For many Florida vacationers avoiding crowded tourist traps is priority number one. Whether you’re anywhere on the heavily traveled coastline, somewhere near either the Alabaman or Georgian border, or inland, between the Gulf and the Atlantic, avoiding fellow Florida vacationers can be a serious challenge. It is the second most visited state every year behind California, with travelers arriving year-round from all over the world. Fortunately for tourists Florida is a very big state, boasting over 1300 miles of coastline and covering a landmass of over 65,000 square miles. With an area roughly the same size and shape of Italy finding a less crowded place to holiday is certainly accomplishable. Here’s just three of a plethora of hidden getaway destinations in the beautiful state of Florida.
Located east of Pensacola on the Gulf Islands National Seashore, Navarre is an alluring barrier island with over 12 miles of pristine white sand coastline. A perfect place for travelers who want solitude, this underrated gem is consistently ranked one of the best beaches in the state. Rest and relaxation might be the biggest attraction to Navarre, where travelers of all ages will find a day of swimming in its emerald waters worthy of a trip alone. Visitors can enjoy a picnic in the park, take a cruise along the area’s scenic bike paths or fish from the coast’s longest pier. Fantastic snorkeling and diving excursions through the area’s colorful underwater marine life are also available at the nearby Navarre Beach Marine Park.
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Made famous by the movie The Truman Show, Seaside is an idyllic town on Florida’s Panhandle. Its postcard-worthy beaches are a must-see, and the area is perfect for a quiet retreat away from the constant congestion of nearby Panama City Beach. Vacationers can lay in the gentle surf or soak in the sunshine under a canopy of magnolias, hickories, and pines at Seagrove Beach. Head to the palm-lined square on the brick-paved pedestrian streets to find a mix of beautiful architecture and plenty of opportunities to purchase a souvenir. Seaside is known for its late-20th-century New Urbanist design, as well as pastel-colored houses featuring porches and white picket fences.
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Located in what is known as Florida’s Big Bend region, Steinhatchee bills itself as “The Gateway to Florida’s Nature Coast.” A charming fishing town where some of Florida’s first settlements were located, it’s where tourists go to soak in untouched nature, as it is filled with quiet country roads, diverse wildlife and abundant fishing opportunities. Victorian homes are nestled under towering oak trees covered in Spanish moss. Many deem the area to be the best-kept secret in Florida for its white sandy beaches and lack of resorts, where gorgeous scenery and romance go hand in hand. While a sunset cruise on the river is unquestionably the most romantic excursion in the area, visitors can also explore the town by bicycle, take a horse-drawn carriage or rent a pontoon boat.
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