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Pregnant women are advised to be cautious as the virus can lead to birth defects. Adults affected by the virus experience fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis red eyes typically lasting a week.
You can learn more by visiting the official CDC website. Florida is the most south-eastern state in the United States of America. Known as "The Sunshine State", it became a popular winter destination for the well-to-do from colder climates over a century ago, and has gained ever greater popularity since.
Its roots in agriculture are still present, with tropical fruits being a chief export. The capital of Florida is Tallahassee , located in the eastern portion of the Florida Panhandle. The beaches are among the most popular attractions, along with some of the world's best known theme parks, including Disney World , Universal Studios, Busch Gardens and SeaWorld.
However some of Florida's best-kept secrets are in secluded locations away from tourist areas, but well worth seeing. Florida has something to offer for any kind of traveller. Below is a selection of nine of Florida's most notable cities. Other cities can be found under their specific regions. Florida is the most southern of all U.
The northern part of the state is part of the cultural region of The South , where you will find traditional southern cooking, entertainment, dialect, and lifestyles, much as you would expect to find just north in Georgia , Alabama , and the Carolinas. Generally, the more south you go in the state, the more unlike the South it seems; you should not expect to experience 'southern' culture everywhere, although southern culture can be found in every region of the state, it is not always the most prominent.
Cities such as Tampa and Orlando offer the feel of many different cultures. There are a lot of southerners in these areas, as well as people who are not from the state midwest, northeast , whereas Miami is unique in seeming like a cross between an American metropolis and a major Latin American city like Caracas, Rio, or Sao Paulo.
There are some Seminole Indian reserves and villages throughout southern Florida namely in the Everglades and their indigenous culture can be experienced by visiting a gift shop and browsing arts and crafts.
The southernmost Florida Keys offer yet another flavor, full of the slow paced and casual atmosphere of true beach life. All in all, Florida is its own region of the United States in its own right.
The Florida State Fair held every February near Tampa is the best event to attend to sense the varying cultures. The fairgrounds are host to a "cracker" village similar to the villages that were found in rural Florida in the 19th century.
It hosts an exposition of counties, where each Florida county has a display and a representative to answer questions. A few weeks later, nearby Plant City host the Strawberry Festival, usually the last few days of February and first week of March. Plant City is the "Strawberry Capital of the US" and almost every food vendor at the festival offers several dishes featuring strawberries.
Another common dish found at roadside vendors in north and central Florida is boiled peanuts-a southern dish usually found in "regular" and "cajun" flavors, which taste nothing like roasted peanut. Florida's Natural, a company that sells fruit juice, has a great roadside "welcome center" along US 27 in Lake Wales that includes a display and video on the history of citrus growing in Florida and offers samples of several flavors of juice.
Florida's coastline is world class, with several gorgeous beaches, bays, and estuaries lying on the coast. The Floridian landscape is flat, with many lakes and wetlands throughout most parts of the state. The only exception is parts of the center in Highlands, Polk, Lake, and a few other counties where rolling hills are common.
The highest point in the state is ft m and Sugarloaf Mountain in Lake County is the highest point on the peninsula at ft 95m. Florida's cities tend to be big, sprawling, and well developed. For such a highly populated area there are fortunately still several areas of wilderness left although they are often found sitting right next to a large city. Many rural parts of the state grow citrus and sugar cane, but farmland tends to be far out from the usual tourist areas.
The Florida Panhandle and North Florida is mostly farmland and pine trees, but as you travel south, you'll see more wetlands and urbanization. The Florida Keys , a small chain of subtropical islands, have their own unique geography, surrounded by the beautiful waters of the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean.
Florida is known around the world for its balmy weather. The climate varies from humid subtropical like the rest of the southern states in the north from Pensacola down to Tampa to semi-tropical in the south from Fort Myers to Key West. The state's generally mild winters have made it a haven for retirees year-round and temporary residents during the winter known as "snowbirds".
Summers can be long and hot, with the interior being a few degrees warmer than the immediate coast. Coastal areas also experience gentle breezes during the summer, and the beach is usually the coolest, least humid place to be. During the winter, coastal areas are warmer, slightly, than inland areas. The Atlantic side of Florida is noted for milder, more moderate weather, as opposed to the Gulf side, which is drier and cooler during winter, and hotter and muggier in summer, than the Atlantic coast.
While coastal breezes are a welcome relief from the scorching temperatures, they are also the cause of the most notorious Florida weather feature: While the storms are often brief, they are common, and anyone visiting Florida during the rainy season mid-June to September should plan a few activities indoors in the afternoon as a backup plan. Florida's thunderstorms occur almost everyday during the rainy season and typically form mi inland and either move toward the center of the state or toward the coast.
See the "stay safe" section for thunderstorm safety. Many attractions such as Disney World have multiple attractions available even during downpours. It is common to be in a rain shower yet be in the sun at the same time. It is also an interesting contradiction that rain can be occurring just a few miles inland from the coast, while those at the beach experience a beautiful day. Cold weather occasionally affects Florida, even as far south as Miami and the Keys.
Mainland South Florida has recorded frosts and even snow flurries before that damage tropical plants and kill many animals, such as non-native iguanas, pythons and tegu lizards. The Florida Keys, due to being surrounded by water, have never had frost or snow flurries, but still do get chilly weather for a few days every winter. Water temperatures can also become chilly-even in South Florida-in winter.
The above temperatures are average temperatures throughout the day. During the summer, high temperatures on the peninsula are usually around 90 on the coast and mid 90s inland During the winter, temperatures are much more variable. It is best to consult the individual city page for temperatures during the winter. The spring is the driest time of the year, which can lead to wildfires nearly every May and early June.
The six-month hurricane season runs from June 1 through November 30 and Floridians have learned to be ready when a storm threatens the area. If you plan on visiting during the summer, stay abreast of the news and weather advisories. Information is available from the National Hurricane Center . English is the official language of the state. In some parts of South Florida , Spanish is the preferred language in everyday activities.
Tampa also has a sizable Spanish speaking population, and areas where it is almost exclusively spoken. Other large airports can be found in: Be aware that there are many more airports throughout Florida that may get you closer to your ultimate destination; watch out for these smaller airports while researching your destination.
Florida is possibly the largest state for cruise ship embarkation in the United States. Port Canaveral , Tampa , and Miami are all popular ports for embarkation, with cruises heading throughout the Caribbean. There are also many casino cruises that depart from Pinellas County and South Florida. Bus service is provided by Greyhound  , Megabus  , and RedCoach  that connect the major cities in Florida.
There are a number of local and regional Public Transportation organizations that offer inter-city bus services throughout the state. The legal driving age is 15 if you have a learners permit. Anyone 16 and under cannot drive between 11 p.
Anyone aged 17 cannot drive between 1 a. Car rental agencies abound in Florida and many are available at every major airport. Orlando, in particular, known as the "Car Rental Capital of the World". With Florida being the most visited state in the US, car rental rates here are among if not the highest rates in the country. Like many Southern and Eastern states, Florida chose to use tolls to fund the construction of most of its expressway system rather than raising property, sales, income, or gas taxes.
As a result, visitors can look forward to paying a lot of tolls, especially on Florida's Turnpike or in Orlando, where the city's entire expressway system except Interstate 4 was built as tollways. More and more toll roads are switching over to cashless tolling, which means you should consider getting a rental car with a SunPass transponder, for which the car rental agency will likely charge you a daily fee on top of the tolls.
If you don't have a transponder and drive onto such toll roads anyway, then the car rental agency will likely charge you exorbitant "convenience fees" to straighten out the resulting mess.
Florida cuisine has come under many influences and its styles vary across the state from north to south. Early Spanish and African and Southern cuisine has been influenced by Cuban and other Caribbean cultures, as well as "snowbirds" escaping from the Northern US winters.
Northern Florida has a more Southern style; the south a more Caribbean one. Being on a peninsula, Florida's chefs have always had access to fresh seafood and the long growing season provides for fresh native vegetables.
Alcoholic beverages abound throughout the state. However, five rural counties in the northern third of the state are "dry counties", and no alcohol is sold in them. Liquor stores are often built into strip malls, supermarkets, and pharmacies, and most grocery stores, gas stations, and convenience stores sell beer and wine. Bars and clubs are popular throughout the state. Miami Beach is well known for a variety of themed and upscale bars with innovative mixed drinks.
Like every other U. Underage drinking "stings" are frequent in most tourist areas. Be aware that some counties in Florida are dry counties , that means sale of alcohol is either prohibited or restricted. Most goods for sale in the state are subject to sales tax.
Florida is increasingly becoming a major destination for shopping. The Orlando and Miami areas are home to a plethora of shopping malls, including many "outlet" malls which are home to shops selling brand-name products for discounted prices and retail shops of name brands which typically are sold through retail companies Nike, Sony, Tommy Hilfiger, North Face, etc.
There are also a large number of stores selling souvenirs, although most are not locally produced. While traditionally they catered largely to American families on vacation, these shopping destinations are now serving foreign shoppers.