When they sit down to dream of small town vacations, Americans are often dreaming of the Florida Keys.
They’re dreaming about the big, flashy parts of Florida, too, of course. After all, Tripadvisor reported in April that Miami Beach and Key West were two of the most popular vacation spots for Americans in the world. A month earlier, after a raucous spring break that inspired many Miami locals to vow to never cross the causeway again, Tripit from Concur reported that Florida was one of the top dream destinations in the country.
But when it comes to smaller spots, travel website Holidu.com says, two different Keys spots are attracting a lot of attention. Over the past year, Key Largo and Islamorada are two of the most-searched-for destinations in Florida.
On its list of the Top 10 most popular Florida small towns, the website praises the clear waters and boating and snorkeling possibilities around both areas. Don’t-miss attractions around Key Largo include Harry Harris Park and Beach and John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park.
Islamorada gets a nod for being home to Windley Key Fossil Reef Geological State Park and “colorful cafes and restaurants.”
The top small-town Florida destination was, however, far from the Keys. St. Augustine took the top spot.
Here’s what Holidu had to say: “Nestled on the expansive Atlantic coast its white-sand beaches are perfect for a day of relaxing by the waves. Dripping in Spanish architecture, St. Augustine is the oldest continuously settled city in the United States. To this day, its streets are still filled with horse-drawn carriages ready for visitors to explore its rich history. This gorgeous town is a regular family favorite, especially in summer. Its inviting beaches and charming streets make this town the perfect destination for travelers of all ages and interests.”
The other small Florida towns on the top 10 list: Panama City Beach; Destin; Marco Island; Cocoa Beach; Siesta Key; Vero Beach; and St. Pete Beach, which was named the Best Beach in the U.S. by Tripadvisor earlier this year.