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Florida, often known for its bustling cities and vibrant beaches, hides within its sun-drenched borders a collection of small towns, each with a potent charm, that you might consider a permanent move. 

It’s time to swap your sneakers for flip-flops and take a leisurely tour through 17 of Florida’s most endearing small towns and cities.

Mount Dora

17 Small Towns and Cities In Florida That Have More Charm Than We Can Handle
Photo by Brian Marshall via Flickr

This hidden gem hosts festivals that are the heartthrob of the community. With its artistic vibe, historic train station, and antique shopping galore, Mount Dora is more than just picturesque; it’s a timeless escape from the 21st-century hustle.

Cedar Key 

17 Small Towns and Cities In Florida That Have More Charm Than We Can Handle
Photo by Zdv via Wikimedia Commons

Cedar Key is a unique place. The folks here are super kind and generous, and the vibe is unlike anywhere else. Kayaking is a spiritual experience, and relaxation is the town’s bylaw.

Safety Harbor 

17 Small Towns and Cities In Florida That Have More Charm Than We Can Handle
Photo by Roman Eugeniusz via Wikimedia Commons

Safety Harbor has many dining spots, the charming Bayshore Linear Park, shopping on Main Street and other areas, and some of the best special events in the Tampa Bay region.

Redditor Rae says, “Safety Harbor has a great Main Street and many locally-owned restaurants and businesses. There are many chef-owned restaurants within a block of Main Street.

Apalachicola 

17 Small Towns and Cities In Florida That Have More Charm Than We Can Handle
Photo by Thomsonmg2000 via Wikimedia Commons

Silver-tongued storytellers and oyster aficionados rejoice in Apalachicola. Here, conversations flow as quickly as the beers and the seafood are divine. Apalachicola’s rustic architecture and maritime heritage are as rich as its oyster beds.

Deland 

17 Small Towns and Cities In Florida That Have More Charm Than We Can Handle
Photo by Ebyabe via Wikimedia Commons

Art lovers and culture seekers! Deland’s galleries and historic Athens Theatre will call to you like mermaids to sailors. Its creative aura infuses the air, making every stroll downtown an unexpected encounter with inspiration.

DeLand is home to the famous Skydive DeLand, the beloved DeLand Fall Festival of the Arts, and some of the most significant events in Central Florida. Don’t miss November’s annual Volusia County Fair, which draws in 250,000 visitors!

Fernandina Beach 

17 Small Towns and Cities In Florida That Have More Charm Than We Can Handle
Photo by calwolfe via Wikimedia Commons

Fernandina Beach on Amelia Island is a parade of shrimp boats, pirate stories, and beachside fun. It’s island time with a side of charm here.

Fernandina Beach is where the modern shrimping industry was born. Shrimp boats head out from the docks almost every day. The 50-block historic district boasts charming Victorian architecture, making a stroll through the city a real treat. And don’t miss checking out the oldest saloon in Florida on Centre Street!

Crystal River 

17 Small Towns and Cities In Florida That Have More Charm Than We Can Handle
Photo by CityofCrystalRiver via Wikimedia Commons

Nature enthusiasts, ready your binoculars! Crystal River offers otherworldly snorkeling experiences that genuinely justify #NoFilter.

Crystal River is famous for its top-notch fishing; folks from around the globe swing by to enjoy the sport on these beautiful waterways. The quick trip to the Gulf of Mexico and the fish chilling near the shore guarantee some epic days out on the water!

Micanopy 

17 Small Towns and Cities In Florida That Have More Charm Than We Can Handle
Photo by Ebyabe via Wikimedia Commons

After one visit to Micanopy, you’ll want to ditch that modern tech. With antebellum homes that stand as proud as peacocks, this town is more vintage than a vinyl record topped with an Instagram filter.

Named after a respected Seminole chief, Micanopy is considered Florida’s oldest inland town, settled in 1821. It’s also one of the tiniest, covering just over one square mile and home to around 650 people.

Tarpon Springs 

17 Small Towns and Cities In Florida That Have More Charm Than We Can Handle
Photo by Ebyabe via Wikimedia Commons

Authentic cuisine and spongy souvenirs make you feel like you’ve teleported to the Mediterranean—at a fraction of the airfare.

Sanford 

17 Small Towns and Cities In Florida That Have More Charm Than We Can Handle
Photo by Ebyabe

Sanford, one of Central Florida’s oldest incorporated cities, is famous for its brick-lined streets, majestic oaks, charming storefronts, and big, nineteenth-century Victorian homes.

Dunedin 

17 Small Towns and Cities In Florida That Have More Charm Than We Can Handle
Photo by Krzysztof Golik via Wikimedia Commons

Dunedin is just a 30-minute drive west of Tampa on Florida’s Gulf Coast. It has unspoiled islands, beautiful white-sand beaches, many trails, and a vibrant, bike-friendly downtown with cozy shops, excellent craft breweries, and unique eateries.

Matlacha 

17 Small Towns and Cities In Florida That Have More Charm Than We Can Handle
Photo by Kevin Dooley via Flickr

In Matlacha, buildings compete in vibrancy with the personalities of local fishmongers. Art studios stand shoulder-to-shoulder with seafood joints along this island strip that dances to the beat of its fishing reel.

This place has it all if you’re into chilling out, checking out art galleries, or diving into fresh seafood! There are many fishing spots, parks, galleries, and just that chill Island vibe.

Winter Garden 

17 Small Towns and Cities In Florida That Have More Charm Than We Can Handle
Photo by Joshcoin via Wikimedia Commons

Winter Garden, just a quick 30-minute drive west of Orlando, is famous for its historic architecture, great dining spots, cultural venues, eco-tourism, and much more!

Punta Gorda 

17 Small Towns and Cities In Florida That Have More Charm Than We Can Handle
Photo by Ebyabe via Wikimedia Commons

Boaters and sailors prepare to drop anchor. Punta Gorda’s waterfront parks and marinas are as enthralling as finding a message in a bottle. Navigate the canals and discover your Floridian fable.

Punta Gorda is one of the best spots for sport fishing globally. It’s right where the Peace River joins Charlotte Harbor, which is perfect for water fun like yachting and sailing.

Sebring 

17 Small Towns and Cities In Florida That Have More Charm Than We Can Handle
Photo by Chuck Schultz via Wikimedia Commons

What’s laid-back and surrounded by 100 lakes? Sebring, of course! Water sports enthusiasts, fishermen, and hammock lovers consider this your invitation to bask in nature’s playground—a sun hat is not optional.

New Smyrna Beach 

17 Small Towns and Cities In Florida That Have More Charm Than We Can Handle
Photo by dmtilley via Wikimedia Commons

Catch charming waves in New Smyrna Beach, where surfboards are mandatory, and shark tales are part of the local folklore. The surf’s always up, and so is the spirit of this coastal beacon of calm.

New Smyrna’s excellent surfing conditions have produced over eight top-notch competitive surfers. And hey, did you know? New Smyrna Beach boasts the most biologically diverse estuary in North America! It’s home to over 400 bird species, including dolphins, manatees, gators, turtles—you name it!

Venice 

17 Small Towns and Cities In Florida That Have More Charm Than We Can Handle
Photo by Blake Everett via Wikimedia Commons

Venice Island is unique because of its stunning white sand beaches and canals. It’s known as “The Shark Tooth Capital of the World” because of all the shark teeth that wash up on the beaches. And don’t miss the Venetian Waterway Park, a lovely trail along the Intracoastal Waterway.

Florida’s small towns and cities weave a fabric of charm so dense it could protect you from even the most determined mosquitos. Pick anyone, and you’re sure to find a community that welcomes you with open arms and might make you rethink your return ticket home. Pack your sunscreen, leave pretense at the border, and come as you are—Florida’s small towns and cities await your discovery with all the charisma and charm in the world. They’re not just places; they’re communities ready to embrace you as one of their own.

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