If you’ve been fantasizing of a tropical escape from reality this summer, don’t let your dreams be damped by exhaustive travel costs and even more exhausting travel. There are some incredibly exotic places to visit right here in The Sunshine State that will still give you those island vibes without traveling across the world. So, grab your bikini, your best adventure buddy, and don’t forget the sunscreen when you head out to these gorgeous secret spots and beaches in Florida that feel like a tropical getaway to the Caribbean!

The only thing you can forget to pack is your passport because you won’t be needing to check any boxes or meet luggage requirements when you travel to these spots. Non-native Floridians may think primarily of swampland when envisioning the state's environment, but locals know how diverse the land really is.

From secluded beaches to tropical keys, winding mangrove tunnels, and sparkling waters, these gorgeous Florida spots will make you feel like you’ve taken a one-way ticket to Margaritaville. See wild dolphins, hunt for colorful shells, and make it back home in time for dinner.

You can have the tropical staycation of your dreams without breaking the bank this summer when you visit these Florida spots.

Bahia Honda State Park

Price: $8 per vehicle 

Address: 36850 Overseas Hwy., Big Pine Key, FL 

Why You Need To Go: Besides being an incredibly gorgeous and secluded state park, Bahia Honda offers some of the most amazing views of the stars at night that you’ve ever experienced. Definitely worth an overnight stay. Bonus, you can camp right on the sand.

Longboat Key

Address: Longboat Key, Sarasota, FL 

Why You Need To Go: Rare and colorful shells cover the sandy shores of Longboat Key like spicy seasonings across your favorite Caribbean dish. You can spend hours combing the beach here and collecting your favorites.

Clear Kayak Bioluminescence Tour

Price: $72 per person 

Address: 485 N. Washington Ave., Titusville, FL 

Why You Need To Go: The incredible phenomenon of bioluminescent plankton isn’t only found in the exotic islands of the Caribbean, but right off Florida’s coast. You can even take a tour on a clear kayak for the ultimate experience. 

Odyssey Shelling Day Cruise

Price: $18.99 

Address: 776 Dodecanese Blvd., Tarpon Springs, FL 

Why You Need To Go: Giant conch shells are an iconic image when conjuring up a vision of the tropics, and you’ve got a pretty good chance of finding some giant gems on this shelling tour on Florida’s Gulf Coast. 

Dolphin Adventure Island Cruise

Price: $15.99 

Address: 776 Dodecanese Blvd., Tarpon Springs, FL 

Why You Need To Go: Zoos have nothing on the feeling of seeing dolphins in the wild, and you can catch a glimpse of these tropical critters on this super cheap dolphin cruise

Shell Key Preserve Kayak Tour

Price: $42 

Address: 2800 Pinellas Bwy., Tierra Verde, FL 

Why You Need To Go: Images of the tropics probably bring ideas of lush foliage to get lost wandering through. On this kayak tour through Shell Key Preserve, you can explore winding mangrove tunnels that immerse you in a world of greenery. The preserve is also one of the best places to collect shells.

Keewaydin Island

Price: Taking the ferry will run you $22.

Address: Off the west coast of Naples. The coordinates are 26.0704° N, 81.7869° W.

Why You Need To Go: While you'll have to own a boat and navigate on your own or take the ferry to get here, you can explore Keewaydin Island like a local and soak up views of this oasis that'll make you never want to leave. You can even get ice cream and burgers from floating "drive-thrus" too.


Enjoy your Caribbean escape in The Sunshine State.


We strongly advise that before you go swimming or visit any location, you check the most recent updates on potential hazards, security, water quality, and closures. If you do plan to visit a location, respect the environment.


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