The state of Florida is known for its warm weather, sandy beaches, and laidback vibe. Although most people are familiar with the fact that Orlando is home to Disney World and that Key West is the southernmost point in the continental United States, the Sunshine State also boasts a rich history and unique geographical elements that distinguish it from other states in the nation. Here are five fun facts about Florida that you might not know:
MIAMI’S PROXIMITY TO NATIONAL PARKS: Because of their diverse natural offerings and unique wildlife, most of the national parks in the U.S. are located in more remote locations. Miami is the only major metropolitan in the country with borders encompassing two national parks. As the largest tropical wilderness in the nation, Everglades National Park was created to preserve the fragile ecosystem of the region. Located just south of Miami, Biscayne National Park preserves Biscayne Bay and all of its offshore barrier reefs. Covering 172,971 acres, the park is made up of mostly water.
LAKE OKEECHOBEE: Also known as Florida’s Inland Sea, the largest lake in the state is Lake Okeechobee. As a popular fishing destination, the lake boasts copious amounts of largemouth bass, crappie, and bluegill. The name comes from the Hitichi tribe words oki and chubi, meaning big water.
PINELLAS TRAIL: As one of the longest linear trails in the country, the Pinellas Trail stretches from Tarpon Springs to St. Petersburg along the gulf coast of the state. The trail is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts because of its vast cycling, running, and walking opportunities. Because the trail travels through so many populated urban areas, it is often used by commuters.
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FLAT FLORIDA: Those looking for rolling hills will not find many in Florida. With an average elevation of only 100 feet, Florida is the flattest state in the country. As the state’s highest natural point, Britton Hill is merely 345 feet above sea level. Located just north of Lakewood near the Alabama border, the hill is the lowest high point of any state in the nation.
ORANGES GALORE: Florida is proud to produce approximately 75 percent of the country’s oranges and 40 percent of the entire world’s orange juice. Visitors traveling through central Florida can smell the sweet citrus scent from their cars because it is so prevalent. The state is also the largest producer of watermelons in the country.
These five fun facts about Florida are not just for kids and they also barely scratch the surface of all of the interesting things to be found when exploring the Sunshine State. A variety of large cities mixed with beachfront paradise locales and charming rural towns make Florida a melting pot of people and traditions.