While we never get tired of exploring Florida’s more popular attractions, it’s always fun to try something new. Check out the list below and see if one of these hidden gems has been hiding right under your nose.
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
1. White Oak Conservation Center, Yulee
White Oak Conservation covers 700 acres of White Oak Plantation in Yulee, near the Georgia state line. This lush landscape is home to more than 200 exotic and endangered animals. Conservation tours and other special, close-up encounters are available with reservations.
2. Peanut Island Park
This lovely little island near Riviera Beach is a beloved spot for fishing, snorkeling, swimming, and even camping. The island is also home to a unique piece of history: President John F. Kennedy's (never used) bunker. Remember to bring a picnic lunch and plenty of water.
3. Mount Dora Museum of Speed
Now to change gears a little, let's check out an awesome little museum in a charming small town in Central Florida. The Mount Dora Musem of Speed is full of classic cars, along with floor to ceiling memorabilia adorning every wall. Even if you don't know anything about cars, this place will have you feeling nostalgic.
4. Nature Coast Botanical Gardens and Nursery, Spring Hill
These gorgeous and tranquil gardens are open seven days a week during daylight hours. This 3.5-acre oasis is free to visit, but donations are appreciated.
5. Gallery of Amazing Things, Dania Beach
This little-known museum is true to its intriguing name. Inside, you'll find lots of unique ceramic and glass works of art and other fascinating rotating displays, with many one-of-a-kind pieces for sale. The free entry includes a guided tour (but donations are appreciated).
6. Deer Lake State Park, Santa Rosa Beach
The beauty of this part of Florida is no secret, but fewer people frequent this small state park than some of the more popular beaches nearby. The scenery here is breathtaking and more untamed than other beaches, as well, which makes it well worth the $3 entry fee.
7. Collier County Museums, Naples
The flagship museum, located at the Collier County Government Center, has lots of exhibits and displays on local history as well as five acres containing native gardens, historic buildings, and even a Sherman tank. Kids and adults will have fun and learn a lot here.
8. Enchanted Forest Sanctuary, Titusville
Everyone could use a sanctuary now and then, and nature provides the best escape from our hectic daily lives. Folks enjoy the easy walking trails full of plants and wildlife. Prepare to be enchanted by Florida's natural beauty at this stunning forest sanctuary.
9. Audubon Center for Birds of Prey, Maitland
If you ever wanted to see bald eagles, owls, ospreys, and falcons up close, you won't want to miss this one. The knowledgeable staff and affordable admission make this a fun and educational way to spend a day.
10. Heathcote Botanical Gardens, Fort Pierce
If you appreciate the little things in life, you'll love this small but welcoming garden with its impressive bonsai collection. This is a relaxing space to clear your mind and unwind.
11. Manatee Village Historical Park, Bradenton
This open-air museum in Bradenton lets you walk back in time and explore a 1903 general store, a steam engine, a pioneer farmhouse, a church, a school, a courthouse, and many other historic buildings.
Have you visited any of these off-the-beaten-path attractions? What’s your favorite underrated attraction in the Sunshine State?