floridians.

Alligators are the official state reptiles because an estimated 1.25 million call the state home, and they’ve lived there for around 2.5 million years! 

The Sunshine State is also the only place in the world where alligators and crocodiles co-exist in that same habitat. 

14. The State Is A Golf Capital

This Florida facts list would be incomplete without the mention of golf. Golf is a Floridian specialty, with over 1,000 golf courses, Naples, FL, is considered the world’s Golf Capital

The state also has PGA headquarters and the World Golf Hall of Fame and Museum

With sunny weather and gorgeous wildlife views, there’s no doubt that the state has some of the most prestigious courses in the world and is yet another reason to visit. 

15. The State Has The Oldest American City

One of the Florida facts worth remembering is that it is home to the oldest continuously inhabited city in America. 

The city of St. Augustine was founded in 1565 and named by Don Pedro Menendez de Aviles of Spain. 

The Spanish had to battle French Huguenots before they could claim the land, but they succeeded with Don Pedro Menendez as a leader. History continued to unfold until it became the 27th state in 1845. 

16. It Is The Best State For Higher Education

According to U.S. News, Florida is number one on the list for education and studying at a tertiary level. 

The state has 12 public universities and colleges and 28 community and state colleges, with low tuition fees for in-state students. 

The students have a 90% high school graduation rate, with over half receiving college-worthy results. 

17. There Are Native Tribes In The State

The state is home to the Seminole Tribe and the Miccosukee Tribe of Indians, with ten reserved areas for the two tribes. 

The government notices them as independent nations where they can manage their governance structures and policies. 

Many tribal communities have adopted Western living, like housing and working, but live in communities where they maintain their cultural heritage. 

18. It Is The Home Of The Swamp Buggy Races

The most bizarre of Florida facts is that every year, the state hosts a swamp buggy race. 

The track is an infinity-shaped pool located in Florida Sports Park in Naples, and racers maneuver a customized large-wheeled vehicle, called a swamp buggy, through the shallow water until the finish. 

If you’re visiting, you wouldn’t want to miss out on this thrilling and unique sporting event! 

19. The State Is A Retirement Destination

As you know by now, the Sunshine State has stunning weather, plenty of beaches, and boatloads of fun activities, which makes it a retiree’s dream. 

Another more financially sound reason is that the state doesn’t put a tax on social security, pension funds, and retirement incomes. 

It is a top retirement destination and so popular that 21.6% of the population is over 65! 

20. The Economy Is The 4th Largest

The most impressive of these Florida facts is that the state is a powerhouse when it comes to its economy. 

The state has a GDP of $1.4 trillion and is the 4th largest economy in the country. 

This also means that the economy is comparable to an entire country like Mexico, with a $1.414 trillion GDP. 

21. It Has Some Bizarre Laws

You’d be surprised to know just how many weird laws there are in the world, and the Sunshine State also has some strange governance going on! 

As a woman, you cannot fall asleep under a hairdryer at a salon, so ladies, please catch a nap before you get your hair done! 

You should also know that it’s illegal to sing in a swimsuit, and unmarried women can’t parachute on Sundays. 

22. Manatees Are Special In Florida

Manatees are large, calm aquatic mammals known for their slow-moving temperament and friendly attitude. They are also fondly referred to as “sea cows.” 

The state is a particularly valuable habitat for manatees, and the state is known to protect and conserve these adorable creatures, which are threatened species

Manatees are a cherished attraction for both tourists and locals. 

23. The State Is Known For Theme Parks

If you’re visiting, you wouldn’t want to miss Walt Disney World and Universal Studios. 

Besides those two popular choices, the state has over 40 to choose from, including Gatorland, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Peppa Pig Theme Park, and Adventure Island. 

If you were looking at Florida facts as a reason to visit – the theme parks await! 

24. The State Doesn’t Have Dinosaur Fossils

One thing that the Sunshine State doesn’t have is dinosaur fossils – not even one! 

Once upon a time, in the dinosaur ages, the land was entirely underwater, meaning that there was no chance for a passing dinosaur to fossilize. 

Although fossils aren’t on the list of Florida facts, there are still plenty of things that the state does have! 

25. It Owns A Guinness World Record

Since the state was named after Easter, it’s quite fitting that the state has a Guinness World Record for the world’s largest Easter egg hunt! 

In this 2007 event, 9,753 children searched for 501,000 eggs in Cypress Gardens Adventure Park located in Winter Haven. 

26. The State Has A Local Myth

If you’re here for fun facts about Florida, you’ll be delighted to know that the state has an urban myth known as the Skunk Ape or the Swamp Cabbage Man. 

The Skunk Ape is the state’s version of Bigfoot, which is also an ape-like creature, except it’s rumored to be super smelly from living in the swamps.

Quick Fun Facts About Florida

Tallahassee is the capital city of Florida, and it’s the 6th largest city in the state.

Jacksonville is the largest city in Florida.

Orange blossom is the official state flower, and mockingbird is the state bird.

The state’s length from north to south is 447 miles, and its width from east to west is 361 miles.

The highest natural point in Florida is near Lakewood in Walton County, reaching 345 feet tall.

That’s it for today! I sincerely hope you had a good time reading these fun facts about Florida! Wanna help me out? Be sure to share this article on your social media. Oh, and if you know some fun Florida facts, please drop them in the comment section below. I’d love to hear from you!