With remarkable wildlife, wide sandy beaches, successful citrus agriculture, amusement parks, and an appealing subtropical or tropical climate, Florida has earned the nickname the “Sunshine State and become one of the most popular vacation and retirement destinations in the world.
The state of Florida spans over two time zones and has a geographical area of 65,755 square miles (170,304 square kilometers). It boasts an enormous coastline with much of the state lying on a peninsula between the Gulf of Mexico, the Atlantic Ocean, and the Straits of Florida. No part of Florida is very far from the ocean, and the coastal areas to the south of Lake Okeechobee have a true tropical climate. The state offers a plethora of outdoor activities including golf, fishing, boating and scuba diving.
In 1513, Florida was named “La Florida” by the Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de León, when he became the first known European to land on what is now the continental United States. Florida became the 27th state on March 3, 1845. Tourism to Florida started its growth in the 1920s, but then truly developed during the build up to World War II.
Today, Florida is home to a number of well known destinations such as Disney World, Florida’s Keys, Universal Studios Orlando, Kennedy Space Center, SeaWorld Orlando, Miami’s South Beach, Daytona Beach, Panama City, and the Everglades. The population is just over 19,000,000 people and the state has a home ownership rate of 70.1%. It is known for luxury spots such as West Palm Beach, Naples (with more millionaires per capita than Beverly Hills), Vero Beach, Mt. Dora and Jupiter.
The biggest metropolitan area in Florida is Miami. Miami is recognized for its multicultural mélange of people, languages, ethnicities and races, as well as for its pristine beaches nestled among luxurious skyscrapers and art deco gems. Within Miami you can find the Florida Grand Opera, the New World Symphony, the Florida Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Jackie Gleason and Performing Arts Centers. In addition to arts and culture, Miami has teams in all four major professional sports— football’s Miami Dolphins, basketball’s Miami Heat, baseball’s Florida Marlins and hockey’s Florida Panthers. The greater Miami area also offers a variety of choices in luxury waterfront living and non-waterfront options with lushly landscaped backyard areas. Popular destinations in Miami include South Beach, Bal Harbor, Key Biscayne, Star Island, Coral Gables, Gables Estates and Downtown Miami, specifically Brickell, its financial district.
Whether you are a sports fan, or an arts enthusiast, looking to explore nature, engage in thrilling outdoor activities, or just relax on one of Florida’s beaches, the State of Florida offers all sorts of potential. Alongside a great selection of luxury real estate and locations, there is something perfect for everyone!