Florida is the home to many pristine beaches and cities, but with the amount of places to go and things to do, there are some beautiful areas that are often forgotten about. I am going to share some hidden gems in Florida you probably didn’t even know about. 

Whether you have been to Florida before, or you’ve never been, I am going to go over some awesome places in Florida that you can’t miss out on. These areas are not the typical tourist areas and crowded beaches. Instead, I am focusing on some of the scenic places in Florida that you probably do not already know about.

I personally cannot get enough of Florida, and will often start planning my next trip as soon as I get back. Having a list of Florida’s hidden gems in your back pocket will be helpful the next time you plan your trip to Florida.

Apalachicola

Apalachicola

Thomsonmg2000 [Public domain]

Apalachicola is a quiet village in northern Florida. This is a historical village with some unique buildings that you won’t find anywhere else. Apalachicola is often referred to as the quiet side of Florida, due to it not being a very popular place for tourists to travel.

This is a great place to get away from the busy places in Florida and enjoy a more secluded beach with a sunset and a drink. It is especially the perfect area for you if you own a sailboat. Many sailboat owners dock their boat here for a nice place to relax. Plus it’s next to Gulf County Florida where you will find more things to do. 

St. AugustineSt. Augustine, Florida

St. Augustine is another historical city. This is the oldest city in the entire United States. There is a lot of unique scenery to check out in this city. Apart from the old buildings and courtyards, there are some museums and other historical areas in this city that will certainly be worth your time.

One thing apart from the history that really makes St. Augustine stand out is the food here. You will have a hard time leaving this city, having had a meal you did not enjoy. From the restaurants to the bed and breakfasts, you can really tell that this city values food.

Some things that I would recommend doing in St. Augustine would include going to an art gallery, checking out a historical theater, eating some amazing food, and of course hanging out on the beautiful beach. If you take part in these activities, you will certainly have a good time in St. Augustine, and you can say you visited the oldest city in the United States.

Homosassa Springs

Homosassa Springs

Ebyabe [CC BY-SA 2.5 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5)]

Not many people know about Homosassa Springs. This is one of my favorite places to go because there is a lot to do here that I really enjoy. It is just a unique area that is away from the crazy “spring break” areas in Florida. 

There are a lot of fun activities to take part in here. One thing you absolutely need to try is swimming with the manatees. It is a great experience that you won’t forget. Another thing you can do is find some nice hiking trails and hang out by the water. There are a lot of fun hiking trails and scenic places at Homosassa Springs.

Another fun thing to do off Homosassa Springs is to go kayaking or paddleboarding. The scenery is nothing short of amazing, and it is a great place to explore. If you are looking for more activities on the water, I would recommend checking out the air boats. 

If you are an avid fisherman, this is also a great place to try to reel in some fish. You can either go alone, or you can go out on a Charter boat to maybe have a better chance of coming back with something.

Destin

If you are into surfing, laying out on the beach, breweries, fishing, or any fun water activities, then Destin is a place you are going to want to check out. 

I consider Destin to be a place in Florida that just kind of has it all. It is a fabulous place for a family vacation since there is something to do for everyone.

Since I love breweries, this was the first thing that I checked out was the Destin Brewery. I was very impressed with this brewery and it had me loving the area right from the start. There were some other breweries and craft bars that also makes for an exciting trip for brewery fans.

One thing that is a must-do in Destin, Florida area is Crab Island’s Water World. This is an awesome area where many people anchor their boats and hang out in the knee-deep water. There is a bar located in the water where you can either get drinks. The other unique thing about this is that the bartenders walk around and take orders in the water.Water World the floating bar in Destin, Florida

Destin is a great place for fishing. It is very rare to see someone fishing and not reeling something in within minutes. There are a lot of people that go to Destin to try to catch sharks and been successful.

Destin is probably my favorite place to go in Florida. I used to go to the very popular beaches in Florida, but once I tried Destin, I fell in love. If you are looking for a new place in Florida, I would highly recommend checking out Destin, as there is something fun to do for just about everyone.

Amelia IslandAmelia Island

Amelia Island is a small, peaceful island that is away from city life. It has a natural beauty and you will be sure to enjoy many scenic views when you visit this island.

If you decide to visit this island, I would recommend checking out the longest operating saloon in Florida and grabbing a drink, the Palace Saloon. Another benefit of being away from the big cities and overpopulated beaches is that you can easily find shark teeth and unique seashells from just walking along the shoreline in the morning.

If you have an interest in sailing, Amelia Island has a few different options here. You have the option to go on a sailing charter, where you can just enjoy the ride and not worry about a thing. They also offer sailing classes where you can learn how to sail, as well as sailboat rentals.

Falling Waters State Park

There are many reasons that you should find time to check out Falling Waters State Park. The first and most obvious reason is the incredible waterfall. This is the main reason people end up visiting Falling Waters State Park.

Another thing that gets a lot of attention from visitors is their sinkholes. These sinkholes are estimated to be millions of years old and one of the most exciting things to see at this state park.

A few other attractions that will make you want to visit Falling Waters State Park is the lake, campground, and butterfly garden. This campground sits on a lake perfect for a fun camping trip. The butterfly garden is one of their newer features and attracts many different types of butterflies. 

Conclusion

If you are taking your first trip to Florida, I know it can be tempting to try to go to all the more popular places in Florida like Panama City Beach, but if you branch out to some of these less popular areas, you won’t regret it. I would recommend checking out all of these hidden gems. They are all awesome locations that you will likely enjoy if you are looking to avoid the overpopulated areas in Florida with many tourists. If you only have time to fit in one of these hidden gems into your next Florida vacation, I would recommend making that Destin, Florida. There are so many things to do in Destin, and I know you would have a fun experience.

Guest Post: Tyler Nalbach travels all around the US, primarily in Florida. He enjoys sharing his experiences with others so they can learn about new areas and hopefully improve their own experiences!