When thinking of Florida most people are thinking of Spring Break, parties, and beaches but some of Florida’s cities are perfect for couples’ getaways. And why wouldn’t it be? Florida has tons of sunshine and 825 miles of beaches, great sunsets on the West Coast, and beautiful sunrises on the East Coast.
This is our list of the 5 most romantic cities in Florida perfect for planning a weekend getaway or romantic surprise for the significant other, scattered through different parts of the state – St. Augustine, St. Petersburg, Destin, Ocala & Marco Island.
St. Augustine is the oldest city in the country founded in 1565. It is known for its Spanish colonial architecture and cobblestone streets. One of the main attractions is The Castillo de San Marco. A 17th-century Spanish stone fortress was built to protect Spanish Florida from pirates and British troops. The fort became a national monument in 1900 and nowadays you can take a tour of this well-preserved monument and even witness cannon firing demonstrations that happen multiple times a day.
The best way to learn the city’s history is to take one of the walking tours, not to be confused with Ghost Tours.
No surprise here, as the oldest city in the country locals have believed for a long time that the place is filled with spirits who once lived in the city hundreds of years ago. It’s a fun and spooky way to spend an evening but also a very educational tour.
Another tour worth taking is of a somewhat new St. Augustine Distillery. The distillery is in the old and fully restored Augustine Ice Plant, with a great restaurant attached to it.
St. Augustine is located on the east coast and if weather permits you can visit one of the St. Augustine Beaches.
The city is full of great romantic restaurants and little Bed and Breakfast places secluded and perfect for couples.
WHERE TO STAY: Casa De Suenos Bed and Breakfast
WHERE TO HAVE A ROMANTIC DINNER: Llama Restaurant
Located in Central Florida as part of the Tampa Bay area, St. Petersburg has a completely different vibe than its neighboring cities. It is more quaint and artsy. The entire city is one big open-air museum with amazing murals all over the city. It is also home to the biggest collection of Salvador Dali artwork outside of Spain and you can spend an entire day gazing at his painting in the Salvador Dali Museum.
St. Pete Beach and Fort De Soto Park are a few minutes’ drive from downtown and both are great locations for catching some sun rays. But if boating or sailing is more of your thing you can catch a sailboat in downtown.
Craft breweries have taken over the city in the last few years. They range from small-scale homegrown breweries to larger-scale national breweries and so many of them are within walking distance from each other or a bike ride away. Rent a bike and explore craft breweries as well as an excellent dining scene with everything from sandwiches and charcuterie to 5-star restaurants. For more about St. Petersburg attractions check out our post here.
WHERE TO HAVE A ROMANTIC DINNER: Allelo
Destin is located in northwest Florida in the Panhandle snuggled against the Gulf of Mexico it is famed for its white-sand beaches and emerald-hued water. Fishing and water sport are huge in Destin, as well as sunset cruises and even Tiki Boat Cruise.
The Henderson Park Inn is one of the most romantic adults-only Bed and Breakfast hotels in the state located right on the beach overlooking the Gulf of Mexico. From here you can enjoy amazing sunsets and/or moonlit beach walks.
If a sunset cruise or tiki bar cruise is not your thing, there are a few restaurants in the area located on the beach from where you can enjoy amazing sunsets as well.
WHERE TO STAY: Henderson Park Inn
Ocala is definitely not a place most people think of when they are thinking of a romantic getaway. However, what makes this city a perfect and secluded getaway in our eyes is its proximity to Silver Springs, Rainbow Springs State Park, and Crystal River State Park. Here you can completely immerse yourself in nature, and enjoy refreshing crystal-clear water while swimming, snorkeling, paddleboarding, kayaking, tubing, or taking a tour on a glass-bottom boat. At times you will feel completely alone while getting lost in nature.
For those that enjoy birdwatching and wildlife that is another reason to visit this area, you can see turtles, various fish species, manatees, sometimes alligators, and definitely monkeys in Silver Springs.
Silver Spring also has hiking trails worth exploring anything between November and April, before it gets too hot and humid. Bug spray and sunscreen are a must and watch out for ticks.
Our favorite ziplining place is in Ocala, The Canyons Zip Line and Adventure Park, it is a must.
We know it sounds unlikely location, but if you give it a try you will not be disappointed. There are quite a few fine dining restaurants and nice hotels to stay in and sit back and relax when not exploring the different side of Florida.
WHERE TO STAY: Shamrock Thistle & Crown Bed and Breakfast
WHERE TO HAVE A ROMANTIC DINNER: La Cuisine French Restaurants and most days they have a live performance.
The beauty of Marco Island is that you can either enjoy beach life (beaches, sunsets, cocktails, shopping, spa) or the wilderness of Everglades National Park (alligators, fishing, airboats, kayaking). This is a perfect spot for a couple where there may be a difference of opinion about what the romantic getaway means.
Splitting the time between these two different areas can give you a little bit of an adventure as well as plenty of opportunities for relaxation and time on the beach. There are many resorts that cater to adults only and great fine dining in the area.
From Marco Island, there is also an express ferry to Key West that you can take to explore the southern tip of Florida.
WHERE TO STAY: JW Marriott Marco Island Beach Resort
WHERE TO HAVE A ROMANTIC DINNER: La Tavola has live music on Monday nights. There are many other options to choose from.
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