This Opinion article is part of a Narcity Media series. The views expressed are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Narcity Media.
There's a huge population of people moving to Florida across the country. Whether you're coming from California or New York, it can be an overwhelming move, especially with so much to do in the Sunshine State.
Believe me, I was born and raised here and there's still a ton of ground I have yet to cover. However, I have done most things that are ingrained in our culture, our food groups and our tourist trap destination spots.
I'm handing over the secret checklist of things you must do when you move here, so you can call yourself a true Floridian. After all, it's never a good feeling to be an outsider.
Eat a chicken tender Publix sub.
If you talk to any Floridian, most them will probably say Publix subs are the elite of sandwiches. Chicken Tender foot longs are what you need to try if you don't want to hear people say, "oh my! You've never had one?!"
It's an art form to watch the deli staff stuff all that hot crispy chicken between the flaky sliced loaf of bread.
The mouthwatering meal is most refreshing on the beach. Often, you'll see people in bathing suits in the sandwich line, so it's highly recommended you enjoy these delicious ingredients while you soak up some sea salt and vitamin D.
Head to Wynwood Walls to see what the Miami hype is about.
If you live in Miami, this is obvious. If you don't live in Miami, you probably have FOMO. Have no fear, the hype is all too real here...and overrated, but you have to go at least once.
It's a ton of fun to sightsee, but if you're not within the city limits, you'll probably never go again unless you have to. Once you get passed the traffic and expensive meals, you'll realize the journey is more annoying than the destination.
Enjoy the beach on a day the forecast says it's going to rain. Trust me on this one.
It’ll rain fa like 10 min then be sunny and humid again 🤦🏾♂️😭 | WHO ELSE HATES THIS⁉️ #beach #florida #floridacheck #centralflorida #southflorida #northflorida #fyp #pier60
When the forecast says it's going to rain for hours, cut that time in half. Unless it's Tropical Storm season, most of the time it will rain for less than an hour and the sun will come back out as if nothing happened.
In fact, a lot of times in the Sunshine State, you'll see blue skies on one side of town and dark grey on the other. When this happens, it usually stays dry all day. Of course, listen to the forecast and proceed with caution, but also don't ruin your plans for the finicky weather.
Go to Disney World or Universal Studios. The other theme parks are 'hit or miss' for locals.
As a lifelong Floridian, I've been to Disney World and Universal Studios countless times. From family vacations to school field trips, these are the theme parks that are a must.
The others, like Sea World and Busch Gardens, aren't bad, but for locals, it's hit or miss. You need to go to the powerhouses of amusement parks, as you'll most likely be asked at some point in your move if you've ever been there.
Orlando is centrally located, so it doesn't take long to travel no matter where you are in the state.
Take an airboat ride in the everglades.
Okay, hear me out. This is a pretty niche activity, however, it is something many locals did as a kid. There's nothing more Floridian than heading to the Everglades and seeing some gators. So, on a day when you feel adventurous, hop on an airboat, put on some earplugs and enjoy the views.
Indulge your inner historian in St. Augustine.
St. Augustine is a stunning historic town with pretty beaches and many people who grew up in Florida have been there with family, live there, or have taken a field trip there as a kid.
You can find rich history throughout the town from classic buildings to vintage forts, and it's definitely worth the trip to check off your list.
Take a day or weekend trip to Key West.
You can't be a Floridian without ever having been to Key West. It's a gorgeous drive down a seven-mile bridge surrounded by breathtaking clear blue water. You also pass through many adorable island cities on the way.
Key West isn't just beaches, but also a really quaint city with restaurants and nightlife. You can be laidback and relaxed or bar hop and get rowdy. It's got a little bit of everything packed into the island.
Also, make sure you go to the Southernmost Point of the Continental U.S. and snap a photo for the 'gram. Don't forget to caption it: "I live where you vacation!"
Before you get going, check out our Responsible Travel Guide so you can be informed, be safe, be smart, and most of all, be respectful on your adventure.