Map of the United States of America

Florida Overview

Population 18.5 million
Capital Tallahassee
Largest Cities Jacksonville, Miami, Tampa, St. Petersburg, Orlando
Topography Beaches, lakes, forests, islands
Climate Subtropical, savannah
Time Zone Mostly Eastern Time/GMT -5
Lifestyles Arts and entertainment, beach, boating, city life, fishing, golf, professional sports, retirement community, university
Important Annual Events January: Art Deco Weekend, Miami Beach. May: The Players PGA Tour event, Ponte Vedra Beach.
Popular Real Estate Locations Boca Raton, Florida Keys, Fort Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Miami, Naples, Orlando, Palm Beach, Panhandle, Sarasota, Tampa


Florida State Capitol Florida, known as the “Sunshine State,” has more coastline than any other state in the continental United States. With 1,260 miles (2,028 km) of coast and 825 miles (1,328 km) of beautiful sandy beaches, it is a favorite place for anyone who loves the ocean.

The northwestern part of Florida that sits along the Gulf Coast and borders the states of Alabama and Georgia is called the Panhandle and is full of antebellum homes, historic sites, museums, and white sandy beaches.

Jacksonville is on the Atlantic Coast at the northeastern corner of the state. Professional sports, waterfront dining, historic districts, white sandy beaches, national and state parks, a zoo, and more keep residents here entertained.

Orlando is best known as the home of Walt Disney World® Resort and other well-known amusement parks. Orlando also has an active arts scene, an impressive array of golf courses, and an NBA team.

In Tampa, sports fans can watch professional football, hockey, baseball, and arena football, as well as minor league baseball. Sandy beaches, ecotourism opportunities, golf, and history are important here too.

Sarasota is just south of Tampa. Here, you can kayak among tropical mangrove trees, learn about the history of the circus at the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, go to an opera performance, or enjoy a round of golf.

Near the southern tip of the Florida peninsula, Naples calls itself the “Golf Capital of the World.” Its state parks and ecological sanctuaries and its proximity to the Everglades National Park make it a favorite location for nature lovers.

One of Florida’s best-known cities, Miami is known for its cosmopolitan appeal, tropical climate, distinctive architecture, glitzy nightlife, and beautiful beaches with clear turquoise waters. Miami also has a vibrant arts and entertainment scene, professional sports teams, and plenty of outdoor recreation.

Slightly north of Miami, Fort Lauderdale offers golden beaches, championship golf courses, arts, and entertainment. The Fort Lauderdale area has been called the “Venice of America” because of its extensive waterways and large number of residential yachts.

Boca Raton, also in South Florida, is a popular retirement location. People of all ages are attracted to its beaches, golf courses, tennis centers, cultural and educational activities, nature preserves, and recreational pursuits like water sports.

Farther north and across a bridge is Palm Beach, another popular retirement and second-home area that is known for its affluence. Yachting, equestrian activities, golf, tennis, and scuba diving are some of the favorite activities here.

The best-known island in the Florida Keys is probably Key West, which is the southernmost point of the continental United States. The Keys are full of boating, fishing, water sports, and ecotourism activities. The lifestyle here is decidedly laid-back.

Florida real estate includes beachfront cottages, high-rise condominiums, impressive mansions, and comfortable single-family homes. Mediterranean-style houses with stucco walls and tile roofs are common, and swimming pools are quite popular.

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