Small towns of Florida as alternatives to the state's megacities

Small towns of Florida as alternatives to the state's megacities

Florida is famous for the gleaming splendour of Miami and world-leading entertainment in Orlando. However, the state has much more to offer than the bustle and glamour of metropolises. Florida has many comfortable small towns, each with their own unique charm. Buying a villa or apartment in Florida in one of them may be your dream come true. Who knows?

You can settle near quiet, clean white sand beaches, discover an ancient town with winding European-like streets, or find yourself in a place where tropical nature amazes with its beauty. There is something for everyone in Florida’s quaint and varied communities. Let’s talk about six exciting small towns in the state.



Apalachicola is a charming little fishing town located on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico. Life here is peaceful, unhurried, and as Floridian as it gets, with a bright sun and ever-present sea. The town’s beautiful white sand beaches are sheltered by the ring of islands that form Apalachicola Bay. The water in the gulf is calm here, and the sunsets are unforgettable. The serene sea is ideal for water sports. Joggers like to get up at dawn to run along the beach strip, and amateur photographers fill up their phones’ memory with sea views. Nature lovers can explore the wildlife preserves surrounding the town, while the charming little shops and restaurants that make up Apalachicola’s historic centre let you hunt for local goods or treat yourself to fresh seafood.

Small towns of Florida as alternatives to the state's megacities


Islamorada is located in the island chain of the Florida Keys stretching from the southern tip of the Florida peninsula towards Cuba. Islamorada encompasses six islands approximately in the middle of this chain. This place is a famous fishing destination and scuba diving and snorkelling spot. It is home to the History of Diving Museum exhibiting a rich collection of finds recovered from the local crystal-clear waters (even including a 16th-century treasure chest). Tropical landscapes surround local restaurants, galleries, and distilleries, all imbued with the serene and tranquil atmosphere of a timeless resort. Buying real estate in Florida here means securing the future not only for yourself, but also for your children. A house in Florida in Islamorada will always be in demand among tourists, and the ROI for short-term rentals here is one of the highest in Florida.


Williston is a charming little town with a population of under 3,000, where you can enjoy great local produce and experience an older Florida as it was at the end of the last century. The town is very well-maintained thanks to the efforts of the local community. Its main attractions are about 15 minutes outside of the town. These are truly amazing cave and spring systems where you can snorkel and explore emerald water while the sun shimmers off the water and adorns the cave roofs. They are called Devil’s Den and Blue Grotto and are known all over the world, especially among divers.

The freshwater springs that fill the caves make you feel like you immerse yourself in the prehistoric world. This experience sets Williston apart from the best small towns in Florida. Local real estate is in high demand among tourist tenants.

Small towns of Florida as alternatives to the state's megacities


Destin, located in the so-called Florida Panhandle, was once a small fishing village but has now evolved into a very popular holiday destination.

If you’re looking for a blend of a small-town feel and world-class golf, you’ll be spoiled for choice here as Destin offers a plethora of courses.

If golf isn’t your cup of tea, simply enjoy the many trails along the tree-lined coastline and white sand beaches, or head to Big Kahuna’s Water Park for the thrill of waterslides and other rides.


Venice is named after European Venice and is located on the Gulf Coast. The settlement is slightly bigger than the other towns on our list, with about 26,000 people living here. The historic downtown is surrounded by open spaces with bays and beaches, and the locals mostly live in one- and two-storey single-family houses, so it still has a small-town atmosphere.

The classic Italian-style architecture of the downtown gives it a touch of old-time chic. Here you can find restaurants, shops, golf courses, and water entertainments. However, the town’s jewel in the crown is Venice Beach. The miles of white sands are beautiful on their own, but they are also famous for the fossils and shark teeth that can be found here.

Small towns of Florida as alternatives to the state's megacities

Crystal River

The lush tropical nature of Florida is showcased in this town in all its splendour. Nowhere else can you experience the state’s exotic wildlife better than in Crystal River!

The fresh water system that gives the area its name is an amazingly beautiful network of crystal-clear canals and bays with water visibility up to 70 metres deep, brimming with fish and marine life. Most famous are manatees, which are especially numerous during the winter months. This is the only place where you can swim with a mask and snorkel next to these adorable, gentle animals.

American manatees are an endangered species protected under the law. Human expansion has reduced their natural habitat, and US agencies are now looking to preserve these animals for the future.

Subscribe to newsletter