If Sanibel Island and Key West give you a “been there, done that” reaction, then get ready to discover other hidden Florida islands on our radar. Whether they’re shadowed by their more famous neighbors, or you just haven’t explored them yet, these beautiful, underrated Florida islands are worth a visit.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
Charming pastel-colored cottages and palm tree-lined streets make up the picture-perfect Gasparilla Island. Named after the pirate José Gaspar, who allegedly used the island as a base and hideaway for his buried treasure (which was never found), the barrier island is home to the Gasparilla Island State Park, which offers swimming, snorkeling, and fishing. A must-visit point of interest is the historic Port Boca Grande Lighthouse built in 1890.
The northernmost island of the Florida Keys chain is home to the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park—the nation’s first underwater park. Buried in the waters is the famous bronze statue of Christ of the Abyss, which you can explore on a scuba-diving trip. Divers will also enjoy a look at the colorful Florida Reef, which is the third largest living barrier reef in the world.
You can’t visit Miami without spending a day on the beaches of Key Biscayne. Connected to the city via the Rickenbacker Causeway, the key sits on Biscayne Bay, complete with 360-degree views of the Miami skyline, a lighthouse, and Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Recreation Area. There’s no better place to watch the sunset over the Miami skies or spend the day kayaking through the bay.
Nearing the coast of Georgia, Amelia Island is a must-visit for its sand dunes and charming beach towns. The island boasts Victorian architecture, boutique shops, and a historic past. It was once a stopping point for pirates and is also home to Florida’s oldest bar—The Palace Saloon—as well as a ghost story or two.
So it’s technically not an island (being that it’s still attached to the Florida peninsula at one tip), but the Ponce Inlet, surrounded by the Halifax and Indian Rivers flowing into the Atlantic, makes our list for its glimmering white sands and historic lighthouse. Built in the 1880s, the Ponce de Leon Lighthouse is the largest one in Florida and still well preserved. Visitors can also enjoy a tour of the Marine Science Center for a look at their turtle rehabilitation center and a chance to touch stingrays and hermit crabs at the aquatic pool!
Anna Maria Island
The Anna Maria Island, located by the Gulf of Mexico, is perfect for a serene holiday getaway. The barrier island not only shines for its sparkling beaches, but it’s also a bird sanctuary teeming with pelicans, seagulls, cranes, herons, osprey, sandpipers, and other birds.
Dubbed the fishing capital of the world, Islamorada is accessible via boat or the seven-mile (11.2-kilometer) bridge. Fish the blue-green waters for a chance to catch snapper, redfish, and snook. There are also plenty of watersport adventures to be had, such as snorkeling, swimming, jet skiing, paddleboarding, and scuba diving.
Bahia Honda Key
Never heard of Bahia Honda Key? It’s one of the Florida Keys’ best-kept secrets. The tiny island is home to the Bahia Honda State Park, with over 500 acres of untouched land and beautiful beaches to lounge about with uninterrupted views of the sea. Visitors can go camping at the park or go swimming, kayaking, snorkeling, and bird-watching.
Little Palm Island
Accessible only by boat or the Overseas Highway, the exclusive resort island in Little Torch Key is made for those seeking a private luxury getaway on the beach. Rent a bungalow at the Little Palm Island Resort & Spa and ease away your stress in the tropical hideaway. The secluded spot is ideal for those looking for a real paradise away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
St. George Island
Located in northern Florida on the Gulf Coast, this barrier island is a peaceful paradise with plenty of wildlife and miles of shelling. The island has strict building codes making it clean from chain hotels and skyscrapers; therefore, you can enjoy a seemingly untouched atmosphere and quiet serenity, along with stunning golden sunsets.
Stroll through the boardwalk of Marco Island to spot manatees and dolphins off the Gulf of Mexico. Though dotted with luxury resorts and plenty of tourist attractions, the island boasts nature trails and wildlife viewing as it sits near the Florida Everglades. Here you can spend the day kayaking through the mangroves, bird-watching or even spot panther tracks with a visit to the Panther Wildlife Refuge.
Often shadowed by its famous neighbor Sanibel Island, this underrated island boasts amazing wildlife and pristine white sandy beaches and even shelling. The postcard island makes for a quiet, romantic holiday and is home to the Captiva Chapel By-The-Sea—just in case you want to elope!
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meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
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Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.