Florida towns’ claims to fame: We’re No. 1

Florida is known for making headlines — alligators end up in swimming pools, iguanas come out of toilets and people are always in the news for outrageous crimes. And with all the funny stories come interesting titles and nicknames for the cities within. 

Here are some Florida towns and cities and what they’re famous for.  

Apopka: Because of its many nurseries and greenhouses, Apopka has been dubbed the “Indoor Foliage Capital of the World.” According to the city’s website, Apopka is one of the fastest growing communities in Central Florida.  

Coconut Creek: As home to the largest butterfly park in the world, Coconut Creek is nicknamed the “Butterfly Capital of the World.” Butterfly World opened in 1988 and houses 20,000 live butterflies.  

Crescent City: With large open lakes, Crescent City has been named the “Bass Capital of the World.” The city is located between Stella Lake and Crescent Lake in Putnam County and draws in many anglers to fish bluegill and largemouth bass every summer.  

Daytona Beach: It’s no secret that Daytona Beach is a famous destination for world travelers and spring breakers. The “World’s Most Famous Beach” attracts around 8 million visitors a year, according to the city’s website.  

DeLand: The Central Florida town is the “Skydiving Capital of the World” because of its large collection of old and new skydivers, educational opportunities and numerous facilities. The skydiving industry employs over 500 workers in the DeLand area.  

Destin: Although the name stems from an old tale, Destin’s reputation as the “World’s Luckiest Fishing Village” is no mistake. Today it hosts many fishing tournaments and houses hundreds of deep sea fishing vessels for tourists and locals.  

Local color: Lake Placid Caladium Festival  

Lake Placid: Known as the “Caladium Capital,” Lake Placid has an upcoming Caladium Festival July 27-29. The city started growing the large and colorfully leafed plant in the 1940s and as its popularity in landscaping grew, so did the industry. Now, more than 1200 acres are devoted to caladiums.  

Miami: The city is many things, but more officially it is the “Cruise Capital of the World.” Port Miami is the departing destination for millions of cruisers every year.  

New Smyrna Beach: With a recorded 238 shark attacks, New Smyrna Beach has been named the “Shark Bite Capital of the World.” However, this name doesn’t keep visitors away from enjoying the sand and sun. The beach is lined with only local restaurants and has limited development since Canaveral Seashore is a protected area.  

Ocala: While Lexington, Kent., may beg to differ, Ocala is the “Horse Capital of the World.” Although Texas and California lead the way in sheer numbers and Lexington has around 40 signs with the slogan, Ocala had the phrase trademarked first. Kentucky is home to the most Thoroughbreds, but Ocala houses many different types of horses like Quarter Horses and Arabians. 

Okeechobee: Surrounded by a series of lakes, the city of Okeechobee is the “Speckled Perch Capital of the World.” The abundance of the fish species calls for an annual Speckled Perch Festival that honors the local fishing industry and features a fish fry in the park.  

Orlando: For good reason, Orlando is the “Theme Park Capital of the World.” From Walt Disney’s many parks to Universal and Sea World, there are a total of 13 parks in the Orlando area. 

Pierson: The small town of Pierson is the “Fern Capital of the World,” and the slogan is proudly labeled across the city’s sign. Pierson grows and exports a large percentage of the United States’ fern plants every year.  

Plant City: Over three-quarters of the nation’s winter strawberries come from Plant City, making it the “Winter Strawberry Capital of the World.” The city’s subtropical climate, mild winters and fertile soil gives it the perfect growing conditions for the red berries. Every year there is an 11-day strawberry festival.  

Sanford: The Central Florida town is home to many crops and was once known as the “Celery Capital.” In the 1930s, it was said that Sanford was where a third of the nation’s celery was grown. Today, the plantations are replaced by streets, such as Celery Avenue. There is also a restaurant and bar called Celery City in the downtown area.  

Stuart: Since 1957, Stuart has been called the “Sailfish Capital of the World.” Because the Gulf Stream is so close, sailfish are plentiful in Stuart, especially in the winter months. The Stuart Sailfishing Club is one of the oldest sports fishing clubs in the United States and has drawn in historical figures like Franklin D. Roosevelt and Theodore Roosevelt to experience the thrill.  

Tampa: Named the “Lighting Capital of the World,” some suggest it should be tightened down to just North America. The claim is always open for interpretation based on many varying factors each year.  

Tarpon Springs: About 20 miles north of Tampa is Tarpon Springs, a small city known as the “Sponge Capital of the World.” The waters off Tarpon Springs are one of the few areas in the world where the species of sponge for commercial use can be found.  

Venice: Hundreds of beach-goers flock to the shores of Venice beach in the early mornings to find shark’s teeth, naming it the “Shark Tooth Capital of the World.” The Venice coastal area sits on top of a fossil layer that runs 18 to 35 feet deep, and as storms and waves break pieces off, the teeth wash ashore for people to find.

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