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Best Kept Secret Vacation Spots: Florida

Updated on October 1, 2011

Best kept Secret Vacation Spots: Florida

Are you thinking of taking a vacation to the Sunshine State? You think you know every location and vacation spot in Florida. Sure you didn’t miss one? Let me show you five of the state’s less popular destination spots, but with just as much magic and wonder as any other well-known tourist places.

1. Caladesi Island State Park/Pinellas County

Only about 45 minutes from both Tampa and St. Petersburg, this beautiful, undeveloped island is perfect for those who are seeking ultimate privacy because the island is accessible only by ferry or private boat. It is surrounded by three miles of beaches and offers a serene environment filled with exotic birds perfect picnic spots. There are also café’s that offer meals and rent outs like kayaks, chairs, and umbrellas. Cadalesi was rated as America’s BestBeach in 2008 for its natural surroundings and wildlife thriving in every corner. There is only a few left in the country quite like CaladesiIsland.

2. Clewiston/Hendry County

Developed during the 1920’s, Clewiston has reserved its natural beauty for over half a century. Aptly named “America’s SweetestTown,” this town offers fishing in freshwater, several historic tours, and some well-deserved rest and relaxation with nature. In addition, it is well known for its sugarcane production. You and your family can also take a tour to Sugarland to go behind the scenes of the town’s agriculture. However, the main attraction in Clewiston is Lake Okeechobee teeming with great largemouth bass, speck, and other assorted marine wildlife. Or if fishing is not your thing, you can visit the swap or take an airboat tour for real nature lovers. The town is a cozy, warm break to a home away from home.

3. Marco Island/Collier County

Just sixty minutes south of Ft.Myers and two hours west of Miami, this island is a perfect place to spot alligators, crocodiles, sea otters and tons of other animals on the nature tour. A kayak excursion is available for birdwatchers and a relaxing day at the beach is never amiss. Waverunner tours offer an all around visit to area's mangrove-bordered estuaries. The top five activities the MarcoIsland boasts are shopping, dining, beaches, a round of golf, and arts and culture to lighten that artistic palate.

4. Ocala/Marion County

Ocala and Marion County has been called “Horse Capital of the World” because of its well-known equestrian culture. With its crystal clear springs and beautiful forest, you can’t go wrong with exploring the entire are. And for a totally unforgettable nature trek, the OcalaNational Forest offers bird watching, hiking, and biking. Have you ever wanted to go on a glass-bottom boat ride? Silver Springs theme park offers that and tons of other entertainment like wildlife exhibits and live music. Be enriched physically and mentally with this county’s rich history and nature-friendly activities.

5. Apalachicola/Franklin County

Also known as “The Heart of the Forgotten Coast,” Apalachicola is a simple southern town that will make you feel right at home as you step on its grounds. There are many outdoor activities to choose from, like a hike to the Apalachicila National Forest that holds 550,000 acres of lush and beautiful forestry. The region boasts of freshly harvested Oysters and can be eaten at nearby eateries. It is not shy of restaurants, shops, and galleries to enjoy your day of sight seeing. You can also find relaxing shallow bays and miles and miles of unspoiled beaches with little disturbances from other beach goers. It is a serene and tranquil vacation spot for lovers and families alike.

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