Can you see yourself lying in a hammock, sipping a ‘cuba libre’? Or would you rather reminisce about childhood in Disney World? Then Florida is for you! This American state is known for its South American influences, the subtropical climate and the overwhelming nature. Florida is a peninsula located in the south of America, on the Gulf of Mexico to the west and the Atlantic Ocean to the east.
According to deluxesurveillance, Florida borders the states of Georgia and Alabama to the north, but the rest of this exotic state has beautiful beaches as its natural border. To the south are the Florida Keys, an archipelago where the average American likes to vacation. The islands are exotic and have a Caribbean feel. This is not surprising since the Keys are close to Caribbean islands such as Cuba and the Bahamas!
According to electronicsmatter, Florida has a humid subtropical climate and south of Lake Okeechobee even a true tropical climate. Winters are mainly dry with moderate temperatures. Summers are wet and clammy with temperatures up to 38 degrees Celsius. This makes Florida a great vacation destination all year round!
Florida’s climate is largely determined by the Warm Gulf Stream. This warm water current that flows from the Gulf of Mexico to the Atlantic Ocean ensures that it has never frozen in the Keys, but the temperature will never rise above 32 degrees Celsius!
When the warm air from the Gulf collides with the fresh Atlantic air, it creates thunderstorms, strong winds and massive rainfall. Sometimes a tornado even arises from this collision. Florida has the most tornadoes per square mile annually. What this state suffers most in the summer, however, are tropical cyclones or hurricanes. These cyclones rarely go unnoticed and cause terrible damage every year.
The name Florida comes from Spanish. In the sixteenth century, the Spanish conqueror Juan Ponce de León arrived here with his entourage in Florida during the Pascua Flórida. Loosely translated, this means ‘the flowery Easter’. Long before the Spaniards settled in Florida, Indian tribes such as the Ais and the Appalachee lived here. Their arrival would mark the beginning of a bloody age. To get the Spaniards away, the English encouraged the Indian tribes from Alabama and Georgia to join them and fight the Spaniards. The English got the Indians on their side by providing them with weapons.
But the Spaniards did not sit still either. They target the slaves from the southern states and encouraged them to move to Florida. Once there, they were free and conscripted as Catholics. Finally, the English took possession of Florida through the Peace of Paris at the end of the eighteenth century. The battle seemed to have been won, but nothing could be further from the truth. The government wanted the Indians out of Florida and this led to fierce fighting between whites and Indians in the 1930s. Despite military intervention, the fighting continued. It wasn’t until 1842 that the American government got the Indians under control and drove them west far beyond the Mississippi. In March 1845, Florida became the 27th official U.S. state.
The pleasant climate and the friendly atmosphere have made Florida a popular travel destination for years, but also a desirable place to live for many. Every year, many American seniors move to Florida for their old age. Florida is therefore one of the most populous states in America today. Almost eighteen million people live in the ‘Sunshine State’. The capital is Tallahassee and the largest city is Jacksonville. The most populous urban agglomeration is that of Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach. The population here is estimated at about five million people.
At the time of slavery, many African Americans also lived in the state. Nearly half of the population were African Americans. After the American Civil War, during the Great Migration, many Negroes migrated north while whites increasingly came to Florida. For a number of years you have come across more and more African Americans in Florida. They live near Orlando and in southern Florida.
Another population group that you will find in Florida are the Latinos. They come mainly from Cuba, Puerto Rico and Central America and live in large numbers in and around the cities of Tampa and Miami. Whites are the third largest population group. They are mainly descendants of the European migrants who once moved to Florida and live in every part of the state. Think of British, Scots, Irish and Germans.
You can go either way in Florida. Whether you like adventure or a relaxing beach holiday, this state offers you countless possibilities! Florida’s economy is the fourth largest in the US and relies primarily on tourism. The space industry is not unimportant for the economy since the arrival of NASA. Cape Canaveral and the Kennedy Space Center are popular spots.
Florida agriculture is also a factor behind the prosperous economy. Citrus fruits such as grapefruit, mandarins and lemons bring in a lot of money every year. The Port of Miami is of great importance to Florida because many cruise ships depart from here to the Caribbean and the import and export of products largely takes place here.
Welcome to Miami
Hip America now celebrates its holiday here. Miami is very popular among young people, because of the well-known ‘Spring Break’ and many celebrities also flock here to dive into the nightlife of the infamous South Beach. Many Latin American and Caribbean families live in and around Miami, which gives the city an exotic, southern touch. The tropical climate, which you can enjoy all year round, adds to this and ensures that all kinds of people from all over the world settle here and make Miami their permanent home.
This is also a very pleasant destination with children, as there is plenty to do for the little ones. With Disney World, Universal Studios and the Kennedy Space Center just around the corner, Miami is also an ideal vacation destination for those who enjoy a DIY vacation. These attractions are built more inland. This is because Miami is located in an area where many hurricanes pass through, especially in the summer.
In addition, the nature around Miami is beautiful. Miami itself has pearly white beaches where you can stroll and there is also plenty to do at sea. Grab your snorkel and discover the underwater world of Miami or go wakeboarding, a real challenge! But if you’re really a die-hard nature freak then you should be outside of Miami. You are close to the Everglades, a subtropical national park with beautiful and mysterious swamps and forests where alligators and crocodiles hide. This is highly recommended and if you can’t get enough of the beautiful national park, you can even spend the night in one of the lodges.
The Florida Keys are a group of 1700 (tiny) small islands in the very south of Florida. This is also something you should not miss. Grab the car and drive the inter-state highway across the Keys to its southernmost tip, Key West, and discover the beauty of the country’s only coral reef. Please note: this is done under supervision because people want to keep the coral in its natural state. So don’t go snorkelling here on your own!