As a kid, we looked up at the sky during fall or winter and saw flocks of birds heading the same direction. That led our parents to say, “Oh yeah, those birds are heading south for the winter.” Not all birds do that, or else we would probably notice a severe bird shortage during every blizzard. But enough birds do it to make it noticeable. Scientists believe birds who head south are looking for certain kinds of food, so they’re not exactly lounging around on the beach. We humans have access to plenty of food in winter, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still take a cue from the birds and head to a warmer climate.

The Peach State

Where you should go depends on a lot of factors, including your budget and your current location. People who live in Wyoming may think a trip to Kansas sounds downright balmy, while people who are in Iowa will probably look to head a bit farther South. But wherever you make your home, Georgia is a good place to go for a vacation. There’s tons to do and see in Atlanta, the state capital and one of the hottest cities in the South (and we mean “hot” metaphorically rather than literally). But there’s way more to the Peach State than just Atlanta. Driving 30 minutes south of Atlanta will land you in Henry County, Georgia. It’s a place that has most of the amenities of a city like Atlanta, but without as much crowding and congestion. Are you a fan of slow-cooked ribs and fast cars? You can find both in Henry County. The former is at places like Shane’s Rib Shack, while the latter is at the Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton. You’ll also find craft beer and exotic animals, albeit not in the same place. The beer is at places like Jailhouse Brewing Company, while the animals are at Noah’s Ark Sanctuary. Don’t forget to visit the local peach orchard while you’re at it.

The Sunshine State

Florida is an interesting state, perhaps one of the most interesting ones in all of the union. It’s an odd little peninsula that really sticks out both literally and figuratively. You can visit the panhandle and feel like you’ve never really left the South, while driving farther South into the heart of the state will let you experience a unique culture like no other. There’s a lot more to it than “Florida Man” jokes and theme parks. Fort Lauderdale on the southeastern coast may not get quite as much attention as nearby Miami Beach, but don’t let that stop you. It’s chock-full of upscale restaurants and shopping mods, and if you want to stay in a luxury hotel, Fort Lauderdale has got plenty to choose from. Looking for some great Florida seafood? Head to a legendary crabhouse like the Rustic Inn, which serves steamed crab, garlic grab, and all kinds of other seafood. Really, if you’re going to visit Florida, you’re practically required to eat at least a little seafood. To do otherwise would be a real waste. Unless you live in a coastal city like Seattle, it’s very hard to find seafood as fresh and delicious as the kind they serve in Florida.

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