Florida is famous for its amusement parks, white-knuckle roller coasters, and alligators. But it is also a paradise of white sand beaches, cypress forests, Japanese gardens, and state parks. With over 1,100 miles of coastline, Florida is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the United States, and with so many places to escape to, you could come here every year and still find new places to discover.
These are the four most beautiful escapes that Florida has to offer. They encapsulate what it means to be in Florida and offer a glimpse into just some of the reasons why so many visitors fall in love with the state and often never leave.
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If you love white sandy beaches but hate the crowds, Sanibel Island should top your list of places to visit. It is an escape in the true meaning of the word. You won’t find any burger chains, skyscrapers, or offices here, just pristine beaches, deep orange sunsets and an endless array of flora and fauna.
When people think of a “beautiful escape” very few would immediately think of visiting a sinkhole. However, Florida is full of surprises and Devil’s Millhopper is certainly one of them.
Named a National Natural Landmark, Devil’s Millhopper is a sinkhole that has been reclaimed by the dense Floridian undergrowth. The end result is a perfectly preserved layered ecosystem. As you head deeper into the hole, the flora changes and you feel as though you are exploring an untouched bastion of the animal kingdom.
With all of its theme parks and modern amenities, it is easy to forget that Florida has a rich and diverse history. Mount Dora is a stark reminder of that history. The town is home to several nationally listed historical buildings, including the Lakeside Inn and the bright yellow Donnelly House. Walking through the towns quiet streets is like taking a stroll back in time to an era where things were much simpler.
Dry Tortugas National Park
An eclectic mix of history and beauty, Dry Tortugas National Park is 70 miles off the coast of Key West and is only accessible by boat or seaplane, making it one of the most remote escapes on our list. But travelers who make the effort to reach Dry Tortugas are rewarded in abundance.
The National Park is made up of seven small islands scattered around the centerpiece, Fort Jefferson. Fort Jefferson is an imposing sight. What used to be a remote prison where the likes of Samuel Arnold, a conspirator involved in plotting the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, were sent, is now a piece of tropical paradise. The abandoned fortress is sat semi-immersed in turquoise waters, surrounded by marine and bird life. For those looking for a real escape, there are opportunities to camp on the islands; however, amenities are scarce, so it is best to bring your own food and water.
These four aesthetic gems are just a handful of the beautiful escapes on offer in the Sunshine state. To really experience Florida and see why it draws in flocks of visitors each year, you have to visit yourself and write your own adventure.