Florida’s Best-Kept Secret Locations

Author: Alecia Pirulis  

Apalachicola

 

Yes, rural Florida does still exist …

Are you considering a move to Florida? Are you unsure because of all of the tourists, garish surf shops, and snowbirds you’ll have to contend with? Sure, you’ll find plenty of those in the more popular areas of the state, but Florida still has plenty of “undiscovered” locations.

One such location? Sopchoppy! Just the name is fun — living there means when someone asks, “Where are you from?” You get to reply, “Sopchoppy!” And enjoy the puzzled look you receive. Sopchoppy is located 33 miles south of Tallahassee, on the edge of the Apalachicola National Forest near the Apalachee Bay. Sopchoppy is home of the Worm Gruntin’ Festival. (Yes, really!) What is worm grunting, you ask? It’s the art of getting earthworms to come to out of the ground. The festival contains live music, vendors, and contests. Sopchoppy also has a historic high school. The city dates to 1894 and has a population of 426.

Carrabelle, population 1,300, is on the Gulf Coast. Carrabelle began as a small fishing village. Today — well, it’s still small. But it is home to the World’s Smallest Police Station, and Carrabelle Beach is a beautiful stretch of white sand that is (as of yet) undiscovered by tourists, so it’s never crowded. Carrabelle is 54 miles southwest of Tallahassee.

Another great choice is Newberry. Located in north central Florida, this city of roughly 5,000 is 17 miles west of Gainesville, Georgia. It’s a great little city that dates back to the 1880s. It is home to the Dudley Farm Historic State Park, an 1850s homestead with 18 buildings.

If a population of 12 suits you better, then you’ll enjoy the unique Florida city of Weeki Wachee. It is located in Weeki Wachee Springs, Florida’s only spring-fed water park, complete with mermaids. Weeki Wachee is just about as unpopulated as any place gets. It is five miles from Spring Hill and 56 miles north of Tampa.

Other undiscovered Florida locations include Cloud Lake, population about 200, five miles south of West Palm Beach, and Otter Creek, population of about 120 and about 49 miles west of Ocala on the Gulf Coast.