What is the quintessential Florida experience? From the western Panhandle to Key West, there are so many different versions of Florida that it is difficult to choose what type of holiday to have. Tampa, Orlando and Miami are all must-see destinations for completely different reasons.

There are theme parks galore. There are ocean-side beaches and gulf-coast beaches. Golfing, fishing and deep-sea diving have always been favourite activities of locals and tourists alike. Florida attracts 84 million visitors a year, and the state has so many golden beaches, palm-lined promenades and top attractions that more than half those visitors will return in the future.

A cruise will give you a Florida taster, but even if you spend fourteen sunny days docked at a terminal in St. Petersburg or Miami, you will only begin to scratch the surface of what Florida has to offer.

Walt Disney World and Miami receive a lot of press and publicity, and it is difficult to imagine Florida without Cinderella’s castle or the glitterati and star-studded clubs that line the streets of South Beach. However, Florida also has a quiet and more romantic side.

If you are docked anywhere near one of the following destinations, be sure to venture off the cruise ship and explore. Florida’s quiet and romantic side might be difficult to find, but it is still there, hidden amongst the mangroves.

Caladeski Island State Park

A tranquil and uncrowded shoreline is a difficult commodity to find in Florida. From Pensacola and Daytona to Vero and Fort Lauderdale, the beaches are packed with families, revellers and sun worshippers. If you are looking for a romantic hideaway where you can escape the cruise ship crowd as well as the teeming masses on the beach, look no further than Caladeski Island State Park. Located near Tampa, you cannot access this idyllic island retreat by car, but need to take a boat. This is the perfect place for you and your loved-one to disappear for a few quiet hours. Hike, swim, have a picnic or paddle a kayak through the tranquil water, this is how Florida was before 84 million visitors arrived.

Sanibel Island

Located on the lower Gulf Coast, Sanibel is world-renown for its beautiful beaches and seashells. Whelks, olives, conchs and the junonia, the island’s most celebrated shell, can all be found on Bowman’s Beach. Bowman’s Beach is one of the most remote swaths of sand on Sanibel Island. You need to walk through beach grass, pines and wetland just to reach Bowman’s Beach. However, it is a small price to pay for the type of scenic beauty and peacefulness you will find on this remote outpost of white sand.

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Lifecruiser Love Romantic Florida

2 Comments on “Hidden Amongst the Mangroves: The Romantic and Quiet Side of Florida”

    Gattina said:

    Thank you for all your comments ! It’s a long time now that we have made a roundtrip through Florida !


    Your Sanibel Island paragraph about Bowman’s Beach is pretty accurate information. Additionally, your readers should know that there is great parking available at Bowman’s and there is a nice bridge and walkway thru the beachgrasses etc. It’s all just a short walk and it’s well worth it. Bowman’s is some of the best public beach access shelling on Sanibel.

    The fishing in Sanibel Island waterways rocks, by the way.

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