History, Geography, Homes, and State Resources of Florida
Florida USA Map
A lot of people think that life in Florida is spending entire days on one of it's many beaches and just having fun. Indeed, Florida is among the most happy U.S.
states because of its beautiful beaches, sunny weather, and loads of interesting tourist areas. However Florida also has offices for of many of the top companies of
the world. Therefore, moving to Florida to work is a good prospect.
Much of Florida is on a peninsula situated between the Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, and the Florida Straits. Encompassing two time zones, Florida extends northwest
as a panhandle along the northern portion of Gulf of Mexico. It's borders to the north are Alabama and Georgia, and on the western, panhandle end, is Alabama. Florida
is close to several Caribbean countries, especially Cuba and the Bahamas. It's also one of the larger states on the east side of the Great Mississippi River, while
only Michigan and Alaska have more water areas.
Relocating to Florida from some other U.S. state is no issue. However, there are international regulations and rules you must follow when you relocate to Florida from
a foreign country. The U.S. Government does not mind handing out visas to the qualified candidates. Hence, relocating to Florida from a foreign country is pretty much
a non-issue. However, you should consult with experts when moving your goods internationally. For consumer goods, the U.S. is a paradise. There's nothing in the entire
world that you can't find in the U.S.. And Florida has everything imaginable for its residents and is also a completely non-issue. However, I'm sure you possess a few
goods that you desire to move from the country you live in now when you relocate to Florida.
Florida has a climate tempered partially because there's no portion of the state that's very far away from an ocean. To the north side of Lake Okeechobee, there's
humid subtropical climate, while the coastal areas on the south side of the lake (which includes the Florida Keys) feature a genuine tropical climate
The State University System of Florida was founded in 1905, and is governed by the Florida Board of Governors. During the 2010 academic year, 312,216 students attended one of
these twelve universities. The Florida College System comprises 28 public community and state colleges. In 2011–12, enrollment consisted of more than 875,000 students. As of
2017 the University of Central Florida, with over 64,000 students, is the largest university by enrollment in the United States.
Florida's first private university, Stetson University, was founded in 1883. The Independent Colleges and Universities of Florida is an association of 28 private, educational
institutions in the state. This Association reported that their member institutions served over 121,000 students in the fall of 2006
There are many important companies represented in Florida. The Florida economy has almost completely shrugged off the previous two years downturn while the prospects
for jobs has opened up quite a lot. There are now a number jobs in Florida available if you are want to look for one. If you are relocating to Florida from some other
country or another area of the U.S. the number of job opportunities is substantial. Also for the living costs in Florida are no more than other parts of the country.
Similar to many other states in the U.S., there are certain regions of Florida which are pretty expensive although the overall cost to live here is pretty normal.
Flora and Fauna
Florida State Flower - Orange blossom
Florida State Tree (Sabal Palm)
Florida has seven floral zones: flatwoods, scrublands, grassy swamps, savannas, salt marshes, hardwood forests (hammocks), and pinelands.
Flatwoods consist of open forests and an abundance of flowers, including more than 60 varieties of orchid. Small sand pines are common in the scrublands; other trees here are the saw palmetto, blackjack, and water oak.
The savannas of central Florida support water lettuce, American lotus, and water hyacinth. North Florida's flora includes longleaf and other pines, oaks, and cypresses; one giant seminole
cypress is thought to be 3,500 years old. The state is known for its wide
variety of palms, but only 15 are native, and more than 100 have been
introduced; common types include royal and coconut. Although pine has the most
commercial importance, dense mangrove thickets grow along the lower coastal
regions, and northern hardwood forests include varieties of rattan, magnolia,
and oak. Numerous rare plants have been introduced, among them bougainvillea and
oleander. All species of cacti and orchids are regarded as threatened, as are
most types of ferns and palms.
At one time there were over 80 land mammals in Florida. The white tailed deer, wild hog, and gray fox can still be found in the wild; such small mammals as the raccoon, eastern gray and fox squirrels, and cottontail and swamp rabbits remain common.
The state's bird population includes many resident and migratory species.
The mockingbird was named the state bird in 1927; among game birds are the bobwhite quail, wild turkey, and at least 30 duck species. Several varieties of heron are found, as well as coastal birds such as gulls, pelicans, and frigates. The Arctic tern stops in Florida during its remarkable annual migration between the North and South poles.
Common Florida reptiles are the diamondback rattler and various water snakes. Turtle species include mud, green, and loggerhead, and various lizards abound. More than 300 native butterflies have been identified. The peninsula is famous for its marine life: scores of freshwater and saltwater fish, rays, shrimps, live coral reefs, and marine worms.
The residents of Florida share their space the American alligator. Because of Florida's population growth, residents and alligators are consistently forced to cross
each others paths, which increases the chances of any conflict. If you know where the alligators live, how their behaviors and steps you can take to avoid contact with
an alligator is key to safely sharing space
Alligators typically avoid humans, however alligators which have been previously been fed by a human will make aggressive moves toward humans. Its extremely important
to keep all pets and children away from the edge of water's wherever alligators are prone to be hang out. Don't allow your dogs to explore swim in waters which are
known alligator hangouts as dogs resemble prey to an alligator. There are many more alligator attacks against dogs than for humans. Also an alligator's selection of
prey seems to be based mostly upon size of a prey animal.
On the site of the Capitol Complex, in Tallahassee, Florida, are four very different buildings. The oldest is the nineteenth-century Old Capitol, restored and shrunken to its 1902 state of appearance. The other three are the House of Representatives and Senate chambers, and between them a 22-story Executive Office Building, sometimes called the New Capitol.
The Old Capitol is an architecturally and historically significant building, having been listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The capitol is located at the intersection of Apalachee Parkway and Monroe Street in downtown Tallahassee.
The governor is elected for a four-year term; a two-term limit is in effect. The lieutenant governor is elected on the same ticket as the governor. An amendment adopted by voters in 1998, which took effect in 2002, merged the cabinet offices of treasurer and comptroller into one chief financial office. The other cabinet members
arel be the attorney general and agriculture commissioner; the amendment eliminated the offices of secretary of state and education commissioner from the cabinet.
State officials must be at least 30 years old, US citizens, and registered voters, and must have been residents of Florida for at least seven years.
To vote in state elections, a person must be at least 18 years old, a US citizen, and a resident in the county of registration. Restrictions apply to those judged by the court as mentally incapacitated.
Beaches, amusement parks, national parks, and an array of unique visitor attractions make Florida one of the most visited states in America. Families flock to Orlando, while sun seekers head to the coastal cities like Miami, Fort Lauderdale, a string of cities along the southern Gulf Coast, and in summer, to the brilliant white-sand beaches of the Florida Panhandle. For a taste of island life there is nothing quite like the Florida Keys, where life runs at a slower pace and Key West seems a world away from the mainland. You'll also find a long list of must-see sights and events, from the Kennedy Space Center to the Dayton 500, spread across the state. Florida is a place that lends itself to return visits.
Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse
Lighthouses in Florida
Lighthouses in the state of Florida as identified by the United
States Coast Guard and other historical sources.
Focal height and coordinates are taken from the 1907 United States Coast Guard Light List, while location and dates of activation, automation, and deactivation are taken from the United States Coast Guard Historical information site for lighthouses.
Adventure Landing is a group of amusement parks located in Florida, New York, North Carolina and Texas. The first park was opened in Jacksonville Beach, Florida in 1995.. It was a success and nine other Adventure Landing parks were constructed.
The park in Jacksonville Beach also has a water park, Shipwreck Island. There is no admission for the amusement parks; all the attractions are pay as you play. The water park is seasonal and requires a fee for admission
Big Kahuna's Lost Paradise is a water park located in Destin, Florida, which opened in 1986. The park is primarily a water park, with over forty water attractions. The park also features several thrill ride attractions and a miniature golf course.
Busch Gardens Tampa (formerly called Busch Gardens Africa and Busch Gardens: The Dark Continent) is a 335-acre African-themed animal theme park located in the city of Tampa, Busch Gardens
The park officially features eight roller coasters and two water rides amongst
other rides and animal attractions. Its newest roller coaster, Cobra's Curse,
opened in June 2016.
Daytona Lagoon is a waterpark and family entertainment center located in Daytona
Beach. Daytona Lagoon is open year-round for its dry attractions, while its waterpark
operates from March through September. The park consists of 12 rides and an
18-hole miniature golf course.
Dinosaur World is a chain of three outdoor dinosaur theme parks in the US. Locations include Plant City, Florida, Glen Rose, Texas, and Cave City, Kentucky. The parks each feature over 150 life-size dinosaur sculptures created by Christer Svensson. The Florida location opened in November 1998
The Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex is the visitor center at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. It features exhibits and displays, historic spacecraft and memorabilia, shows, two IMAX theaters, and a range of bus tours of the spaceport.
The visitor complex also has daily presentations from a veteran NASA astronaut. A bus tour, included with admission, encompasses the separate Apollo/Saturn V Center.
Legoland Florida Resort (stylized as LEGOLAND Florida Resort) is a vacation destination in Winter Haven, Florida featuring a theme park, water park and on-site accommodations. It opened as Legoland Florida on October 15, 2011, and later rebranded itself Legoland Florida Resort with the opening of Legoland Hotel in May 2015.
Designed for families with children ages 2 to 12, the resort has more than fifty rides, shows, attractions, restaurants, and shops, plus a botanical garden and water park.
Weeki Wachee Springs is a natural tourist attraction located in Weeki Wachee, Florida, where underwater performances by "mermaids", women wearing fish tails as well as other fanciful outfits, can be viewed in an aquarium-like setting in the spring of the Weeki Wachee River. A waterpark, Buccaneer Bay, and boat rides are also part of the attraction.
Located in Kissimmee, Florida, adjacent to the Old Town entertainment and shopping complex. The park is designed as a circular walkway around the lagoon featuring the world's tallest skycoaster, the entrance of which is on the west side of the lagoon. The south end of loop features the signature multi-level go-kart tracks, the east side the flat slick tracks. In the north east side of the loop is the Arcade and Kiddie Area and the Rockstar Coaster is at the north end of the loop.
In 2004, Fun Spot purchased the site of the world’s tallest Skycoaster located
in Kissimmee, adjacent to the Old Town entertainment and shopping complex. The site also included a recently opened G-Force dragster ride. Fun Spot developed the 9 acres around the skycoaster into another amusement park call Fun Spot USA in 2007 (now Fun Spot America - Kissimmee). They added 2 multi-level go-kart tracks, family/thrill rides and an arcade. Summer of 2011 saw the arrival of Fun Spot's first major roller coaster, the Power Trip Coaster at the Kissimmee park (now Rockstar Coaster).
The Wild Mouse roller coaster, was relocated from Cypress Gardens, where it was known as Galaxy Spin, when Cypress Gardens closed and became Legoland Florida
Ground was broken in 2012 for the expansion that tripled the size of Fun Spot Action Park, turning it into Fun Spot America - Orlando. $25 million was spent on two new roller coasters, the world's second tallest Skycoaster (second only to their Kissimmee location), and numerous other attractions. The brand new two coasters are the wooden out and back roller coaster White Lightning, and the steel Suspended Family Coaster Freedom Flyer. The skycoaster came from MGM Grand Adventures in Las Vegas, where it had been disassembled in storage for 8 years. It is now the centerpiece of the park. Additional improvements include three new thrill rides, new multi-level go-kart track new food court, new ticket booth, additional parking and rest rooms
Gatorland is a 110-acre theme park and wildlife preserve located along South Orange Blossom Trail south of Orlando.
The operation also has an active road show providing alligator wrestling, pythons, lizards and other animals with an informative animal talk for private parties and benefits. In addition, Gatorland manages the live alligator display at the Gaylord Palms resort in Kissimmee. This park also has a snakes of Florida exhibit, with species like indigo snakes, cottonmouths, and rattlesnakes.
Give Kids The World Village is a nonprofit resort in Kissimmee, Florida for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families. The resort's focus is providing accommodations and access to donated theme park tickets. Families that visit Give Kids The World must be referred by one of over 250 wish-granting organizations or foundations, such as Make-A-Wish Foundation.
The resort includes 168 villas on 79 acres. 88 of the villas were refurbished in a renovation
The Holy Land Experience is registered as a Christian-based theme park in Orlando, Florida and registered non-profit corporation.
They conduct weekly church services and bible studies for the general public.
The theme park recreates the architecture and themes of the ancient city of Jerusalem in 1st-century Judea.
Old Town is an outdoor shopping mall and entertainment complex located in Kissimmee, Osceola County, Florida, United States. Operating since 1986, Old Town is a step back in time with unique shopping, restaurants, bars, attractions, and rides.
Discovery Cove is an amusement park owned and operated by SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, located in Orlando, Florida. It is a sister park of SeaWorld Orlando and Aquatica Orlando. Guests can interact with a range of marine animals including bottlenose dolphins.
Guests at Discovery Cove can “talk, touch, play and swim” with bottlenose dolphins.
Discovery Cove includes a coral reef, where guests can swim with thousands of tropical fish, Sting Rays up to 4 feet across and an underwater shark and tigerfish tank located behind protective glass.
The park contains a free-flight aviary, which contains over 250 tropical birds including parrots, toucans, and over 30 other species of exotic birds. The heated Tropical River runs through the aviary and circles the park, allowing guests to float past an assortment of the Discovery Cove’s beaches, waterfalls, and rainforest landscape
SeaWorld Orlando is a theme park and marine zoological park, in Orlando, Florida. When combined with its neighbor Discovery Cove and Aquatica, it forms SeaWorld Parks and Resorts Orlando, an entertainment complex consisting of the three parks and many hotels
From its inception in 1982, Universal Studios Florida was designed as a theme park and a working studio. It was also the first time that Universal Studios had constructed an amusement park "from the ground up." However, the proposed project was put on hold until 1986, when a meeting between Steven Spielberg, a co-founder for the park, and Peter N. Alexander prompted for the creation of a Back to the Future simulator ride in addition to the already planned King Kong based ride
Islands of Adventure is modeled after a journey of exploration, where guests embark on an adventure to visit a variety of themed islands. Initially, the park featured six islands. A seventh, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, was added in 2010, themed to the popular Harry Potter franchise. It was Universal's largest investment since the resort's founding in 1990
Disney's Animal Kingdom is a zoological theme park at the Walt Disney World Resort in Bay Lake, Florida, near Orlando.
It is the largest theme park in the world, covering 580 acres. The park opened on Earth Day, April 22, 1998, and was the fourth theme park built at the resort. The park is dedicated and themed entirely around the natural environment and animal conservation.
The park is distinguished from the rest of Walt Disney World's theme parks in that it features traditional attractions while also exhibiting hundreds of species of live animals.
Because of sensitive conditions, special designs and provisions were incorporated throughout the park to protect the animals' welfare.
Disney's Hollywood Studios was initially developed as both a theme park inspired by show business and an operating production studio, with active film and television production services, an animation facility branch, and a functioning backlot. Construction on the combined park and studio began in 1987, but was accelerated when the construction of the similarly-themed Universal Studios Florida began a few miles away
The park opened in 1982 as EPCOT Center, and was the second of four theme parks built at Walt Disney World, after the Magic Kingdom.
Encompassing 305] acres, over twice the size of the Magic Kingdom park, Epcot is dedicated to the celebration of human achievement, namely technological innovation and international culture.
The park opened in 1971, as the first of four theme parks at the resort. Its layout and attractions are based on Disneyland Park in Anaheim, California, and is dedicated to fairy tales and Disney characters.
The park is represented by Cinderella Castle, inspired by the fairy tale castle seen in the 1950 film. In 2017, the park hosted 20.450 million visitors, making it the most visited theme park in the world for the twelfth consecutive year and the most visited theme park in North America for at least the past eighteen years
The freshwaters of the Big Cypress Swamp, essential to the health of the neighboring Everglades, support the rich marine estuaries along Florida's southwest coast. Protecting over 729,000 acres of this vast swamp, Big Cypress National Preserve contains a mixture of tropical and temperate plant communities that are home to a diversity of wildlife, including the elusive Florida panther.
Within sight of downtown Miami, yet worlds away, Biscayne protects a rare combination of aquamarine waters, emerald islands, and fish-bejeweled coral reefs. Here too is evidence of 10,000 years of human history, from pirates and shipwrecks to pineapple farmers and presidents. Outdoors enthusiasts can boat, snorkel, camp, watch wildlife…or simply relax in a rocking chair gazing out over the bay.
Since ancient times, this barrier island has provided sanctuary to both people and wildlife. Many threatened and endangered species find refuge here, including sea turtles who nest on its shores. Like first natives and early settlers, you too can find tranquility. Stroll down a wooded trail. Reflect on a pristine undeveloped shoreline - the way things used to be.
Almost 70 miles west of Key West lies the remote Dry Tortugas National Park. This 100-square mile park is mostly open water with seven small islands. Accessible only by boat or seaplane, the park is known the world over as the home of magnificent Fort Jefferson, picturesque blue waters, superlative coral reefs and marine life, and the vast assortment of bird life that frequents the area.
Everglades National Park protects an unparalleled landscape that provides important habitat for numerous rare and endangered species like the manatee, American crocodile, and the elusive Florida panther. An international treasure as well - a World Heritage Site, International Biosphere Reserve, a Wetland of International Importance, and a specially protected area under the Cartagena Treaty.
What is it that entices people to the sea? Poet John Masefield wrote, “I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied.” Millions of visitors are drawn to the islands in the northern Gulf of Mexico for the white sandy beaches, the aquamarine waters, a boat ride, a camping spot, a tour of an old fort, or a place to fish.
Visit one of the last unspoiled coastal wetlands on the Atlantic Coast. Discover 6,000 years of human history and experience the beauty of salt marshes, coastal dunes, and hardwood hammocks. The Timucuan Preserve includes Fort Caroline and Kingsley Plantation.
Ocala protects the world's largest sand pine scrub forest. There are more than 600 lakes, rivers, and springs in the forest along with four wilderness areas. There are over 600 lakes and part of the Florida Trail in the forest.
The largest National Forest in Florida, Apalachicola includes over 2,700 acres of water and 67 miles
of the Florida Trail. There are caverns and sinkholes at the Leon Sinks
Geological Area, while Fort Gadsden is along the Apalachicola River.
The Big Gum Swamp Wilderness is the forest's only wilderness area, and the Osceola Research Natural Area was designated a National Natural Landmark in 1974. The Civil War Battle of Olustee occurred in what is now the forest, and 23 miles of the Florida National Scenic Trail pass through the forest
Florida has three NFL teams, two MLB teams, two NBA teams, two NHL teams, and one MLS team. Florida gained its first permanent major-league professional sports team in
1966 when the American Football League added the Miami Dolphins. The state of Florida has given professional sports franchises some subsidies in the form of tax breaks
since 1991. About half of all Major League Baseball teams conduct spring training in the state, with teams informally organized into the "Grapefruit League". Throughout
MLB history, other teams have held spring training in Florida.
Gas tax: 40.80 cents per gallon for regular gasoline, 33.77 cents per gallon
Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport
The Sunshine State of Florida has visited many people for both business and recreational purposes. Florida airports receive millions of passengers every year. Florida airports are well equipped to meet the demands of the many people who walk through their terminals every day. Florida airports set a high standard for the rest of the country.
Florida is the fourth most populous state in the US as well as a global destination and therefore sees a lot of traffic on its routes. Florida International Airports include Daytona Beach International Airport, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, Southwest Florida International Airport, Jacksonville International Airport, Key West International Airport, Melbourne International Airport, Miami International Airport, and the International Airport Orlando Sanford and Panama City-Bay County International Airport, Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport, St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport, Tampa International Airport and Palm Beach International Airport.
Florida International Airport is conveniently located near hotels, business centers and downtown areas.
Port Tampa Bay
There are six ports serving Florida:
Port of Tampa Bay
Port of Jacksonville
Port of Miami
Brightline is a diesel–electric higher-speed rail system being developed by All Aboard Florida, a wholly owned subsidiary of Florida East Coast Industries (FECI). Currently service is only from Fort Lauderdale to West Palm Beach. The first phase is planned to connect Miami to West Palm Beach through express intercity service, with a stop at Fort Lauderdale. The complete project is intended to connect Miami and South Florida to Orlando, which requires a new line westward from the coast. It partially opened for passenger service between Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach on January 13, 2018, as the only privately owned and operated passenger railroad in the United States. With a top speed of 125 mph, Brightline will eventually be tied with Amtrak's Northeast Regional and the MARC's Penn Line commuter rail as the second fastest passenger train in North America, after Amtrak's Acela
Florida is also served by Amtrak, operating numerous lines throughout,
connecting the state's largest cities to points north in the United States and
Canada. Greater Orlando, is the southern terminus of the Auto Train, which originates at Lorton, Virginia, south of Washington, D.C. Until 2005, Orlando was also the eastern terminus of the Sunset Limited, which travels across the southern United States via New Orleans, Houston, and San Antonio to its western terminus of Los Angeles. Florida is served by two additional Amtrak trains (the Silver Star and the Silver Meteor), which operate between New York City and Miami. Miami Central Station, the city's rapid transit, commuter rail, intercity rail, and bus hub, is under construction.
Florida's highway system contains 1,495 mi (2,406 km) of interstate highway, and 10,601 mi (17,061 km) of non-interstate highway, such as state highways and U.S. Highways. Florida's interstates, state highways, and U.S. Highways are maintained by the Florida Department of Transportation.
There are 57 counties with 283 cities, 109 towns, and 20 villages in Florida, a
total of 412 incorporated municipalities. The largest municipality by both population and land area is Jacksonville with 842,583 residents
covering 874.6 square miles. The smallest by population is Lake Buena Vista with 10 people, while the smallest by land area is Lazy Lake
with just 0.022 square miles. Miami come in a distant second to Jacksonville with a population
of 453,579 people