Modern life can get pretty hectic, and sometimes we need to get away from it all. So turn off your television, computer, and your phone, and pack your bags. The perfect peaceful getaway is waiting for you at one of these 11 amazing off-the-grid destinations in Florida.
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. Pine Island
Everything seems to move at a slower pace on this island near Fort Myers. Try some fishing, boating, or kayaking through mangroves and exploring the unique local wildlife and island communities, like the brightly colored art-centered community of Matlacha.
2. Fort Jefferson, Tortugas National Park, Key West
Located about 70 miles west of Key West in Dry Tortugas National Park sits the largest masonry structure in the Western Hemisphere, an abandoned 19th-century fort that was never completed. More than 60,000 people visit the park every year and enjoy activities such as snorkeling, bird watching, kayaking, saltwater fishing and even camping.
3. Headwaters Jupiter
Headwaters Jupiter is a unique retreat on the banks of the beautiful Loxahatchee River. The 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom lodge is made of three repurposed shipping containers, but you would never guess it from the inside. Explore the Riverbend Park or go fishing/kayaking on the Loxahatchee. End the day gathered around the firepit or gazing at the stars from the sky-loft deck.
4. Parramore's Campground, Astor
This peaceful and rustic fish camp on the St. Johns offers camping and cabin rentals close to everything Central Florida has to offer, but without all the hustle and bustle of Orlando.
5. Westgate River Ranch Glampground, Lake Wales
There are many different ways to stay at this activity-packed dude ranch in Central Florida, including large luxury cabins. These glamping tents, though, will provide just the right amount of luxury and rustic charm for both new and seasoned campers.
6. Cayo Costa
This unspoiled barrier island is located north of Captiva Island and is only reachable by charter boat or ferry. Guests can spend anywhere from a couple hours to several days here, either camping in tents or in the rustic cabins. Guests must bring all necessities, but it does truly feel like your own private island.
7. The Smoakhouse Ranch, Branford
This historic property in North Florida is a real 22-acre working farm and a unique place to spend a few relaxing nights. Explore the forest trails, go for a swim, grill out, or just relax on the front porch. Guests can also take a day trip to the charming town of High Springs and go tubing at Ichetucknee Springs, which is only minutes away.
8. Stiltsville, Miami
The stilt houses that make up Stiltsville were built in the early 1930s when gambling was legal a mile offshore. It started with a couple of clubs, like Crawfish Eddies and the Calvert Club, and by the ’50s and early ’60s, it was the coolest place in town for wealthy locals. Now, the few houses that have survived all these years are finally being restored and some can even be rented for events.
9. Caladesi Island
This beautiful beach can be reached via ferry from Honeymoon Island (near Dunedin) or by starting on Clearwater Beach and taking a long walk (it's not technically an island). Here, visitors can hike, swim, fish, canoe and kayak, or just relax with a picnic and appreciate an unspoiled natural beach.
10. Yurt at Torreya State Park, Bristol
This park is located in Northwest Florida, on scenic limestone bluffs overlooking the Apalachicola River. The hiking here is definitely some of the most challenging in the usually-flat Florida, but the views are incredible. Spend the night in this on-site yurt for a special off-the-grid experience.
11. Dakotah Winery
This winery hidden near Fanning Springs serves as a wildlife refuge for the wood ducks (which have become the symbol of the winery) and the geese and koi that call it home. Here you'll find your favorite classics like Chardonnay and Cab Sav, as well as unique varieties like Blueberry and Blackberry.
How many of these have you visited? What are your favorite little-known or hard-to-find destinations in Florida?