There are tons of popular tourist spots in Florida vying for your attention, but some of our lesser-known attractions are truly our greatest. Visit these hidden gems for a tour of Florida that is less commercial, equally enchanting and perfect for the whole family.
1. Gamble Rogers Memorial State Recreation Area, Flagler Beach
This campsite at Flagler Beach, FL, is a gorgeous stretch of beach that is adored by campers with both tents and RVs. You can stay right on the beach and watch the sun rise over the ocean.
2. Lichgate on High Road, Tallahassee
Nestled away in the woods near FSU is a time capsule in the form of an English Tudor cottage that looks more at home in a storybook than in Florida. Lichgate on High Road, as the creator called it, was the passion project of a woman named Laura Jepsen, an English professor at the university who wanted her home to be a gateway to the eras she loved so much in her favorite literature.
3. Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, Miami
This European-inspired estate was the winter property of agricultural industrialist John Deering. Today, it is a museum full of art and antiques and a National Historic Landmark. It also has 10 acres of beautiful gardens on the Biscayne Bay.
4. Ravine Gardens, Palatka
This lovely park in Palatka, FL, is part manicured perfection and part wild natural beauty.
5. Butterfly World, Pompano Beach
The first in the country and the largest butterfly house in the world, this enchanted enclosure will delight the whole family with 80 different types of butterflies.
6. Flagler Museum/Whitehall, Palm Beach
This 55-room Beaux-Arts-style mansion was built by oil tycoon Henry Flagler. This jaw-dropping historic home is full of stunning artwork and antique furniture.
7. Myakka River State Park
A local favorite, this park near Sarasota has a river and two lakes, so water-related opportunities are plentiful. It's home to many diverse environments, so there's something for everyone.
8. Spanish Monastery Cloisters, Miami
This 12th-century Spanish monastery was purchased in the 1920s by newspaper publisher William Randolph Hearst, whose plans of moving it to California were sidetracked by shipping complications. It ended up in storage for decades until it was purchased again in the '60s and moved piece by piece to North Miami Beach.
9. Bok Tower Gardens, Lake Wales
Bok Tower Gardens in Lake Wales in Central Florida is right out of a fairytale. The 205-foot tower is not only a work of art, it holds some of the world's finest carillon bells. The surrounding gardens are lush and expansive. This is one of the most relaxing and romantic places in Florida.
10. Dry Tortugas National Park
This park preserves the seven Dry Tortugas islands about 70 miles west of Key West. Located in the park is the hauntingly beautiful Fort Jefferson.
11. Rainbow Springs State Park, Dunnelon
This park in Dunellon has been drawing visitors for decades with its crystal blue waters. It's hard to find natural waterfalls in Florida, but the man-made ones at this park are a lovely substitute. Rainbow Springs is a perfect spot to hike or swim.
12. Venetian Pool, Coral Gables
The Venetian Pool in Coral Gables is the country's largest freshwater swimming pool and the only swimming pool on the National Register of Historic Places. It was built in the '20s in a coral rock quarry in the style of Venice, Italy.
13. Washington Oaks Gardens State Park, Palm Coast
Washington Oaks Gardens is a true hidden gem, with gorgeous formal gardens and shorelines decorated with coquina formations, not to mention the incredible live oaks.
Have you visited any of these enchanting places? What are your favorite lesser-known places in Florida? Please share your comments with us below!