Why is Florida Called the Sunshine State?

Author: Jason Coles

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Florida has been called the sunshine state for almost as long as it has been an official U.S. state. However, the famous nickname to represent Florida was made official in 1970, despite many people referring to Florida as the sunshine state before this.

The state is the most southern point in the United States, with both mainland and islands that it represents. The Tropic of Cancer and the Equator are closest to Florida when compared with other U.S. states, which probably explains why the state is known to be incredibly sunny, humid, and tropical.

Florida’s official nickname, the sunshine state, was officially adopted by the Florida Legislature back in 1970 as a promotor for tourism within the state, trying to attract those who reside in colder climates down to Florida, especially in the winter months, for some well-earned sun and heat.

It seemed to work well, and the state has since gathered an extremely large reputation for filling in the void left by extremely cold and wet weather for those living in the much colder northern states. Even today, tourism is one of the leading industries throughout Florida, with the sunshine state welcoming 36 million visitors between January and March 2022.

History Behind why Florida is Called the Sunshine State

The first European settler to discover and explore Florida was a Spanish traveler named Ponce DeLeon, who named the newly discovered region Pascua de Florida, which translates to “Feast of Flowers” this was due to the plethora of beautiful and lesser-known flowers that thrived under the tropical climate.

Florida’s climate is extremely humid and tropical, and it has been since its discovery, experiencing mostly incredibly sunny days with a mean daily temperature of 71°F (22°C). This makes Florida, on average, the warmest state in the United States. Another average to consider is the amount of actual sunny days that Florida experiences, which is 237 days out of 365 days per year.

So, both history and modern-day statistics give a pretty clear indication as to why Florida is called the Sunshine State!

The Sunshine State – Just how good is Florida Weather?

As mentioned previously, the weather in Florida is pretty spectacular, boasting extremely high temperatures all year round and also a lot of sunny days. The cluster of tropical islands named Key West is situated at the southernmost point of the state, and they receive an average of just over 75% partly sunny skies each year, with the majority of other cities in Florida averaging over 60% per annum.

However, due to the state being a tropical climate, Florida is susceptible to extreme weather conditions, not just sunny blue skies. The Atlantic Ocean sits next door to Florida, and the state is often on the receiving end of some crazy rainstorms, thunderstorms, and even hurricanes that approach from the Ocean.

Additionally, winters tend to be milder and are typically the most popular months to visit the state for those hailing from colder pastures, as it feels much like a summer’s day for them, despite being much colder than the summer months in Florida.

Something important to note is, despite Florida being nicknamed “the sunshine state” for several years, it is not the sunniest state in the U.S.; that label belongs to Arizona.

Final Thoughts and Other Florida Nicknames

Florida is a truly wonderful state, full of culture and liveliness, not to mention, from a business perspective, the state offers a lot and is economically one of the most stable states in the United States.

The nickname “sunshine state” was a brilliant marketing ploy from the state, trying to encourage more tourism, and it worked! The state might not be the sunniest in the U.S. statistically speaking, but it certainly has one of the most consistently warmest weather in the nation.

As many other states do, Florida has a few other nicknames adopted over the past several years, the more notable being “Alligator State” and “Everglade State.” The sunshine state certainly does work for Florida and could be one of the reasons why it has become such a tourism powerhouse.

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Jason Coles

Jason Coles is the Founder of Foreign USA and its Chief Content Writer and Editor. Recognized as a prolific business plan writer by many prominent immigration attorneys in the U.S., Jason has written over 1,200 business plans over the past 16+ years for start-ups looking to establish and expand their footprint in the United States.