When you think of Florida, you probably think of sunshine, beaches, and vacations. It's true that, as the southernmost state in the continental U.S., Florida gets plenty of sunshine. It has 1,200 miles of coastline, so you're never far from a beach. Millions of people visit Florida on their vacations. But there's more to Florida than sun and beaches. Florida's name comes from the colorful wildflowers that grow everywshere. When Ponce de Leon came here in 1513, he called the land "La Florida," the land of flowers.
With miles of coastline and great weather year-round, Florida is a hot spot for vacationers. But Florida's more than a day at the beach. It's full of exciting historical sites, miles of nature trails, and rare and wonderful plants and wildlife.
Sandra Friend has written many books about her home state, including Florida in the Civil War, Sinkholes, and the 50 Hikes series of guidebooks to Florida's outdoors. She is also the author of the Exploring Planet Earth series. She lives near Ocala, Florida.
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