Florida’s a favorite vacation destination for people from all over the world for a number of reasons. But, when the crowds of theme parks get to be too much, where can a tourist go for some quiet in this land of sunshine, surfing and roller coasters?
When it comes to destinations “off the beaten path,” Florida has no shortage. Generally within driving distance of the major tourist spots, these out of the way places are ideal for those who want to do something a little out of the ordinary on their Florida vacation. Plus, many give a really good glimpse into what Florida’s all about.
Some of the best spots to visit in the state that aren’t always trafficked by thousands of tourists at a time include:
* Tallahassee. It’s the state capital and does get some traffic for that reason, but it’s not a major tourist destination. The city has a rich history to explore, museums, art galleries and more. In addition, it’s the home of the Natural Bridge Battleground. Here a small group of Confederates kept the Union at bay, preventing the capture of the state’s capital.
* Plant City. Located between Orlando and Tampa on Interstate 4, this little city was named after railroad tycoon H.B. Plant. It is home to an annual festival, quaint downtown and more. Shopping, dining and more are available year round.
* Dade City. Located about 45 minutes north of Tampa, this little town is home it a beautiful historic district with lots of dining and shopping opportunities. Plus, it boasts its own Pioneer Museum, giving visitors a good idea what life would have been like in the early days of Florida settlement.
* Tarpon Springs. On Florida’s west coast, this city is the home of a large Greek population. Here people can immerse themselves in the culture of the Old World while seeing how sea sponges are harvested.
* Deland. Located just east of Orlando, this community is home to Hontoon Island, a nature and history preserve accessible by state-run ferry. For something really different, this one’s worth a trip.
* Del Ray Beach’s Morikami Park & Museum celebrates the Yamato Colony. This colony was established by Japanese farmers in the 1900s. The park and its grounds are highly influenced by Japanese culture.
No matter where you go in Florida, there are interesting destinations off the beaten path. From St. Petersburg’s Salvador Dali museum to Crystal River’s Indian Mounds, the state of Florida has a whole lot more to offer vacationers than just parks and beaches.