People who don’t live in Florida usually think of the attractions of Orlando and nightlife of Miami and don’t seem to realize there’s so much history and natural beauty throughout the state. Here are a few places that are definitely worth a visit.
1. Gamble Rogers Memorial State Recreation Area
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. Bok Tower Gardens
Bok Tower Gardens in Lake Wales in Central Florida is right out of a fairy tale. 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.
3. Ancient Spanish Monastery
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.
4. Rainbow Springs State Park
This park in Dunellon, FL, 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.
5. St. Augustine
People who don't live in Florida usually think of the our bigger cities like Orlando and nightlife Miami and don't seem to realize the oldest city in the country is right here. There's so much to see in St. Augustine, including the Castillo de San Marcos, St. Augustine Alligator Farm (opened in 1893), Anastasia Island, plus lots of great shops and restaurants.
6. Solomon's Castle
Solomon's Castle in Ona, FL, is one of those wacky roadside attractions Florida was once famous for. Built by a single individual from found materials, Solomon's Castle stands as a testament to what a person can do when equipped with creativity and determination.
7. Paynes Prairie
Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park in Micanopy (near Gainesville) is a National Natural Landmark with winding trails for walking and cycling. Come and check out the alligators, wild horses, and even bison up close.
8. Chantilly Ridge Alpaca Farm
These fluffy cousins of the llama are prized for their super soft coat, but did you know they're also quite friendly? Visit Chantilly Ridge in Port Orange, FL, for a farm tour like you've never experienced before.
9. Caladesi Island State Park
As one of our few completely natural islands, Caladesi Island is perfect for those looking to get away from the crowds and rapid development of our ever-expanding state. It's located near Dunedin, FL.
10. Fairchild Tropical Botanic Gardens
Located on 83 acres in Coral Gables, FL, this garden has an extensive collection of rare and unique tropical plants and fascinating exhibits. They also offer education for plant lovers of all ages.
Have you been to any of these amazing places? What are some of your favorite underrated spots in Florida? Please share your comments with us below. Thank you!