North Florida

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North Florida
Region
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
North Florida map.png
Country  United States
State  Florida
Largest city Jacksonville
Population (2010)
 • Total 3,753,144 (approximate area)[1]

North Florida is a region of the U.S. state of Florida, comprising the northern parts of the state. It is one of Florida's three most common "directional" regions, along with South Florida and Central Florida. It includes Jacksonville and nearby localities in Northeast Florida, an interior region known as North Central Florida, and the Florida Panhandle.

Description[edit]

Area[edit]

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, 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]

Culture and attributes[edit]

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 their area to be part the South and "Dixie"; while Floridians from all parts of the state considered their area part of the South, people in more southern areas typically did not identify with 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.[5] Lamme and Oldakowski's findings track with Barney Warf and Cynthia Waddell's studies of Florida's political geography during the 2000 Presidential election.[5][6]

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.[7] 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.[7]

Climate[edit]

Average High and Low temperatures for various North Florida Cities
City Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Jacksonville[8] 65/42 68/45 74/50 79/55 86/63 90/70 92/73 91/73 87/69 80/61 74/51 67/44
Pensacola[9] 61/43 64/46 70/51 76/58 84/66 89/72 90/74 90/74 87/70 80/60 70/50 63/45
Tallahassee[10] 64/39 68/42 74/47 80/52 87/62 91/70 92/72 92/72 89/68 82/57 73/48 66/41

Cities[edit]

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.

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, Ocala, 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 2010 population[11] 2000 population County
Jacksonville 821,784 735,617 Duval
Tallahassee 181,376 150,624 Leon
Gainesville 124,354 95,447 Alachua
Palm Coast 75,180 32,732 Flagler
Ocala 56,315 45,943 Marion
Pensacola 51,923 56,255 Escambia

Regions[edit]

The following regions are entirely or partly within Northern Florida:

Economy[edit]

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 and Daytona areas, 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 business districts[edit]

The following are major central business districts:

Attractions[edit]

Other major attractions include the Florida State Capital, 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, Ocala National Forest, 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.

Shopping[edit]

Major malls and shopping districts in the area include:

Parks and other protected areas[edit]

National Monuments and other federally protected areas[edit]

Other 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, Ocala 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)