Everyone has a different idea of what makes great Florida weekend getaways. For us, we like to hit up the small lesser known places. We like small-town charm paired with great food and plenty to do without the overwhelming aspect of bigger destinations that take more than a weekend to explore. With that in mind here are our favorite weekend getaways.
This charming small southern town has everything you could want for a perfect weekend getaway. It's packed with historical antebellum architecture (many of the building are now gorgeous B&Bs, Plenty of nature to fulfill your adventurous side, and some truly amazing restaurants.
Florida Caverns State Park: Most people don't think of caves when they think of Florida but did you know that Marianna Florida boasts huge dry air-filled caves and is one of the only places in Florida to offer cave tours to the public? The park also has lots of beautiful hiking trails and a museum, but the caves are the real gem of this beautiful area.
Blue Springs Recreational Park: If you haven't visited one of Florida's beautiful natural limestone cold springs yet you are missing out! These beauties look like a beautiful oasis straight out of a movie with the purest blue water you will ever lay eyes on. Blue springs in Marianna is one of many springs along Econfina creek and is perfect for a cool dip on a hot summer day. Both snorkeling and diving are popular here. The beautiful underwater caves draw drivers here from all over the globe!
Bellamy Bridge Heritage Trail: This is a short half mile trail that has some of the most beautiful views in Florida. The crowning glory is the Bellamy Bridge itself which was built in 1904. The bridge is the focal point of many spooky local legends. Its historical aspect alone makes it worth the hike, but aside from that its a stunning backdrop for beautiful photos of you and your sweetie.
Hinson Conservation and Recreation Area and the Chipola river greenway: If you love exploring this is your spot. You will want to take your time and really look around all the nooks and crannies on this greenway system as there are many caves and geological formations that are well worth taking your time to explore. While the conservation area is fun to hike by land I recommend seeing it from the water. The Chipola river is a kayakers nirvana as it connects several state parks and many of those beautiful cold springs I mentioned earlier. Pack a lunch and spend the day kayaking from place to place stopping to explore any caves and taking a refreshing dip in any springs you come across all while snapping photos of all the rare plants and wildlife along the trail. Now that is what I call a day well spent!
Cedar key is a colorful small town located on the island of Cedar key. It is untouched by commercialism and almost feels like a time capsule from the good old days in all the right ways. This is old Florida at its absolute best and it's perfect for a low-key romantic weekend getaway. Here the seafood is fresh, the pace is slow, and the sunsets are incredible. This place is home to many artists as well, so the shopping is full of one of a kind works of art perfect to take home as a special memory of your time here.
The lower Sewanee wildlife refuge: IF you are looking to experience local nature Take time to explore the numerous nature walks and trails located on the island. The lower Sewanee wildlife refuge is great for seeing local wildlife, especially birds. It's over 800 acres spanning 13 islands in the gulf. Be sure to bring your camera, binoculars, and a local bird I.D. book.
Fresh from the Gulf seafood: If you love seafood this town offers some of the very best. Cedar key is known for its delicious clams the way Apalachicola is known for its oysters. You can get clams cooked here is just about every way imaginable. Our favorite is the clam chowder. To get the best clam chowder on cedar key look no farther than Tony's Seafood. They are the three times world winner of the great chowder cook-off! We love that If you have cash they even offer delivery via golf cart.The Island Room at Cedar Cove overs a relaxed elegant atmosphere with incredible food which makes it perfect for a romantic night out.
We have written about Pensacola beach before but that's because something this special is worth repeating! If your Idea for ideal Florida weekend getaways are miles and miles of secluded beaches with the whitest sand, and the most brilliant blue waters you have ever seen, then you really got to experience this place!
Pensacola beach is located on Santa Rosa Island Which is one of the longest barrier islands in the entire world! As part of Gulf Islands National seashore, the beaches are protected, unspoiled, and completely undeveloped. With that many miles of pure unspoiled beach front, you are sure to find that perfect secluded spot where you can enjoy the beach is complete privacy! Isn't that what Florida weekend getaways are made for? There are several Parking lots along the island which is convenient if you are looking to launch a kayak or do a little paddle boarding. The island waters are perfect for spotting a wide variety of both sea and wildlife. Be on the lookout for dolphins, manatees, rays, crabs, and yes even sharks.
Fort Pickens: If you love military history Fort Pickens makes a great place to stop and explore. It's located at the southern tip of the island and offers real insight into the islands important military history. You will love exploring the many tunnels and passages that make up the fort. Be sure to bring a flashlight as well as a sense of adventure as you walk in the footsteps of history's heroes!
Pensacola beach Pier: The Pensacola beach pier is one of the longest in the Gulf waters. Try your hand at fishing or stroll along and spot the many kinds of sea life that make the area home. This is the place to be if you love an unforgettable sunset. You will be amazed at all the colors that play across the sky and water from your perfect vantage point!
Pensacola beach boardwalk: After the sunset head over to the Pensacola beach boardwalk where you can choose from a variety of fabulous restaurants, shopping, and various other entertainment!
We hope we gave you some great options to consider for Florida weekend getaways on the Gulf Coast! With the Gulf's beautiful beaches, clear blue waters, and friendly locals anywhere you choose will be sure to linger in your memories long after you leave!
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