The best places in Florida away from the crowds


It’s not all spectacular, skiing, climbing and golfing in the Sunshine State: historic sites, enchanting gardens, tranquil beaches and Biff’s burger joint have it too quiet places in florida.

Winning tip: A religious park near Cape Coral

Near the small town of Estero, about 7 miles from Cape Coral, lies the beautiful Koreshan state park, which until the early 1960s was the last religious home of the century 19th, Koreshan Unity. They believed the Earth was hollow, founded a community here in 1894, called New Jerusalem, and created their own newspaper. They were also the first to electrify the surrounding area. The group’s last follower, a woman who had fled Nazi persecution in Germany named Hedwig Michel, left the area for Florida in 1961. The park is well maintained and staffed by volunteers those who are experienced. Visitors can walk around the grounds and see many of the buildings used by the community. It’s fun, peaceful and quaint – very different from the famous beats of Florida. You pay $5 for parking. Activities like kayaking and camping are available in the park and there are wildlife and hiking trails, too.

Burgers and 1950s Americana, near Tampa

Biff Burger started as a chain and grew in popularity in the 1950s. Today, the only remaining branch that has kept its name intact is in St Petersburg. Friday nights see the hot dogs and luxury cars come roaring by (the last Friday of the month is race night, it’s awesome) and the smell of petrol wafts around as you get inside the a large, freshly cooked hamburger with tater tots or fries (or both) . and a beer or bucket of Coca-Cola. Speakers play rock’n’roll, American sports play on TV, friendly staff and sometimes a big band. If you have ever dreamed of getting into American Graffiti, this is the place for you.

Gulf Coast sanctuary, near Naples

orkscrew Swamp is a 30-minute drive from Naples, one of the richest areas on the Gulf Coast. It is run by the charity of the Audubon Society (whose foundation was the direct result of the slaughter of millions of waterfowl to provide feathers for millinery marketing in the 19th century ), Corkscrew Swamp takes visitors on a two-and-a-half-mile shaded circular trail. At different times of the day, as well as the year, you can take advantage of the variety of creatures, plants and habitats. As you wander, passing pine forests, plains, and hills, look out and listen for hundreds of creatures: from bears, water moccasin snakes, hawks and bald eagles, deer and bobcats to tree frogs, otters, painted squirrels, moths, and butterflies; during each visit Corkscrew showed us something new. On one memorable visit we saw four different tree snakes, as well as a mother rattlesnake and her babies. Children and adults will enjoy it equally and there is transport for people who cannot walk that distance.

Rod and Reel Pier, Anna Maria Island

Just when you think you can’t go any further without falling into the Gulf of Mexico, you come to the Rod and Reel Pier. We got so close to the north end of Anna Maria Island that we thought we must have missed it, home to a small restaurant and bar. The drive from Bradenton proved worth it. Good food, a cold beer, and a warm evening spent outside chatting with locals while fishing from the jetty. We couldn’t feel far away from “Disney Florida”. I can’t wait to walk on the pier in the evening, it’s moony again.


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