MJ Morning Show

MJ Morning Show

MJ Morning Show

Last year, Florida welcomed 137.4 million visitors – the highest number of visitors in Florida’s history.  They contributed  more than $102 billion to the state’s economy, and supported over 1.7 million tourism-related jobs. With that said, it’s hard to find a relaxing Florida destination that isn’t surrounded by tourists. This list has 6 underrated Florida destinations that you must visit at least once.

It’s impressive, and the tourists who enjoy our sun-drenched beaches, the space coast and magical amusement parks aren’t the only ones to benefit from all there is to see and do.  Those of us who live here enjoy that these tourists are largely responsible for the fact that Floridians pay no state income tax.

On top of that, there are many beautiful and charming destinations that cannot keep up with the bustle of our bigger cities. These cities are chock full of personality and southern hospitality. The best part is these destinations aren’t as crowded as the amusement parks, water parks, or even the big beaches that tourists flock to.  These are some of those who topped the list from wordatlast.com. Click here to check out the full list..  Many of them are in or near the Tampa Bay area. Others are still definitely worth the drive!

Whether you live in Florida or are just visiting for a few weeks, consider staying in these underrated Florida destinations. That way you can say you’ve explored everything Florida has to offer. Which city would you add to this list? Let us know on social media!

Here are the underrated destinations in the Sunshine State:

  • Pass-A-Grille

    Pass-A-Grille tops the list. Right down the street, literally, from St. Pete Beach, this slice of perfection unfolds at the foot of the legendary Don Cesar Hotel, which creates a majestic backdrop to this white powdery sand that has withstood the test of time.  The manatees love it, too!

  • Caladesi Island State Park

    Caladesi Island State Park is just west of Dunedin between Clearwater Beach to the south and Honeymoon Island to the north. A $6 ferry ride takes you to the pristine natural settings of white sands and wildlife such as tortoises, sea turtles, egrets, dolphins, ospreys and blue herons.  Hike through wilderness paths or go  kayaking through the mangrove forest.

  • Homosassa

    5 Springs That Are Worth The Drive From Tampa

    Getty Royalty Free

    Homosassa? Yes, Homosassa!  It’s an authentic Florida fishing village where manatee watching, angling, kayaking and scalloping will keep you busy for a day, a weekend or the whole week.  Don’t miss the Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park, or the Monkey Island nature preserve

  • Weeki Wachee

    Weeki Wachee was probably a stop on your family vacation when you were a kid, but it’s well worth revisiting. The famous mermaids of Weeki Wachee dance in crystal-clear spring-fed water.  It’s also home to the deepest freshwater cavern in the United States.  If you love kayaking, you wont be disappointed.

  • St. Augustine

    St. Augustine, Florida at the Castillo de San Marcos National Monument at dusk.

    St. Augustine requires an overnight stay, but it’s worth the time and the cost. There’s no place in Florida like this oldest city in the United States, founded in 1565, more than 200 years before the U.S became a country.  Spanish architecture will remind you of its roots, while homes built of coquina shells will remind you St. Augustine is a beach town, and the impressive food scene will keep you grounded in the present.  If you can, go at Christmas time.  It’s breathtakingly beautiful.

  • Boca Grande

    Unrecognizable Silhouette of Fisherman Heading Out to Their Favorite Fishing Sites at Sunrise on a Florida Lake

    Boca Grande didn’t make it on world atlas’ list, but we thought to include them. The south west Florida city was recently named the best small beach town in America. One of the big draws of Boca Grande is game fishing for tarpon in the deep-water pass.

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