3 Best-Kept Secret Florida Vacation Cities

Best-kept Secrets in Florida

The best-kept secrets in Florida are conveniently located near airports and offer a relaxing and fun vacation spot.

Nearly everyone is aware of the most popular tourist destinations in Florida. Both Miami and Orlando are regularly ranked in the top 10 cities most visited in the U.S., with Orlando taking the number one spot year after year.

Other cities, like Tampa, Panama City, and St. Augustine see a great many tourists as well, thanks to the beautiful beaches, warm weather, and historical landmarks that Florida has to offer. With so many people traveling to Florida every year, it seems impossible that there are cities within the state that are both attractive to visitors yet not well known.

The best-kept secrets in Florida are located within driving distance from major airports. In order to take advantage of these low key vacation spots, you will likely need to rent a car. Be certain that your car insurance covers rental cars or you may purchase the insurance that is offered at the time of the rental.

You will also need to be certain that you can easily find your destination once you begin the drive. Whether you opt to use a GPS system or select the old fashioned method of a paper map, have your route well planned to avoid delays and frustration.

1. Carrabelle

This tiny town with a population of just over 1,300 has a lot to offer. Located in the Florida Panhandle, Carrabelle is surrounded by waterways, beaches, forests, and more, including the World’s Smallest Police Station.

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Aerial view of Carrabelle Florida

Those who love the water will find that Carrabelle is an ideal stay. The town is situated between the Ochlockonee River and the Gulf of Mexico. Fishing, swimming, boating, and other water sports abound in this tiny village. Visitors can also take advantage of a number of beaches, including Carrabelle Public Beach, St. George Island, and Dog Island, which is located just 3.5 miles offshore.

Those who prefer to remain inland can visit Tate’s Hell State Forest. Hikers can see such wildlife as the Bald Eagle, the Gopher Tortoise, and the American Black Bear.

2. Lake Placid

Orlando is Central Florida’s claim to fame, but it is not the only city that is worth visiting. A bit further south lies Lake Placid. Known as the “Town of Murals,” the buildings in Lake Placid boast more than 40 unique, historical murals. Lake Placid also proves that you do not have to visit the ocean to enjoy scenic waterways. Almost 30 freshwater lakes exist in the region, including Lake June in Winter, Mirror Lake, and Lost Lake.

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Clown Museum at Lake Placid Florida

Near Lake Placid are a number of resorts and cottages, both luxurious and rustic. The area is also home to several golf courses, spas, and an impressive outlet mall.

For those who wish to enjoy the best of both worlds, some of the more highly visited cities in Florida are only a short driving distance away. St. Petersburg, Palm Beach, Miami, and Orlando are all just over two hours away from this hidden gem.

3. Marathon

Between Key West and Key Largo lies Marathon in the Florida Keys. This city is well known for sport fishing and watersports, thanks to its easy access to the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean as well as the areas of beautiful reefs. The most well-known body of water in Marathon is Boot Key Harbor. Boot Key Harbor is often used by recreational boats as its unique location allows for a calm, storm-free sea.

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Marathon FL bridge to Palm Island

The city of Marathon is also known for its regular festivals. Each March, the city hosts the Original Seafood Festival. In October, Marathon is host to Conchtoberfest. The town is also home to numerous resorts, including one that has been ranked among the best in the nation.

When you vacation in Florida, you do not have to fight numerous crowds. Instead, consider spending your trip in a relaxed atmosphere by visiting some of the state’s buried treasures.

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