TOP 12 Beautiful old towns in Florida – That you NEED to visit!

October 6, 2021

Are you looking for the most beautiful old towns in Florida? If so, keep reading!

If you’re searching for the most beautiful old towns in Florida, then you’ve come to the right place!

Listen, we know Florida might not be the first place that springs to mind when you’re looking for beautiful old towns with history, but actually there are many beautiful old towns in Florida to explore. In fact, some of the most beautiful old towns in Florida are also some of the most stunning locations in the USA.

The old towns in Florida that we’ve included in this list, all ooze history, have stunning architecture and make for a perfect weekend away or vacation. These are our top 12 beautiful old towns in Florida, that we think you’ll absolutely adore exploring and looking around!

So, let’s get into it!


Here are 12 beautiful old towns in Florida!


St. Augustine

St. Augustine is one of the most beautiful old towns in Florida that sees large numbers of tourists every year. Whether you believe it or not, St. Augustine is over 450 years old! Since its founding by the explorer Pedro Menendez de Aviles, this stunning spot has been deemed one of the ‘must-visit’ old towns in Florida. 

Now, this area has plenty of natural beautiful in the form of pristine beaches and unique wildlife. However, we find this town’s historic district to be the standout attraction. With endless brick lanes and perfectly maintained historical buildings, St. Augustine is one of the old towns in Florida that will enchant any architectural buff. 

If you decide to pay a visit to St. Augustine, we recommend visiting the gardens at the Mission Nombe de Dios. Not only is the Mission itself fascinating, but the gorgeously manicured gardens make St. Augustine one of the best old towns in Florida for nature lovers to explore. Should you be more interested in history than horticulture, why not check out the Colonial Spanish Quarter Museum? This museum gives visitors an incredible insight into St. Augustine’s history and its founding by Spanish explorers. 

Whatever you choose to do here, St. Augustine is one of the most beautiful old towns in Florida that visitors of all ages are sure to appreciate.

Read more about exploring Florida: What is the nicest town to visit in Florida?


Cedar Key

The next place on our list of the most beautiful old towns in Florida? It’s Cedar Key. 

We believe wholeheartedly that Cedar Key is one of the finest old towns in Florida for those who need some TLC. With a population of only 800, it’s one of the sleepiest old towns in Florida that welcomes slow-paced travelers and tired city dwellers looking to relax and recharge.

If you want to escape into nature, then we can’t recommend the Cedar Keys National Wildlife Refuge enough. Offering plenty of stunning trails that are packed with local flora and fauna, you’ll feel totally transported after your visit.

However, it’s not just Cedar Key’s impressive natural side that makes it one of our favorite old towns in Florida. With a smattering of local stores and museums, the quaint atmosphere in Cedar Key epitomizes that classic, American small-town charm that tourists love. Acting as the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of city life, this is one of the old towns in Florida that we recommend hitting on your next vacation. 

Read more about exploring Florida: 18 romantic getaways in Florida


Sanibel

If you’re on the hunt for the most beautiful and small old towns in Florida, you needn’t look further than Sanibel. This lesser-known spot is a little out of the way, but we promise it’s well worth a look-in. Beach lovers rejoice, as Sanibel is one of the beautiful old towns in Florida that has gorgeous beaches and a relaxing, island vibe.

Although the landscape here is nothing to scoff at, it’s the quiet atmosphere and small population that makes this one of our favorite getaway spots in Florida. With a population of only 7,500, this is oone of those old towns in Florida that will leave you recharged and ready to tackle any problem life throws at you.

You won’t find many activities here to get your adrenaline pumping, but you will find natural beauty spots, a wildlife refuge, an unbeatable boardwalk, and of course, stunning beaches! So, if you’re looking for a relaxed weekend away, this is one of the finest old towns in Florida to visit this year. 


Brooksville

Brooksville is next on our list of old towns in Florida. If you live close to tampa, then Brooksville is a great option for old towns in Florida to visit. Located only an hour from Tampa, this gorgeous small town in Florida allows you to escape into nature without a care in the world.

With an amazing countryside landscape and the sprawling Withlacoochee State Forest to explore, nature lovers will find plenty to do here. From hiking to biking, you’ll certainly be able to exercise both your heart and mind in Brooksville. Once you’ve had your fill of the natural areas, why not head to the center of Brooksville? The downtown area is a small-town dream that’s packed with beautiful buildings and towering oak trees. It’s one of our favorite old towns in Florida.

If you’d like to get some shopping done, there are several unique boutique stores that will welcome you with open arms. Whatever you decide to do here, this is one of the old towns in Florida that you’ll want to come back to!

Read more about Florida: 14 things to do in Brooksville


Key West

Next on our list of beautiful old towns in Florida, it’s Key West. You’ll have probably heard of Key West, it’s one of the most scenic old towns in Florida and really popular with visitors and toursits. The beautiful streets of Key West transport you back in time, they’re so wonderfully old!

One of the reasons Key West makes our list of beautiful old towns in Florida, is the lifestyle and energy here. Key West is full of people enjoying their lives, in a beautiful part of the country! There is wonderful shopping, cafes, restaurants and (of course) beaches too!

Read more about Florida: How to plan the best Miami to Key West road trip

Petr Kahanek / Shutterstock.com

Dunellon

Our next suggestion for old towns in Florida, is Dunellon. Another beautiful old town in Florida that’s perfect for quiet weekends away is Dunnellon. You’ve probably never heard of Dunnellon, but this small town in the northwest of Florida is known for its amazing Rainbow River.

It’s not quite as colorful as its name leads you to believe, but it does host thousands of visitors each year who come here to go tubing and kayaking. Which makes it one of the most fun old towns in Florida.

For those who aren’t interested in water sports, never fear. There’s plenty to do in Dunnellon that don’t require getting your feet wet. The Halpata Tastanaki Preserve is perfect for hikers, and the center of Dunnellon offers plenty of dining and shopping opportunities too. Although there’s much to love about this spot, what makes Dunnellon one of the top old towns in Florida is its unspoiled landscape. Everything is blossoming and green, and it truly is a sight to behold in our modern world. 

Read more USA travel ideas: Top 15 best places to visit in March in the USA


Crystal River

Next on our list of old towns in Florida, it’s Crystal River. If you’re an animal lover – then you will ADORE Crystal River. Why? Because it’s home to the amazing Manatees, and there are so many of them in Crystal River you won’t even be able to count!

As you might have guessed, Crystal River is home to the Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge – which is one of the main locations in the USA sheltering manatees year-round. It’s quite something to experience and it’s so memorable and unique too.


Punta Gorda

Next on our list of beautiful old towns in Florida, it’s Punta Gorda. Those who can’t get enough of water-based activities and hikes will adore Punta Gorda. Not only is this area home to some of Florida’s lushest mangroves, but it’s perfect for kayakers, hikers, and bikers! With so much open land, this is one of the old towns in Florida that will suit anyone wanting to get active during their vacation. 

We definitely recommend visiting the Peace River while you’re here too. In fact, we’d say it’s the must-see attraction in Punta Gorda. Once you’ve had your fill of the water, you should check out the center of Punta Gorda for some awesome, small-town charm. It’s one of those old towns in Florida we know you’ll love.

Here, you can walk the beautiful cobbled streets and check out the immense stately homes for a taste of how the other half lives. If you’re visiting during winter, we highly recommend researching the festive activities on offer. Punta Gorda is one of the old towns in Florida that takes Christmas seriously, so don’t miss out! 

Feng Cheng / Shutterstock.com

Fernandina Beach

Since its founding in 1825, Fernandina Beach has been one of the most popular old towns in Florida for tourists. Located on Amelia Island, this small town is incredibly picturesque. With its wonderful 19th-century buildings, historical charm, and luscious greenery, Fernandina Beach is certainly one of the most aesthetically pleasing old towns in Florida. 

If you’re looking for great things to do while you’re here, then we’ve got you covered. First-time visitors should start with the famous downtown district. Packed with unique boutiques and plenty of restaurants, this area is an excellent introduction to this quaint little town, and perfect pick for old towns in Florida.

Once you’ve explored downtown, why not head down to one of Fernandina Beach’s many quiet beaches? Each one more pristine than the last so leave enough time to soak up some rays! Just don’t forget to apply sunscreen people. We don’t want to see you walk away from your vacation burned to a crisp! Another gorgeous choice for old towns in Florida.

Read more about Florida: 10 of the best places to retire in Florida


Mount Dora

Mount Dora is next on our list of beautiful old towns in Florida. Those on the hunt for quaint buildings and a central Florida location will appreciate Mount Dora. This hidden gem has long been considered one of the most beautiful old towns in Florida. Although the endless antique shops and unique restaurants are a massive draw, we feel it’s the annual festivals and local history that make Mount Dora worth a second look.

Each year, you’ll find The Mount Dora Arts Festival taking place here. Hosting thousands of visitors each year, this is one of the beautiful old towns in Florida that almost doubles in population during its famous February festival!

If you’re not artsy, you might want to visit the various museums in Mount Dora. With everything from a Modernism Museum to a History Museum available to explore, this slow-paced, cultural hotspot will always make it onto our list of the most beautiful old towns in Florida. 

Read more about exploring Florida: 12 fun things to do in Pensacola Beach

Jillian Cain Photography / Shutterstock.com

Apalachicola

Apalachicola is a tiny place, but it’s one of our favorite scenic old towns in Florida. What it lacks in size it more than makes up for in good food and attractions. This is one of the old towns in Florida for foodies!

Apalachicola is one of the most established old towns in Florida, having been around since 1827! If you’d like to learn more about the area’s history, be sure to visit Orman House Historic State Park, John Gorrie Museum State Park and the Apalachicola Maritime Museum. This town has a truly fascinating maritime history, so none of these museums should be missed. 

While you’re here, why not sample some local oysters? Believe us when we say they’re life-changing. Perfectly seasoned and pulled straight from the water, you really won’t find better oysters in all of Florida! This is a great choice for old towns in Florida to visit.


Micanopy

The final place on our list of the most beautiful old towns in Florida is Micanopy. With only 630 residents calling this town home, it’s the smallest entry on our list. However, despite its size, Micanopy packs a massive punch. With rows of historic buildings, antique stores, and local restaurants on offer, this small town in Florida is sure to charm you. 

If you’re interested in the life of author Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, then you need to visit Cross Creek while you’re here. Apparently, Rawlings found her passion for writing in this very town and it gave her the inspiration to write “The Yearling”! 

Once you’ve had your cultural fill, head to Paynes Prairie State Park for some fresh air. Lauded for its hiking trails and alligator spotting opportunities, this is a must-visit location. Micanopy may not be big, but it’s certainly one of the most beautiful old towns in Florida.

H.J. Herrera / Shutterstock.com

We hope that our list of the most beautiful old towns in Florida has piqued your interest!

Whichever spot you choose to visit, these old towns in Florida will have you booking a return trip faster than you can say “USA”!

Read more about Florida: 15 beautiful beaches near Orlando, Florida

Read more about exploring the USA: 20 fun things to do in Frankenmuth, Michigan

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