What Florida's preeminent culture writer has to say about whether or not the Sunshine State is in the South
Yes, Florida is in the South, but some places in Florida are more South than others. I can find the South in the Keys, in Miami and many parts of the Everglades. Okeechobee region is pretty much all South and then up the spine of the state. Then of course I very much feel the south in North Florida and the Panhandle. True Floridians, like many Southerners, have a true sense of place. Things that make Florida Florida, and the South, include climate, critters, geography, food, water, art, music and a way of doing things. That might mean hiking, fishing, hunting, looking at birds, eating oysters. Many Northerners who move here never see what's directly in front of them. They usually don't know what they don't know. There's a cultural ethnocentrism at play. Christ, some people are afraid to drive off the Interstate. When they pass away, they are not buried here. Their remains are flown back to New York, or Ohio, or Pennsylvania for burial. They never considered themselves Floridians or Southerners. Some place else was home.