Florida vs. New England: A New Englander’s Ode to the Sunshine State
As a native New Englander who’s been soaking up the Florida sun for the past week, I find myself in a unique position to weigh in on the eternal debate: Florida vs. New England.
While my heart will always have a special place for the picturesque landscapes and seasonal charms of New England, I must admit, Florida has stolen a piece of it.
Weather: Sun-Kissed Year-Round vs. The Beauty of Seasons
Let’s start with the obvious: the weather.
There’s a certain allure to the changing seasons of New England, from the fall foliage that looks like an artist’s palette to the idyllic snowfalls that turn the region into a winter wonderland.
My 14-year-old is especially fond of snowboarding and winter sports. “The snow is amazing, but it gets old after a while, especially the shoveling,” he notes.
Contrast this with Florida, where the sun is an ever-present companion. The consistent weather opens up a world of possibilities. Beach in January? Absolutely. Outdoor barbecue in November? Why not. There’s something liberating about being able to plan any activity without the weather dictating terms.
Cultural Diversity: A Melting Pot vs. Living History
New England is synonymous with American history; its landmarks and museums are a testament to the nation’s past.
Yet, Florida is a melting pot that keeps stirring. The cultural infusion here—from Cuban to Caribbean to Native American—creates a vibrant, dynamic atmosphere. Even my son remarked, “It’s like you can travel the world just by driving through different neighborhoods.”
Adventure Outdoors: From Serene to Extreme
New England offers hiking, mountain biking, and, of course, skiing. My 14-year-old loves the thrill of descending snow-covered slopes and the peace of hiking through autumn leaves. But Florida has an adventure quotient that’s off the charts. We’re talking airboat rides in the Everglades, snorkeling in crystal-clear springs, and the joy of water sports practically year-round. “The variety here is crazy; it’s like an outdoor theme park,” my son exclaimed.
A Culinary Rollercoaster vs. Comfort Classics
New England cuisine, with its clam chowders and lobster rolls, is comforting and familiar. But the food in Florida is like a roller coaster for your taste buds—spicy, sweet, tangy, and everything in between. From the Cuban sandwiches of Miami to the seafood of the Keys, variety is the name of the game. “One day it’s tacos, the next it’s something I can’t even pronounce, but it’s all amazing,” my son observed.
Affordability: A Tale of Two Wallets
Living in New England is not for the financially faint-hearted. Between the high cost of living and the state taxes, it takes a toll on your wallet.
Florida offers a reprieve with its no state income tax and generally lower cost of living. Even for tourists, the affordability factor is noticeable. My son, ever conscious of his burgeoning gaming fund, appreciated this aspect: “You mean we can do more fun stuff and still save money? That’s awesome.”
The past week in Florida has been an eye-opener, both for me and my son. While our New England roots run deep, the allure of Florida’s endless summer, rich cultural tapestry, and unique outdoor adventures make a compelling case for the Sunshine State.
Whether you’re a native New Englander or a frequent Florida vacationer, the truth remains: Florida, with its variety and vitality, has something that appeals to every member of the family, from the historically inclined to the thrill-seeking teenager.
So, from one New Englander to another, give Florida a chance. You may come for the sun but stay for the lifestyle that never ceases to amaze.