Florida (Spanish for "land of flowers") is the southernmost contiguous state in the United States. The state is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the northwest by Alabama, to the north by Georgia, to the east by the Atlantic Ocean, and to the south by the Straits of Florida. The first European contact was made in 1513 by Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de León, who called it la Florida. Florida's close proximity to the ocean influences many aspects of Florida culture and daily life. Florida is a reflection of influences and multiple inheritance; African, European, indigenous, and Latino heritages can be found in the architecture and cuisine. By the 16th century, the earliest time for which there is a historical record, major Native American groups included Apalachee, Timucua, Ais, Tocobaga, Calusa and the Tequesta inhabited this region.