Florida is the most southeastern state of
the USA. The state capital is Tallahassee. Florida’s population is16
Miami: Population: 600,000 in the City of Miami, and in Greater Miami 2.1
million. Half of Miami's population is Hispanic.
11 million tourists visit the city every year.
Everglades: Everglades National Park is known for both temperate and
tropical plant communities, including sawgrass prairies, mangrove and
At one time, Florida, “The Sunshine State”, was the holiday haunt of the
well-heeled and famous. In the late 1800s, as investments were made in
hotels and railways, tourism in Florida began to flourish. The railways and
the arrival of motor vehicles made Florida accessible for people from far
away. Thousands of tourists flocked to Florida in the early 1900s, putting
it firmly on the tourist map. To holiday in Florida was however still
expensive and many visitors brought their own provisions. These travellers
were dubbed “tin-can tourists”. Tourism expanded considerably with the dawn
of airline travel in the 1930s, and today Florida is a popular holiday
destination for people from all over the world. The state has basically two
seasons, wet and dry. Most visitors come in the winter for the warmth and
sunshine. The summer (May to October) is hot and sticky, with rain storms
most afternoons and mosquitoes more abundant. However Disney’s ‘Magic
Kingdom’ and other theme parks around Orlando have managed to make Florida
more of a year round destination.
The Keys: Florida Keys is a 120 mile long chain of islands about an hour
from Miami by car. These paradise islands are linked to the mainland by the
Florida Turnpike at Key Largo, and from there all the way to Key West the
scenic highway has been designated “An All-American Road”, the only one in
Florida. Not surprisingly most activities around these beautiful islands
centre on the sea, with boating, scuba diving and game fishing pre-eminent.
It is claimed that more world records for game fish have been established
among the Keys than anywhere else in the world. The writer Ernest Hemingway
was a resident on Key West who managed to combine writing with his passion
for fishing in his novel “The Old Man and the Sea”. His home for ten years
is now open to the public.
The Panhandle: In the north west of Florida a narrow 200 mile long strip of
land between the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico has long been known
as “The Panhandle” because of its shape on the map. Previously an area of
farming, forestry and industry, mass tourism became more important in the
second half of the 20th century, until the Deepwater Horizon oil spill off
Pensacola Beach threatened the tourism and fishing industries. However the
‘Emerald Coast’ of The Panhandle is still known for its sparkling beaches
and quaint beach towns. In addition to the many water-based activities,
nightlife is a speciality of the Panhandle, including the largest night club
in the US, the Club La Vela.