In 1513, Juan Ponce de Leon came to the Sunshine Coast in search of the mythical fountain of youth, and named it Florida.
In the 1980's, it seemed that everyone in America over the age of sixty were trying to do the same.
Spanish Arrival in America
Ponce de Leon thought that he had discovered a large island, when in fact it is a narrow peninsular pointing a finger at Cuba.
Go to Key West and bold red letters tell you just how close you are to Castro's Island.
It wasn't until 1565 that Spanish forces returned, under Pedro Menendez de Aviles, to oust the French Huguenots and found St. Augustine; the oldest permanent European settlement in the United States.
It is disrespectful of Europeans to think that they found America when the Timucua, Apalachee, Calusa, and the stronger Seminole were already there.
Florida changed hands again after the Seven Years' War in 1763, when Great Britain took control of the territory until after the War of Independence (1775-1783).
The Americans, the Spaniards, and the British would all continue to squabble over the glorified swamp. What must the Seminoles have thought?
Now it appears to be in the hands of Latin Americans and Disney.
Don't get me wrong, I love Little Havana, but I'm grateful that I have no children crying out for fun with Mickey.
The warm, sunny climate attracts millions of tourists to Florida each year.
The official guide to the State of Florida legislature.
Apart from the popcorn culture of the themeparks, and the half-naked bodies on Miami Beach, there are some other places of interest.
Tallahassee is the state capital, although Jacksonville is the largest city.
With many lakes and a very long coastline, Florida is an excellent spot for fishing. Many head to the Keys to hire a boat and go deep-sea fishing Hemingway style.
Diving Florida Keys:
Experienced scuba divers can explore two purposely sunk Coast Guard Cutters that serve as artificial reefs.
Touchdown at the Dolphin's Endzone.
The Castillo de San Marcos, at St Augustine dates from the 1670's and is the oldest masonry fortress of the continental United States.
The forming of the United States - American Civil War, and African American Heritage.
Interactive Distances between major U.S. cities, in miles or kilometres.
Florida Travel Notes:
Find out more about Florida @ Travel Notes.
Get the big picture from the official guide to planning your stay in the Daytona Beach area.
The news from the region on your desktop.
Visit Tampa Bay:
Things to see and do in the Tampa Bay area.
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