Florida is a popular destination for travelers. In fact, it is so popular that in the third quarter of 2022, 35.1 million people visited the sunshine state.
As you might imagine, that type of tourism can leave some destinations crowded and saturated. And while some visitors don't mind waiting in lines for destinations that they'd really like to see, others would prefer to visit locations that fly under the radar so that they can experience quintessential Florida without the crowds.
One way to do that is to choose "underrated" destinations. The travel website Travel Off Path just named places in Florida that it called "underrated" and dubbed "hidden gems."
Here are those that made the cut:
Crystal River: If you're already visiting Orlando, this smaller city is less than an hour away, and you can spot manatees at The Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge. You can view them from the deck or even by snorkeling. The water in Crystal River is clear and refreshing, and Three Sister Springs is also close by.
Everglades National Park: You can easily lose yourself in activity here, as this national park is 1.5 million acres. There are activities like viewing over 300 species of wildlife, boating, kayaking, bicycling, hiking, and camping. If you feel adventurous, try an airboat tour.
Amelia Island: If you'd prefer north Florida, Amelia Island is known for its gorgeous beaches, golf courses, and alluring historic district. It's somewhat affluent, with plenty of luxury resorts.
Seaside: Still in north Florida, this tiny town feels like you've walked back in time. The buildings are pastel-colored with white picket fences. The white-sand beach is inviting, and you can easily walk or bike anywhere you need to go. Additional beach towns that are equally as cute - such as Rosemary Beach, Alys Beach, and Grayton Beach - are nearby.
St. Augustine: This is a great city for history lovers, as it is the oldest city in the United States, and was originally settled by the Spanish in the 1500s. As a result, you can see Spanish and European architecture all around you. There's also a quaint downtown, a historic fort, and lovely beaches.
Dry Tortugas National Park: Although this is a national park, it isn't robustly visited because you have to take a ferry, boat, or seaplane to get to it. However, if you are willing to do that, you're rewarded with gorgeous views and memorable snorkeling. You can also see the historic Fort Jefferson. (Note that parts of the Park recently had to close due to migrant issues. Therefore, it is highly recommended that you check the park website for availability.)
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