Five Hidden Gem Attractions in Florida to Explore

“Oh, the places you’ll go.”

-Dr. seuss

Calling all wander lusters…

How many people can truly say that they live where others long to vacation?

If you live in the state of Florida, this is a saying we all know too well. With Florida being the most southeastern state, the summers are long, and the winters are practically non-existent. And as far as we are concerned, there are no other seasons outside of that.

Florida has many local gems to explore that offer breathtaking views, eclectic art spaces, and overall, out-of-the-norm aesthetics. But how many of us Floridians are aware of these places? Surprisingly, not many. Consider this your flashing sign to jump in a car and take a road trip! Here are five local gems you should check out:

Blowing Rocks Preserve

Located in Jupiter Island, the appeal of Blowing Rocks Preserve are the unique rock formations along the beach that provide beautiful views and plenty of photo ops. With a diverse landscape and wildlife, this does not feel like the typical Florida beach. As the high tide rises, water spurts through the erosion holes of the limestone formations, spouting up to 50 feet into the air at times! This wonderous occurrence is exactly how the natural reserve got its name. You may want to include this gem of a place on your bucket list if you enjoy nature and wildlife. Admission is an optional $2 per person donation to maintain the natural preserve.

Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens

Located in Delray Beach, sits a 16-acre Japanese cultural museum and garden that has won the Traveler’s Choice Award for 2021. And I can see why! With over 7,000 art exhibits, a bonsai garden, and an onsite restaurant with pan-Asian goods and seasonal specialties, this place creates the illusion that you are a world away. Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens also hosts several public events per month such as cultural festivals, and classes such as Japanese calligraphy and tea ceremony workshops. If you enjoy Japanese art, history, and culture, this is the place for you! Admission for adults is $15 and $9 for children between the ages of 6-17. Children under 5 are free.

Swap Shop Flea Market and Drive-in Theatre

Located in Ft. Lauderdale, you can find the largest daily flea market in the world that includes a 14-screen drive-in theatre. It is also considered the second-largest tourist attraction with visitors flocking from not only the US, but Canada and other countries around the world as well. Spend the afternoon taking in the vintage charm as you shop bargain deals, grab a bite at the open-air food court, or for all my car lovers, visit the car museum onsite. And if you are looking for fresh produce, head over to the farmer’s market, known as one of the best in town. Attention all shoppers, this one is for you!

Whimzeyland

A local landmark located in Safety Harbor, Whimzeyland was originally known as the “Bowling Ball House” for the over 500 painted bowling balls scattering the yard and throughout the house creating a psychedelic work of art. In addition to the bowling ball formations, you can find a garden made of colored bottles, mosaic tiles, and colorful ceramic sculptures that make this hidden gem perfect for IG worthy photo ops. The house is a private residence owned by two artists who welcome visitors to admire their artwork for FREE .99.

Venetian Pool, Coral Gables

A historic swimming pool located in Coral Gables, the Venetian Pool has been enjoyed by visitors all over the world. The main appeal of this place is the Mediterranean style architecture that creates the allure of vacationing poolside in Venice, Italy. This enormous pool holds 820,000 gallons of water that is drawn from artesian walls and regulated at a chilly temperature of 76 degrees. Enjoy a hot summer day with swaying palm trees, quaint waterfalls, and intriguing caves. Daily admission rates are $15 for adults and $10 for children under the age of 12.

You do not need to travel out of state when there are so many interesting places to explore at your full disposal. Sometimes it is worth being a tourist in your very own backyard! And for those who do not reside in Florida, I hope this post motivates you to explore the state other than the most known attractions such as Disney World and South Beach. I promise you won’t regret it!

My fellow Floridians, have you visited any of these places? How was your experience? Any places not mentioned that you feel should have been included in this list? I would love to hear from you!

No copyright infringement is intended for all photos used.

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Like a lotus flower, I emerge from dark, murky waters to reveal my beauty. Feeling and healing on this journey of life; glowing and flowing. I have always loved writing, but it has taken me 29 trips around the sun before I had to confidence to share publicly. I hope my writing, which is near and dear to my heart, sparks light and love in all of you. Make yourself at home and enjoy the ride!

42 thoughts on “Five Hidden Gem Attractions in Florida to Explore

  1. I went to Florida as a young teen, although it was only to Orlando. Who know it had all these other things going on. All Florida seems to be know for is Florida Man and retirees. Should I ever find myself in Florida again, I’ll have to check some of these out

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yeahhh, not many people know the true Florida. There’s some pretty cool places and I’m honestly surprised I was able to limit it to five because there’s so many more I wanted to write about. Thank you for reading and commenting!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for sharing some great ideas for places to visit in Florida. The Venetian Pool looks amazing and I would definitely enjoy visiting there.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I would love to go to Florida. All of these hidden gems sound amazing, especially Whimzeyland and Venetian pool. They sound fun. Thank you for sharing these places, I will include them in my trip plans.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so glad you are intrigued! Whimzeyland is a really cool spot to check out, for sure and the Venetian pool is comparable to paradise. Thank you for reading and commenting!

      Like

    1. Yes, I never knew until I moved here and had the chance to explore. There’s a little bit of everything available based on various interests! Thank you so much for reading and commenting!

      Like

  4. I’m not from USA but always associated Florida with plain water. So I ended up enjoying those Japanese and drive in areas mote, haha. The whimseyland is nice and yes the Mediterranean architecture gives a totally different vibe. Loved it. Xx
    Isa A. Blogger

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Don’t forget the Devil’s Den 😍 I’ve always wanted to go there. Although I do not miss Florida weather lol I do miss my family and friends. But, I never got to explore Florida. One day I will be taking a Florida vacation just to explore. I can say I live in a state where people vacation in the winter lol.

    Always enjoy your blogs! ♥️

    Liked by 1 person

  6. These all look amazing! Every time I kept reading another one, I was adding them to my list! The Morikami museum sounds so interesting and beautiful, so glad to see that there’s more to Florida than what everyone says!

    Liked by 1 person

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