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North Florida

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North Florida
Top left to right: Florida State Capitol in Tallahassee, Downtown Jacksonville, Flagler College, Tallahassee skyline Bottom left to right: Silver Springs Nature Theme Park, and Big Lagoon State Park
Country United States
State Florida
Largest city Jacksonville
 • Total3,753,144 (approximate area)[1]

North Florida is a region of the U.S. state of Florida comprising the northernmost part of the state. Along with South Florida and Central Florida, it is one of Florida's three most common "directional" regions. It includes Jacksonville and nearby localities in Northeast Florida, an interior region known as North Central Florida, and the Florida Panhandle. North Florida is considered to be part of the Southern United States.



As with many vernacular regions, North Florida does not have any officially designated boundaries or status, and is defined differently in different sources. A 2007 study of Florida's regions by geographers Ary Lamme and Raymond K. Oldakowski found that Floridians surveyed identified "North Florida" as comprising the northernmost areas of the state, including both the peninsula and the Florida Panhandle. Additionally, two localized "directional" regions had emerged: North East Florida, also known as the "First Coast", representing the area around Jacksonville on the Atlantic coast, and North Central Florida, comprising the central area.[2] North Florida is one of Florida's three most common directional regions, along with Central Florida and South Florida.[3] The region includes smaller vernacular regions, particularly along the coast, including the Emerald Coast and the Big Bend on the Gulf Coast and the First Coast and Halifax area on the Atlantic.[2] Lamme and Oldakowski note that the directional region is more commonly used in the interior areas than on the coast.[3]

Enterprise Florida, the state's economic development agency, divides the state into three economic regions, used within the agency and other state and outside entities, including the Florida Department of Transportation. They identify three regions within the area identified as "North Florida" by Enterprise Florida: Northeast Florida, North Central Florida, and Northwest Florida (representing most of the Panhandle).[4]


The following regions are entirely or partly within Northern Florida:


Tallahassee, the capital of the State of Florida.
Jacksonville, the most populous city proper in the Southeast, and twelfth most populous in the United States.
St. Augustine, the oldest continuously occupied European-established settlement and port in the continental United States.


Average High and Low temperatures for various North Florida Cities °F (°C)
City Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Jacksonville[5] 65/42 (18.3/5.5) 66/45 (18.8/7.2) 73/50 (22.7/10.0) 79/55 (26.1/12.7) 86/63 (30.0/17.2) 90/70 (32.2/21.1) 92/73 (33.3/22.7) 91/73 (32.7/22.7) 87/69 (30.5/20.5) 80/61 (26.6/16.1) 74/45 (23.3/7.2) 67/44 (19.4/6.6)
Pensacola[6] 61/43 (16.1/6.1) 64/46 (17.7/7.7) 70/51 (21.1/10.5) 76/58 (24.4/14.4) 84/66 (28.8/18.8) 89/72 (31.6/22.2) 90/74 (32.2/23.3) 90/74 (32.2/23.3) 87/70 (30.5/21.1) 80/60 (26.6/15.5) 70/50 (21.1/10.0) 63/45 (17.2/7.2)
Tallahassee[7] 64/39 (17.7/3.8) 68/40 (20.0/4.4) 72/47 (22.2/8.3) 80/52 (26.6/11.1) 87/62 (30.5/16.6) 91/70 (32.7/21.1) 92/72 (33.3/22.2) 92/72 (33.3/22.2) 89/68 (31.6/20.0) 82/57 (27.7/13.8) 73/48 (22.7/8.8) 66/41 (18.8/5.0)


Jacksonville is the largest metropolitan area in North Florida. Its cities include St. Augustine, Orange Park, and Fernandina Beach, this area is sometimes referred to as the First Coast. Other metropolitan areas include Pensacola-Ferry Pass-Brent, Tallahassee, Gainesville, Crestview-Fort Walton Beach-Destin, Panama City-Lynn Haven, and Palm Coast. Important cities considered micropolitan areas include Lake City and Palatka.

Largest cities by population[edit]

City 2020 population 2010 population[8] County
Jacksonville 949,611 821,784 Duval
Tallahassee 196,169 181,376 Leon
Gainesville 141,085 124,354 Alachua
Palm Coast 89,258 75,180 Flagler
Ocala 63,591 56,707 Marion
Pensacola 54,312 51,923 Escambia
Panama City 32,939 36,484 Bay
Jacksonville Beach 23,830 21,362 Duval
St. Augustine 14,329 12,975 St. Johns


Historic Gibson Inn, Apalachicola, Florida, built in 1907.

Lamme and Oldakowski's survey identifies several demographic, political, and cultural elements that characterize North Florida and distinguish it from other areas of the state. North Floridians considered North Florida to be part of the South and "Dixie". Additionally, residents of some parts of North Florida considered their area to be in the Bible Belt, while residents of other parts of the state did not.[2] A popular expression of people in this region of the state goes "In Florida, the farther north you go, the farther South you are."

Politically, in contrast to Central Florida, where a majority considered their part of the state moderate, and South Florida, which was more liberal, residents of North Florida overwhelmingly (76%) considered their part of the state conservative; 16% considered it moderate and 8% considered it liberal.[9] Lamme and Oldakowski's findings track with Barney Warf and Cynthia Waddell's studies of Florida's political geography during the 2000 Presidential election.[9][10]

Located in North Florida is Ray Charles, American singer-songwriter, musician, and composer's childhood home, Greenville, Madison County, Florida.

Lamme and Oldakowski's survey also found some cultural indicators that characterize North Florida. In general, North Florida was similar to Central Florida and differed from South Florida in these measures. In North and Central Florida, American cuisine was the most popular food, in contrast to South Florida, where ethnic foods were equally popular.[11] Additionally, while there was little geographical variation for most styles of music, there was regional variation for both country and Latin music. Country was popular in North and Central Florida, and less so in South Florida, while Latin was less popular in North and Central Florida, and more so in South Florida.[11]


Bank of America Tower located on Laura Street, in Jacksonville's financial district
Old Slave Market, Saint Augustine, Florida

Lamme and Oldakowski noted that North Florida's economy was much more diversified than Central and South Florida, where tourism was by far the most significant industry. While tourism was a significant factor in North Florida's economy, particularly in the Emerald Coast, other important industries included agriculture in rural areas, education in Tallahassee and Gainesville, and military and finance in Jacksonville.[12]

Major military bases in the region include the Pensacola Naval Air Station, Jacksonville Naval Air Station, Camp Blanding, Naval Station Mayport, Corry Station Naval Technical Training Center, Naval Support Activity Panama City, Blount Island Command, Eglin Air Force Base and Hurlburt Field.

Major attractions include the Big Kahuna's, Marineland of Florida, Florida State Capitol, World Golf Village, Historic Pensacola Village, and historic sites in St. Augustine. North Florida also has a wide variety of natural attractions including the Ravine Gardens State Park, Big Lagoon State Park, Osceola National Forest, and Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve. North Florida also has three major zoos, the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens, St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park and Gulf Breeze Zoo.

North Florida was the birthplace of the Southern Rock band Lynyrd Skynyard. Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on March 13, 2006, the band's lead singer, Ronnie Van Zant was born & raised in Jacksonville, Florida.

Major malls and shopping districts include The Avenues, Butler Plaza, Five Points, Gateway Town Center, Governor's Square, Jacksonville Landing, The Oaks Mall, Orange Park Mall, Paddock Mall, Pier Park, Regency Square, River City Marketplace, St. Johns Town Center and University Town Plaza.

Major business districts[edit]

The following are major central business districts:

Notable companies[edit]

In North Florida is Florida Caverns State Park, Marianna, Florida.

Thousands of companies are headquartered in North Florida. Among those, the following 4 are in the Fortune 1000:

Additional notable companies headquartered (or with a significant presence) in North Florida include (some defunct or subsumed):

Parks and other protected areas[edit]

National Monuments and other federally protected areas[edit]

Areas under federal protection include Castillo de San Marcos National Monument, Fort Matanzas National Monument, Fort Caroline National Memorial, Gulf Islands National Seashore, and Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve. National forests occupy large sections of North Florida, including the Apalachicola National Forest, Choctawhatchee National Forest and Osceola National Forest.

Other parks and protected areas[edit]

Educational institutions[edit]

Century Tower at the University of Florida in Gainesville
Student Union Building at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville

Public institutions[edit]

State University System

State College System

Private institutions[edit]

F-117 on ice at McKinley Climatic Laboratory

(Partial list)

Research institutions[edit]

(Partial list)


Jacksonville International Airport or JAX is the largest and busiest airport in North Florida


The following airports currently have regularly scheduled commercial service:

Airport ID City Category 2016 Enplanements
Jacksonville International Airport JAX Jacksonville Medium Hub 2,729,129
Pensacola International Airport PNS Pensacola Small Hub 792,916
Destin–Fort Walton Beach Airport VPS Destin/Fort Walton Beach Non Hub 440,002
Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport ECP Panama City Beach Non Hub 434,302
Tallahassee International Airport TLH Tallahassee Non Hub 345,404
Gainesville Regional Airport GNV Gainesville Non Hub 207,330
Ocala International Airport GNV Ocala Non Hub 207,300
Northeast Florida Regional Airport SGJ St. Augustine Non Hub 28,462


Amtrak station in Palatka
The James Weldon Johnson Park Skyway station in downtown Jacksonville

Transit organizations[edit]


The Jacksonville Landing is one of several stops served by the Jacksonville Water Taxi



U.S. Routes:


  1. ^ "Population by county". Interactive Map. U.S. Census. Retrieved 17 July 2013.
  2. ^ a b c Lamme & Oldakowsi, p. 329.
  3. ^ a b Lamme & Oldakowski, p. 335.
  4. ^ "Charting the Course", p. 2–3.
  5. ^ "NowData – NOAA Online Weather Data". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved August 1, 2013.
  6. ^ "NowData – NOAA Online Weather Data". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved August 1, 2013.
  7. ^ "NowData — NOAA Online Weather Data". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved August 1, 2013.
  8. ^ Bureau of Economic and Business Research (2011). "Florida Population: Census Summary 2010". University of Florida. {{cite web}}: |author= has generic name (help)
  9. ^ a b Lamme & Oldakowsi, p. 336.
  10. ^ Warf & Waddell, pp. 88.
  11. ^ a b Lamme & Oldakowsi, p. 337.
  12. ^ Lamme & Oldakowsi, pp. 336–337.