With regard to tripods, I've photographed all over the Southeast for decades and have never had anyone challenge a tripod with one exception. I was taking a shot of the Georgia State Capitol in Atlanta and a security guard did not want me on the grass - as long as I stayed on the sidewalk, I was fine.
I've never been to Kansas, so I don't know what kind of humidity you're used to. In the Southeast, particularly along the coast and particularly in Florida, the water fills the air and causes a harsh glow to everything. At the same time, the brightness of the sun can cause extreme SBRs. It's not impossible to photograph, just different at some times of the year. The fall is usually the better time of year for lower humidity without a lot of rain.
The humidity combined with the flatness of much of the landscape means there are not a lot of the huge vistas seen in the west. As a result, I think you are wise to be thinking about structures.
In many areas, wetlands have gotten harder to shoot - lots of development along the water in many places. You might want to make a list of state parks and do a bit of research. You might also want to research guides in the area you choose. Some of the wetlands are reachable only by boat.
If you decide to come to NE Florida - Jacksonville, St. Augustine - , as Doug says, we have a LF group here. Let me know and we'll give you some suggestions.