1. In Florida, You Root For The Gators Or The Seminoles, But Never Both
Source: Seminoles VS Gators: Smack Talk via Facebook
The biggest rivalry in Florida is between the fans of UF Gators and FSU Seminoles. The two football teams have been going head to head for more than half a century. So it’s a watershed moment in every Floridan’s life when they must choose… Gators? Or Seminoles? The answer is final.
2. People In Florida Practically Invented The Laissez-Faire Mentality
Source: Flickr user Glorious
“The Rules Are Different Here” used to be the state slogan in the ’80s and it truly embodies the laissez-faire attitude in Florida. People drive fast, they dress for less (or not at all, as in the case of Fantasy Fest), they collect exotic pets and do unusual things. Maybe it’s the looser laws or the heat that that brings out their live and let live attitude.
3. Floridians Never Let It Rain On Their Parade
Floridians are used to a daily deluge of summertime rain, which can sometimes bring lightning and thunder and even hail. But they know that, like everything else, the rain, too, shall pass. And if you look on the bright side, at least the summer storms help to wash the love bugs off cars… OK, so maybe not. Nothing actually helps with that.
4. Floridians Are Proud To Be From The “Gunshine” State
Source: Gun Memes via Facebook
Floridians are liberal—liberal about gun ownership, that is. In fact, the state is No. 1 in concealed carry permits, with more than 887,000 issued.
So it’s no surprise that Florida folks are gun aficionados. They like to shoot. And they aren’t afraid to tell you so if you are trespassing on their property.
5. Floridians Are Sweet As Key Lime Pie
Source: Flickr user Joe Shlabotnik
Floridians are some of the nicest people you will ever meet in the South. It is not uncommon to have a 20-minute conversation with your waiter or bartender before you’ve even ordered. They go out of their way to help a stranger in need, tell you their life story, and even play tour guide for you.
6. Floridians Live To Eat From A Melting Pot
Source: Wikimedia user Elapied
Literally. They even have their own cuisine coined (and its own Wiki page): “Floribbean Cuisine.” It’s influenced by all the visitors and cultures that make up the state, especially Caribbean and Latin cuisines, and even some Asian influences.
Of course the cuisine varies among the different regions throughout the state, but they all center around fresh ingredients (especially fruits), complex spices, fresh seafood, and natural presentation.
7. Everyone In Florida Learns To Tolerate Tourists From An Early Age
Source: Flickr user Thad Roan - Bridgepix
Florida is home to more than 600 miles of bountiful beaches, sub-tropic climes, and Disney World, so Floridians are used to the bombardment of tourists from all over.
Floridians have to put up with tourists driving crazy on the highways, stopping in the middle of roads to look up directions, driving too slow or too fast but never the speed limit, and committing all kinds of other automotive offenses. So learning to take bad drivers with a grain of salt, is practically in Floridian DNA.
8. But Really, Floridians Know When It Comes To Driving, They Don’t Have A Ton Of Room To Judge
Floridians may like to blame tourists for all bad driving that happens here, but deep down inside they know they share some of the blame. They flaunt speed limits with reckless abandon; they turn on a dime with no signaling; they tailgate on the highway; and they have perfected the various colorful hand gestures that come with, um, assertive driving.
9. Floridians Are Weird And Darn Proud Of It
Source: Flickr user gordontarpley
Aside from their laidback nature, Floridians also get a reputation for being… well… a little bit weird. Rather than take offence everyone here embraces the weird, proud to represent their state in all its oddity.
They have endured the storms of the recession, the housing bubble collapse, and hurricane after hurricane, and through it all, they are proud to call the Sunshine State home.
Feature Image Source: Flickr user JenavieveMarie
Did we miss anything? Tell us what you think of Florida in the comments below!