History of the Area
Because Florida is a coastal state, immigrant populations have influenced its culture. People from Europe and Latin America have been especially influential. A melting pot of cultures serves as a crossroad to the United States for the international community.
As a southern state, the southern culture is prevalent in Florida. In the Florida Heartland, northern Central Florida, the First Coast, North Central Florida, and the Panhandle some southern culture is prominent. People from other areas in U.S. and foreign countries, which have moved to Florida in recent years, have influenced the culture. Tourism in the state is a highly important industry. The industry’s economical effect also influences the culture. Spanish immigrants are responsible for food, culture, history, and other Spanish things the state shares with Spain, Puerto Rico and Cuba.
Another major industry in Florida is citrus production. The consumption of citrus fruit is widespread. Floribbean cuisine and key lime pie are among several unique foods for which Florida is known.
The population of Florida is growing rapidly. The annual growth is in excess of 4,000 people. State government embraces the increase and has mandated that new highways, schools and libraries be thoroughly completed. Retired people migrate to the Northwestern counties every year. A large youth population is found in the urban area of Southern Florida where many college campuses depend on tourism. Federal government budgetary decisions severely impact population fluctuations.
Recreation and Sports
Florida sports include individual sports, active amateur teams, small-school and major collegiate teams, medalists and contenders of Olympic Games, many professional minor league teams, and all major sports professional teams. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Miami Dolphins and the Jacksonville Jaguars are three National Football League teams from Florida. Two teams, the Miami Marlins and the Tampa Bay Rays, belong to Major League Baseball. The Orlando Magic and Miami Heat are members of the National Basketball Association. The National Hockey League has two teams from Florida, the Panthers and Tampa Bay Lightning.
Outdoor recreational activities are in abundance in Florida. A partial list includes hunting, surfing and hiking. Walt Disney World Speedway, Streets of St. Petersburg, Sebring International Raceway, Homestead-Miami Speedway and Daytona International Speedway are notable auto-racing tracks located in Florida.
Central and northern parts of Florida have a humid subtropical climate. Hurricanes and tropical cyclones, common to the area, occur during the rainy season of June through September. Florida is drier from October to May.
The southern peninsula has few temperature extremes. The temperature is moderate year round, because the Gulf Stream runs off the coast of east Florida and through the straits of Florida.
Florida winters are mild. Nighttime temperatures range from 41⁰ F in Tallahassee to 65⁰ F in Key West. Daytime temperatures span from 64⁰ F to 77⁰ F. The Florida Keys make up the warmest area in Florida during the winter.
Florida is very warm in the summer. Minimum temperatures range from 70⁰ F to 80⁰ F. Across the state; average temperatures are in the lower 90s. Late morning or afternoon sea breezes from the ocean and afternoon or evening thunderstorm activity offer a form of heat relief.
Facts of Interest About Florida
Over the last 30 years, the local and state tax burden has consistently been among the country’s lowest.
The oldest European North American settlement is Saint Augustine.
More visitors are attracted to Orlando than any other United States amusement park destination.
A Sanibel museum, devoted only to mollusks, has two million shells and stakes the claim it is the only museum of its kind.
The Benwood, one the world’s most dived shipwrecks, is located in the Florida Keys on French Reef.
Clearwater is the city that has the highest per capita lightning strike rate in the United States.
The highest average United States temperatures are reported in Key West.
Lake Okeechobee is Florida’s largest lake.
In McCail Park, on February 19, 1999, Guinness record history was made when a three ton pound cake that was 827 square feet in size was used in the largest strawberry shortcake ever made. The Winter Strawberry Capital of the World, Plant City, was responsible.
In 1987, a cable-stayed structure, the Sunshine Skyway Bridge, was opened. The bridge coasts 190 feet above the water through the clouds. Bright yellow cables that spread from the duo pillars in the center support the 4.1 mile long bridge. Drivers get an unobstructed view of the water below.
The Fernandina docks have two million pounds of shrimp delivered annually. From Ameila Island waters, 80 percent of the state’s Atlantic white shrimp intake is harvested.
Swamps, like the Everglades’ Fakahatchee Strand, have three major functions. As water travels, southward, the vegetation filters the water. They are major habitats for plants and wildlife. After heavy rains, the slow flow of water prevents floods.
The only United States museum that is dedicated solely to Japan’s living culture is found in Delray Beach’s Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens
The 185 miles of waterways in its locality has caused Fort Lauderdale to be referred to as the Venice of America.
Islamorada is the advertised Sports Fishing Capital of the World.
The world’s Dive Capital is Key Largo.
Two naturally round lakes are known to exist in the world. One of them is in DeFuniak Springs.
One of the most important archeological and historical sites in the Keys is the 63.5 acre tract of land known as Crane Point Hammock in Marathon. Prehistoric Bahamian artifacts and Pre-Colombian evidence are contained in the area. An entire Indian village once lived there.
Latin American and Hispanic art is promoted, diffused, and preserved in Coral Gables’ Florida Museum of Hispanic and Latin American Art. The museum is the first and lone museum to serve the purpose in the United States.
A 47 mile hiking and biking trail connects Central and north Pinellas County with St. Petersburg. It is the United States’ longest linear urban trail.
The John F. Kennedy Space Center is directly across the Indian River’s west shore. Titusville, which is located there, has become known as Space City, USA.
Two rivers in Florida have the same name. Both central and north central Florida have a Withlacoochee River. The name is the only thing they have in common.
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