Published on July 27, 2021

Top 30 of Florida’s Most Beautiful Small Towns and Cities Ranked on Microsoft News

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A Mother’s Touch Movers, the superior moving company in Melbourne, FL, can help you move to or from any of these spectacular Florida destinations!

If you are currently living in, relocating, or moving to Florida, you are probably aware that experts report nearly 1,000 people move to the Sunshine State daily. Florida’s growth is so evident that we recently gained a congressional seat due to the population increase confirmed by the most recent U.S. census (Florida gains congressional seat due to population growth (fox13news.com).  An estimated 21.57 million call Florida home, trailing only California and Texas.

At A Mother’s Touch Movers in Melbourne, FL, we can attest to this steady phenomenon having moved tens of thousands of families and businesses within the state over the last 30 years.  The moving business is in such an explosive, sustainable growth mode that we have expanded our own operation with profitable Florida and national franchises in the moving industry.

Microsoft News gets it right when acknowledging 30 of the most beautiful, low-key yet enticing, and serene locales Florida has to offer

Check out their article at Florida’s beautiful small towns and cities, ranked (msn.com) and the extracted excerpts below.  And then, contact A Mother’s Touch Movers and let us know where we can move you from and to in Florida!

“America’s southernmost state might be best known for bustling resorts like Miami and Orlando, but beyond the bright lights and big cities there are plenty of smaller places worth exploring too. What they lack in size, they more than make up for in beauty. From sun-kissed coastal charmers to quaint historic towns, we’ve selected Florida’s 30 most picture-perfect small towns and cities.”

30. DeLand, Volusia County

Dubbed the “Athens of Florida”, DeLand was founded by wealthy businessman Henry A. DeLand in 1876, who wanted the city to embody the culture, education, and beauty of the Greek capital. With its red-brick buildings and oak-lined streets, there are plenty of charming cultural and historic hot spots.

29. Niceville, Okaloosa County

With its laid-back and friendly atmosphere, Niceville certainly lives up to its name. Located in the western panhandle between Pensacola and Panama City, the city has a population of around 12,500. It’s an ideal base for exploring the white sandy beaches of Destin 20 minutes nearby and has plenty of cultural attractions of its own.

28. Ponce Inlet, Volusia County

The striking red beacon that crowns Ponce Inlet has become a symbol of the town. Built in 1887, at a height of 175 feet, it is the tallest lighthouse in Florida. The town is just as gorgeous at ground-level too. A fishing hub in past and present times, it has several attractive marinas, shipyards, and oceanfront restaurants.

27. Chipley, Washington County

The quaint city of Chipley is tucked away in the panhandle between Tallahassee and Pensacola. Despite being a small community of just 3,600, it has a vibrant cultural life and plenty of natural beauty. One of the biggest draws is Main Street Market, a bustling farmers’ market filled with the best local produce, from fresher-than-fresh oysters to seasonal fruit and vegetables. Just three miles south of Chipley is Falling Waters State Park, home to Florida’s tallest waterfall.

26. Vero Beach, Indian River County

Located in southeastern Florida’s Treasure Coast region, Vero Beach has been nicknamed the Hamptons of Florida. The palm-fringed paradise is the perfect location for trendy bars, boutiques, and restaurants. Vero Beach started life as a citrus farming region and today offers new residents the chance to learn about the history of fruit growing and enjoy tasting for themselves.

25. Crystal River, Citrus County

In cooler months manatees flock to the balmy natural springs around Crystal River, a small city that’s roughly a 90-minute drive north of Tampa. Aside from swimming in their natural habitat – at the only place in the US where it is legal to do so – tourists and locals swim in the crystal-clear spring waters and enjoy paddle boarding or kayaking.

24. Fernandina Beach, Nassau County

Fernandina Beach is a historic seaside town with a colorful past located on Amelia Island on Florida’s northeastern coast.  It is only place in the US that has been under the control of eight different national regimes, earning the nickname of “Isle of Eight Flags.” The 50-block downtown region is recognized as a National Historic District with well-preserved Victorian architecture, galleries, diverse boutiques, and museums.

23. Mount Dora, Lake County

When it comes to old-school charm, Mount Dora ticks all the boxes. Situated in central Florida about 45 minutes from downtown Orlando, the quaint city is an enticing combination of antique stores, outdoor cafés, galleries, and historic gems. Its best-known building is the Lakeside Inn, Florida’s oldest continuously operating hotel, which was constructed in 1883.

22. Stuart, Martin County

Known as the “Sailfish Capital of the World”, the waters around Stuart are swarming with these blue-and-silver finned fish. The town in Martin County, is said to have gained its moniker in 1938, after a team of journalists came to visit and caught more than 1,000 sailfish in under a week. Its uncluttered downtown has a laid-back attitude with low-rise buildings, upscale boutiques, restaurants, and a weekly farmers’ market.

21. Key Largo, Monroe County

Key Largo is the northernmost and longest of the Florida Keys.  Year-round residents number about 10,000 and it still retains its easy-breezy, small-town feel.  Known for having the world’s second-largest artificial reef, created by the sinking of ships off the coast, means ample opportunities for diving, snorkeling, fishing, kayaking, and paddle boarding.

20. Winter Park, Orange County

The red-brick streets of Winter Park are made for lazy strolling.   With just a 20-minute drive northeast of Orlando, this leafy city has a suburban feel and is a world away from Disney’s homeland.  It has a thriving food scene, with acclaimed restaurants serving everything from sushi and seafood to classic American fare, plus there’s a farmers’ market every Saturday. Natural beauty is abundant with Winter Park residents enjoying boat tours of its renowned chain of lakes and canals.

  1. Boca Grande, Charlotte and Lee Counties

Boca Grande is Old Florida allure. Situated on Gasparilla Island off the Gulf Coast, the town has been graced by Henry Ford, JP Morgan, the Bush family, and Audrey Hepburn in its 100-plus years. Placed on the map in the 1880s after railroads were built in the area, shortly after wealthy Northerners began to trickle in.  One of its main past and present draws is the Gasparilla Inn & Club, completed in 1911, a luxurious manor still retaining its timeless glamor.

18. Islamorada, Monroe County

Islamorada is spread across six islands between the Everglades National Park and Florida Strait. It’s the epitome of a tropical paradise: shimmering turquoise waters, swaying palms, and some 1,200 feet of stunning beaches. As the “Sportfishing Capital of the World”, Islamorada’s crystal-like seas are teeming with sailfish, permit, tarpon, redfish, and bonefish.

17. Punta Gorda, Charlotte County

This Gulf Coast gem is the perfect place to step away from the crowds and embrace laid-back waterfront living. Surrounded by the stunning Charlotte Harbor, which curves its way inland along Florida’s west coast, Punta Gorda is a popular spot for sailing, fishing, and watersports.  Its historic district made up of late-19th and early- 20th century buildings, has been carefully restored post-hurricanes, and gives a glimpse into its traditional past.

16. St. Petersburg, Pinellas County

St. Petersburg owes much of its recognizable Mediterranean Revival architecture to Florida’s 1920’s boom, when an influx of new residents arrived.  The city gained many of its most notable buildings, including the opulent Don Cesar Hotel or “Pink Palace” frequented by F. Scott Fitzgerald in its heyday. It holds modern-day accolades too: St. Pete Beach was voted the US’s best by TripAdvisor in 2021 and it holds the Guinness World Record for the most consecutive days of sunshine at a whopping 768.

15. Dunedin, Pinellas County

With its colorful buildings and kitsch Jolley Trolley trams that cruise the streets, Dunedin has postcard-perfect good looks. Bringing a touch of Scottish charm to the Gulf Coast, the town was settled by the Scots in 1852. Street names such as Highland Avenue and Scotland Street nod to this heritage, while festivals including the Dunedin Celtic Music and Craft Beer Festival are a full-blown celebration of Scottish culture.

14. Destin, Okaloosa County

Situated in the panhandle against the Gulf of Mexico, Destin’s pristine white beaches owe their trademark hue to tiny crystals of Appalachian quartz, which washed in during the last Ice Age.  The locals enjoy fishing in clear waters, dining on fresh seafood in local restaurants, and the abundance of luxurious shorefront condos.  Destin’s permanent population is small at 13,000 keeping the small town  friendly community feel.

13. Anna Maria Island, Manatee County

Just off Florida’s west coast, around 50 miles south of Tampa, Anna Maria Island is a tropical treasure.  Jaw-dropping beaches range from the wide expanse of central Holmes Beach to the rugged, secluded southside Coquina Beach.   The historic Bridge Street features independent shops, restaurants, and galleries.  Anna Maria Island’s crown jewel is its pier, completed in 1912.  It contains over 1,100 unique engraved planks dedicated to locals and their loved ones and is currently being rebuilt after Hurricane Irma.

12. Venice, Sarasota County

Venice holds the unusual title of “Shark Tooth Capital of the World”. Roughly 10 million years ago Florida was submerged underwater; sharks were area natives.  Retreating waters caused sharks to die and their fossilized teeth remain today.  Venice boasts a charming Italian Renaissance-style downtown, unspoiled Gulf Coast beaches, and around 30 miles of panoramic bike trails.

11. Coconut Grove, Miami-Dade County

Technically part of the city of Miami, Coconut Grove moves to the beat of its own drum. This laid-back neighborhood established in 1873 is an eclectic mix of artists, writers, pioneers, and adventurers lending to the Bohemian character it is known for today. Outdoor bars and cafés line streets while luxury yachts fill “The Grove” harbor giving Coconut Grove a reputation as a “hip neighborhood with a village-like feel.”

10. Sebring, Highlands County

Picturesque Sebring is a mecca for outdoor enthusiasts. Located on the shores of Lake Placid in central Florida, surrounded by Cypress swamps, it is the perfect backdrop for a range of activities from hiking and cycling to watersports.  It’s also known as “City on the Circle” thanks to the unique circular design of its streets, designed around the central Circle Park.  It is also home to Sebring International Raceway, a former WWII base turned car racing track that hosts the annual 12 Hours of Sebring event.

9. Apalachicola, Franklin County

A dainty maritime town on the Gulf of Mexico, Apalachicola is brimming with historic charm.  Recognized by the National Trust for Historic Preservation as a “distinctive destination,” “Apalach” as referred to by the locals, is home to well-preserved buildings dating back to the 1830s.  These include former ships’ chandleries, warehouses and factories transformed into trendy bars, cafés, restaurants, and galleries, making the city a seamless fusion of old and new residents.

8. Key West, Monroe County

The last of the Florida Keys, located on a four-mile long, two-mile wide island, Key West is a sun-drenched beach town.  Its crystal-clear waters are a haven for scuba diving, sailing, and snorkeling. Its compact downtown is lined with palms and conch-style houses and its history is symbolic of the famous folks who vacationed there such as Ernest Hemingway and Tennessee Williams.

7. Matlacha, Lee County

Colorful beachfront cabins are a common sight in Matlacha. Located on a small parcel off the coast of Fort Myers, the hamlet is painted in a rainbow of bright hues.  By the 1990s it became clear that the dwindling fishing industry wasn’t enough to support all residents of this original fishing village.  Locals took to the paint palette to revive the town’s buildings where today’s residents enjoy art galleries, beach bars, independent restaurants, and more.

6. Grayton Beach, Walton County

Grayton Beach is a winning combination of pristine sands and almost fluorescent turquoise seas. Situated in the panhandle about halfway between Pensacola and Panama City, the town is mostly covered by the 400-acre Grayton Beach State Park.  Exploring its jaw-dropping scenery, residents stroll through the town’s quaint white-picket-fence communities or pop into a waterfront restaurant for a taste of Southern cuisine.

5. Sanibel Island, Lee County

Sanibel Island is completely show-stopping at sunset when its seaweed-dappled shores are painted an array of pastel hues. At just 15 miles long and five miles wide, the island is crowned by the 19th-century Sanibel Lighthouse still in operation today. Also known for being home to a wide range of seashells, Sanibel Island is so popular with shell-hunters that hotels provide special sorting and cleaning facilities.  There is even a dedicated museum showcasing the world’s largest shells.

4. Tarpon Springs, Pinellas County

Tarpon Springs takes its name from the fish which populate its surrounding seas – but they’re not the only species abundant here. In the early 20th century, Greek settlers discovered plentiful natural sponge in these waters and set up a thriving industry selling sponges. Today, the town’s Greek influence can be seen in its whitewashed buildings, narrow winding streets, and Mediterranean food markets.

3. St Augustine, St. Johns County

Cobbled streets and centuries-old Moorish and Spanish colonial buildings make up the famous Historic District of St. Augustine. This northeast coast gem is the oldest continuously occupied European settlement on the continent, with Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de León’s 1513 arrival.  Providing much for history buffs to enjoy, residents and visitors enjoy the iconic orange-and-green Old Town Trolleys, quaint street cafés, and hidden courtyards.

2. Naples, Collier County

Naples is a tropical charmer on the Paradise Coast, home to sugar-sand beaches and striking city life. The historic streets of Third Street South and Fifth Avenue South are home to pastel-hued buildings decorated with cascading blooms, upscale shops, bars, and restaurants.

1. Seaside, Walton County

Adorably quaint Seaside boasts stunning beaches in Florida’s panhandle between Panama City and Fort Walton Beach.  Seaside is home to nine unique pavilions leading down to the shore, each designed by a different architect.  There is plenty for new residents to discover and locals to continually revisit with charming independent bookstores and record stores, farmers’ markets, picturesque art galleries, and theaters near the coastline.

So, let’s get moving in Florida!  A Mother’s Touch Movers of Melbourne, FL is licensed, bonded, insured, and professionally experienced!

You can rest assured that your valued possessions will arrive safely whether you are moving from the Panhandle to the Florida Keys, Naples to Jacksonville, or anywhere in between. A Mother’s Touch Movers only employs the most qualified professionals providing you peace of mind and relieving you of the worries and tensions associated with moving. We want you to have a pleasant experience.  Afterall this is an exciting and busy time to be relocating in Florida, so let the expert movers get you moving!

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