Amongst Florida’s legendary beaches and alligators are towns so charming, it’s amazing they aren’t more well known. When places such as Orlando and Daytona Beach are overrun with summer vacationers, these seven towns provide a laid back, and ever charming atmosphere for a relaxing vacation away from home.
Occasionally, these towns gather media attention due to strange experiences visitors have from time to time. But don’t let the paranormal deter you…these hidden gems won’t stay hidden much longer (No matter how hard to spirits try.)
7) Apalachicola, Florida
Do you and your family enjoy fishing? Look no further than Apalachicola, Florida. This panhandle town is where some of the best seafood in the entire state is caught.
Apalachicola is located on a cozy inlet on the Gulf of Mexico. Riddled with numerous parks, museums, and theaters, the town is a nonstop entertainment spot, no matter how many times you visit.
Do be weary of the Chestnut Street Cemetery, however…A couple of teenagers were there last month, when they reported hearing a series of disembodied whispers all around them as they explored the tombstones. Still, downtown should be safe from the ghouls!
6) Sanibel, Florida
Sanibel is an island town, located adjacent to the much larger Pine Island. The entire town takes up the whole of the island, while downtown is located on the easterly end. Despite the ever expansive town, Sanibel has retained its natural beauty by making it illegal to develop on the many acres of preserved land located on the island.
Those who enjoy collecting shells and watching natural wildlife are sure to love Sanibel. When a new bridge was constructed to replace the ferry system in 2007, a few incoming visitors claimed they saw a young girl walking across the bridge. The moment they approached the girl, however, she vanished into thin air.
5) Tarpon Springs, Florida
Located less than an hour away from Tampa, Tarpon Springs is known for its Greek origins and history of sponge collecting. Many people from out of town are convinced Tarpon Springs is the perfect vacation home, as it is right on the water. It has also become well known for its numerous antique shops and historic architecture.
Enjoy a leisurely stroll on the marina, as you spot the sponge boats docked along the harbor. Enjoy a rigorous day of windsurfing, then a plate of authentic Greek cuisine for dinner.
From time to time, Tarpon natives speak of a misty white entity that has been seen wandering in the Tarpon Springs Heritage Museum. When approached on the subject, the group was uncertain what they had seen—but they knew that it had not been human in shape.
4) Stuart, Florida
Stuart is an ideal place to go if you enjoy breathtaking views and a series of promising fishing locations. Today, it is known as the Sailfish Capital of the World. While some enjoy the brisk sea air and the lure of a large catch, other visitors enjoy the historic charm of the buildings and businesses downtown.
Have a love of history? Stuart boosts many museums that are worthy of any major Florida city. Explore the Heritage Museum, or the flora of Tropical Ranch Botanical Garden.
On top of all this, be sure to check out the historic Stuart Feed Store. Some elderly residents of town often speak of a strange knee-high creature they would see walking through the store when they were younger. Nobody has been able to photograph the unidentified creature as of yet.
3) Mount Dora, Florida
Although Mount Dora is located just over an hour outside of Orlando, visiting this town is like stepping into a time portal. Clustered with bed and breakfasts, antique shops, and ancient homes, the overall historic feeling of this town is sure to charm anyone who visits.
This small town has three very unique museums, including one about the town’s history, and the Mount Dora Museum of Speed for anybody and everybody who loves cars. Those interested in design, and textiles should be sure to check out the Modernism Museum as well.
For the last two decades, Mount Dora locals have become convinced that a poltergeist has made The Goblin Market Restaurant its new home. Many dinner guests have reported their plates and glasses moving of their own accord.
2) DeFuniak Springs, Florida
The quaint town of DeFuniak is home to several Victorian homes, and picturesque gardens. For book lovers out there, DeFuniak has the state’s oldest library that is still in operation today. This library has many unorthodox but fascinating collections, such as a series of medieval weapons.
As a nod to their Southern history, DeFuniak created the first monument in honor of dead Confederate soldiers. Those who are interested in the Civil War should not miss it!
Lesser known is the fact that some natives believe the monument is haunted by spirits of the undead. Some claim that late at night, disembodied whispers and footsteps can be heard if one wanders too close to the monument.
1) Fernandina Beach, Florida
This charming beachfront town is located on Amelia Island. Not only does this town have spectacular beaches, but it also has upscale shopping and restaurants even the harshest foot critique would enjoy. Some film enthusiasts know Fernandina Beach as the island where The New Adventures of Pippi Longstocking was filmed during the 80s.
Today, the attractive town is best known for its Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival, which occurs every May. The festival even includes a pageant, parade and concludes with fireworks.
Take note though, last month a young couple witnessed seeing a strange, and unexplainable orb of light hovering over the beach. They believed it to be paranormal in origin.
Have you been to any of these towns? What was your experience like? Tell us in the comments below.