The state of Florida has many iconic scenes - the river of grass that is the Everglades, the bright lights and beaches of Miami, and the rollercoaster laden landscape of Orlando – being some of the first to come to mind. Visitors exploring beyond these areas will be pleasantly surprised by some of the not-so-famous but oh-so-beautiful landscapes to be admired and explored.

The Dead Lakes

There is no better place to experience nature in such an untouched serene state than the Dead Lakes. And, while the Tupelo and Cypress trees may look desolate, the Lakes are full of life. Gliding through the water visitors are likely to see ospreys and eagles roosting on the branches.

Location: Gulf County


Weeki Wachee Springs State Park

From Weeki Wachee Springs States Park, visitors can paddle the Weeki Wachee River in search of relaxation, nature and even a mermaid. Whilst there are plenty of springs and beautiful rivers to explore in the Sunshine State, Weeki Wachee is the deepest known freshwater cave system in the United States and the 538-acre park features a first magnitude spring and a 400-seat submerged theatre for watching the live mermaid show.

Location: Hernando County


Fort Jefferson

The Dry Tortugas National Park is a series of islands 70 miles from Key West and are only accessible by boat or seaplane. Garden Key is the second largest of those islands and home to historic Fort Jefferson, one of the nation’s largest 19th century forts.

Location: Garden Key, Dry Tortugas National Park


The Bridge of Lions

If you placed St. Augustine in mainland Europe, it would not look out place, so it is unsurprising to hear that the city was founded in September 1565 by Don Pedro Menendez de Aviles of Spain. It is the longest continually inhabited European-founded city in the United States. The Bridge of Lions was built to transport cars across the intracoastal waterway, but it also takes visitors back to another time.

Location: St. Augustine, St. Johns County


Coastal Dune Lakes

Nestled between sand dunes along South Walton’s beach are some of the rarest and most spectacular natural features the area has to offer; coastal dune lakes. They are found in only a few places on earth and South Walton has 15 of them.

Location: Grayton Beach, South Walton County


Gulf Islands National Seashore

Pensacola Beach and Perdido Key are both home to the longest stretch of federally protected seashore in the United States; Gulf Islands National Seashore. Those heading to Fort Pickens – located within the Gulf Islands National Seashore – will appreciate the famous quote “it’s not the destination, it’s the journey” as the drive is every bit as impressive as the 1800s military fort.

Location: Fort Pickens Area, Gulf Islands National Seashore, Pensacola


VISIT FLORIDA is the Sunshine State’s official tourism marketing corporation and travel planning resource for visitors across the globe. As Florida’s No. 1 industry, tourism was responsible for welcoming over 137.4 million visitors in 2022, the highest number of visitors in the state’s history. VISIT FLORIDA promotes tourism through sales, advertising, promotions, public relations and visitor services programs, and works with travel industry partners throughout the state. To learn more about VISIT FLORIDA, follow @FloridaTourism on Facebook and Twitter, or go to For inspiration in the Sunshine State, follow @VISITFLORIDA on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram or visit For media resources, visit

Hannah Mulvey: