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About This Quiz
With all the attention paid to the Jamestown settlement and the long history of many New England towns, it comes as a surprise to some people that the oldest city in the United States is actually located on the coast of Florida — and that's not the only surprise hiding in this sunny southeastern state. Sure, you probably know it as the home of Disney World, South Beach and space shuttles, but how much do you know about Florida's long and rich history, its wildlife, geography, culture and beloved landmarks?
Did you know that Florida includes a string of islands known as the Keys, where you can find a slice of paradise not offered anywhere else in the States? Know just how many pro sports teams make their home in the state — hint ... it's way more than most other states. Can you name the major storms that have swept through this hurricane magnet over the years, bringing devastation, but also demonstrating the fighting spirit and work ethic of Floridians as they rebuild homes and businesses? Know which highway can get you to EPCOT the quickest, or what beach day necessity was invented amid the sun and sand of Miami in the southern part of the state?
Take our quiz to show off just how much you know about this diverse and welcoming state. You never know ... your Florida IQ might be higher than you think!
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Twenty million people visit Magic Kingdom near Orlando, Florida each year. Do you know what year the park opened its gates?
After experiencing success with Disneyland in California in the '50s, Walt Disney began buying up land in Florida to build a second theme park. Just a few years after his death, Magic Kingdom opened near Orlando, Florida, on Oct. 1, 1971. Today the park welcomes 20 million visitors a year, making it the most popular theme park in the world.
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Name the 16th century European explorer who gave Florida its name.
It was explorer Ponce de Leon who gave Florida its name. The name comes from a Spanish term meaning "feast of flowers."
In terms of population, which of these is Florida's largest city?
With more than 5 million people in its metro area, Miami in the southeast part of the state is Florida's most populous city by a wide margin. The Tampa-St. Petersburg area ranks second with 2.5 million, followed by Orlando, Jacksonville and Sarasota.
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Do you know how many NFL football teams are based in Florida?
Florida has three pro football teams, second only to the four teams that call California home. Florida's NFL teams include the Jacksonville Jaguars, Miami Dolphins and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Florida's big cities and tourist meccas get all the attention, but do you know the state's capital city?
Located in the state's western panhandle, Tallahassee has served as Florida's capital since 1824. Just the seventh-largest city in the state in terms of population, Tallahassee is home to the state's Capitol and Supreme Court, as well as Florida State University.
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Which major interstate carries visitors from Daytona on the east coast to Tampa on the west coast, passing through Orlando along the way?
As a major tourist draw, Florida needs plenty of highways to get visitors from one site to the next. While I-95 runs north to south along the Atlantic and I-75 runs north to south along the Gulf, it's I-4 that passes through Orlando, carrying travelers to Walt Disney World to visit with Mickey and friends.
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One man did so much for Florida thanks to his railroad empire that the city of Miami was almost named after him. Who is he?
After making a fortune with Standard Oil, Henry Flagler turned his attention to Florida, building the Florida East Coast Railway to connect Jacksonville to Key West. The route opened in 1912, connecting Key West's 20,000 residents to the mainland. Flagler also left behind iconic hotels along the route to support the railroad. He was so instrumental to Florida development that the city of Miami was almost named in his honor.
Which of these is the city of Cape Canaveral most famous for?
Cape Canaveral on Florida's east coast is home to Kennedy Space Center. This is where Apollo 11 launched from on July 16, 1969, transporting Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins one giant leap to the moon.
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Europeans first visited Florida in the 1500s. How many natives lived in the state at that time?
There were an estimated 100,000 people living in the area now known as Florida when Europeans first came to the state in the early 1500s. This number doesn't include the Seminole Indians who are so closely associated with Florida. They actually came to the state in the 1700s after most of the state's earlier natives had died thanks to contact with Europeans.
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If you drive south from Miami through the Keys, which of these islands will you hit first?
The Florida Keys are a string of islands that begin 15 miles south of Miami and are home to more than 70,000 residents. Of the four islands listed, Key Largo is the furthest north, and is located between Mile Markers 91 and 107. For reference, Key West is Mile Marker 0 on the road through the keys.
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Know which of these names still sends a shiver of fear through the hearts of Floridians thanks to a devastating 1992 hurricane?
Andrew was a Category 5 storm with winds in excess of 165 mph when it struck South Florida near the city of Homestead in 1992. At least 65 people were killed and tens of thousands lost their homes. Hurricane Andrew caused a staggering $20 billion in damage, making it one of the costliest hurricanes in Florida history.
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Yeah, palms are Florida's state tree, but when Floridians talk about palmettos they are probably referring to one of these.
Also known as the American cockroach, the Palmetto bug is the largest roach that takes up residence inside U.S. homes ... and these bugs are all over the state of Florida. Measuring 2 inches long, these creepy critters not only make many people's skin crawl, but also spread bacteria and parasites. The government of Monroe County, Florida suggests that good sanitation is the best weapon to keep these critters out of your residence.
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Move over Jamestown! Name the Florida city that most sources call the oldest city in the U.S.
Claimed by Spain as a colony in 1565, St. Augustine in northeast Florida is the oldest city in the U.S. More than 40 years older than Jamestown, Virginia, St. Augustine celebrated its 450th anniversary in 2015. That's even more impressive when you consider that the U.S. as a nation only turned 238 that year.
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According to legend, this is what Ponce de Leon was searching for when he landed in Florida in 1513.
Ponce de Leon was probably searching for gold when he set sail for what is now Florida in the early 1500s, but a deep-rooted legend suggests he was actually searching for the mythical Fountain of Youth. Since at least the 1800s, the city of St. Augustine has taken advantage of this story, welcoming tourists to take in the waters at the Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park.
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Know which of these sports is most closely associated with the beach town of Daytona on Florida's Atlantic coast?
Beginning way back in 1902, drivers with souped-up cars raced along the Beach Road Course in Daytona. Built in 1959, Daytona International Speedway builds on that legacy, welcoming visitors to take in the spectacle of the Daytona 500, one of NASCAR's most iconic events.
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Know your Florida history? Which of these cities burned to the ground in 1901 in a fire that rivaled more famous ones in Chicago and San Francisco?
Sparks from a wood cooking stove led to a fire that destroyed much of Jacksonville in 1901. At least 2,000 buildings were lost and 10,000 people were left homeless. Despite the devastation, the fire never quite made headlines like similar events in Chicago in 1871 and San Francisco in 1906.
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Roughly 90% of all of this product that is consumed in the U.S. comes from Florida. Know what it is?
Florida has been a leader in U.S. citrus production since the mid-1800s. More than 75,000 people in the state are employed in the citrus industry, and 90 percent of all orange juice consumed in the U.S. comes from Florida oranges. Sadly, a condition known as citrus greening has been plaguing citrus farmers in the state and hurting production since 2005.
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There are 3,000 miles separating California and New York. How many miles separate Jacksonville and Key West by road?
A whopping 503 miles separate Jacksonville from Key West, Florida. Driving from Key West to Pensacola in the Florida panhandle clocks in at just under 800 miles, and roughly 360 miles separate the Atlantic and Gulf from east to west along mainland Florida.
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Florida's NHL team shares its name with the official state animal. Know what it is?
Felis concolor coryi, or the panther, is the official state animal of Florida. This wild cat is part of the mountain lion family and has been on the U.S. endangered species list since the 1960s.
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Do you know how many people call Florida home? And no, this doesn't include all the tourists.
A staggering 20 million people live in Florida, according to the Department of State, making it the fourth most populous state in the U.S. This represents a huge increase from the 13 million residents in Florida in 1990.
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What shade represents the primary color found on the Florida state flag?
The state flag of Florida is white with a large red cross, known as the St. Andrews Cross, running from corner to corner and forming an X at the center. Where the two lines meet the flag features the official state seal, which includes an image of a palm tree and a Seminole Indian.
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Think you can guess the official state nickname of Florida?
Florida has plenty of sun, so its official nickname of The Sunshine State makes sense. If you've ever lived there, or even visited, you might be aware that all that sun is often interrupted by rain. In fact, Florida is one of the top five rainiest states in the U.S., with 50 inches of precipitation falling each year.
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Can you identify the huge national park that dominates much of southwest Florida?
Dedicated as a national park in 1947, the Everglades welcomes over a million visitors a year. You may be surprised to learn it is the third-largest National Park in the whole U.S., after Death Valley and Yellowstone out west.
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One writer left such a legacy in Key West that the city holds an annual lookalike contest to search for his doppelganger. Who is he?
Ernest Hemingway wrote part of "To Have and Have Not" while living in Key West in the 1930s. The author of "The Old Man and the Sea" and "For Whom the Bell Tolls" is remembered by a Hemingway lookalike contest held at Sloppy Joe's bar every year since 1981. Visitors can also visit his Whitehead Street home and pet dozens of cats descended from those owned by Ernest himself.
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If you're only gonna buy one thing from Publix, Florida tradition requires it to be one of these.
Publix is a chain of more than 800 supermarkets located throughout Florida. Locals love them for their Pub Subs, made-to-order sandwiches filled with meats, cheeses and veggies galore. If you want to blend in with your Florida neighbors, you can't go wrong with a sub stuffed with chicken tenders.
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It's no Venice, but this Florida city is famous for its canal network. Can you name it?
Situated just 30 miles north of Miami on Florida's Atlantic coast, Fort Lauderdale is a boater's paradise. More than 165 miles of canals within the city make it easy to pull that yacht up right next to your favorite restaurant instead of bothering with a car or taxi.
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Located between Fort Myers and West Palm Beach lies Florida's largest lake. Do you know it's name?
One of more than 7,000 lakes in the state and measuring 700 square miles, Lake Okeechobee is Florida's largest lake. It's also the eighth largest freshwater lake in the entire nation, according to the Florida Department of State.
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You probably know Florida has alligators, but can you guess how many of these creatures run wild within the state?
At 13 feet long and weighing an average of 800 pounds, the American alligator is a fearsome predator. If you're ever tempted to swim in unfamiliar water in Florida, think twice, because the Key West Aquarium estimates that more than a million 'gators are swimming free in Florida water.
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Florida's state motto is the same as the one used by the United States government. Know what it is?
For many years, Florida went with "In God is Our Trust" as their state motto. They later made a sweeping change to replace it with the same motto used by the U.S. government, going with the totally different and new "In God We Trust" starting in 1868.
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Alaska ranks #1 among U.S. states in miles of total coastline. Where does Florida rank?
With 1,200 miles of coastline, Florida ranks second among U.S. states in terms of coastline miles. In terms of total area, it comes in 22nd place with 58,560 miles.
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With more undergrads than any other U.S. college in 2019, name the Florida institution that is America's largest college.
With around 57,000 undergrads in 2018, University of Central Florida in Orlando is the biggest college in the U.S. Florida International University in Miami also ranks among the top five largest in the nation with 48,000 undergrads.
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Which U.S. president served as Florida's very first territorial governor in 1821?
Andrew Jackson was an Army general who fought in the First Seminole War, which helped free Florida from Spanish rule. He later became the state's first territorial governor, then went on to serve as U.S. president from 1829 to 1837.
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Florida is a pro sports paradise, but do you know which of these cities has neither an MLB nor NBA team?
Florida is home to two MLB teams, including the Miami Marlins and the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. It's also home to a pair of NBA teams, including the Miami Heat and Orlando Magic.
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In 1935, this holiday was marked by one of the most devastating hurricanes in U.S. history. Know which one?
One of the most intense hurricanes in U.S. history struck the Florida Keys on Labor Day in 1935. The Category 5 storm brought winds of 200 mph or more, which killed 400 people throughout the state. The storm is particularly notable for killing 200 WWI veterans who were in the Keys building a highway as part of Roosevelt's New Deal.
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Opened in 1938, what number is used for Florida's Overseas Highway, which connects the mainland to Key West?
Route 1 travels the entire east coast of Florida from north to south, then continues all the way through the Florida Keys. Using a series of 42 bridges, it spans the 113 miles between the tip of mainland Florida and the colorful city of Key West.
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A long-time Spanish colony, when did Florida officially become a U.S. state?
For hundreds of years, Florida served as a colony of Spain. It became a U.S. territory in 1821, then was named the 27th U.S. state on March 3, 1845.
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You can still take in history on a tour of Fort Zachary Taylor, which is located just outside this Florida city.
Inspired by the War of 1812, construction of the 5-foot-thick walls of Fort Zachary Taylor began in 1845. The fort played an important role for the U.S. in the Spanish-American War and both world wars. A National Historic Landmark since the '70s, it sits on the island of Key West and serves as a perfect spot for visitors to take a tour of history.
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The smallest deer in North America are found in the Florida Keys. Can you guess how many Key Deer are left in the wild?
Only about 1,000 Key Deer remain in the wild, though this is an improvement from the 1950s, when fewer than 100 were left. Weighing in at less than 75 pounds these small members of the whitetail family are found only in the Florida Keys, where they swim between islands seeking food and shelter.
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The Chattahoochee runs through Florida, but what is the longest river contained entirely within the state?
At more than 430 miles, the Chattahoochee River that passes through Georgia and Alabama is the longest river with any part within Florida. The longest river contained entirely within Florida is the St. Johns at 310 miles long. The state is also home to the Suwanee River, made popular by the traditional tune "Old Folks at Home."
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Do you know which of these products was invented in Miami in the 1940s?
Miami pharmacist Benjamin Green mixed veterinary petroleum with coconut oil and cocoa butter in the 1940s to make the first sunscreen. He called it Glacier Cream, but it would soon be sold as Coppertone Sunscreen, allowing beachgoers to enjoy the sun without skin damage.
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