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Florida, Miami

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Florida is the most southeastern state of the USA. The state capital is Tallahassee. Florida’s population is16 million.
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 cypress swamps.

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.

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