Did you know that January 25th is National Florida Day? It commemorates Florida becoming the 27th state of the United States of America. There is a lot to love about Florida – we even have a Zoni campus in Miami! So, let’s discover a little more about the Sunshine State! In this blog we will cover a bit of Florida’s interesting history, what Florida is best known for, why it is called the Sunshine State, and we will introduce you to beautiful South Beach and our school.
Florida has a very long history. In fact, St Augustine (San Augustin) on the North-eastern coast of Florida is the oldest continuously inhabited city in the United States! It was founded by Spanish explorers in 1565. St Augustine was the capital of Spanish Florida for more than 200 years.
Florida was a territory of the Spanish, then British and then Spanish again before coming under US ownership in 1821. But before the European colonizers, the land was home to a number of Native American tribes, some of whom still call Florida home.
During the Civil War, Florida played an important role in getting food and supplies to the Confederate army.
Rockets at the Kennedy Space Center
If we skip forward to more modern times, Florida has played, and still plays, an important part in the US space program. In the 1950’s two space stations were built: the Patrick SpaceForce Base and Cape Canaveral SpaceForce Station. In 1962 construction was started on the Kennedy Space Center, which has been the main launch station for manned space voyages since 1968 including the world’s only trip to the moon!
Florida is now home to 21.5 million people and is an international holiday destination! People from all over the world head to Orlando to Disney World, Tampa is a cultural melting pot and business hub and of course, Miami is a world-famous destination for parties, beaches and Art Deco!
Florida has been officially known as the Sunshine State since 1970. However, Florida is not the sunniest state. On average Florida has 237 days of sun per year – which is truly a lot! However, New Mexico is the real sunshine state with 293 days of sun per year. So, why is Florida called the Sunshine State? One theory is that it has more to do with Florida’s sunny lifestyle and access to water.
Did you know that Florida has 1350 miles of coastline? That is more than California! The only state with more, is Alaska but I think we can agree that it is nicer to swim in the Florida sun! Florida is also home to 30,000 lakes over 26,000 miles of river and one of the largest estuaries on earth – the Indian River Lagoon. So, although Florida might not have the most sunny days, it certainly has the most ways to enjoy them!
Let’s look now at a few other things Florida is best known for.
The beach at Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Disney World Did you know that Disney World is actually made up of four theme parks and 2 water parks? The complex, which is in Orlando and Kissimmee is officially known as the Walt Disney World Resort. The original park was built in the 1960’s to complement Disneyland in California. Walt Disney also planned to establish an “Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow”(EPCOT) as a place to test out city-living innovations. Unfortunately, Walt Disney died before the completion of the park. After his death the company decided not to build the EPCOT “village” and instead converted the area into part of the Disney World Park.
In 2018 Disney World was the most visited resort in the world, and before the pandemic welcomed on average 58 million visitors each year.
Starting October 2021 and continuing into 2022, Disney World is celebrating its 50th Birthday! There are lots of special shows and celebrations going on every day! You can reach Disney World easily from all over Florida. From Miami you can catch a bus, which takes 5.5 hours and costs around $35. Alternatively, if you want to drive it will take you around 3-4hours to get there. The fastest way to Orlando is to fly! It takes only an hour, but flight prices vary so plan ahead if you want to travel this way. There are many ways to get from Miami to Disney World, making it a must when you study at Zoni South Beach!
A parade at Disney World
The Florida Keys are a chain of small islands made from coral located off the southern coastof Florida. The southern part of Key West (the last island where people live in the chain) isonly 90 miles from Cuba.
About 73,000 people live across the Florida Keys, however most people live on Key West. Inthe olden days the Keys were an important trading post between Cuba, the Bahamas and New Orleans.
The climate of the Florida Keys is more like the Caribbean than that of mainland Florida. In winter the average temperature in the Keys is 75F (24C) and Key West is the driest city in Florida.
Small stores on Key West, Florida Keys
The Florida Keys are famous for their wonderful climate and pristine ocean where you can fish, snorkel and scuba dive. You can reach the Florida Keys via boat, car or train from Miami.
Miami is probably the most famous city in Florida. It is located in the South East of the stateand has a little less than 500,000 inhabitants but receives a large number of tourists everyyear! The city has also the third largest skyline in the United States with over 300 high risebuildings.
Long before the European settlers Miami was home to the Tequesta tribe for around 2000years. However, it is believed that by the 1700s the entire tribe had left Miami and gone toCuba.
Miami is the only major US city founded by a woman. Julia Tuttle was a citrus farmer andowned the land on which the city was built. Julia is often called the “Mother of Miami”.
Miami has a multicultural community with a large Latino population (45%). In fact, Miami is sometimes called the “gateway to Latin America”.
Miami is known for many things, nightlife, culture, art deco, the Miami Dolphins and othersports teams, and its many beautiful beaches.
South Beach Miami
South Beach One of the most famous Miami beaches is South Beach. Did you know that the area aroundSouth Beach used to be farmland? The South Beach neighborhood was developed in the 1910s, but it wasn’t until the 1930’s that the famous Art Deco buildings were built.
Aside from the amazing white sand beach, South Beach is known for its colorful lifeguard towers and sun culture. It is truly a spectacular place to visit and study.
Welcome to Zoni Miami Beach! Zoni’s Miami Beach campus is literally steps away from the sand and sea and a shortdistance from all of the wonderful attractions Florida has to offer! If you are looking to studyEnglish in a warm climate and perfect surroundings, then our Miami Beach campus is for you!
Rita Eneyda Usaga, Campus Director / DSO Zoni Miami Beach
Message from our Miami Beach Campus Director:
" Hi, my name is Rita, and I am a campus director for Zoni Miami Beach campus. Are you looking for a destination to study English? We offer practical and fun ESL programs for all levels. You will improve your English with our TESL certified English teachers. You may think that applying for a school is difficult, but our staff is here to assist you with the admissions process! We look forward to welcoming you to Zoni Miami Beach in the near future!"
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