35 Fun Facts About Florida: What Was the First ATM in Miami For?

Petr Novák

Do you know what the swamps that blanket much of southern Florida are used for? They serve three vital purposes, which you will learn about in this article, along with intriguing information about Lake DeFuniak Springs, a place of notable interest.

Interesting facts about the state of Florida | © Unsplash.com, © Pixabay.com

Table of Contents
  1. 35 Interesting Facts About the State of Florida

35 Interesting Facts About the State of Florida

  1. St. Augustine is the oldest European colony in North America. It was established in September 1565 by Spanish Admiral Pedro Menéndez de Avilés.
  2. Key West is the city with the highest average temperature in the USA.
  3. Florida is not the southernmost state in the USA—Hawaii is even further south.
  4. The largest lake in Florida is Lake Okeechobee, which covers an area of 730 mi2.
  5. The official gemstone of Florida since May 20, 1970, is the moonstone. Ironically, this stone has never been found in Florida or on the moon.
  6. The Saint John’s River is one of the few rivers that flow from south to north.
  7. Key Largo is known as a paradise for divers.
  8. The Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens in Delray Beach, Florida, are the only American museums dedicated to Japanese culture.
  9. The theme parks in Orlando welcome more visitors annually than any others in the USA.
  10. The first outdoor ATMs were installed in Miami to serve primarily inline skaters.
  11. The city of Gainesville is home to the unique Fred Bear Museum, which is dedicated to the legendary archer.
  12. Benjamin Green, a physician from Miami Beach, was the first to invent sunscreen. In 1944, he made it from cocoa butter.
  13. The Miami metropolitan area is the only one in the USA that borders two national parksEverglades and Biscayne National Park.
  14. Islamorada Island is known as a hub for sport fishing.
  15. Doctor John Garrie of Apalachicola was the first to invent a mechanical refrigerator in 1851.
  16. Fort Lauderdale is often called “America’s Venice” due to its 185 mi of intersecting canals.
  17. Clearwater is the city with the highest number of lightning strikes per capita in the USA.
  18. Florida is also home to the renowned Cape Canaveral, the site of numerous spacecraft launches.
  19. During the 1991 Gulf War, Jacksonville in Florida was the busiest military port in the country. More people and supplies were shipped from here than any other place in the USA.
  20. The Sanibel Museum’s collection includes 2 million shells. The museum claims to be the only one in the world dedicated solely to mollusks.
  21. On January 1, 1914, young aviator Tony Jannus made history by making the first scheduled flight from St. Petersburg to Tampa.
  22. The wreck of the SS Benwood, sunk near Key Largo in the French Reef, is a major attraction for divers.
  23. Florida is the only state in the USA that has two rivers with the same name—Withlacoochee. One is located in Madison County in the northern part of the state and the other is in central Florida. The only commonality between them is their name; there is no other connection.
  24. The sports drink Gatorade was first produced in 1965 at the University of Florida for the school’s athletes. The name derives from the university’s sports teams, the Gators.
  25. The approximately 47 mi long Pinellas Trail bike path, connecting St. Petersburg to other locations in Pinellas County, is known as the longest urban trail in the eastern USA.
  26. For decades, the City of Niceville has hosted the traditional Boggy Bayou Mullet Festival on the third weekend in October.
  27. DeFuniak Springs is home to one of only two natural lakes in the world that have a nearly perfect circular shape.
  28. Titusville is known as Space City due to its proximity to the John F. Kennedy Space Center across the Indian River.
  29. The Florida Mug Race is recognized as the longest sailboat race in the world. The route on the St. Johns River from Palatka to Jacksonville is 42 mi long.
  30. The Olustee Battlefield State Historic Site commemorates the largest American Civil War battle that took place in Florida.
  31. The city of Ybor City, Florida, was once known as the cigar capital of the world. Nearly 12,000 workers in 200 factories produced up to 700 million cigars a year at its peak.
  32. The Dames Point Bridge was the longest suspension bridge in the USA and the third longest suspension bridge in the world when it opened in 1989.
  33. The city of Plant City, Florida, is renowned not only in America for its vast strawberry plantations. On February 19, 1999, a giant shortcake was baked in McCall Park. It measured nearly 77 square meters and weighed 5,999 lb.
  34. Marshes in the Everglades, such as Fakahatchee Strand, perform three crucial functions: They clean and filter water by moving it slowly, they provide a habitat for local flora and fauna, and they mitigate flooding in the area.
  35. In Key West, the significant Fort Zachary Taylor was constructed between 1845 and 1866. It was under the control of Union states during the Civil War. The fort was the starting point for a blockade of Confederate ships, which, according to some historians, shortened the war by over a year. It was also used during the Spanish-American War, World War I, and World War II.

Contribute with Your Question or Personal Experience

Add a comment

Please read the article and preceding comments before posing any questions. I personally review all new comments and promptly remove any advertisements, spam, or offensive content.

Save on Car Rentals in the USA