21 Things Florida Transplants Do That Prove They’re Out-of-Staters

According to the most recent U.S. Census Bureau data, Florida is the state with the most rapid population growth, with a 1.9% population increase in 2022 alone.

Many Americans who moved to Florida first traveled there as tourists. However, there’s a huge difference between being a tourist and a resident in Florida.

I’m among those who were tourists before becoming Florida residents. I don’t believe I ever fully kicked the New Yorker out of me by the time I left Florida, but I learned to pick up on things that others would say or do that screamed Florida transplant. So, between personal experience and speaking with fellow transplants, these are some of the things Florida transplants do that scream “out of stater.”

1: It’s I-4

I-4 Highway in Orlando.
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Floridians have grown up hearing “I-4” used when referring to Interstate 4. Although Floridians know it’s perfectly acceptable to shorten I-75 and I-95 to “75” and “95,” they know they’re talking with a non-native when they hear someone say “4” when referring to “I-4.”

2: An Instagram Paradise

Man with a radio.
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It doesn’t take being born in a landlocked state to appreciate the beauty of Florida’s beaches. However, native Floridians often know they’re dealing with a Florida transplant when the person is obsessed about taking pictures of every beach they visit and posting them online.

3: Weather Eye Candy

Couple at the beach.
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Native Floridians can often spot a transplant if they’re utterly amazed by the weather all the time. Constant heat and humidity aren’t noteworthy to locals.

4: Come Again?

Friends laughing.
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Many Florida locals agree that one of the most obvious signs that they’re dealing with a transplant is the way they talk. Whether it be an accent or the references they use, the moment non-Florida natives open their mouths, locals can often tell they’re not from there.

5: Mispronouncing Kissimmee

Kissimmee, Florida.
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No, it’s not “kiss-sim-me.” The moment a Florida native hears someone pronounce the central Florida city, they know they’re not a local. However, many Floridians diverge in how they pronounce Kissimmee. “Kiss-uh-mee” is used by some, while “kuh-sim-ee” is widely accepted.

6: Appearance Is Everything

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Newsflash: Just because blizzards don’t happen in Florida doesn’t mean it can’t get cold. Native Floridians often bundle up when 60-degree days roll around. Meanwhile, they often see transplants rocking shorts and tank tops while talking about how the cold is nothing like it was “back home.”

7: What’s a Blinker?

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According to many locals, the use of a turning signal in Florida is more of a suggestion than a hard fast rule. We’d encourage these folks to review the law, for using a signal whenever one is turning is mandatory in Florida. Nevertheless, the argument can be said that people who use their blinkers when driving on Florida roads are putting the spotlight on themselves as someone not from there.

8: Orange-Colored Glasses

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Constantly talking about oranges is one way to pick out a Florida transplant. Another way? When they get giddy about passing orange groves.

9: The Grass Is Browner

Two manatees.
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Not all Floridians love their state. But you can bet your manatee bottom that many don’t enjoy hearing out-of-staters complain about it. Many locals can tell someone is a transplant when they talk about how good things in their life used to be.

10: Golfing Has Seasons

Golf course.
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Um, no, it doesn’t have to. If you describe golfing as a “summer” sport while in the Sunshine State, that’s a fast-track way to peg yourself as a Florida transplant.

11: Sports Merch

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Wearing out-of-state sports merch is a quick way for a native Floridian to know a person isn’t from the Sunshine State. But it’s not the only way. Sporting a copious amount of local sports merch is also a giveaway that someone wasn’t born and raised as a Floridian.

12: Too Hot To Handle

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Florida residents complaining about how hot the weather is in April and May are prime subjects for native Floridians to identify as transplants. They clearly haven’t lived in Florida during July and August.

13: Startled by Lizards

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No, lizards aren’t baby alligators waiting to grow large enough to eat you. Native Floridians know someone is from out-of-state when they’re scared by a harmless 2-inch green anole.

14: Sprinkle Me Cautious

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Driving in the rain is a great (but frustrating) way to tell who’s likely a non-native Floridian on the road. Anyone who turns their hazard lights on and drives 10 miles per hour in a standard Florida rain shower is fair game to receive the out-of-stater label.

15: Blinding Bumper Stickers

Driving across a bridge over the ocean.
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One of the more humorous ways for a Florida native to pick up on a Florida transplant is when they see a car filled with brand-new bumper stickers, all of which have a Florida theme.

16: Gator Phobia

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Alligator sightings are part of life for Floridians. So, locals usually know they’ve spotted a Florida transplant when a person has an utter fear of a gator that’s dozens of feet away from them.

17: Too Dangerous To Drink

Man drinking water.
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A telltale sign that someone isn’t from Florida is when they insist on getting the pipes in their home filtered, as they’re under the impression that the water is bad. However, unless you live in an area that relies on private wells, 80% of Florida’s drinking water is served by public water systems, all of which must abide by the Federal Safe Drinking Water Act.

18: Swimming Skills

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Florida natives can tell someone isn’t from the Sunshine State when a person has trouble swimming in basic ocean surf, requiring a lifeguard to help them out of waist-high water.

19: Compass Mishaps

Person holding a compass.
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Old habits can be hard to break. Florida natives instantly know they’re talking with a northern-turned-Floridian resident when the person says they’re “going down” to a location north of their current Florida GPS coordinates.

20: The Unloving Bug

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You’ll be hard-pressed to encounter a native Floridian who loves lovebug season; The mating insects squash themselves into nearly every car crevice when driving down the highway. But locals can identify a Florida transplant when they claim they prefer mosquitos over lovebugs. Um, nope!

21: Only in Florida

Palm trees in Florida.
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Certain phrases are giveaways that a Florida transplant is a transplant. “Only in Florida” and “That’s so Florida” are among the top two.

Transplant Motivation

Moving truck.
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According to Forbes, a reasonable cost of living in many parts of Florida, coupled with no state income tax, is what drives many Americans to relocate there. The average cost of rent in Florida mirrors closely to the $1,330 national average.

Don’t Be Fooled

Driving across a bridge.
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Despite the relatively reasonable cost of living in Florida, certain costs are exorbitant. For example, depending on where you live, you might need to splurge on a costly flood insurance plan. Furthermore, car insurance is 44% more expensive than the national average.

Air Conditioning Boom

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Florida wasn’t always a popular place for Americans to relocate to. In the 1940s decade, it experienced an average yearly growth rate of 2%. Once air conditioning went on the market in the 1950s, the ’50s decade experienced an average yearly growth rate of 6.1%. That eventually settled, with Florida always seeing an average yearly population growth, mostly in the low 1%.

Most to Least Expensive States To Retire

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Are you hoping to settle down in a cheaper state during retirement? These are the states to consider and, equally important, those you’re better off avoiding.

Most to Least Expensive States to Retire Ranked From 1 to 50

12-Step Moving to Florida Checklist

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Whether you’ve already closed on a Florida home or are toying with moving to The Sunshine State, this checklist will help you get all of your ducks (ahem, pelicans) in a row.

12-Step Moving to Florida Checklist

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