With miles of coastline and great weather year-round, Florida is a hot spot for vacationers. But Florida's more than a day at the beach. It's full of exciting historical sites, miles of nature trails, and rare and wonderful plants and wildlife.
Welcome to Florida!
When you think of Florida, you probably think of sunshine, beaches, and vacations. It's true that, as the southernmost state in the continental U.S., Florida gets plenty of sunshine. It has 1,200 miles of coastline, so you're never far from a beach. Millions of people visit Florida on their vacations. But there's more to Florida than sun and beaches.
Florida's name comes from the colorful wildflowers that grow everywshere. When Ponce de Leon came here in 1513, he called the land "La Florida," the land of flowers.
Florida is not a new land—it rose from the sea after the time of the dinosaurs. Ancient tribes lived along rivers and coastlines. They made canoes from cypress logs. Florida's earliest people lived here for thousands of years. But then the Spanish, French, and British arrived in the 1600s. They built cities and missions, and drove off the native peoples. The ancient ways of life vanished forever.
Florida bursts with natural diversity. There are tropical jungles, hundreds of crystal-clear springs, and dark brown rivers that bubble like cola. There are animals and trees found nowhere else on earth! Come take a journey through this land of sunshine, and learn what Florida is all about.