Florida, known for its abundant sunshine, is a distinctive state that forms a peninsula between the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. It is geographically positioned in the Southeastern region of the United States, bordered by Alabama and Georgia to the north. Hosting an extensive coastline, Florida offers a unique blend of cultural influences and natural beauty.

Established as part of the United States in 1821, Florida has a rich history that includes its admission to the Union as the 27th state in 1845. The state’s capital is Tallahassee, situated in the northern part, while Jacksonville, the most populous city, lies in the Northeast along the St. Johns River.

Area

Florida occupies a total land and water area of approximately 65,758 square miles (170,312 square kilometers), placing it 22nd in size among the U.S. states. Notably, water bodies compose about 18.4%, or 12,133 square miles (31,424 square kilometers), indicative of the state’s substantial aquatic footprint. This makes Florida’s landmass noticeably larger than Maine and half the size of Finland.

Bodies Of Water

Florida is home to an extensive network of lakes and rivers. Lake Okeechobee stands out as the largest lake, covering an area of roughly 730 square miles. The state’s rivers add up to an impressive total length exceeding 25,000 miles. The St. Johns River is noteworthy for being the longest at over 300 miles, and its flow uniquely reverses twice daily due to tides from the Atlantic Ocean. Following in size is the Suwannee River, stretching 246 miles. While the Miami River may only be 5.5 miles in length, it plays a crucial role as it traverses the urban landscape of Miami.

Geographical Characteristics

Florida’s terrain is notably flat, with the highest elevation at Britton Hill, reaching 345 feet above sea level. The state’s diverse landscapes include the low-lying Coastal Plains, the elevated North Central region, swampy areas like The Everglades and Big Cypress Swamp, as well as a chain of coral cays known as the Keys. Florida experiences a humid subtropical climate with annual rainfall ranging from 40 to 60 inches.

The Coastal Plains

Florida’s coastal plains span a vast area characterized by a gentle slope towards the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. This terrain is primarily composed of sand, gravel, and clay. The region features a distinct landscape of marshes and wetlands, with the Big Bend region in the panhandle notable for its sprawling marshes and dense woodlands. These coastal plains are part of a larger expanse that stretches along the eastern coast of the United States, from New Jersey down to the Texas-Mexico border.

North Central

The North Central area of Florida features a landscape of gentle hills, distinct from the state’s predominantly flat terrain. Its natural beauty is marked by extensive pine forests and magnolia trees, adorned with the quintessential Spanish moss. Notably, it is home to Britton Hill, the state’s highest elevation point.

The Everglades

Located in the southern reaches of Florida, the Everglades are a network of tropical wetlands known as the “River of Grass.” The landscape is characterized by marshes and swamps.

Flora and Fauna:

  • Plants: Bromeliads, native wildflowers
  • Animals: West Indian Manatee, American Crocodile, American Alligator, Florida Panther

Significance: The Everglades National Park is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site and is crucial for the conservation of numerous species and the local ecosystem.

The Florida Keys

The Florida Keys are a chain of over 1,700 islets off the southern coast of Florida. Dry Tortugas National Park stands out within this cluster, encompassing 100 square miles and drawing admirers for its diverse avian population, vibrant coral formations, and abundant aquatic fauna. Known for its crystal-clear waters, the archipelago invites exploration and discovery amidst its tropical habitat.

Counties Map

Florida’s geographical division includes a total of 67 counties. They cover a range of environments, from beachfront shores to inland rural areas. The distribution of these counties presents a mosaic of different cultural, economic, and social characteristics. For example, Miami-Dade County is known for its bustling urban life and diverse population, while counties like Liberty and Lafayette showcase more of Florida’s rural heritage.

The most populous of these counties, Miami-Dade, encompasses a vibrant urban center and extensive suburban areas. On the other hand, less populous counties such as Glades and Hamilton offer a quieter lifestyle with a focus on agricultural and natural landscapes. In the north, Leon County is home to Tallahassee, Florida’s capital, which is a hub for education and state governance. Meanwhile, the northeastern region is anchored by Duval County, where Jacksonville, the most populous city in Florida, is a noteworthy economic center.

Here are some key counties, with their notable cities:

  • Miami-Dade: Miami
  • Broward: Fort Lauderdale
  • Palm Beach: West Palm Beach
  • Hillsborough: Tampa
  • Orange: Orlando

These counties provide a structural foundation for Florida’s local governance and are reflected in the state’s diverse county map. Each county has its own local government and provides a range of services to its residents.

Where Is Florida?

Florida is situated in the southeasternmost part of the United States. It is bordered on the northwest by Alabama, to the north by Georgia, and is flanked by bodies of water on three sides—the Gulf of Mexico to the west, the Atlantic Ocean to the east, and the Straits of Florida to the south. The state boasts the longest coastline in the contiguous U.S.

Outline Map Of Florida

The map shown above is of Florida, which is located in the far southeast of the United States. You can download and print this map to use for school projects like pointing out places and coloring.

The map shown above is of Florida, which is located in the far southeast of the United States. You can download and print this map to use for school projects like pointing out places and coloring.

Key Facts

  • Legal Name: State of Florida
  • ISO Code: US-FL
  • Capital: Tallahassee
Major CitiesPopulation
Miami6,264,792
Tampa-St. Petersburg2,977,213
Orlando2,071,152
Jacksonville1,329,743
Cape Coral935,289
Sarasota-Bradenton757,462
Kissimmee584,972
Port St. Lucie555,758
Palm Bay-Melbourne533,760
Daytona Beach-Port Orange506,140
More cities each under 500,000 in descending order by population: Bonita Springs-Naples, Lakeland, and Pensacola.
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