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Florida is a state in the southeastern region of the United States, bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the north by Alabama and Georgia, to the east by the Atlantic Ocean, and to the south by the Straits of Florida. Florida is the 22nd most extensive, the 3rd most populous,and the 8th most densely populated of the 50 United States. The state capital is Tallahassee, the largest city is Jacksonville, and the largest metropolitan area is the Miami metropolitan area.
Much of Florida is a peninsula between the Gulf of Mexico, the Atlantic Ocean, and the Straits of Florida. Its geography is notable for a coastline, omnipresent water and the threat of hurricanes. Florida has the longest coastline in the contiguous United States, encompassing approximately 1,350 miles (2,170 km), and is the only state that borders both the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean. Much of the state is at or near sea level and is characterized by sedimentary soil.
The climate of Florida is tempered somewhat by the fact that no part of the state is distant from the ocean. North of Lake Okeechobee, the prevalent climate is humid subtropical , while coastal areas south of the lake (including the Florida Keys) have a true tropical climate. Mean high temperatures for late July are primarily in the low 90s Fahrenheit (32–34 °C). Mean low temperatures for early to mid January range from the low 40s Fahrenheit (4–7 °C) in northern Florida to above 60 °F (16 °C) from Miami on southward. With an average daily temperature of 70.7 °F (21.5 °C), it is the warmest state in the country.
In the summer, high temperatures in the state seldom exceed 100 °F (38 °C). Several record cold maxima have been in the 30s °F (−1 to 4 °C) and record lows have been in the 10s (−12 to −7 °C). These temperatures normally extend at most a few days at a time in the northern and central parts of Florida. Southern Florida, however, rarely encounters freezing temperatures.
The hottest temperature ever recorded in Florida was 109 °F (43 °C), which was set on June 29, 1931 in Monticello. The coldest temperature was −2 °F (−19 °C), on February 13, 1899, just 25 miles (40 km) away, in Tallahassee.
Due to its subtropical climate, Florida rarely receives snow. However, on rare occasions, a combination of cold moisture and freezing temperatures can result in snowfall. Frost is more common than snow, occurring several times during the winter months.
Tourism in Florida
Tourism makes up the largest sector of the state economy. Warm weather, sunshine, and hundreds of miles of beaches attract about 60 million visitors to the state every year. Florida was the top destination state in 2011. Many beach towns are popular tourist destinations, particularly during winter and spring break. Twenty-three million tourists visited Florida beaches in 2000, spending $22 billion. The public has a right to beach access under the public trust doctrine, but some areas have access effectively blocked by private owners for a long distance.
Amusement parks, especially in the Greater Orlando area, make up a significant portion of tourism. The Walt Disney World Resort is the largest vacation resort in the world, consisting of four theme parks and more than 20 hotels. Other major parks include Universal Orlando Resort, Busch Gardens, and SeaWorld, below some of desirable destinations in Florida:
Sand Key Beach
Clear Water Beach
Lettuce Lake Park
Lake Eola Park
When it comes to places to shop in Florida, one thing's for certain. There isn't any shortage of them. Whether you favor the outdoor pedestrian malls and shopping districts such Lincoln Road in Miami's South Beach area, outlet malls such as the Lake Buena Vista Factory Stores of Orlando, or traditional mall experiences like the Citrus Park Shopping Center in Tampa, you'll find what you're looking for throughout the sunshine state. More of a flea market fan? We've got that too. Click here to find the best places to shop in Florida.