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North America's only Coral barrier reef is six miles off Florida, along the Florida Keys. For more information, contact the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary at 305-872-2239.

Florida is the second largest state east of the Mississippi River.

An estimated 50 million people visit Florida each year. (2000 figures)


15, 982, 378 (2000)


When Ponce de Leon came to northeast Florida in 1513 in search of the fountain of youth,  he didn’t find what he was looking for, but found instead a lush, flower-filled land that he named “la Florida” for the Spanish Easter festival, “Pascua florida.”   The state was later officially named Florida.


Florida has many nicknames, but the most common is the “Sunshine State” to emphasis the large amount of sunshine here every year.  The “Orange State,” and the “Flower State” nicknames were coined for the many fragrant flowers and oranges trees.  Two other nicknames are geographic, the “Peninsula State,” for the shape of the state and the “Gulf State” because it lies on the Gulf of Mexico.  Lastly, the “Everglade State” and the “Alligator State” are connected.  Alligators were much more prevalent in previous years, but lived in the Everglades nevertheless.  The Everglades cover a large portion of southern Florida.

The Old Capitol in Tallahassee
Phone: (850) 487-1902

Secretary Of State
400 S Monroe St
Tallahassee, FL 32399-6507
Phone: 850-414-5500


There are 67 counties in Florida. The largest is Palm Beach County with 2,578 square miles. The smallest county is Union County with just 245 square miles.

Total land area: 53,997 square miles
Total water area: 11,761 square miles – the 3rd “wettest” state in water area
Total area: 65,758 square miles – the 22nd largest state
Longitude: 79° 48' W to 87° 38' W
Latitude: 24° 30' N to 31° N
Geographic Center:  12 miles NNW of Brooksville in Hernando County. At Longitude: 81° 37.9'W Latitude: 28° 8.0'N
Length: 500 miles
Width: 160 miles
Highest point: 345 feet above sea level at Britton Hill in Walton County
Lowest point: sea level at the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico
Average elevation: 100 feet above sea level

Bordering states include Georgia and Alabama on the north and Alabama on the west.  The Gulf of Mexico is on the west with the Atlantic Ocean to the south and east.

Climate and Weather:

Monthly average high temperature: 91.7 degrees Fahrenheit
Monthly average low temperature: 39.9 degrees Fahrenheit
Record high temperature: 109 degrees on 29 June 1931 at Monticello
Record low temperature: -2 degrees on 13 February 1899 at Tallahassee



Florida Chamber Of Commerce
136 S Bronough St
Tallahassee, FL 32301
Phone: 850-521-1200
Fax: 850-521-1219
Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 11309
Tallahassee, FL 32302-3309


Florida State Capitol
A history of the Capitol building and previous capitol buildings in Florida

Take a tour of the Florida State Capitol

Government Links page for Florida
Great links page for all levels of government in Florida


University of South Florida - Sarasota, Manatee
University of Florida


For Florida travel information see:
P.O. Box 11
Tallahassee, Florida 32302
Phone: 850-488-5607, ext. 304
Toll-free: 800-7FLA-USA (735-2872)


To learn more about the Florida State Parks System see:
State Parks
3900 Commonwealth Blvd.
Mail Sta. 535
Tallahassee, Florida 32399-3000
Phone: 850-488-9872


Office of Historical Resources from the state of Florida

Florida Facts and History


Find the weather for anyplace in the USA


This page was created 5 September 1998

This page was last updated 16 September 2006 at 5:46 pm

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