Did you know Europeans settled in Florida before Jamestown or Plymouth Rock? While some of the first things that come to mind when visiting Florida are the great weather, white sand beaches and world-class theme parks, many people are not aware that the Sunshine State is actually home to the first Thanksgiving, the first Christmas and the oldest European-founded city in the United States.
Florida has always been a land of exploration and cultural diversity, so it is no coincidence that the state has an abundance of historical and cultural offerings. From the incredible archaeological sites both on land and in the water, you can learn the story of Florida. Visit prehistoric sites, museums and living history re-enactments; stop and smell the blooms in the flowery land by visiting botanical gardens; listen for the melodies of our diverse cultural influences at entertainment events; taste the delicacies of real Florida, and see and touch some of the most pristine waterways and forests in the country at our state and national parks. Explore and find a Florida you may have never known.
The Colonial record for Florida began when Juan Ponce de León landed in Florida in 1513. Since that time, Florida’s rich and diverse cultural and historic landscape has become unlike anywhere else in the world.
A native ancient people, a search for gold, a fight for rights… Florida boasts a richness in history, culture and diversity and it's time to explore.