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15 things every Floridian is thankful for

Because the Sunshine State has so much to offer

The Miami skyline.
The Miami skyline. (2019 Getty Images)

ORLANDO, Fla. – Living in Florida is amazing, there’s no other way to put it.

Even though there are some downsides to Florida life, there’s no denying that Sunshine State residents provoke envy across the country.

After all, there’s a reason why we say, “We live where you vacation.”

If you ask any of the 21.3 million locals why they chose to settle down here, odds are they won’t be able to pinpoint a singular justification. There are just too many things that make Florida great and this Thanksgiving, we’re thankful for all of them.

Check out the list below:

1. Air conditioning

Two American Standard Allegiance 15 air conditioning units.
Two American Standard Allegiance 15 air conditioning units. (AP2008)

Anyone who has ever broken out in a sweat while walking from the car to the store on an August day knows how good it feels when that sweet, sweet air conditioning blasts you in the face the second you walk through the front door. Air conditioning is one of the few things that keep us sane during the ridiculously brutal summer heat. Without it, we all would have melted by now.

2. Manatees

This file photos shows a group of manatees in a canal where discharge from a nearby Florida Power & Light plant warms the water in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
This file photos shows a group of manatees in a canal where discharge from a nearby Florida Power & Light plant warms the water in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Manatees are one of the few wild creatures in Florida that have no intention of hurting anyone or anything. Even though we grew up around them, you better bet we get unbelievably giddy when a sea cow swims past us. Manatees are perfect and anyone who says otherwise is wrong.

3. Pub subs

(Credit: Publix)
(Credit: Publix)

A typical summer day for a Floridian involves going to the beach and eating a pub sub. Sure, Publix technically exists in a few other southern states but in Florida it’s a whole different experience -- a culture, even. Life here wouldn’t be the same without pub subs.

4. No state income tax

This file photo shows multiple forms printed from the Internal Revenue Service web page that are used for 2018 U.S. federal tax returns.
This file photo shows multiple forms printed from the Internal Revenue Service web page that are used for 2018 U.S. federal tax returns. (Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

While some may dread April 15 knowing they’ll need to give a portion of their income back to the state, Floridians don’t have that problem. Because Florida gets so many tourists, we get to skip paying that nasty fee. Who isn’t thankful for more money in their pocket?

5. End of hurricane season

A message to Hurricane Dorian is spray painted on a covering over a window at the Coastal Angler Magazine office, Monday, Sept. 2, 2019, in Cocoa Beach.
A message to Hurricane Dorian is spray painted on a covering over a window at the Coastal Angler Magazine office, Monday, Sept. 2, 2019, in Cocoa Beach. (Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

That sound you hear on Dec. 1 is everyone across the state breathing a sigh of relief. Nov. 30 marks the end of hurricane season, meaning we can all put the plywood back in the garage and drink the bottled water we’ve been squirreling away. It’s even more relieving if we make it through without a devastating storm.

6. End of snowbird season

Interstate 4 traffic file photo.
Interstate 4 traffic file photo. (Associated Press)

Every Floridian knows what I’m talking about. When fall starts to roll around, normally sleepy beach towns are suddenly bustling with tourists who don’t know how to navigate the roads. While we of course appreciate their business, we look forward to late spring when we go back to sharing the shores with all locals.

7. Sweater weather

File photo: Sweater weather.
File photo: Sweater weather. (Pixabay)

We don’t have a real fall or a real winter but a few days out of each year, we get sweater weather. Any time the thermometer dips below 75 degrees, we use it as an excuse to whip out our cardigans and knee-high boots. The great thing about sweater weather is that it comes without blizzards or frost bite.

8. Beaches

A surfer heads out to catch a wave as the sun rises, Tuesday, June 21, 2016, in Bal Harbour, Fla.
A surfer heads out to catch a wave as the sun rises, Tuesday, June 21, 2016, in Bal Harbour, Fla. (Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistribu)

It’s about an hour from Orlando to the nearest beach, which in Florida terms is basically landlocked. No matter where you live, it’s only a short hike to the coast, where you can enjoy the surf, the sun and the sand. Our backyard is basically a beach and the warm temperatures mean we get to enjoy it whenever we want, even in December.

9. Natural landscapes

A butterfly drinks nectar from a flower at Butterfly World on Monday, June 17, 2019, in Coconut Creek, Fla.
A butterfly drinks nectar from a flower at Butterfly World on Monday, June 17, 2019, in Coconut Creek, Fla. (Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Beaches aren’t the only beautiful thing about Florida. Sure, we don’t have mountains or canyons but we have lush green palm trees and crystal clear springs. Even large urban areas have hidden gardens and others environmental escapes where you can take a break from the city life and enjoy all mother nature has to offer.

10. Outdoor weather year-round

A motorcycle sits outside on a sunny Florida day.
A motorcycle sits outside on a sunny Florida day. (News 6)

While some northerners tend to hibernate from fall until spring, we spend those months riding our bicycles and motorcycles, kayaking and exploring the great outdoors. You could argue that Floridians instead have to coop up indoors during the summer months, but being surrounded by water where you can easily take a dip makes the heat bearable.

11. Theme parks

Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom.
Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom. (Walt Disney World)

There’s no shortage of entertainment options in Florida and the theme parks might be the most popular one. We have Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, Busch Gardens and countless water parks that offer a thrill and a splash. The best part? Florida residents usually get a discount on tickets and annual passes.

12. Florida man headlines

A Florida man headline on ClickOrlando.com.
A Florida man headline on ClickOrlando.com. (News 6)

Having a good laugh is usually as easy as checking out the stories on the News 6 Facebook page. There’s always something happening that’ll make you scratch your head, roll your eyes or both. While some might be embarrassed of the notorious Florida Man, seasoned residents have learned to embrace the phenomenon with a smile.

13. Rocket launches

People watch as the SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket lifts off from launch pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center on April 11, 2019 in Titusville, Florida.
People watch as the SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket lifts off from launch pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center on April 11, 2019 in Titusville, Florida. (2019 Getty Images)

Just try to name another state with an area nicknamed the Space Coast. Hundreds of aerospace companies have settled on Florida as their home base, which means regular rocket launches that you can watch from a nearby beach.

14. Delicious food

A plate of stone crabs sits on a table with a serving of hash browns, cole slaw and Key lime pie at Joe's Stone Crab restaurant in Miami Beach.
A plate of stone crabs sits on a table with a serving of hash browns, cole slaw and Key lime pie at Joe's Stone Crab restaurant in Miami Beach. (Associated Press)

If you like key lime pie, orange juice and oysters then you can thank Florida for that. Even the Cuban sandwich, despite what the name might suggest, was birthed in the Sunshine State. Because our population is so diverse, we get to dine on a variety of cuisines, oftentimes without even leaving the city limits.

15. Gorgeous sunsets

A Central Florida sunset.
A Central Florida sunset. (News 6)

The best part of ending a day in Florida is watching the sky blend shades of gold, lavender, blue and pink as the sun sets for the day. It’s a simple but serene thing to do and you know Florida offers a view that’s better than anywhere else. Then, come the next morning, you get to watch the same colors swirl as the sun rises on another perfect Florida day.


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