6 Hidden Gems In Florida You Want To Go to Now

Sponsored by VISIT FLORIDA

Occupied with planning, or reserving, a visit to Florida? Uninterested in solely listening to about its most well-known locations and high sights and craving one thing a bit of extra distinctive and lesser recognized?

We’ve ridden curler coasters at Orlando’s theme parks and partied on Miami’s South Seashore– all of which belong in your Florida Bucket Record.

However, as our current Florida travels have proven us, the Sunshine State isn’t nearly Mickey Mouse or bustling cities; it’s additionally residence to among the most enchanting hidden gems that promise unforgettable experiences.

woman and child hugging and laughing on beach

Be part of us as we share six of our favourite hidden wonders in Florida, every providing its personal distinctive appeal, from quaint coastal cities to serene pure escapes.

And to sweeten the deal, we’ve teamed up with VISIT FLORIDA (sponsor) and Priceline to deliver you an unique low cost to your lodging, making your Florida journey not simply memorable but in addition price range pleasant.

Priceline is making it simpler so that you can Go to your Pleased Place for a Pleased Worth!

PRICELINE DEAL: 10% off Resort Categorical Offers on high of the as much as 40% off on Resort Categorical Offers while you e-book by Might 27 at 9 a.m. jap There’s a restricted amount of redemptions, so act now. Click here and Use CODE: CAZNCRAIG10 

1. Manasota Key, Gulf Coast

aerial of woman and child walking on englewood beach

Escape the crowds and uncover the pristine great thing about Manasota Key, an 11-mile barrier island on Florida’s Gulf Coast, midway between Tampa and Fort Myers.

I’ll always remember my first view of Englewood Seashore at Manasota Key (mere steps away from our lodging): pure white sand, calm, turquoise water, palm timber barely swaying, and solely a handful of individuals.

This was a Florida paradise I hadn’t seen earlier than, and had by no means heard of, making it one among my favourite hidden gems in Florida.

However wait, it will get higher on the southern finish of the island is Stump Move Seashore State Park.

woman standing on the beach
That view!

A 1.3-mile sandy nature path winds by means of a low-lying forest, providing glimpses of the wild Gulf Coast on one facet and the serene, luminescent aqua waters on the opposite by means of gaps within the timber.

It’s flat and delicate with solely a handful of individuals passing you by. When you attain the tip of the path, dolphins could even swim by. I used to be jealous of the 2 women paddle boarding proper subsequent to the place they appeared.

That is additionally a great place to spy a West Indian Manatee or a Loggerhead Sea Turtle (probably the most concentrated spots for these sightings on the planet). 

Shark Teeth Hunting at Blinds Pass Beach, Florida
Shark tooth searching

Manasota Key’s good for outside fans, providing alternatives for shelling, snorkeling, and shark tooth searching alongside the shorelines of Blind Move Seashore Park. I’d say you’re assured to seek out … rather a lot.

After a day of exploration, bask in scrumptious  contemporary seafood at The Waverly the place gorgeous sundown Gulf views complement each meal. My high tip is to order a desk within the upstairs eating room forward of time. Discuss a Florida hidden gem.

woman sitting at table of tiki bar in sand with blue cocktail

The  Sand Bar Tiki & Grille has a Key West sort of vibe with spicy pineapple margaritas, picnic tables set out on the sand, an in depth and numerous menu and reside music all afternoon and night.

For extra reside music, open air eating, contemporary seafood, sundown gazing, and fireplace pits, dine on the in style Lighthouse Grill.

Uncover extra issues to do in Manasota Key

Advisable Lodging: Manasota Key Resort

hotel in manasota key on water
Picture: Priceline

For a soothing keep, take into account the Englewood Seashore entrance, Manasota Key Resort with its personal seaside space. It’s additionally situated close to Stump Move State Park. Some rooms have balconies with sea views.

 See rates and availability here.

2. Martin County, Treasure Coast

people on jensen beach MArtin County
Jensen Seashore

Tucked away on Florida’s southeastern coast, Martin County is a paradise for each nature lovers and artwork fans. This space blends sophistication with Outdated Florida appeal, inviting you to kick off your flip-flops and embrace a relaxed Island-Type persona.

Martin County has all the things we love in a vacation spot: spectacular, numerous surroundings, enjoyable outside adventures, charming cities with inventive vibes, a slow-paced tempo good for vibrant enjoyable, limitless alternatives for mouth-watering seafood and sundown cocktails—usually paired with reside music and laughter—and even nice espresso outlets!

people sitting on a boat
Sundown Sail on Schooner Lily

Discover the tranquil waterways of the St. Lucie River on a scenic schooner crusing tour, discover native artwork on a Hobe Sound mural tour, or stroll by means of the colourful galleries and boutiques of downtown Stuart, named in 2016 as Coastal Residing’s “Happiest Seaside City.”

Then there are the twenty-two miles of uncrowded, white sandy seashores to play on. Stuart and Jenson are guarded seashores, however locals suggest the hidden Tiger Shores Seashore.

paddle boards on island with sunset behind
Sundown from Disappearing Island

In case you can time your go to with a full moon, we suggest the distinctive sundown full moon get up paddle board tour. Paddle out to Disappearing Island, in the midst of the St Lucie River Inlet, to look at a tangerine sundown, adopted by the moon rise, and return paddle by its mild! And sure, that island does disappear with tidal actions! We launched our paddleboards from the Sandspirit Park in Stuart. 

When starvation strikes, head to the Bunkhouse Coffee Bar in Jensen for excellent smoothie bowls. Observe that up with espresso to recollect at The Roasted Record in Stuart (store for vinyls whereas there).

 Get pleasure from lunch or dinner with a view at quite a few eating places alongside the waterfront. We will suggest TideHouse or the Stuart Boathouse.

In case you’re on the town on a Thursday, Jenson has Jammin Jenson, a avenue competition with reside music, artwork markets and meals!

Uncover much more enjoyable issues to do in Martin County, Florida.

Advisable Lodging: Hutchinson Shores Resort & Spa

resort located on ocean at martin county
Picture: Priceline

Hutchinson Shores Resort & Spa Hutchinson Shores Resort & Spa combines low-key luxurious with an impeccable Jensen Seashore setting.

Non-public balconies have sweeping ocean views and visitors have entry to resort fashion facilities comparable to outside swimming swimming pools, on website eating places, wellness spa and personal seaside entry.

See rates and availability here on Priceline 

3. Monticello, North Florida

woman standing in front of a white building

 Step again in time and uncover the timeless appeal of Monticello, a historic city nestled within the coronary heart of Jefferson County in Pure North Florida. The county is called Keystone County for its unspoiled magnificence and gentle local weather providing the ‘keys to high quality dwelling.’

Discover the quaint downtown space lined with vintage outlets and native eateries, embark on a tour of the majestic Monticello Opera Home, or go to surrounding orange and bee farms.

people swimming at wacissa springs florida

An unmissable exercise close to Monticello is air boating by means of slim channels canopied by Spanish moss cypress and oak timber on the Wacissa River. This primary magnitude clear, spring-fed stream is fed by about twenty springs on the headwaters (you’ll cease at swimming holes alongside the best way).

people in airboat cruising down wacissa river
Airboat on the Wacissa

Observe that up with a kayak paddle by means of the rapidly transferring water and slim areas of the Slave Canal, which connects the Wacissa to the Aucilla River.

family kayaking wacissa river north florida
The adventurous Slave Canal kayak

 We beloved this a lot it made our record of high household adventures within the USA. You’ll be able to learn extra about our Wacissa River journey (with a number of photographs and movies)

For a style of Southern hospitality, dine at Tupelo’s Bakery & Cafe, recognized for its scrumptious baked items and homestyle dishes. The gluten free cupcake right here was top-of-the-line I’ve had. And pizza lovers, will get pleasure from Pappa & Nonna’s Pizzeria for terribly scrumptious pizzas.

Click on right here for extra recommendations on issues to do in Monticello, Florida

Advisable Lodging: 1872 Denham Inn

exterior of denham hotel
Picture: Priceline

The award-winning 1872 Denham Inn, situated within the coronary heart of scenic Monticello, gives six elegantly appointed rooms that includes comfy king beds, personal baths, and distinctive interval antiques.

 This fantastically restored instance of Italianate structure, listed on the Nationwide Historic Register, showcases conventional Victorian magnificence in each room, making it an ideal retreat in pure north Florida.

See rates and availability.

4. Wakulla Springs, North Florida

woman and child swimming in wakulla springs
Wakulla Springs

Immerse your self in the great thing about Florida’s pure springs at Wakulla Springs in Pure North Florida, one of many largest and deepest freshwater springs on the planet.

The eerie environment of the majestic cypress mangroves rising out of the swamp could really feel acquainted to you; Tarzan and the Creature of the Black Lagoon had been filmed right here, chosen for its primeval setting.

Wakulla Springs’ sapphire waters are plentiful with wildlife together with manatees, alligators, turtles, deer, and birds.

You’ll be able to see many of those on a leisurely glass backside boat tour alongside the Wakulla River.

family sitting in wakulla springs
Stunning swimming gap

The springs have a roped off part for swimming with a diving platform children of all ages will love. The jungled canopied views provide a Florida swimming vibe you gained’t discover on its in style seashores.

After your journey, get pleasure from a meal on the historic Wakulla Springs Lodge, the place basic Southern and seasonal farm to desk dishes are served in an enthralling classic setting.

Youngsters will love the basic 70 ft marble unique Soda Fountain constructed by Edward Fall, and recognized for its root beer floats, ginger yips, and sundaes. 

Advisable Lodging: The Lodge at Wakulla Springs 

family walking up to wakulla lodge
The Lodge at Wakulla

One of many highlights of a go to to Wakulla Springs is staying on its doorstep at The Lodge at Wakulla Springs. Every of the lodge’s 27 rooms overlook the springs.

It was in-built 1937 by industrialist Edward Ball and is called North Florida’s citadel.

See rates and availability here. 

5. Cedar Key, Gulf Coast

aerial view of Cedar Key

Slip into your flip-flops, launch your pent-up stresses, and embrace a slower tempo. We’re journeying again to the times of Outdated Florida, paying homage to the Key West you dreamed of throughout Hemingway’s period. It’s uncooked and genuine, free from glamor, and synthetic vacationer sights.

The tranquil fishing village of Cedar Key, nestled among the many Cedar Islands and lengthening 4 miles into the Gulf of Mexico, radiates a real, heat, and unhurried appeal.

Arriving throughout a sequence of bridges and scenic salt marshes, you’ll discover a numerous neighborhood the place artisans, nature lovers, and people in search of a extra relaxed way of life coexist harmoniously.

Girl kayaking with a yellow life vest on.
Kayaking to the islands

Spend your days kayaking to the small close by islands of the Cedar Keys Nationwide Wildlife Refuge, swimming on the small seaside, or absorbing gorgeous sunrises and sunsets.

sunrise over the ocean
Attractive dawn

For a style of native flavors, don’t miss eating at Steamers Clam Bar and Grill on the Large Dock gives prime place for Gulf Views over Atsena Otie, the barrier island offshore of Cedar Key, and among the finest clams – and clam chowder – on the island.

Cedar Key’s a serious producer of clams nationwide, raking in additional than $34 million yearly.

family on deck of Steamers restaurant eating
Prime seating space

On the slim deck, there are a number of personal nooks to really feel the balmy breeze in your pores and skin and revel in dolphins frolicking in entrance of you.

Locals say you can’t beat the sundown and quirky vibes from the Tiki Bar situated simply outdoors the bridge into city.

See extra issues to do in Cedar Key, Florida

Advisable Lodging: Harbour Grasp Suites

harbor master suites on stilts over water
Nice lodging

There’s no higher place to remain in Cedar Key than on stilts over the water with 270-degree expansive views over close by islands. Dawn is magnificent from your individual personal deck. 

We beloved our spacious, two-bedroom Sea Pearl Suite at Harbour Masters with a dwelling space and full kitchen. And inside straightforward strolling distance to in all places – the Cedar Key Manner!

6. Sebring, Central Florida

girl posing in front of sebring mural
Welcome to Sebring

In Central Florida’s Sebring, ranchers and citrus growers mingle with farm-to-table eating places, whereas locals benefit from the firm of alligators, turtles, and birds in historic forests, plentiful lakes, and cypress swamps.

Identified for its scenic magnificence and outside recreation, Sebring gives loads of alternatives for climbing, fishing, and {golfing} amidst breathtaking landscapes.

couple enjoying Airboat tour on top of lillies in Sebring, Florida
A lot enjoyable!

That is one other place to get pleasure from an airboat journey – this time on Arbuckle Creek and Lake Istokpoga zipping over the water lilies and thru backwater nation creeks previous farmlands, grazing cows, and big oaks dripping with Spanish moss over the banks.

What we beloved about this airboat journey is our driver, Captain John from Airboat Wild Adventures additionally took us scooting over dry land. It was wild enjoyable!

Don’t miss a boardwalk hike over the cypress swamps of the gorgeous Highlands Hammock State Park.

family walking on barodwalk at highlands hammock state park

1000-year-old oak timber present shade as you stroll previous big cypress, hardwood swamps, evergreen flatwoods, ferns, and different habitats. There’s a very good likelihood you’ll see alligators right here as nicely.

After a day of exploration, dine at Chicanes Restaurant & Bar, situated within the Inn on the Lakes, an area favourite recognized for its scrumptious delicacies and panoramic views of Little Lake Jackson, particularly at sundown.

The flocks of ibis flying to the small island throughout from the restaurant virtually steal the highlight from the splendor of the setting solar.

Excellent news. After you’ve completed the sundown present with cocktails at Chicanes, you may simply stroll a couple of steps to your room on the Inn on the Lakes. 

Uncover extra issues to do in Sebring

Advisable Lodging: Inn on the Lakes

hotel pool on lake at sebring
Inn on the Lakes and Chicanes Restaurant

The Inn on the Lakes gives a luxurious informal expertise in a sublime setting. It’s near historic downtown, but in addition invitations you to decelerate on the lodge with spa remedies and an attractive swimming pool surrounded by palm timber.

See rates and availability

Ultimate Ideas

girl dancing on beach in front of orange sunset in manasota key
Beautiful Manasota Key sundown

These favourite hidden gems of ours provide a glimpse into the various great thing about Florida, from its pristine coastlines to its historic cities and pure wonders. I’m prepared to find extra lesser recognized locations in Florida. 

With Priceline’s Resort Categorical Offers, you can also make these unforgettable journeys much more inexpensive. For a restricted time, get pleasure from a further 10% low cost on high of financial savings as much as 40% off while you e-book your lodging by means of Priceline e-book by Might 27 at 9 a.m. jap.

Don’t miss this chance to discover the hidden treasures of Florida with out breaking the financial institution. E-book your journey right now and prepare to create reminiscences that can final a lifetime. Click here and use CODE: CAZNCRAIG10 

Now you may go to your Pleased Place for a Pleased Worth!

The place in Florida are you going to go?