15 Beautiful Small Towns In Florida - Updated 2023

small towns in florida
Catherine
Catherine 
Updated

Cities like Miami and Miami Beach, with their eye-catching urban landscape of art deco and upscale architecture, lively Latin-American culture, impressive art scene, vibrant nightlife, and top-notch beachfront hotels have an undeniable appeal. Even Orlando offers extravagant theme parks that easily grab tourists’ attention; not to mention a lot of hotels with waterparks that your kids would surely love. Sadly, these cities tend to dwarf many of Florida’s lesser-known towns that can offer the same amount of rewarding and exciting adventures. Florida has many quaint small towns that are definitely worth a visit. So, if you want to skip the more high-profile Florida destinations and discover pleasure and lots of natural beauty elsewhere, then you must scroll down to see these beautiful small towns in Florida.

1. Safety Harbor (from USD 249)

Safety Harbor,Florida.USA. - panoramio (23)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Roman Eugeniusz used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Safety Harbor is a city located east of Clearwater and on the west shore of Tampa Bay. It may not be as famous as other cities in the state but that’s actually one of its charms as you won’t find any crowded areas here even during holiday seasons. Aside from its tranquil small town appeal, Safety Harbor is a delight for outdoor enthusiasts as it features beautiful sceneries and a whole lot of outdoor recreational activities including hiking, fishing, and more. Some of the top tourist draws here include a natural mineral spring called Espiritu Santo Springs, a nature lover’s haven called the Upper Tampa Bay Park, and the Waterfront Park.

There are plenty of dining and shopping options as well. As for accommodation, you’ll have lots of options to choose from including the Candlewood Suites.


Candlewood Suites - Safety Harbor, an IHG Hotel

Wifi Available

Address: 2471 McMullen Booth Road
Accommodates: 6

Parking Pets allowed Meeting/banquet facilities 24-hour front desk Fitness centre Golf course (within 3 km) Terrace Non-smoking rooms

2. Vero Beach (from USD 239)

Humiston Beach-Vero Beach
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Rockerchi379 used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Located on the central Atlantic coast of Florida, Vero Beach may be a small city but it’s large when it comes to tourism. Its direct access to the great Atlantic pretty much means the city is blessed with some of the best beaches in the state and even the country. It’s also a popular destination for professional anglers as fishing opportunities are everywhere—from straight-up off-the-beach and dock fishing to deep-sea fishing in the Atlantic.

For retail therapy and some great dining experience, you’ll find a whole lot of options everywhere in the city including two shopping malls in the downtown area. Comfortable accommodations are pretty easy to find as well, For one of the most relaxing stays in Vero Beach, check out Prestige Hotel.


Prestige Hotel Vero Beach

Wifi Available

Address: 1526 Ocean Drive
Accommodates: 5

Parking Garden Terrace Non-smoking rooms Laundry Facilities for disabled guests Family rooms Free parking

3. Pompano Beach (from USD 341)

Briney Avenue, Pompano Beach - Panorama
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user ianaré sévi used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Located between Fort Lauderdale and Boca Raton, Pompano Beach is another small city along the eastern coast of The Sunshine State. It’s really not surprising that most of the visitors here come for the picturesque white sandy beaches, some of the most amazing dive sites, and of course, the world-class fishing the city offers.

Aside from the top-notch water sports and stunning sceneries, Pompano beach also offers a wide range of excellent dining and shopping options and a myriad of entertainment. If ever you’re planning a vacation in this wonderful coastal city, ensure that you have a comfortable place to stay by booking a room at Residence Inn.


Residence Inn Fort Lauderdale Pompano Beach/Oceanfront

Wifi Available

Address: 1350 North Ocean Boulevard
Accommodates: 5

Parking Restaurant Pets allowed Meeting/banquet facilities Bar 24-hour front desk Fitness centre Golf course (within 3 km)

4. Jupiter (from USD 274)

Jupiter Lighthouse, Jupiter Florida
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Rebierl7 used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Jupiter is a town in the northernmost part of Palm Beach, Florida. It’s known as one of Florida’s hidden gems as it’s not as crowded as other more popular beach destinations in the state but its natural beauty and attractions are at par with the best. Some attractions of note include the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse, Juno Beach, Hobe Sound National Wildlife Refuge, the Bowing Rock Preserve, and the Loxahatchee River.

Of course, for such a beautiful destination, one can rightfully assume that the town also offers various dining and shopping options. The same goes with accommodations as the town features a whole lot of beautiful vacation homes, hotels, and inns including Jupiter Waterfront Inn.


Jupiter Waterfront Inn

Wifi Available

Address: 18903 Southeast Federal Highway
Accommodates: 5

Parking Terrace Non-smoking rooms Free parking Internet services WiFi Available Outdoor pool Free WiFi

5. Winter Park (from USD 259)

Winter Park FL Downtown HD01
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Ebyabe used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Winter Park is a beautiful city in Orange County, Florida just north of Orlando. Known as a nature lover’s dream destination, the city is blessed with natural beauty all around—from the pristine chain of lakes to the well-maintained botanical gardens and picturesque parks dotted with trees.

This small town in Florida is also known for its laid-back atmosphere and quaint small-town charm, perfect for those who need respite from their stressful big city living. And if you ever want to ensure a memorable vacation in Winter Park, be sure to book a stay at Hilton Garden Inn.


Hilton Garden Inn Winter Park, FL

Wifi Available

Address: 1275 Lee Road
Accommodates: 4

Parking Room service Meeting/banquet facilities 24-hour front desk Fitness centre Non-smoking rooms Business centre Laundry

6. Fernandina Beach (from USD 290)

Amelia Island Mudflat
Source: Photo by user Patrick Fitzgerald used under CC BY 2.0

Situated on the tranquil Amelia Island, Fernandina Beach is a cute town in Florida and an idyllic coastal community that affords visitors breathtaking sunrises over the Atlantic Ocean and mesmerizing sunsets over the Amelia River. The landscape boasts 13 miles (20.9 km) of pristine beaches and is filled with majestic trees, abundant wildlife, eclectic restaurants, and boutique shops. The Amelia Island Museum of History is a great place to explore. Residing in a historic jail, this museum display 4,000 years of Florida’s intriguing history.


The Addison on Amelia

Wifi Available

Address: 614 Ash St
Accommodates: 2

Parking Garden Non-smoking rooms Fishing Facilities for disabled guests Breakfast in the room Free parking Internet services

7. Crystal River (from USD 150)

Here's Looking at You Kid - Meet a Florida Manatee
Source: Photo by user U.S. Geological S... used under CC BY 2.0

You can’t help but fall in love with the western Florida town of Crystal River. Boasting warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico, lovely spring-fed rivers, top-notch fishing, and abundant lakes, Crystal River makes an alluring and peaceful getaway. The true highlight is the world-famous Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge, a sanctuary that shelters the gentle manatee. Don’t miss the chance to view these amazing marine mammals in natural spring waters. Just 90 miles (144.8 km) from Orlando, visitors can uncover a different level of enchantment at the Crystal River.


Retreat at Crystal Manatee

Wifi Available

Address: 310 N Citrus Ave.
Accommodates: 2

Parking Golf course (within 3 km) Garden Terrace Non-smoking rooms Family rooms Free parking Internet services

8. Cedar Key (from USD 165)

Dockstreet20040530
Source: Photo by user Zdv used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Cedar Key is an island town off the northwest coast of Florida and on the shores of the Gulf of Mexico. Cedar Key oozes with small-town charms and pretty seaside beauty. You won’t find much bustling action in Cedar Key, in fact, police officers patrol the town in spruced-up golf carts. What you will find is lots of sandy beaches, verdant natural preserves, and loads of fishing opportunities. It’s easy to find a bowl of hot creamy clam chowder and a cold bottle of beer in serene and beautiful Cedar Key.


Seahorse Landing #503 Gulf Front Vacation Condo

Wifi Available

Address: 4050 G Street #503
Accommodates: 6

Parking Terrace Non-smoking rooms Fishing Free parking Internet services Express check-in/check-out Windsurfing

9. Dunedin (from USD 275)

Dunedin Welcome
Source: Photo by user [Unknown] used under CC BY-SA 2.5

Brimming with unspoiled beauty, Dunedin is comprised of 4 miles (6.43 km) of picture-perfect waterfront, as well as a forested and subtropical terrain. A feast for the eyes, Dunedin is one of the oldest towns on the West Coast of Florida and proudly displays its Scottish roots with annual festivals and celebrations. A main draw to the area is the ospreys of Honeymoon Island State Park. If you want to enjoy some water recreation, the mangroves of Caladesi Island, State Park is the perfect place for kayakers.


Meranova Guest Inn

Wifi Available

Address: 458 Virginia Lane
Accommodates: 4

Parking Bar Garden Terrace Non-smoking rooms Babysitting/child services Laundry Dry cleaning

10. Stuart (from USD 85)

Bandstand (Stuart, Florida)
Source: Photo by user Tamanoeconomico used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Lovely Stuart is found on Florida’s Atlantic Coast. This delightful town’s been called the “Sailfish Capital of the World”, offering plenty of chances for inshore as well as offshore fishing. Visitors should also check out ‘The House of Refuge’ at Gilbert’s Bar, a renovated home once used as a shelter for shipwrecked sailors in the early 20th century. Nature fans will enjoy the array of birds at Seabranch Preserve State Park which offers lots of scenic trails and a wonderful butterfly garden. St. Lucie Inlet Preserve State Park is also a must, showcasing a nesting area for sea turtles!


Days Inn by Wyndham Stuart

Wifi Available

Address: 1200 Southeast Federal Highway
Accommodates: 10

Room service Meeting/banquet facilities Bar 24-hour front desk Fitness centre Golf course (within 3 km) Garden Terrace

11. Williston (from USD 53)

Williston FL LC Hester across01
Source: Photo by user Ebyabe used under CC BY-SA 3.0

If you want to drink in Florida’s unique and historic architecture, ride an elephant, stroll lush botanical gardens, or swim in sparkling fresh water then Williston is the place to be. Known as “The Gateway to the Nature Coast”, Williston offers miles (km) of beautiful scenic roads, many pastoral farms, and lots of exciting recreational activities. Top attractions include Two Tails Ranch, an elephant refuge, and Devil’s Den Spring, offering scuba diving in a pre-historic spring!


Micanopy Inn

Wifi Available

Address: 17110 Southeast County Road 234
Accommodates: 4

Parking Non-smoking rooms Laundry Free parking Internet services WiFi Available Free WiFi Designated smoking area

12. Apalachicola (from USD 149)

Apalachicolabay original
Source: Photo by user [Unknown] used under PUBLIC DOMAIN

Awash in maritime history, Apalachicola is one of the best small towns to visit in Florida. It is a tiny coastal town filled with fresh seafood from a variety of world-class eateries, a platoon of weather-worn shrimp boats along the wharf, and several stately historical structures. The pace of Apalachicola is leisurely and the locals are friendly.

Apalachicola offers a pleasant mix of hip culture and fun outdoor diversions. Explore fine art galleries, extraordinary restaurants, and dazzling music venues, or experience Mother Nature first hand by taking advantage of Apalachicola’s network of scenic nature trails.


The Gibson Inn

Wifi Available

Address: 51 Ave C
Accommodates: 4

Parking Restaurant Meeting/banquet facilities Bar 24-hour front desk Garden Non-smoking rooms Airport shuttle

13. DeFuniak Springs (from USD 96)

Lake DeFuniak Sunset
Source: Photo by user Staugbeachbum used under PUBLIC DOMAIN

Picturesque DeFuniak Springs is nestled in the heart of northwest Florida. DeFuniak Springs offers a rich history filled with a Victorian-era ambiance. History buffs can explore a charming collection of fantastic structures on the National Register of Historic Places. Enjoy snorkeling at the sparkling Holmes Creek enhanced by age-old cypress and gum trees along the shore. Relax and relish the beauty of Lake DeFuniak, one of the two nearly perfectly round circular spring-fed lakes in the world! For wine lovers, a visit to the Chautauqua Winery should be on your must-do list.


Best Western Crossroads Inn

Wifi Available

Address: 2343 US Highway 331 South
Accommodates: 10

Pets allowed Meeting/banquet facilities Bar 24-hour front desk Golf course (within 3 km) Non-smoking rooms Business centre Laundry

14. Tarpon Springs (from USD 99)

Tarpon Springs, FL (Sponge Docks)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user dpursoo used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Located in central Florida along the shores of the Gulf Coast of Mexico, Tarpon Springs is one of the most charming Florida towns that boasts a plethora of fish in its shimmering waters and a great legacy of the Greek sponge divers settling in the town in the early 1900s. Evidence of the heavy Mediterranean influence is in Tarpon Springs’ many Greek restaurants lining the inviting waterfront. Check out tourist hot spots like Tarpon Springs Aquarium where visitors are able to view up close a fine display of Gulf Coast marine life. You can pet a python or turtle and witness exciting alligator and shark feedings!


Tarpon Shores Inn

Wifi Available

Address: 40346 US Highway 19 North
Accommodates: 4

Parking 24-hour front desk Sauna Garden Non-smoking rooms Facilities for disabled guests Family rooms Free parking

15. Captiva

Pier captiva
Source: Photo by user Alan Ribeiro used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Captiva is just a sliver of an island on Florida’s Gulf Coast, but it’s a magical destination filled with plenty of outdoor splendor: hiking, biking, bird watching, sailing, and every other water recreation. Blissful Captiva is only an hour’s drive from Fort Myers but it seems a world away with its secluded feel, tranquil vibe, and drop-dead gorgeous atmosphere. If you’re searching for a far-flung respite with plenty of jaw-dropping views, Captiva is definitely the right direction to head out to.


South Seas Island Resort

Wifi Available

Address: 5400 South Seas Plantation Rd, Captiva, FL, USA, 33924
Accommodates: 8

Parking Restaurant Meeting/banquet facilities Bar 24-hour front desk Tennis court Fitness centre Golf course (within 3 km)

Florida's small-town beauty

Florida is a top travel spot for many reasons. Now that you know there’s much more to Florida than big-city theme parks and glitzy nightlife, check out the gentler side of The Sunshine State and discover that Florida’s small towns can offer not just arresting beauty but big, pleasing rewards.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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As a child, Catherine's family took a trip to the World's Fair New Orleans and her mom asked what she wanted to see. She exclaimed, "Everything!" She's been working on that endeavor ever since.

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