Sorry, Floridians – all of your secrets are about to be revealed.
While we all have our favorite vacation destinations in the Sunshine State, there's so much more to Florida that's begging to be seen and enjoyed. The popular beaches have their draws, but there are lesser-known stretches to visit if you're looking for a more peaceful trip.
If you have a favorite spot that isn't mentioned on our list, please leave it in a comment at the bottom of the page.
1. Bahia Honda State Park
Located 35 miles east of Key West in the Florida Keys is one of the most spectacular landscapes you can find in the entire state. Bahia Honda State Park boasts a beach that provides the perfect tropical paradise. Stop on your way back to the mainland or make plans to spend a few days taking in the picturesque scene.
2. Caladesi Island
Your only chance of getting to the prettiest parts of this island is by ferry or private boat, so you know it's secluded. USA Today reports that there are three miles of undeveloped beaches on Caladesi Island, giving visitors the chance to enjoy pristine views during a picnic or hours of beach time.
3. Santa Rosa Beach
Florida's Emerald Coast doesn't get any prettier than the scene at Santa Rosa Beach. Clear blue water set against a backdrop of blue skies makes this beach a vacationer's dream and a must-see. Located between Pensacola and Panama City, Santa Rosa Beach is an ideal getaway from the well-traveled vacation hotspots that surround it.
4. Gasparilla Island
Northwest of Fort Myers is a thin strip of land that peaks out into the Gulf of Mexico on the southwestern side of the state. If you're looking to spot all kinds of wildlife or get in on some of its tarpon fishing, which USA Today says is "epic," Gasparilla Island is a spot to put on your bucket list.
5. Blowing Rocks Preserve
North of West Palm Beach and east of Lake Okeechobee is a spot that USA Today says many Florida residents don't even know about. The limestone rocks bear the brunt of the crashing waves at high tide, looking far more like a West-Coast beach than one typical of Florida. It's a sight to behold, and one not seen by many vacationers.
6. Pine Island
Coastal Living says this is a quiet option for a getaway that's worth every dime. You can take kayaks along the waterways west of Fort Myers and rest up in one of many historic hotels before eating a big meal of fresh seafood. Noticing a pattern here? You should visit Florida's western coast.
7. Cedar Key
North of Tampa on the state's west coast is another gem where you can expect a quiet getaway, if that's what you're looking for. Cedar Key, according to Coastal Living, doesn't have stoplights, but it does have some pretty tasty clam chowder. If that sounds like your kind of vacation, there's a piece of land waiting to host your vacation.
8. Weeki Wachee River
If you want to go somewhere with crystal-clear water, we saved the best for last. The Weeki Wachee River has some of the most pristine water you'll ever see, as seen in the photo above. And with all kinds of wildlife residing in the waterway – Buzzfeed says even manatees swim in these waters – a quiet kayaking adventure down the Weeki Wachee would be sublime.
9. Dry Tortugas
About 70 miles west of Key West, Dry Tortugas boasts beautiful beaches, snorkeling, camping and even a history lesson. Built more than 150 years ago, Fort Jefferson is one of the largest forts ever built and was used by the Union during the Civil War.
10. Molasses Reef
Six miles off Key Largo is the continent's only living coral reef, which provides some of the best diving surroundings on the planet. There are also tropical fish galore, thanks to conservation efforts that have allowed many species to thrive in the area.
11. Ocala National Forest
Pure, clean water that allows for excellent snorkling, diving and swimming, and you don't even have to go all the way to the Keys to see it. There are more than 600 lakes, rivers and springs to explore in this forest located north of Orlando. It's also the southernmost forest in the continental U.S.