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Love small towns? Me too. The history. The people. One of the things I love to do most is to discover the best small towns in Florida.
Florida is a state that is known for its beautiful beaches, theme parks, and bustling cities. However, many visitors and residents alike often overlook the charm and allure of Florida’s small towns.
These hidden gems offer a unique and authentic experience that cannot be found in the larger cities. From the quaint streets of Mount Dora to the historic architecture of Fernandina Beach, there are countless small towns in Florida that are worth exploring.
These towns offer a slower pace of life and a chance to connect with nature, history, and the local community.
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Whether you are looking for a weekend getaway or a permanent change of scenery, Florida’s small towns have something to offer for everyone.
Best Small Beach Towns
Florida is known for its beautiful beaches, and some of the best small towns in the state are located right on the coast. Here are a few of my favorite small beach towns in Florida:
Anna Maria Island
Anna Maria Island is a small barrier island located just off the coast of Bradenton. The island is only seven miles long, but it’s packed with beautiful beaches and charming small-town vibes. Enjoy swimming, fishing, and water sports, as well as exploring the island’s many shops and restaurants.
Fernandina Beach is a small town located on Amelia Island, just off the coast of Jacksonville. The town is known for its beautiful beaches, as well as its historic downtown area. Be sure to make time to explore Fort Clinch State Park.
Gulfport is a small town located on the Gulf of Mexico, just south of St. Petersburg. The town is known for its beautiful beaches, as well as its thriving arts scene.
Enjoy swimming, fishing, and water sports, as well as exploring the town’s many art galleries and studios.
Best Small Towns in Central Florida
Moving inland, Central Florida is home to some of the best small towns in the state. These towns offer a unique blend of history, culture, and natural beauty that make them the perfect destinations for anyone looking for a quiet getaway.
I live in a very small town in North Central Florida and love it. Here are some of my small towns in Central Florida:
Located in Lake County, Mount Dora is a charming town that is known for its scenic beauty and small-town charm. The town is home to a variety of shops including antique shops, galleries, and restaurants, as well as several festivals throughout the year.
A short drive from Orlando to this small town and you will instantly feel like you stepped back in time.
Winter Park is another small town located just outside of Orlando that is known for its beautiful architecture and cultural attractions. The town is home to several museums and galleries, as well as a variety of shops and restaurants.
DeLand is a small town located in Volusia County that is known for its beautiful architecture and rich history. The town is home to several historic landmarks, including the Stetson Mansion and the DeLand House Museum.
Enjoy strolling around the town or take a hike. Deland is also home to several parks and nature trails, making it the perfect destination for outdoor enthusiasts.
Celebration is a small town located just outside of Orlando and Disney World that is known for its charming neighborhoods and family-friendly atmosphere.
The town is home to several parks and playgrounds, as well as a variety of shops and restaurants. Enjoy a stroll through the picturesque downtown area, which is filled with beautiful architecture and unique boutiques.
The town is also home to several festivals throughout the year, making it the perfect destination for anyone looking for a fun and festive atmosphere.
Best Small Towns in South Florida
South Florida is known for its beautiful beaches, warm weather, and vibrant nightlife in Fort Lauderdale and Miami. However, there are also many charming small towns that offer a quieter and more relaxed atmosphere.
Here are some of the best small towns in South Florida:
Located in Palm Beach County, Delray Beach is a picturesque town known for its beautiful beaches, historic downtown, and cultural attractions. Definitely one of my favorite small towns in South Florida.
The town has a thriving arts scene, with many galleries and museums, and hosts a variety of festivals throughout the year. Delray Beach also has a vibrant dining and shopping scene, with many local boutiques and restaurants.
Located in Martin County, Stuart is a quaint town known for its historic downtown, beautiful parks, and scenic waterways.
This small town has a strong sense of community, with many local events and festivals that bring residents together. Stuart is also a great place for outdoor enthusiasts, with many opportunities for boating, fishing, and hiking.
Located on Gasparilla Island in Charlotte County, Boca Grande is a charming town known for its beautiful beaches, historic lighthouse, and quaint shops and restaurants.
The town has a laid-back atmosphere, with many opportunities for outdoor recreation, such as fishing, boating, and golfing. One of the best beach vacay destinations.
Sanibel Island And Captiva Islands
Located in Lee County, Sanibel Island and Captiva Island on the Gulf of Mexico side are picturesque towns known for beautiful beaches, nature preserves, and wildlife.
Unfortunately, this area took a direct hit from Hurricane Ian. They are rebuilding but check before scheduling a vacation.
These beach towns have a strong conservation ethic, with many efforts to preserve the natural beauty of the island. Sanibel Island is also a great place for outdoor enthusiasts, with many opportunities for biking, hiking, and kayaking.
Best Small Towns Florida Panhandle
The Florida Panhandle is a region of the state that boasts some of the most charming small towns in the entire country. These towns are known for their friendly locals, rich history, and unique attractions.
Here are some of the best small towns in the Florida Panhandle:
Located on the Gulf of Mexico, Apalachicola is a charming small town known for its historic district, which features over 900 historic buildings. Really cool area to explore.
Enjoy strolling through the town and admiring the beautiful architecture, or visit one of the many quaint shops and restaurants. The town is also home to several museums, including the Apalachicola Maritime Museum and the John Gorrie Museum State Park.
Apalachicola National Forest
The Apalachicola National Forest is a vast wilderness area that covers over 632,000 acres. The forest is home to a wide variety of wildlife, including black bears, white-tailed deer, and alligators.
If you like to camp, the forest is also home to several campgrounds, making it a great destination for outdoor enthusiasts.
Seaside is a picturesque seaside town that has become famous for its unique architecture and walkability. The town was designed to be pedestrian-friendly, with narrow streets and plenty of sidewalks.
Visitors can stroll through the town and admire the colorful houses and charming shops. Seaside is also home to several parks and beaches, making it a great destination for outdoor enthusiasts.
Grayton Beach is a small beach town that is known for its beautiful beaches and laid-back vibe. It is also one of the most beautiful beaches you will ever see.
The town is home to several parks and nature preserves, including Grayton Beach State Park, which features hiking trails and a freshwater lake.
I’ve only covered a few of the small towns located throughout Florida. Each town has its own unique charm and attractions, making the region a great destination for anyone looking for a relaxing and enjoyable vacation.
I plan to add more small towns, including my area in Suwannee County, to this list that you’ll want to visit. Be sure to bookmark this page.
I like to use Booking for booking not only my hotels, but my tickets and rental cars as well. Makes life so much easier with only having to log into one location for my information.
Be sure to grab my travel tips to save you time and money. You’ll also be entered into the weekly drawings.
Denise Sanger lives a life split between her love for fitness and her passion for travel particularly to the BEACH. Denise also has a love of marketing and lives in beautiful Suwannee County, Florida. You can find out more about Denise here: About Denise