Florida is known for its beaches, its clear blue waters, and how it attracts thousands of tourists each year, but did you know these interesting Florida facts?
1. Disney World is technically a city in its own right. The park was built where two counties overlap. As this would prove a bureaucratic nightmare, Walt Disney petitioned Florida to allow it to govern its own land. On May 12, 1967, the state gave its approval and the Reedy Creek Improvement District was created, making Disney its own city.
2. Although the fortress remains unfinished Fort Jefferson, in the Florida Keys is America’s largest masonry structure and is comprised of over 16 million individual bricks.
3. After it was discovered in 1984 that the Key West Police Department was protecting smugglers bringing cocaine into the area, the department was declared a criminal enterprise.
4. In 1992 a rather ill-planned decision was made by the mayor of Key West when declaring war against the United States of America and surrendering one minute later… or maybe it wasn’t such a bad idea as he then immediately applied for $1 billion in foreign aid.
5. Florida is the United States’ flattest state.
6. There are two separate and distinct rivers both with the name Withlacoochee.
7. Florida is the second largest producer of citrus fruit in the entire world.
8. Florida is home to the most golf courses in the USA.
9. Florida’s Everglades National Park is the only place that crocodiles and alligators co-exist.
10. The Saint John’s River is rather unique. It is one of only a few rivers that flows in a northerly direction.
11. Florida’s State Constitution forbids income tax.
12. There are 7,800 lakes in the state of Florida alone.
13. You can’t be any further than 60 miles from a Florida beach at any point while visiting this state.
14. St. Augustine, founded in 1565, is North America’s oldest European settlement.
15. Clearwater, Florida lays claim to the title of United States city with the most lightning strikes.
16. The highest average temperature in the United States is found in Key West.
17. A 6,000 pound, 827 square-foot pound cake was made on February 19, 1999, in McCall Park, Plant City. This city is considered the Winter Strawberry Capital of the World and their creation broke the Guinness record for the world’s largest strawberry shortcake.
18. On one day each year, Floridians gather in their thousands to stand at the state line leading into Alabama and toss dead fish over for the annual Mullet Toss.
19. Tamiami Trail in the Everglades is known for its Ochopee Post Office, the smallest post office in the US.
20. In Orlando in August 2010, nine barbershops were raided by SWAT teams who were heavily armed. They proceeded to arrest 34 individuals for not having a barbering license.
21. The first water park ever created is found in Orlando. The Wet ‘n Wild opened its gates in 1977. Wet ‘n Wild is still one of only a few water parks which remains open 365 days a year.