Travel Tips

Florida: Best-Kept Secrets

Travel beyond Florida's best beaches and resorts. Go off the beaten path to find the spots that every traveler needs to visit the Sunshine State.

Robert Neff

1. Caladesi Island

An unspoiled gem, Caladesi Island has no paved roads, 3 miles of beaches, birding trails and plenty of fishing. Bring a picnic, or eat at the local café. The island is only accessible by ferry or private boat—the ferry departs from Honeymoon Island State Park in north Pinellas County.

Clewiston Chamber of Commerce

2. Clewiston Sugar Festival/Hendry County

Satisfy your sweet tooth in Clewiston, FL, nicknamed “America’s Sweetest Town” because of the town’s long history of sugarcane cultivation. Each April, the town celebrates the end of the sugarcane harvest with a festival featuring sugarcane grinding, music, arts and crafts, and lots of sugary sweets. Located on the banks of Lake Okeechobee, Clewiston is also home to some of the best freshwater fishing in the country.

Moment / Getty Images

3. Crystal River Manatees

Located in the heart of Florida’s Nature Coast, Crystal River is known for the manatees that flock to the area. It’s the only place in the US where visitors are legally allowed to swim with the creatures, and snorkeling tours will let you get up close.

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