Florida is the most south-eastern state in the United States of America. Known as "The Sunshine State", it became a popular winter destination for the well-to-do from colder climates over a century ago, and has gained ever greater popularity since. Its roots in agriculture are still present, with oranges being a chief export. The capital of Florida is Tallahassee, located in the eastern portion of the Florida Panhandle.
The beaches are one of the most popular attractions, along with some of the world's best known theme parks, including Disney World, Universal Studios, Busch Gardens and SeaWorld. However some of Florida's best secrets are in secluded locations away for tourist areas and well worth seeing. Regardless of preference Florida has something to offer for any kind of traveler.
Florida is known around the world for its balmy weather. The state's mild winters have made it a haven for retirees year-round and temporary residents during the winter known as "snowbirds". Summers can be long and hot, with the interior being a few degree warmer than the immediate coast. Coastal areas also experience gentle breezes during the summer, and the beach is usually the coolest place to be.
Florida cuisine has come under many influences and its styles vary across the state from north to south. Early Spanish and African and Southern cuisine has been influenced by Cuban and other Caribbean cultures, as well as "snowbirds" escaping from the Northern US winters. Northern Florida has a more Southern style; the south a more Caribbean one. Being on a peninsula, Florida's chefs have always had access to fresh seafood and the long growing season provides for fresh native vegetables.
Alcoholic beverages abound throughout the state. However, five rural counties in the northern third of the state are "dry counties", and no alcohol is sold in them. Liquor stores are often built into strip malls, supermarkets, and pharmacies, and most grocery stores, gas stations, and convenience stores sell beer and wine. Bars and clubs are popular throughout the state. Miami Beach is well known for a variety of themed and upscale bars with innovative mixed drinks.
Like every other U.S. state, the purchase and possession age for alcohol is 21 and is fairly well enforced. Underage drinking "stings" are frequent in most tourist areas.