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Last year’s Top 10 stories

Happy New Year! Thank you for reading!

You, our loyal readers, helped Florida Rambler achieve goals in 2021 that we could not have imagined when we created this web site 11 years ago.

Nearly 3 million visitors read our stories 4.6 million times in 2021 — nearly double our readership from the year before.

We will continue to freshen up our catalog of 600 stories with many new adventures coming your way in 2022.

Thank you!

— Bonnie Gross and Bob Rountree, co-founders

These are the top 10 stories of 2021 based on readership:

Best Florida beach towns: Sunset on Nokomis Beach.
Best Florida beach towns: Sunset on Nokomis Beach. (Photo by Simon Marshall)
  1. Off-the-beaten-path getaways: Seven Old Florida towns make great bases

As you plan your Florida travels, here are seven towns that I’ve found make great bases for exploring. Each puts you in the center of outstanding places to hike, bike, kayak and explore history. Each is surrounded by natural beauty.

The big view at Tigertail Beach on Marco Island
Nothing but sand, sea and clouds at Tigertail Beach on Marco Island.

2. Favorite secluded, quiet beaches in Florida

It’s easy to find a beach in Florida. It’s harder to find a hidden beach, a beach where you experience a sense of discovery and delicious isolation. Here, however, I share my favorites, discovered over many years.

Anna Maria Island: Things to do include admiring the cute cottages that dot the island.
Cute, often historic cottages dot Anna Maria Island, giving it an Old Florida feel. (Photo: Bonnie Gross)

3. Anna Maria Island: Things to do in Old Florida beach town

Visiting here, I found myself amazed that places like Anna Maria Island survive — a low-rise beach town with quaint cottages and a spectacular beach. No, you won’t have it all to yourself, but it’s still a special spot to discover.

top 10 stories hemmingway bulls 1024 1 Last year's Top 10 stories
Hemingway Days in Key West. (Photo/Andy Newman/Florida Keys News Bureau.)

4.) Top 75 Florida events, fairs & festivals: Updated with cancellations

Florida loves a good festival. Here are 75 hand-picked festivals around the state that range from funky local bashes to huge nationally known cultural events.

sombrero beach marathon florida keys
Sombrero Beach is not an easy find, but it’s there. (Photo by Vicki McCash Brennan)

5.) Our favorite beaches in the Florida Keys

Beaches in the Keys aren’t as common or as wonderful as many expect, but there ARE some great beaches where you can swim — and snorkel — if you know where to go. Let us take you there.

top 10 stories cedar key
A view of the Dock Street restaurants, where you’ll often hear live music, from the nearby fishing pier. (Photo: David Blasco)

6.) Six things to do in Cedar Key, a charming, historic, off-the-beaten path spot

It’s a long way from just about anywhere — and that’s part of its beauty. But it’s also a great place to bicycle, kayak, hike, watch sunsets and spot birds. An 1859 hotel, now a charming B&B, plus fresh seafood restaurants add to its appeal

best beach towns lauderdale by the sea
Lauderdale-By-The-Sea at night. (Photo (c) Jorge Molina)

7.) The best little beach towns in Florida

The best Florida beach towns are cozy and quaint, reflecting an “old Florida” ambience. Here are 7 of our favorites.

winterfest boat parade fort lauderdale
Fort Lauderdale Winterfest Boat Parade (Photo by Bob B Brown)

8.) 2021 Calendar of Florida’s 50 Holiday Boat Parades

A staple in our catalog year after year, Florida Rambler’s comprehensive Holiday Boat Parades calendar provides dates and links to boat parades around the state. To truly understand its popularity, this post ranks No. 8 for the full year with readership concentrated into just two months.

Smooth, wide and shaded: The West Orange Trail at its best
Smooth, wide and shaded: The West Orange Trail at its best.

9.) 20 best Florida bike trails: Our favorites for scenic bicycling

Florida bike trails offer great scenery and local flavor. Here are a few great bike trails we’ve tried and recommend statewide.

destin seafoood festival
Destin Seafood Festival

10.) 2022 Florida Seafood Festivals Calendar

A decade ago, our seafood festivals calendar started out supplementing reader interest in nearby camping, kayaking and hiking. The calendar has since taken on a life of its own and is now the most comprehensive guide to seafood festivals in the state, frequently updated.

Thank you and Happy New Year!

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