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The Sunshine State™
Named for the Spanish feast of flowers, Florida stretches more than 400 miles from its state line with Georgia to the Florida Keys. It's famous for its coastline, its Everglades, and its colorful coral reefs, but there are lesser known wonders as well. For instance, did you know Florida houses one of the largest underwater cave systems in the continental U.S., a type of prairie found nowhere else in the U.S., and an ancient forest system perched on prehistoric dunes?
As one of the world's greatest family destinations, nature preserves and cities make for the ultimate family trip. Throughout Florida, countless theme parks continually attract visitors with screaming coasters and wild water parks. Central Florida is home to Disney World, EPCOT, Universal Studios and Universal's Islands of Adventure, and Sea World, as well as several other water parks. On the west coast, Busch Gardens combines a zoo with a theme park. Shipwreck Island, a water park, makes its home in the northwest area of the state.
Visit the 1,399,078 acre Everglades National Park, the only subtropical preserve in North America. It contains both temperate and tropical plant communities, including sawgrass prairies, mangrove and cypress swamps, pine lands, and hardwood hammocks, marine and estuarine environments, rich bird life with bald eagles and wading birds, such as the roseate spoonbill, wood stork, great blue heron and a variety of egrets along with owls, hawks, vultures, ducks and more. Alligators and crocodiles both inhabit the park. You will also find panthers, deer, boar, black bear, grey fox, manatee and many other species of animals. Tour the Everglades by airboat, riverboat, canoe, kayak, bicycle or car.
The Orlando performing Arts Center is an important part of the culture in Orlando. Another big part of the Orlando culture is the Orlando Art Museum and the Orlando Science Museum. These Orlando museums can be found in the central Orlando area with others that might be of interest to you.
The Orlando performing Arts Center should be on the top of your list of things to visit while in Orlando. The Orlando Science Museum and the Orlando Art Museum should be on that list too. These Orlando museums are some of the most popular museums in the world.
Go swimming, boating, camping, fishing, hiking, biking and hunting at Lake Okeechobee, at 730 square-miles it is Florida's largest lake and the second largest freshwater lake in the United States.
Florida's beaches are ranked as some of the best in the country for beauty, accessibility and facilities. Families, couples and singles on the move enjoy year-round sunshine, glittering white sand and proximity to the Gulf of Mexico or Atlantic Ocean.
Wherever you are right now, chances are the weather is better in the Florida Keys.
At the peak of summer, the average high is 89º F (32º C). Florida does not have any super-highways or urban sprawl to radiate the sun’s heat. Not only that, but Florida’s islands are surrounded by cooling ocean waters.
Florida’s coral formations are famous for their abundance of fish, from impressive schools of blue-striped grunts to toothy green moray eels. The U.S. government established the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary to protect its marine habitat.
Preserving the reef is a top priority for a good reason. There is no more versatile marine destination in the world. Florida has coral-encrusted ship wrecks and intricate natural coral formations. There are shallow reefs for snorkelers, and a range of deeper reefs for experienced divers.
Florida has far more to offer than many people realize.
Photos and some wording courtesy of Florida Tourism