Two Unexpected Florida Destinations That Should Top Your 2021 Vacation List

 Two Unexpected Florida Destinations That Should Top Your 2021 Vacation List


Two Unexpected Florida Destinations That Should Top Your 2021 Vacation List


As vacationers seek holiday travel spots where they can safely travel, find room to roam and celebrate the New Year, a few Florida destinations stand out with charming experiences and accommodations.  Below are just a few great choices:



Guests interested in the slightly quirky, undiscovered and authentically “Old Florida” vacation experience should choose Navarre Beach/Santa Rosa County. Vacation rentals and affordable hotels are plentiful, but so are some genuinely unique accommodations that will make an impression more than just another mainstream hotel room, no matter how nice the view.


In fact, this destination gives visitors the best of what Florida has to offer, beautiful beaches and clear, freshwater rivers. During January, the average temperatures in Navarre reach highs in the mid 60s and lows in the mid-40s. It’s perfect weather for strolling along the shore and watching the whitecaps, searching for souvenir shells and snapping some beachy photos, then curling up by the fireplace of a cozy beachfront vacation rental or near a campfire under a blanket of stars (dark skies here make for a dazzling celestial show at night).

The Modern Treehouse at Coldwater Gardens is a stately piece of modern architecture set among a dense magnolia canopy. It’s made of rich woods, inside and out. A covered alcove, ideal for lounging, separates the two compact rooms, which are equipped with heat and AC. Plus, you’ll have easy access to the agricultural marvel that is Coldwater Gardens, where you can take relaxing strolls or in-depth guided tours. You’ll feel like a local in no time!


Tiny houses in urban areas are a big thing, but how about one that’s situated amid a canopy of green and nearby charming Coldwater Creek, with three beaches that offer direct access? The Tiny House Cabana at Coldwater Gardens, which comfortably accommodates two, has a climate-controlled bedroom (for that perhaps warm day and cool night), full bathroom and a covered outdoor kitchen and dining space. Just outside the porch there’s a fire pit and charcoal grill with chairs and benches.

Kimpton Vero Beach Hotel & Spa

Adventures Unlimited, just six miles from Coldwater Gardens, has an array of secluded cabins, some that they call “primitive.” Others are darn near cushy — like the Lorax Loft, which offers a cozy treehouse stay. Sleep well in a king-size bed; relax in a champagne soaker tub, fire up the fireplace; and make good use of the equipped mini-kitchen. Lorax Loft is just a quick stroll from Stumpy Alley Beach on Coldwater Creek, as well as the myriad outdoor activities — i.e. ziplining — Adventures Unlimited is famous for.

Katie’s Kaboose, a one-of-a-kind accommodation at Adventures Unlimited, is a renovated train caboose equipped with a full-sized bed and single trundle bed. Relax by the campfire after a day of zip-lining and tubing.

For a trip out of this world, book the Spaceship House in Navarre Beach. This newly remodeled abode includes rooms inspired by the most popular intergalactic movies: Star Wars, Star Trek and more. Sci-Fi fans can live out their childhood fantasies or make their kids’ wildest dreams come true when vacationing in the Spaceship House that is also conveniently located a short walk to the beach.


Vero Beach, Florida sits at the intersection of green and glamorous. Welcoming aquamarine seas and stretches of white-sand beaches encourage Zen-like adventures year round at an oceanfront known for its sunrises — without the high rises. This is the Florida that is famous for winter vacation photos of you and the family enjoying sunny skies and white sand beaches. The excitement of a potential treasure hunt just makes this trip the ultimate must do.


Vero Beach and Indian River County, or the Treasure Coast as this stretch of Florida is often called, is where the tropics truly begin. Many visiting beachgoers spend time searching for treasure at Sea Grape Trail Beach, where there’s a wreck so close to shore that after storms you may find shards of pottery and small coins washed up. One wreck sank with 70 pounds of emeralds on board and to date, only three pounds have been reported recovered.


One of the oldest and most cherished properties in Vero Beach is The Historic Driftwood Resort where guests will experience a true taste of old-Florida beachfront living, replete with a façade made from weathered wood. You can’t go wrong with this property, whose origins date back to the early 1900s. The two-story hotel sits right on the Atlantic Ocean on Vero Beach’s barrier island and includes the legendary Waldo’s Restaurant which bills itself as one of the last great American hangouts.

Here's the rundown on the visionary owner and the property that earned them their “quirky” designation… Owner Waldo Sexton built his sprawling Driftwood Inn of cypress logs and pecky-cypress paneling from the swamps around Blue Cypress Lake, some 26 miles away. Lacking architectural plans, the result is a two-story hotel with balconies everywhere surrounded by pole railings with peeled-log supports. Nothing seems square or level.  Inside, the Inn was filled with quirky objects Waldo found on gathering forays domestically and abroad, including ships’ wheels, cannons, old chests and a menagerie of old bells which guests are invited to ring daily.


For information on Santa Rosa County Tourism visit and for information on Vero Beach check out or contact me.


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