The southeastern United States is generally defined as being bordered on the north by the Mason-Dixon line, on the west by Texas and by the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean on the south and east. Many people simply refer to this as the American South. The South is a unique region of the country that has managed to stay true to its individuality in ways that the rest of the country has not. Living in the southeastern United States comes with many advantages, but also has its disadvantages.
When you think of the South, there’s a good chance you envision sunny, warm days and mild to nonexistent winters. The southeastern United States has great weather thoughout much of the year. The harsh, cold winters experienced in many parts of the country are relatively rare in the South. Occasional snow in the Mid-South region may dust the ground a few days out of the year, but generally the weather is mild. The spring and fall is very mild and comfortable enough for shorts and t-shirts in many areas, with some places, such as the Florida peninsula, being in a state of perpetual summer. This is among the reasons so many people vacation in the South.
While the weather is often a big plus in the southeast, it can also be among the region's biggest disadvantages. Most of the time the weather is pleasant, but this region also features the ugly side of Mother Nature. Dixie Alley, for example, is one of the most active areas for destructive tornadoes in the nation. This area stretches from Mississippi into Alabama and north into Tennessee. Thunderstorms are a regular occurrence throughout the long warm-weather season, and these can be severe. Also, the summers are very hot in some places. It’s common to see the mercury over 100 degrees for extended periods in the South. It is also the part of the nation most often ravaged by hurricanes.
The southeastern United States is among the most culturally rich places in America. Many areas of the South are defined by the local cuisine, music, or dialect of people who have lived there for generations. Southern food is among the most unique, comforting and flavorful of all the American cuisines. The South is known for its fried foods, rich desserts and arguably the best barbecue available anywhere. Creole and Cajun cuisine and the lo- country boil all come from the South. Music is a part of life in the South. Nashville is the home of country music, New Orleans is the birthplace of American Jazz, Mississippi produced the blues, and nd don’t forget about the rise of rock and roll in Memphis. People here have unique accents and a friendly, relaxed demeanor that make culture a major advantage to living in the region.
All of that good food comes with a price. The high-calorie, fatty foods of the South contribute to the fact that people who live in this area have the highest rates of strokes, heart disease, high blood pressure and high cholesterol, according to the CNN website. In addition to the traditional foods, less access to healthcare, lower exercise rates and socioeconomic differences all contribute to making this the unhealthiest place to live in America.
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