How Did Florida Get Its Name?

FLORIDA - Florida was first given the Spanish name La Florida in 1513 - six days after Easter when Juan Ponce de Leon chose it to pay tribute to the abundance of blooming flowers he saw there or honor Pascua Florida or "Feast of Flowers," Spain's Easter celebration.  While Ponce de Leon believed it was an island with a fountain of youth, he did not find the fountain and did not settle the land for Spain.

How Did Florida Get Its Name?

How Did The Name Florida Come to Be?


After he was done with Florida, Ponce de Leon traveled west to a fabled island called Bimini, searching for the mythical fountain of youth. While he didn't find the fountain, his explorations opened the New World to European settlement.

Florida officially adopted the nickname "The Sunshine State" through legislation passed in 1970 to market itself to tourists living in colder climates who wish to come to enjoy some sun on vacation. Furthermore, it refers to Florida's abundant sunshine that draws many visitors here yearly.

It's not hard to understand why Florida is also known as "Alligator State," with the Everglades being such an attractive tourist spot and their abundant population of alligators living there.

The first settlers arrived in Florida during the 17th century from various European countries, including Spain, France, Portugal, and England. Following years of struggle, Florida eventually became part of the United States in 1819 before fully fledged in 1845 - it currently attracts over 36 million visitors yearly!