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Difference between revisions of "Florida"

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(reduce cities to nine; reduce Other destinations to five)
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==Regions==
 
==Regions==
  
*[[Florida Panhandle]] Cities include the State Capitol of Tallahassee, Pensacola, and Panama City.
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*[[Florida Panhandle]] - Cities include the State Capitol of Tallahassee, Pensacola, and Panama City.
*[[North Florida]]
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*[[North Florida]] - The most [[South (United States of America)|"Southern"]] part of Flordia, anchored by the city of Jacksonville.
*[[Central Florida]] Attractions include Walt Disney World, SeaWorld, Universal Studios Florida, Kennedy Space Center, Cypress Gardens, Bok Tower Gardens, Daytona International Speedway and Gatorland, natural attractions including the Wildlife Refuge, with an extensive network of recreational trails.
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*[[Central Florida]] - Attractions include Walt Disney World, SeaWorld, Universal Studios Florida, Kennedy Space Center, Cypress Gardens, Bok Tower Gardens, Daytona International Speedway and Gatorland, natural attractions including the Wildlife Refuge, with an extensive network of recreational trails.
 
*[[South Florida]] - Home to the beaches of Miami, the swamps of the Everglades, and the beauty of the Florida Keys.
 
*[[South Florida]] - Home to the beaches of Miami, the swamps of the Everglades, and the beauty of the Florida Keys.
  
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[[Image:Fort Lauderdale Skyline.jpg|thumb|400px|Fort Lauderdale]]
 
[[Image:Fort Lauderdale Skyline.jpg|thumb|400px|Fort Lauderdale]]
  
* [[Tallahassee]] - The state capital.
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* [[Tallahassee]] - The state capital.<!-- capital top, alphabetise the rest -->
<!-- capital top, alphabetise the rest -->
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+
 
* [[Fort Lauderdale]]
 
* [[Fort Lauderdale]]
* [[Fort Myers]]
 
* [[Gainesville]]
 
 
* [[Jacksonville]]
 
* [[Jacksonville]]
 
* [[Miami]]
 
* [[Miami]]
 
* [[Orlando]]
 
* [[Orlando]]
* [[Panama_City_%28Florida%29 | Panama City]]
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* [[Panama City (Florida)|Panama City]]
* [[Panama City Beach]]
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* [[Pensacola]]
 
* [[Pensacola]]
* [[St. Augustine]]
 
* [[Sarasota]]
 
 
* [[Tampa]]
 
* [[Tampa]]
 
* [[West Palm Beach]]
 
* [[West Palm Beach]]
  
 
==Other destinations==
 
==Other destinations==
===Attractions===
 
* [[Walt Disney World]]
 
* [[Busch Gardens]]
 
* [[Daytona Beach|Daytona International Speedway]]
 
* [[Florida Keys]]
 
* [[Homestead|Homestead-Miami Speedway]]
 
* [[Islands of Adventures]]
 
* [[Sea World]]
 
* [[Sebring|Sebring International Raceway]]
 
* [[Universal Studios]]
 
 
===Parks===
 
* [[Apalachicola National Forest]]
 
* [[Big Cypress National Preserve]]
 
 
* [[Biscayne National Park]]
 
* [[Biscayne National Park]]
* [[Canaveral National Seashore]]
 
* [[Dry Tortugas National Park]]
 
 
* [[Everglades National Park]]
 
* [[Everglades National Park]]
* [[Gulf Islands National Seashore]]
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* [[Florida Keys]]
 
* [[Ocala National Forest]]
 
* [[Ocala National Forest]]
* [[Osceola National Forest]]
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* [[Walt Disney World]]
* [[Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve]]
+
  
 
==Understand==
 
==Understand==

Revision as of 13:52, 22 July 2008

Map of Florida
For other places with the same name, see Florida (disambiguation).

Florida[1] is the most south-eastern state in the United States of America. Known as "The Sunshine State", it became a popular winter destination for the well-to-do from colder climates over a century ago, and has gained ever greater popularity since. Its roots in agriculture are still present, with oranges being a chief export. The capital of Florida is Tallahassee, located in the "Big Bend" area of the Florida Panhandle.

The total population of Florida as of 2003 is 17,019,068; it has the 4th largest state population in the United States. The total area of the state of Florida is 58,560 square miles (151,670 km²).

The beaches are one of the most popular attractions, along with some of the world's best known theme parks, including Disney World, Universal Studios, and SeaWorld.

Contents

Regions

  • Florida Panhandle - Cities include the State Capitol of Tallahassee, Pensacola, and Panama City.
  • North Florida - The most "Southern" part of Flordia, anchored by the city of Jacksonville.
  • Central Florida - Attractions include Walt Disney World, SeaWorld, Universal Studios Florida, Kennedy Space Center, Cypress Gardens, Bok Tower Gardens, Daytona International Speedway and Gatorland, natural attractions including the Wildlife Refuge, with an extensive network of recreational trails.
  • South Florida - Home to the beaches of Miami, the swamps of the Everglades, and the beauty of the Florida Keys.

Cities

Fort Lauderdale

Other destinations

Understand

Culture

Florida is the most southern of all U.S. states other than Hawaii and is a unique blend of societies. The northern part of the state is part of the cultural region of The South, where you will find traditional southern cooking, entertainment, dialect, and lifestyles, much as you would expect to find just north in Georgia and the Carolinas. Generally, the more south you go in the state, the more 'northern' it seems, and you should not expect to experience 'southern' culture everywhere. (For instance, sweet tea- a drink synomymous with "The South" is rarely offered in Florida restaurants south of Ocala. The southernmost Florida Keys offer yet another flavor, full of the slow paced and casual atmosphere of true beach life. All in all, Florida is its own region of the United States in its own right.

Climate

Florida is known around the world for its balmy weather. The state's mild winters have made it a haven for retirees. Summers can be long and hot with showers providing much appreciated relief during the rainy season. Coastal areas also experience gentle breezes during the summer.

However, being a coastal area, frequent precipitation is common. While the rains are often brief, they are common, and plan for rain at least one or two of your days in Florida. Torrential daytime rains (often accompanied by a fantastic show of lightning and thunder) are a relatively common occurrence in the summer months. Many attractions such as Disney World have multiple attractions available even during downpours.

Average Annual Temperatures:

Summer: 80.5 °F degrees (26.9 °C) (North Florida) 82.7 °F degrees (28.2 °C) (South Florida)

Winter: 53.0 °F degrees (11.7 °C) (North Florida) 68.5 °F degrees (20.3 °C) (South Florida)

The six-month hurricane season runs from June 1 through November 30 and Floridians have learned to be ready when a storm threatens the area. More Information: National Hurricane Center

Talk

English is the official language of the state. However Spanish is making inroads throughout the state. In some parts of South Florida, Spanish is the preferred language in everyday activities.

Native-born Floridians will usually speak in a southern accent. However, after the migration of millions of Americans from other states to Florida, the southern dialect is becoming diluted with other accents.

Get in

Full sized Hotel, with all anemnities and services, directly within Orlando International Airport itself.

By plane

The larger cities in Florida are served by busy airports:


  • Jacksonville International Airport in Jacksonville. The airport is on the north side of Jacksonville.
  • Miami International Airport in Miami.
  • Orlando International Airport, is located south of Downtown Orlando. The airport offers transportation, shuttles, car rentals. Disney World offers free transportation from the airport to Disney World for visitors.
  • Southwest Florida International Airport in Fort Myers.
  • Tampa International Airport in Tampa.

While these airports are near the major population centers, you may wish to fly to an area closer or into the Florida Panhandle. The following airports are generally smaller, but may be more convienent depending on your destination.

  • Orlando-Sanford International Airport, located in Sanford, which is north of Orlando. Orlando-Sanford is geared to airlines that operate charter services, such as Allegiant Airlines in the United States, and a host of flights from the United Kingdom. Icelandair in recent years moved their operations from Orlando International to here, providing nonstop flights to Iceland. The airport is approximately 25 miles north of Orlando International Airport.
  • Pensacola Regional Airport, located in Pensacola and is the gateway to the western Florida Panhandle. Pensacola Regional has many flights on many carriers to destinations across the eastern United States and within the state of Florida.
  • Sarasota International Airport, located in Sarasota.
  • Tallahassee Regional Airport, located in the state capitol of Tallahassee.

By train

In Sanford, the southern Terminus of the Amtrak Auto Train carries passengers and automobiles between Sanford and Lorton, Virginia, effectively serving as a car-rail link to Florida from the Washington, D.C. Metro Area.

Amtrak also serves Florida through two regular passenger service north-south routes. These two routes are the Silver Star (Trains 91-92 and the Silver Meteor (Trains 97-98) and they both begin in New York and end in Miami. While the two routes are slightly different, within the borders of state of Florida, the routes are exactly the same and stop at the following stations: Jacksonville, Palatka, DeLand, Winter Park, Orlando, Kissimmee, Lakeland (to/from the north only), Tampa, Lakeland (to/from the south only), Winter Haven, Sebring, Okeechobee, West Palm Beach, Delray Beach, Deerfield Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood, and Miami.

By car

If you're driving in, there are three interstate highways. They are I-95 from the northeast, I-75 from the midwest, and I-10 from the west.

Get around

Car rental agencies abound in Florida and many are available at every major airport.

Florida's major interstate highways include I-95, which runs north to south along the east coast, I-10, which runs from Jacksonville in the east across the panhandle to the west, and I-75, which enters the state from Georgia and runs south through Tampa and along the Gulf coast. U.S. Highway 1 is a historic and scenic highway which originates in Key West and continues up the east coast. I-4, not a true interstate, runs from northeast to southwest, beginning at I-95 in Daytona Beach and ends in Tampa.

Bus service is provided by Greyhound and several other companies. Annett Bus Tours[2] offers Florida bus tours.

See

Parade on Main Street in Disneyworld

Do

  • Florida's waterparks and theme parks.
    • Visit Disney World . One of the best family attraction sites in Florida and in the world.
    • Sea World, Wet and Wild, and Discovery Cove in Orlando.
    • Busch Gardens in Tampa.

Wild Waters and Silver Springs are in Ocala.

  • Learn about Floridian history and see the 17th century fort in St. Augustine.

Learn

Florida has eleven public universities coordinated and funded on the state level by The State University System of Florida which was formed after 2000 when the governor and the state legislature abolished the Florida Board of Regents, a body which controlled each institution directly from Tallahassee. The list below includes the member institutions of the SUS as well as the cities in which they are located. It is also important to note many colleges have regional or satellite campuses in other cities within their service area.

  • Florida A&M University (Tallahassee)
  • Florida Atlantic University (Boca Raton)
  • Florida Gulf Coast University (Fort Myers)
  • Florida International University (Miami)
  • Florida State University (Tallahassee)
  • New College of Florida (Sarasota)
  • University of Central Florida (Orlando)
  • University of North Florida (Jacksonville)
  • University of Florida (Gainesville)
  • University of South Florida (Tampa)
  • University of West Florida (Pensacola)

Florida also has a large network of community colleges, totallying twenty-eight overall. Most of these institutions are located throughout the state in major and even in minor population centers with the ones with larger service areas/population bases having multiple campuses. A complete list of community colleges can be found at the | Florida Department of Education.

Florida has many private universities as well, the largest of which is the Nova Southeastern University and one of the more noted ones, The University of Miami.

Buy

ATMs can be found throughout the state. Usually larger hotels and convenience stores will have a "generic" ATM machine available; however, be forewarned about hidden service fees.

Eat

Florida cuisine has come under many influences and its styles vary across the state from north to south. Early Spanish and African and Southern cuisine has been influenced by Cuban and other Caribbean cultures, as well as "snowbirds" escaping from the Northern US winters. Northern Florida has a more Southern style; the south a more Caribbean one. Being on a peninsula, Florida's chefs have always had access to fresh seafood and the long growing season provides for fresh native vegetables.

Citrus is a main export, and the tourist is apt see many roadside stands offering free samples of orange juice and fruits to be shipped or carried home. Florida also grows grapefruit, avocado, mango, papaya, passion fruit, kumquat, coconut and other tropical fruits. These often provide the base for sauces and marinades or are used in marmalades, soups, or desserts.

One food not readily available in many other locales is alligator. Most say it tastes like chicken and it is often prepared similarly. Key lime pie, found elsewhere now, is a Florida Keys invention, made from the local key limes.

Drink

Alcoholic beverages abound throughout the state and (at least for being located in the conservative Southern U.S.) has somewhat liberal drinking laws. However, five rural counties in the northern third of the state are "dry counties", and no alcohol is sold in them. Liquor stores are often built into strip malls, supermarkets, and pharmacies, and most grocery stores, gas stations, and convenience stores sell beer and wine. Bars and clubs are popular throughout the state. Miami Beach is well known for a variety of themed and upscale bars with innovative mixed drinks.

Like every other U.S. state, the purchase and possession age for alcohol is 21 and is fairly well enforced. Underage drinking "stings" are frequent in most tourist areas.

Stay safe

Florida has a high occurrence of hurricanes. You might want to check the Hurricane safety page if you are visiting Florida. Beware of lightning in the north central part of the state, especially Dixie County, the state's lightning capital. Volusia County is known for a high number of shark attacks, so be careful when surfing. Also, there is a high occurrence of tornadoes in Florida, so check the Tornado safety page.

Florida has varying crime intensity from city to city. In certain parts of large cities it may not be safe to walk alone or even in small groups at night. Touristy areas rarely have violent crimes, but theft is an occasional occurrence.

Get out

Heading out of Florida to the north is Georgia. Here you will find the historic city of Savannah and the resort beach of Jekyll Island. In Alabama, Mobile is a historic port city and Gulf Shores is a popular resort. A little further out, Mississippi offers casino gaming in Biloxi and Gulfport.

This is a usable article. It gives a good overview of the region, its sights, and how to get in, as well as links to the main destinations, whose articles are similarly well developed. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!







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