Growing up in Florida the water and the beach played a large role in my life. Family time at the river house, boogie boarding with my dad, and Spring Break laying out on the beach with my friends are some of the greatest memories I have an will treasure them forever. Over the years I have learned the ins and outs and the go-to spots around Florida for a fantastic time around the water. Here are my favorite Florida’s Best Kept Secrets!
1. Best Beach: Longboat Key
Just north of St. Armands Key and South of Clearwater Beach lie a hidden treasure. Longboat Key is a little known spectacular Florida beach. With white sands and turquoises blue Water, the beaches on Longboat Key are the perfect places to relax and get away from the crowds. If you want to grab a bite to eat there are plenty of options as it’s a fairly short car trip from Anna Maria Island, Siesta Key, and Sarasota. Although I have to say Anna Maria Islands is my personal fave to grab a bite to eat.
2. Best Beach Town: New Smyrna
Just north of Cocoa Beach Florida lies a little beach town like no other, New Smyrna Beach. Growing up this was the beach to go to and still is. Drive your car on to the beach and catch some rays and if that ever gets old, you can visit the quaint shops, classic ice cream stops, and little coffee shops on Main Street in New Smyrna. Don’t forget to grab some lunch at the iconic “The Breakers Ocean Front” known for some of the best burgers, wings, and seafood around accompanied with beautiful ocean views.
3. Best Outdoor Activity Spot: Titusville, Florida
This small cozy town is truly one of Florida’s hidden secrets! With friendly locals and a laid-back vibe this town has outdoors adventures around every corner! You can walk the trails of the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge and learn more about the refugee by stopping by the visitor’s center. This refuge is also home to Mosquito Lagoon known for being a fabulous fishing spot and are likely to spot a sea cow or two. (Don’t worry there aren’t that many mosquitos!)
Also on the refugee lies one of the last natural beaches in Florida, Playalinda Beach. WIth gorgeous sand dunes, natural sand, and little to no crowds, this beach is a local favorite! If laying out on the beach or surfing isn’t your thing you can also fish here too! And with a nickname like the Redfish capital of the world you’re sure to catch something! Another great fishing spot is the Indian River which is located just before you reach the refuge. Kayaking on the river is also a blast! Stop in to Kayaks by Bo in Titusville’s downtown area to check out kayaks, paddle boards, and surfboards. Also, stop in to say hi to my grandparents for me! After you can grab a drink at Titusville’s local brewery, Playalinda Brewery, and check out the cute downtown shops!
4. Must See Spot: Clearwater, Florida
Voted Tripadvisors #1 Beach in America, and my current home, Clearwater Beach is a must see when visiting Florida! From jet skiing to paddle boarding Clearwater beach has a little something for everyone! Just be sure to get there early to claim your spot on the beach as it gets pretty busy during Spring Break and in the Summers. To avoid getting stuck in traffic driving over the bridge to the beach take Clearwater Ferry! It’s much quicker, more enjoyable, and you don’t have to worry about parking! This is how I get to Clearwater beach during the busy season. For the Ferry schedule click here. If you get hungry and are looking for a bite to eat stop in at my favorite spot Cooters Restaurant and Bar for amazing seafood and the best crab legs in Clearwater! They also have all you can eat crab legs on Mondays and Tuesdays.