The history of Florida can be traced back to when the first Native Americans began to inhabit the peninsula as early as 14,000 years ago.Written history begins with the arrival of Europeans to Florida; the Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de León in 1513 made the first textual records. The state was the first mainland realm of the United States to be settled by Europeans. Thus, 1513 marked the beginning of the American Frontier.
From that time of contact, Florida has had many waves of immigration, including French and Spanish settlement during the 16th century, as well as entry of new Native American groups migrating from elsewhere in the South, and free blacks and fugitive slaves, who became known as Black Seminoles. Florida was under colonial rule by Spain and Great Britain during the 18th and 19th centuries before becoming a territory of the United States in 1821. Two decades later, in 1845, Florida was admitted to the union as the 27th US state. Since the 19th century, immigrants have arrived from Europe, Latin America, Africa and Asia.
Florida is nicknamed the "Sunshine State" due to its warm climate and days of sunshine, which have attracted northern migrants and vacationers since the 1920s. A diverse population and urbanized economy have developed. In 2011 Florida, with over 19 million people, surpassed New York and became the third largest state in population.
The economy has developed over time, starting with natural resource exploitation in logging, mining, fishing, and sponge diving; as well as cattle ranching, farming, and citrus growing. The tourism, real estate, trade, banking, and retirement destination businesses followed.
With top attractions such as LEGOLAND® Florida Resort, historic Bok Tower Gardens, Circle B Bar Reserve, and Frank Lloyd Wright Architecture at Florida Southern College, Central Florida is the ultimate vacation destination for kids and adults alike.
Fun for adults
Florida Tours, Sightseeing and Attractions
Time to visit the beautiful state of Florida! With Expedia, it’s easy to arrange Florida tours and find top attractions and things to do. We work daily to bring you an ever-growing selection of activities in Florida. That includes coupons and special discounts on many top tourist attractions. Whether you travel to the state of Florida in the spring, summer, fall or winter – Expedia makes it simple to find endless Florida vacation ideas for any season. Find all the must-see Florida sights by looking through the most popular points of interest in Florida. We have mapped it all out for you in a Local Guide Map to make it easy to see what is near your hotel, or on-route to your next destination. With Expedia, you can easily explore local things to do and popular tourism spots in Florida, then book a flight, rental car and accommodation all with ease.
Food in Flordia
Best Dining in Florida: See 3188105 TripAdvisor traveler reviews of 51527 Florida restaurants and search by cuisine, price, location, and more.