Florida is steeped in Spanish heritage: its history, its food, and even its very name.
When Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon arrived on Florida's shores in April of 1513, he dubbed the vibrant new land La Pascua de la Florida, translated as "passion of the flowers." You can hear Florida’s Spanish heritage in the names of its cities, too, in Naranja, which means "orange," and Islamorada, which means as "purple island,’"as well as Ponte Vedra, Punta Gorda, Valparaiso and so many others.
The taste of Spain flavors every mouthful of Cuban sandwich you eat, a hot, crispy delight drowning in melted cheese, and menus awash in wondrous paellas, flans and soups.
Florida destinations are brimming with Spanish history: Ybor City was established in 1886 as a company town for Cubans who worked in Vicente Ybor's cigar factories; St. Augustine, the oldest city in the United States, was founded 1565 by the Spanish admiral, Pedro Menéndez de Avilés; and Fernandina Beach -- the only United States location to have been under eight different flags -- was ruled by the Spanish for almost 200 years.
Check out these articles to discover places to celebrate Spanish heritage in Florida -- destinations, forts, food and more.
Explore the Florida Cuban Heritage Trail from Tampa to Miami
The Story of the Tiles at the Columbia Restaurant in Tampa
The Old Spanish Trail in Florida
Spanish-Colonial Pensacola, Fla.
The Ancient Spanish Monastery in North Miami Beach
10 Sites Highlighting Florida's Spanish Colonial Heritage
Explore Florida History in the Forts of St. Augustine
Lift Your Spirits at St. Augustine’s Mission Nombre de Dios
Mala Compra Plantation: History From the Ground Up
Spanish History? Mystery Surrounds New Smyrna's Historic Turnbull Ruins
Key West Cuban Heritage