“It takes a big state to absorb the entire North every winter,” the New York Times wrote on February 2 of this year. “Florida is pulling it off.”
In wintertime, the Sunshine State takes in ‘snowbirds’ from the rest of the country (and beyond). Interestingly, these cold-weather refugees seek out each others’ company according to their place of origin, creating a patchwork of sunkissed settlement areas reflective of their places of origin.
• Alabamians (but also Tennesseans) prefer the Panhandle, as it is closest to their home state.
• Georgians prefer the Jacksonville area for the same reason.
• The area just south of Jacksonville has attracted increasing numbers of Southern Californians, obviously not because of proximity or lack of sunshine in SoCal, but because the real estate is so much cheaper.
• People from the Carolinas prefer to relax in and around Daytona.
• Those from Upstate New York gather around the Cape Canaveral area.
• Palm Beach County is a favourite haunt of New Jerseyites.
• The large Jewish presence in and around Fort Lauderdale is down to the migratory links with Brooklyn (notice the Bagel Dough van hurrying south).
• Hollywood in the Fort Lauderdale area boasts two French-language newspapers, reflecting the tide of Québécois heading there.
• Miami is known as the ‘Sixth Borough’, because of the large number of New Yorkers wintering there. Manhattanites flock to Miami Beach.
• Minnesotans camp out on Sanibel Island.
• Retired GM executives were the spearhead of the Detroit invasion of the Naples area.
• Germans cluster in and around the Fort Myers area.
• New Englanders head for Sarasota.
• Holidaymakers from Buffalo in Upstate New York congregate in Tampa.
• Orlando attracts a wide variety of Europeans and Latin Americans. (‘United Nations’)
• Kissimmee and Davenport are home to many Britons.