The State of Florida is a long, low peninsula between the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. Florida is truly a melting-pot; every geographical area of the state has its own personality in terms of climate (there are three to four temperature zones), population and economic drivers. Visit the State Website at www.MyFlorida.com for details on everything under the sun!
Area: 58,560 sq mi (151,670 sq km).
Population: 18+ million
Largest city in square miles: Jacksonville
Nickname: The Sunshine State
Motto: In God We Trust
State bird: mockingbird
State flower: Orange blossom
State tree: Sabal palm
Travel and tourism play primary roles in the state's economy. Walt Disney World, Sea World and Universal Studios, a massive cluster of theme parks near Orlando in Central Florida, are among the world's best-known tourist attractions.
Florida is also noted for its eco-travel; there are places to swim with the dolphins, kayak in pristine waters, go deep-sea fishing for big game fish and stroll along wide sandy beaches.
Not to be outdone, lovers of outdoor sports such as golf and tennis find some of the top locales in the world here for challenging their skills. One such famed course is right here in Ponte Vedra Beach, The Players Championship course, known here as The Stadium Course.
With more than 4,000 square miles (10,360 sq km) of inland water and with the sea readily accessible from almost anywhere in the state, Florida is a boating and fishing paradise. Other attractions include Everglades National Park, with its unusual plant and animal life, Palm Beach, with its palatial estates, and St. Augustine, with its historic town dating from the 1500s.
Famous for citrus, Florida leads the nation in the production of oranges, grapefruits, tangerines, and market-ready corn and tomatoes. Other important crops include sugarcane and many varieties of winter vegetables. Cattle and dairy products are important, as is commercial fishing, with the catch including a wide variety of fish as well as crab, lobster, and shrimp. YUM!
*Information from Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition