When it’s freezing outside and the snow just keeps falling, you’re probably dreaming of the white sandy beaches of Miami’s South Beach, amirite? When I was growing up in the Sunshine State, I never really appreciated it. It wasn’t until I was living in New York City for 12 years and experiencing the cold every single winter that I began to long for the year-round warm weather. But although I spent a good chunk of my childhood growing up in Miami, I now know that there are so many more fun things to see and do around the the state (which also happens to have some serious meaning for Hispanic heritage).
One of my all-time favorite places to visit in Florida happens to be the city just north of Miami, Fort Lauderdale. It’s a wonderful town with some fun, cultural institutions and great food. There is also a beach, of course, since most of the state is surrounded by water and thus there are beaches almost everywhere. But going just above Miami isn’t the only thing you can do. There’s plenty more beauty, sunshine, and warm weather all around. From Tampa to Saint Augustine, here are 12 wonderful places to visit in Florida that aren’t Miami.
1. Saint Augustine
Supposedly the oldest city in the U.S., Saint Augustine is on the northeast coast of Florida and boasts absolutely AH-mazing historic sights. Start by visiting the Castillo de San Marcos National Monument for a dose of history, then head to St. George Street for some antiquing. Don’t miss out on the St. Augustine Lighthouse and Maritime Museum or the Ponce De Leon’s Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park. For nature, don’t forget to head to St. Augustine Beach and the St. Augustine Wild Reserve.