The island of Palm Beach is the exclusive winter home of billionaires. For the rest of us, it’s a fun place to gawk at mansions and their ficus hedges sculpted into works of art. The town is full of history, too, from Henry Flagler to JFK.
With eight state parks, a national park, scads of history and top beaches, Amelia Island and Fernandina Beach make a great base to explore northeast Florida.
You don’t have to drive hours off the interstate to find Florida’s natural beauty and funky history. You can find treasures within 10 minutes of these I-75 exits.
Apalachicola is a charming, walkable small town full of history, good food & shops. It’s 20 minutes from miles of wide splendid beach on St. George Island.
The historic Gilbert’s Bar House of Refuge couldn’t be in a prettier spot. It also tells the story of a wild Florida of shipwrecks and pioneers. While you’re exploring the gorgeous beaches here, it’s worth a quick stop.
The Big Bend area of Florida around St. Marks and Wakulla Springs is rich in things to do and see: Kayaking, biking, historic sites, springs, lighthouses. Yet, it is a less visited area off the tourist trail.
The west side of the Indian River Lagoon has an Old Florida flavor — especially the scenic 20-mile drive between Stuart and Fort Pierce. The region has enough places to explore to make a great getaway.
What took me so long? Like a lot of visitors, I had overlooked Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park on my visits to Key West because it is tucked away out of site. But the historic fort and great beach are worth discovering.