Crazy names: Florida’s top 5 towns

Learn history behind Mayo, Christmas

ORLANDO, Fla. – When people think of Florida cities, they usually think of Orlando, Miami or Tampa.

But, if you have lived here for more than a couple weeks or have visited more than once, you have likely been exposed to some more unique city names, too.

Matt Austin and Ginger Gadsden break down their Top 5 list of strange town names in Florida on their podcast Florida’s Fourth Estate.

“We have some crazy names for towns in Florida, it makes us giggle sometimes,” Gadsden said.

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No. 5:

Howey-in-the-Hills comes in at No. 5.

“Ever since I moved to Central Florida, I have been fascinated by this particular name,” Gadsden said. “It’s named after William John Howey and in 1925 it was just called Howey. He looked around and said are those mountains I see in the distance?”

“He added ‘in-the-hills’ to it and then started calling it ‘The Florida Alps,’” she said.

“Out in the Florida Alps! It’s kind of like Mount Dora. Look around, like, ‘Where’s the mountain here?!’” Austin said.

But Austin does agree that the Howey Mansion, a big draw for the area, is a great place to visit. Plus, Gadsden likes the fact that you can learn more about Mr. Howey if you visit the home.

You can listen to every episode of Florida’s Fourth Estate in the media player below:

No. 4:

The town of Christmas comes in at No. 4.

“There is a place in Florida, where it is Christmas all year round. It’s located right on Highway 50, just east of Orlando, and a lot of people think that this is some sort of shtick. It turns out there is some history here. Back in 1837, Army soldiers arrived in this area to build a fort, and they happened to arrive on December 25, so they called it Fort Christmas,” Austin said.

“Santa himself will be sitting in the lobby of the post office because people will drive from all over to have their letters postmarked in Christmas, Florida,” Austin said. “They have Cupid, Blitzen and St. Nicholas avenues. It doesn’t get any better than that.”

Austin and Gadsden break down their final three crazy Florida town names on Florida’s Fourth Estate.

The town of Mayo makes their top three. See if your list matches theirs and why the name behind Mayo, Florida, doesn’t actually have anything to do with the popular condiment.

Just download the podcast from wherever you listen to podcasts or listen anytime on News 6+.


About the Authors:

Tiffany produces the News 6+ Takeover at 5:30 p.m., Florida's Fourth Estate and Talk to Tom.

Emmy Award-winning anchor Matt Austin joined the News 6 team in June 2011 and has been the evening news co-anchor since December 2013.