I would have to say yes, the popular understanding does match the reality. A while back, the popular understanding was that Florida was just a swampland with really nothing exciting that would draw attention or visitors. That quickly evolved as Florida became more popular because people were at first drawn to the weather. Visitors traveled away from their homes in New England and stayed in Florida for the winters to escape the terrible weather. For me, since I am also from New England, I can definitely say that the weather is all that it is cracked up to be and is a good escape for snowing winters. After factoring in the nice weather, Florida is also known for its tourism. I guess that kind of depends on the region of Florida we are talking about. In Orlando, Florida has great tourist attractions and they are still incredibly popular today. People keep coming back to Florida and visiting again and again these fascinating family parks and other points of interest. Not only are there man-made attractions, there are also beautiful natural attractions in Florida that are worth visiting. So, basically, I believe that yes, Florida does match its popular understanding because while Florida has a great reputation of tourism to stand up to, a lot of Florida's culture and economy is based around tourism and the effort is put in to ensure that any visitors will have a delightful experience.