As you well know, I'm from upstate New York (well, central New York, but most people consider anything north of New York City as upstate) and I'm now living in Hampton Roads, Virginia.
Now, is this place "the south"? It's not really a yes or no answer (in my opinion). I think it's all about perspective.
Where I am is south of the Mason-Dixon line. You can find grits, fried catfish and fried chicken just about everywhere. But it doesn't seem "southern" to me. I believe the enormous presence of the military has to do with that. The population of this are is filled with active duty (and former) military from around the country turning this place into an American melting pot.
But fear not, drive to Richmond. You'll hit "southern" really quickly.