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He described seeing a thick wall of red mangroves spread mile after mile, some reaching as high as 70 feet (21 m), with intertwined and elevated roots making landing difficult.

Florida has attracted many writers such as Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, Ernest Hemingway and Tennessee Williams, and continues to attract celebrities and athletes.

It is internationally known for golf, tennis, auto racing and water sports.

By the 16th century (the earliest time for which there is a historical record), major Native American groups included the Apalachee (of the Florida Panhandle), the Timucua (of northern and central Florida), the Ais (of the central Atlantic coast), the Tocobaga (of the Tampa Bay area), the Calusa (of southwest Florida) and the Tequesta (of the southeastern coast).

Florida was the first region of the continental United States to be visited and settled by Europeans.

It was part of a large expansion of British territory following their victory in the Seven Years' War.

A large portion of the Floridano population left, taking along most of the remaining indigenous population to Cuba. Johns River at a narrow point, which the Seminole called Wacca Pilatka and the British named "Cow Ford", both names ostensibly reflecting the fact that cattle were brought across the river there.He named the region La Florida ("land of flowers").In May 1539, Conquistador Hernando de Soto skirted the coast of Florida, searching for a deep harbor to land.Furthermore, the British governors were directed to call general assemblies as soon as possible in order to make laws for the Floridas and in the meantime they were, with the advice of councils, to establish courts.This would be the first introduction of much of the English-derived legal system which Florida still has today including trial by jury, habeas corpus and county-based government.Florida is also renowned for amusement parks, orange crops, winter vegetables, the Kennedy Space Center, and as a popular destination for retirees.