Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Things I Find Fascinating: Farcical, Freaky, And Fairly Funny Florida Place Names

Not unlike Pennsylvania, the state of Florida seems to also have quite a few oddly named towns, cities, and other place names. Again, I'm not going into the history of each one of these – I don't really even care. These are for your entertainment (hopefully) and mine (definitely) only. Enjoy!

1)  I Know There's An Abundance Of Wildlife There, But Did They Have To Give So Many Places Animal Names?  Apparently so. While visiting Florida, you may find yourself in any one of the following animal-inspired places...

Water Turkey Bayou
Manatee County
Horsey Park
Cockroach Bay State Park
Alligator Point
Snake Creek
Whale Harbor
Bird Key
Dog Island
and the ever-popular
Flamingo Heights

2)  You're Making Me Hungry:  Being the best place in the country to raise and produce oranges and other citrus fruits, it shouldn't be surprising that Florida is full of food-related place names. But they are kind of hung up on the citrus thing a little bit much, aren't they?

Fruit Cove
Fruitland Park
Citrus Springs
Citrus Park
Citrus Hills
Lemon Bay
Port Orange
and one non-fruity one...

3)  We Want You To Feel Safe And Welcome Here:  Everyone knows Florida is a great place to live, especially when you're ready to retire. And Florida would like to take the time to remind you how great it is to live there by naming a number of places some very pleasant and welcoming names. Case in point...

Pretty Bayou
Pleasure Isles
Leisure City
The Great Outdoors
and the all-important...
Safety Harbor

4)  Tongue-Twisting Native American Names:  Much like Pennsylvania, I had to pick and choose the best of the best among these, because Native American place names are literally all over Florida. Here are a few that you might have some trouble with, if you had to say them three times fast...

Choctawhatchee Bay
Waccasassa Bay
Homosassa Springs
Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge
Weeki Wachee Gardens
Lake Okeechobee
Fakahatchee Strand State Park
Loxahatchee Groves
Withlacoochee Bay
Lake Kissimmee
and where would this list be without listing...

5)  I Have The Feeling I'm Somewhere Else Entirely:  Nearly all states have this in common – they name towns, villages, and what have you after other places in the world. This is not uncommon in the least. But apparently it's extremely common in Florida. Observe...

Mexico Beach
Panama City
not to mention a slew of California-
inspired place names, including...
Laguna Beach
Beverly Hills
Golden Gate
and they didn't just stick with this planet for inspiration...
Neptune Beach

6)  It's Heaven For Snowbirds:  As previously mentioned, Florida is a great place to retire to and spend your golden years. And for snowbirds (the name affectionately bestowed upon elderly people, particularly from up North, who retire to Florida) there are plenty of places where they can feel right at home. Take these for example:

Golden Beach
Golden Glades
Silver Springs
Bald Point State Park
Old Town
and when it's their time to go...
Dead Lakes

7)  Just Plain Weird Place Names:  This post wouldn't be complete without a few generally oddball-named places and my appropriately snarky comments. You knew it was coming, right? Prepare to groan...frequently!

Burnt Store Marina  (I don't think I'd dock my boat there)

Greater Sun Center  (which is right down the road
from Lesser Moon Center – no, not really!)

Honeymoon Island State Park  
(this is where you go to...well, you figure it out!)

Sopchoppy  (Kung Fu capital of the world!)

Tate's Hell State Forest  (can you imagine 
trying to come up with the brochure for this place?
"it's, um, pretty hot, and there's trees, and um...eternal torment")

Holeyland Wildlife Management Area  (conversely, these folks 
probably don't have a whole lot of trouble bringing people in)

Micanopy  (as opposed to your canopy)

Hypoluxo  (ask your doctor if Hypoluxo is right for you – 
some side effects of using Hypoluxo may include shortness of breath, 
increased blood pressure, and abject apathy; use only as directed)

Golf  (gee, I wonder what they do for fun there?)

Waldo  (I heard someone was looking for Waldo
a while back; good news, I've solved the case)

Town 'N' Country  (hey, I've got one of those! 
I didn't know they come in actual town size now!)

Frostproof  (well, I'm sure it is – 
it's in Florida, for Pete's sake!)

Land O' Lakes  (suddenly, I'm craving butter) 

Dismal Key  (a top destination for depressed tourists)

No Name Key  (a top destination for tourists
in the Witness Protection Program)

Hundred Acre Woods  (Winnie The Pooh sightings
may occur, as may bouncing Tiggers)

Lake Placid and (nearby) Placid Lakes  
(file under the Department of Redundancy Department)

Coupon Bight Aquatic Reserve  (save 25% when you 
are bitten by wildlife twice within the same calendar year)

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