Best Places to Visit in Florida

        There are tons of places that you can go to in Florida. It can seem overwhelming looking at all of the options! Here is a list that I made of our most favorite places in Florida. We like the more quiet and less touristy areas. These are also beautiful spots for photography as well!

    Southern Florida

The Everglades National Park:

Entrance Fee: $30 per vehicle (good for 7 consecutive days)

$55 annual pass (valid for 12 months)

$15 per person/cyclist (for every person that bikes or walks into the park)

$0 if you have an America the Beautiful Park Pass

Flamingo:  (38 miles south of the main entrance in Homestead)

This was one of our most favorite spots in the Everglades. We went to a couple beaches in Florida but they were too overcrowded for our liking. At Flamingo, there is plenty of parking space and a quick walk to the ocean’s edge. Great for fishing, tanning or just hanging out and reading a book. Nearby there is walk out tenting. You can be right next to the ocean even! There are also nice campgrounds further back for tenting, RVs, pull behinds, etc. If you go a little further back to the visitor center you may get to see the manatees! NOTE: The water is murky so you can not see them unless they pop their heads up. Here is a trick for you though...they have a box looking thing on the piers with valves on them. If you turn on the valve water will come out and it seems like the manatees like to come up to drink/put their faces in the water. You can also rent bikes and kayaks here or go for a boat ride.

Anhinga Trail:  Located about 4 miles from the entrance, Anhinga Trail is great for spotting wildlife. The trail loops around and is only 0.8 miles long. While we were walking we spotted a crocodile sunbathing himself!

The Z Tree:  The Z tree or the N tree is a neat little tree in the Everglades. Some people claim that Native Americans intentionally bent young trees to create permanent trail markers, designating safe paths through rough country and pointing travelers toward water, food or other important landmarks. There is no real scientific evidence though on what happened to this tree.

How to get to it:  This tree can be easily missed if you're driving. When you get through the entrance, drive until you see a sign for Pay-hay-okee. From there continue south EXACTLY 2 miles. You may not see the tree right away but if you stop to look it will be on your left hand side right off the road. If you go during the winter it will be surrounded by water (you can still photograph it from the road) and if you go during the summer you have full access to the tree.

Eastern Florida

Coral Cove Park:  This is a must see for sunrise! The most distinguished feature of the beach is the natural limestone, which is part of the Atlantic Coastal Ridge. It’s a short walk to the beach from the parking lot. Parking is free...just be sure to lock your vehicle and hide anything valuable you have (this goes for all the unsafe areas in Florida).

Matheson Hammock Park:

Entrance Fee: $5 per car on weekdays and $7 on weekends/holidays

$15 per bus/RV

       Spend a day at Matheson Hammock Park to enjoy the natural beauty of Miami. Relax by or swim in the manmade “atoll pool,” a bayfront pool naturally filled by the tides of Biscayne Bay. The north end of the park also has the full-service marina with a dock and powerboat lessons.There is also a concession stand nearby where you can rent kayaks, canoes and paddle boards. As you explore the park, jump on one of its nature or bike trails, or go birdwatching. Matheson Hammock Park is a great park for the whole family to enjoy!

Florida Keys

        The Florida Keys….honestly it wasn’t as cool of an area as we thought it would be. Yes, the water is a neat aqua color and it’s nice and warm but it was just too touristy for us. We did find one spot though that was pretty neat.

Bahia Honda Railroad Bridge:  Bahia Honda Railroad Bridge is located on the west end of Bahia Honda Key, the bridge was originally built between 1905 and 1912 by Henry Flagler as part of the Overseas Railroad. The bridge was damaged in 1935 due to a hurricane to the point that the FEC sought to abandon it before it was purchased by the State of Florida. Rather than rebuilding the bridge, the existing foundations were repaired and converted to become part of the Overseas Highway.The original bridge still remains, though it has become unrepairable with signs near the water warning boat traffic to watch for falling debris.

Western Florida

Naples Pier: Entrance Fee:

$0.25 per 6 min or $2.50 per hour for parking

They accept credit cards, debit cards and quarters only

       The Fishing Pier and Naples Municipal Beach is one of the most popular attractions in Naples, Florida. It’s a beautiful place to watch sunset. You can fish from the Pier without a license 24 hours a day since they have a bulk fishing license that covers all users. The Pier is also a great place to watch wildlife such as pelicans, other birds and dolphins. On weekends it does get pretty crowded with people so try to go on a weekday if possible.

Siesta Key:  This just happened to be our most favorite beach in Florida! Siesta Beach is certainly unique with it’s off white sand which is mostly pulverized coral. They have a huge parking lot which is nice for RVs and pull behinds. Want to know something even better!? There is no cost to park or to access the beach. They do have a sundeck with consignments, restrooms and a few volleyball nets set up for anyone wanting to play. The strip of sand is about 3 miles in length which is great for anyone wanting to go for a walk or run. Sadly, furry friends aren’t welcome here so leave your pets with a friend if you can. Siesta Beach is a definite must to visit!

      I hope you enjoyed reading my Florida blog and have found a couple places on the list you want to visit. There are so many amazing places to see in just comes down to what you want to see and do!

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