25 Surreal Towns In Florida That You Need To Visit This December 2018
For your next weekend getaway
Let's talk turquoise water and white sand beaches. Even better, let's talk where to find them right here in the best small towns in Florida!
Beaches, farms, and spacious landscapes are some of the wonders you can find in these small town residences. Want a quiet place to meditate, read the latest bestseller, or embark on a new adventure? We've got you covered!
Living in the city is great, but we all need a relaxing getaway from time to time. Why not make your next weekend trip to one of these adorable small towns??
This suburb of Orlando has a multitude of picture-perfect spots for your next Insta story! With an array of photo-worthy backdrops and indie coffee shops, Winter Park is your creative alternative to the metro Orlando area. Grab a cold brew and tour the town to find your next profile pic!
Here in Tampa, we love Gasparilla. But did you know that Gasparilla is more than an annual pirate-themed festival? It's an entire island community, too! Venture out to Gasparilla Island for white sand beaches, warm sunny days, and glistening water that make for a getaway as relaxing as Gasparilla is festive.
This small town in Palm Beach County is your ticket to a tropical weekend on Florida's east coast. Highland Beach is filled with picturesque waterfront homes, upscale restaurants, and exclusive shops. This small town with a collective population just under 4,000 has one of the largest Austrian communities in the nation. Plan a luxurious weekend with bae or your best girls to enjoy all that Highland Beach has to offer!
Less than 1,000 people live in the small town of Matlacha. Comprised of colorful buildings, waterfront beach dives, and excellent opportunities for fishing and sunbathing, Matlacha is your go-to if you're looking for a weekend escape or fun day trip!
Named for the mystical locale, Atlantis in Palm Beach County is just as fantastic and wondrous as its legendary counterpart! Spend a quiet afternoon in one of the many parks or hang out lakeside. Love golf? Check out the Lost City Golf Club!
Vero Beach is a beautiful small city on Florida's east coast. Facing the Atlantic Ocean, this locale is filled with botanical gardens, tropical flora, and parks filled with beach volleyball courts and ample space to dig your toes into the white sand. Bring out your cutest swimwear (or even a mermaid tail!) and embrace the natural luxury of Vero Beach!
Crystal River is known for its manatee habitats, one of the city's most popular tourist attractions. Head out to Crystal River, located north of Tampa, for kayaking, hiking, and swimming with these cute marine animals dubbed "Sea Potatoes." And if you're a Bachelor Nation fan, you should know that Crystal River is the hometown of Jordyn Kimball, one of the contests from Becca Kufrin's season of the Bachelorette (Which means that you may catch a glimpse of a celebrity as well as a manatee!)
Seaside puts a Floridian spin on the white picket fence with colorful pastel-painted homes and architecture modeled after late-20th-century New Urbanist influence. This small town along the Gulf of Mexico on the panhandle is known for Airstream Row, a permanent installment of airstream-trailers-turned-food-trucks, and Perspicasity, an outdoor fashion and craft market.
Couple the fun with cute beachfront cabanas and independent bookstores, and you've got a setting as adorable and romantic as the backdrop for a Nicholas Sparks' film!
Anna Maria Island
You may know Anna Maria Island as the popular vacation spot for Tampa residents, but did you know that the inhabitants of this small town are considered some of the most active in the area? With activities like paddleboarding, kayaking, cycling, and beachfront yoga, there are countless ways to enjoy the warm and sunny weather that graces Anna Maria Island.
But exercise isn't the only activity available here; Learn about the history of the area at the Anna Maria Island Historical Society, or have a barbecue with friends at Manatee Beach. Without a doubt, there's plenty to do in this island community!
Enjoy all of the luxuries of the Palm Beach area with the perks of a small town lifestyle at Delray Beach. Situated between West Palm Beach and Boca Raton, Delray Beach is known for the many museums and art galleries that can be found in The Pineapple Grove Arts District. Think of great picture opps! Make it a romantic weekend with your SO or a group outing with your besties as you go gallery hopping in this classy small town!
You don't have to wait until December for Christmas here in the town of Christmas, Florida! Even though Santa still resides in the North Pole year-round, perhaps he should trade in his snow boots for swim trunks and move his workshop to this sunny town?
This suburb of Tampa makes for the perfect day trip! With boat-filled marinas and turquoise waters, this small town merely half an hour outside of Tampa is postcard-worthy. Ride your bike along Pinellas Trail up to fellow small-town Tarpon Springs, or take your SO to Honeymoon Island State Park for a walk as romantic as the park's name!
Farmer's markets, wooded trails, and eclectic crafts make Brooksville the quintessential adorable small town. This suburb of Tampa is an excellent choice if you're looking to see parts of central Florida with an abundance of natural spectacles. There are several notable man made spectacles, too, like the corner of Liquor Lane and Beer Boulevard (which we think would make for a hilarious Insta pic!)
Mount Dora lives up to its town's catchphrase of "Something Special" with its treasure box of wildlife, waterfront cafes, and colorful beach homes. Love antiques? Then Mount Dora is your place to find the best hidden treasures with his multitude of antique shops! This small town is also known for its many festivals, like the annual Mount Dora Seafood Festival and Renninger's Antique Extravaganza.
Located on the outskirts of St. Petersburg, Pass-A-Grille Beach is your go-to small town that is in town! Perfect for an afternoon adventure, Pass-A-Grille Beach consists of colorful storefronts, swaying palm trees, and an array of laid back dive bars. All of the quaint beachtown feels just minutes away from Tampa!
Explore the natural wonder of Devil's Den, a prehistoric pool, in Williston. If you're into scuba diving or want to give it a try, this is your spot! Just a few hours north of Tampa, Williston makes a fantastic choice for a weekend, a day trip, or even a date with your SO!
A picturesque lighthouse, historic buildings, and beachfront dining make Amelia Island a fantastic choice for your next small town getaway. Choose from resort-style accommodations or cozy bed and breakfasts, then spend the day on the golf course or shopping in Amelia Island's historically preserved downtown.
Islamorada is a village of islands situated in the Florida Keys. This 18-mile span of islands is known as the "Sport Fishing Capital of the World" and is an excellent pick if you're looking for a small town feel with an endless array of activities. From tanning on the beaches to fishing on the water to dining at local dives and touring local art galleries, you can't go wrong with whatever you choose to fill your days in Islamorada!
Tarpon Springs is one of the many small towns connected by the Pinellas Trail, a rail trail that extends from Tarpon Springs down to St. Petersburg. Just a 45-minute drive from Tampa, this small town is known for the Tarpon Springs Sponge Docks, a harvesting spot for natural sea sponges. Spend the afternoon out on the water, then head to shore for dinner at a locally owned restaurant and live music!
This small town just outside of Tampa is the home of the Tampa Electric Manatee Viewing Center, a front row seat for catching a glimpse of the adorable manatees that annually migrate to Florida. Other entertainment options here include the Ruskin Family Drive-In, a throwback way to have a blockbuster night, and the Apollo Beach Nature Reserve, where you can spend a quiet afternoon lounging on the beach with Tampa's skyline viewable across the water. What better place to get a taste of small-town living without traveling too far from home?
Cedar Key, a collection of islands comprising this small town, is rich in wildlife and opportunities for adventure! The Cedar Keys National Wildlife Refuge offers hiking trails, fishing, and water activities like stand-up paddleboarding and kayaking. And if you want to learn more about the local area, head over to the Cedar Key Historical Society. Enjoy the outdoor dining options and keep an eye on the water because you may spot a pod of dolphins!
Micanopy is the quintessential small town with a rich history and strong sense of community. Antique shops, art galleries, and state parks are just some of the attractions here. Don't forget to check out the Micanopy Historic District for a throwback into the town's past.
Key Biscayne is a laid-back small town that offers a quiet escape from the bustling Miami metro area. Connected to the mainland by a bridge, Key Biscayne offers its visitors the best in its white sand beaches. Watch the sunset over Key Biscayne's lighthouse if you're looking for a quiet evening, or venture over to the Miami Seaquarium if you want something more eventful!
Captiva is an island community filled with brightly painted buildings, teal water, and opportunities galore to enjoy activities like paddleboarding and surfing. This is a great place to soak up some rays, but pay attention because you may spot a manatee or even a baby sea turtle!
St. George Island
This small town in the panhandle is a great choice for exploring Florida's coastline along the Gulf of Mexico. St. George Island has both resorts and quaint Airbnb's to choose from for your weekend away. With two lighthouses, the St. George Island Lighthouse and the Cape St. George Lighthouse, to light the way, your time here is sure to be glorious!