10 Awesome Hidden Gems in Florida
The subtropical state of Florida, otherwise known as the Sunshine State, is perhaps best known for its beautiful and unique landscapes. This includes stunning beaches, incredible wildlife, and ecosystems like the Everglades. That’s not to mention other famous attractions, including Disney World and the world-class Miami Heat basketball team. Plus, their state mammal is the manatee — it’s worth a visit just to spend time with these adorable gentle giants. But we’re not here to talk about the state’s most famous landmarks and draws. Instead, we’re highlighting amazing hidden gems in Florida. You won’t necessarily find these spots in your travel books, but they’re at least as awesome as many of the state’s most renowned offerings.
Here’s a wonderful, 2,500-square-foot outdoor garden space that offers private cabanas and an outdoor bar. Its lush greenery is lovely enough during the day, but at night, visitors get to enjoy the additional glow of atmospheric mood lighting and an array of fire torches. From here, it’s also easy to access the beach, in case you’d like to bask in some surf and sand. Whatever you choose to do, it’s a fun and relaxing place to hang out, and the venue even offers a full bar, food menu, live BBQ experience, and more.
If you’re a nature lover, be sure to plan a trip to Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge. The beautiful natural area is an important habitat for manatees, which are some of Florida’s most beloved and adorable denizens. The refuge is the last undeveloped spring habitat in Kings Bay, making up the Crystal River’s headwaters. It’s part of the Crystal River Complex, which includes numerous other refuges that you may also be interested in seeing while you’re there. It’s certainly worth a visit!
Looking to take things in an ultra-luxe direction, with plenty of cash to spend? This unbelievable, next-level Mediterranean estate is tucked away on Palm Island, and includes 13,201 square feet of amenities. The home contains eight bedrooms, 10 bathrooms, and a center courtyard brimming with lush bougainvillea. Plus, the views all overlook the gorgeous waterfront. And if you’ve got a yacht, bring it! There’s a private dock.
Here’s one of our favorite natural hidden gems in Florida. This is a great place to get away from the crowds while enjoying some seriously beautiful beaches. It’s one of the Gulf Coast barrier islands, in southwest Florida, and is especially perfect for swimming, fishing, snorkeling, and more. You’ll love the view of the historic Port Boca Grande Lighthouse (built in 1890!), which includes a fascinating museum. Also on Gasparilla Island is the community of Boca Grande, a small and charming town with a welcoming atmosphere and plenty of mom-and-pop shops.
Check out this adorable and unique bright blue cottage, with two floors and two apartments. It’s located in a neighborhood full of historic beach-style cottages, which creates a fabulous atmosphere. And it’s only a 10-minute drive to the beach! It also takes just a few minutes to walk to Downtown Lake Worth, which is best described as a “haven for free spirits,” with all kinds of culture and creativity, like their exciting LGBT PrideFest.
We adore this intriguing lounge located in downtown Miami. The decoration emulates the 19th-century English style, with three different rooms to explore. It’s a totally unexpected space to find tucked away in the middle of Miami! It can welcome as many as 40 guests standing or 25 guests seated, so perhaps consider throwing a small party or other intimate gathering here.
The Wynwood Arts District is known for its eclectic energy, with exciting culture and delicious food to be found, plus lots of fun events worth checking out. This outdoor garden is located in the heart of this district, and fully benefits from its vibrancy. The hosts recommend it especially for events like live music, after parties, holiday parties, and more — basically anything where you’d like to have as many as 125 people hanging out and enjoying the fresh air, palm trees, and overall funky feel of this location.
The Coral Castle is located in Homestead, FL, which isn’t too long a drive from Miami. It’s filled with tons of beautifully and intricately carved limestone, created by a man named Ed Leedskalnin. This dedicated artist was working on his own over the course of roughly three decades. It’s a mysterious and beautiful landmark, and by far one of our favorite hidden gems in Florida.
Here’s a gorgeous, 4,700-square-foot space brimming with colorful, eye-catching art of all kinds. There’s also access to an 8,000-square-foot sculpture garden! It’s a wonderful location for, perhaps, a photoshoot that takes advantage of its expansive interior or for a party with as many as 350 guests. This is one of Miami’s most exciting and creative large venues, and it comes highly recommended.
This space is located in the FATVillage district (Flagler Arts and Technology) in Fort Lauderdale, just north of Miami, which is full of artists and other creative types. It’s a small district, but wandering through the area, you’ll find murals, artists studios, great restaurants, shops, and more. This studio and event space has an eclectic, rustic vibe with plenty of character and visual texture throughout. There are multiple photo studios, and it’s also great for hosting events of all kinds within its 4,000 square feet.