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Stuart, Florida Sailfish Fountain | Mitch Kloorfain/Flickr
Stuart, Florida Sailfish Fountain | Mitch Kloorfain/Flickr

Most Beautiful Places in Northern Florida

Picture of Aisha Moktadier
Updated: 4 May 2017

Sure, Florida is home to Miami, which is a world-renowned city for its glitz and glamor. However, Florida is also home to some very beautiful gems sprinkled throughout the northern part of the state. From quiet beaches to gorgeous architecture, check out these six cities that are so beautiful it feels like they’re out of a dream.

Sanibel Island

This gorgeous little beach town on the Gulf Coast is a great place for a getaway weekend with your partner. If you’re looking to just catch some rays, lay out on the beach, collect some shells, go for a nice bike ride, and have a relaxing dinner together, this is your spot. Sanibel is a tiny island that boasts Bowman’s Beach, a quiet, sleepy beach where you can catch a gorgeous sunset. The sand is fine and white, and the water is blue. It’s a great place for shelling, laying back with margaritas in hand, and taking in the ocean breeze.

Pensacola

This waterfront city located on the Florida panhandle boasts the Pensacola Lighthouse and Museum, where guests can come and catch a gorgeous, fiery Florida sunset. You can also visit the National Naval Aviation Museum, visit the historic Fort Barrancas, or see the Pensacola Naval Air Station. For those looking for beautiful beaches, there is Johnson Beach and Santa Rosa island, where you can get your fill of sun and water. You’ll also find little specialty shops and art galleries sprinkled throughout Pensacola, like Quayside and Blue Morning Gallery. This spot is definitely great for those looking for a mix of culture, nature, and history.

Cocoa Beach

Cocoa Beach is home to Lori Wilson Park, a beautiful beach with soft, golden sand. Cocoa is also known for having pretty calm waves so for visitors looking to try out surfing, this spot might be a good one to head to. When done riding waves, you can take a trip to the Cocoa Beach Pier and catch a breathtaking sunset. There are shops and restaurants that line the boardwalk, so there is plenty to do. If you don’t feel like wandering the boardwalk, you can try kayaking, and you might even catch sight of a dolphin!

Captiva Island

Captiva Island, located right above Sanibel Island, boasts a beautiful, romantic vibe. It’s a perfect spot for a couple looking to have a getaway and is one of the best beaches in Florida for collecting seashells. Here you will find great restaurants and shops, and it’s also great spot for people who loves sports. Visitors can play golf, go boating, fish, and play tennis out in the warm summer weather. Driving through this tiny island is breathtaking and you’ll find beautiful plants, flowers, and trees, as well as huge stretches of beautiful blue water.

Cedar Key

Cedar Key is a great spot for kayaking and canoeing and is also home to a lot of history and culture. Here you can visit the Cedar Key Historical Society Museum, while old buildings in their traditional architectural styles still stand and are particular favorites for guests. There are wildlife refuges and beautiful beaches, so it’s also perfect for the person who loves being outside in nature, or doing water sports. Nature trails and little specialty shops, like Island Arts and Island Thyme Antiques, line this town and bring it to life.

St. Augustine

St. Augustine is rich with culture and history, being the oldest city in the US. Here you can find breathtaking sunsets, plus an airboat safari, ghost tour, wildlife reserve, and a ton of historic sites still standing. These include the St. Augustine Lighthouse, Castillo de San Marcos, Mission of Nombre de Dios, and the Lightner Museum. For guests looking to explore the city and its history, there is a hop-on-hop-off tour that will take you to all the major spots. Get your cameras ready, you’ll fall in love with the architecture of America’s first city.