3 Places to Visit in the Sunshine State

Planning a getaway somewhere new should be exciting and not stressful. Whether you are going somewhere far away or staying close to home, having a good starting point when it comes to the "must-sees" can help the planning process go smoother.

Florida is filled with great places to visit. There are the prominent bustling cities of Miami and Tampa, and, of course, the theme park mecca of the world in Orlando. You want to visit the Sunshine State, but not necessarily any of the busy parks or cities. With an eye towards small towns and off-the-beaten-path places, there are still many places to explore. Take a look at three areas you should include in your options when visiting Florida.

1. Fort Myers

Fort Myers is on the southwest coast of the state. Perched on the Caloosahatchee River not far from the Gulf of Mexico, the city affords some beautiful scenery. When looking at a list of things to do in fort myers be sure to take a look at areas where you can view Manatees, check out some innovations in science at the museum, and even go for a stroll surrounding by native flora and fauna.

2. Marco Island

If the beach is more your style, Marco Island provides a great option. Set out in the Gulf of Mexico, the barrier island is home to beautiful white beaches and classy resort accommodations. According to VisitFlorida.com, the island is the only developed one in Florida's Ten Thousand Islands. Boat and nature tours of nearby Collier Seminole State Park affords visitors with a glimpse into the state's storied environmental development. The area also allows canoe and kayak rentals so visitors can explore the area on their own.

3. St. Augustine

The country's oldest city is located along the northeast coast of Florida. St. Augustine is about 40 minutes south of Jacksonville and gives visitors a glimpse into the past. Claimed in 1585 by Spain, the downtown historic district boasts a fort, trolley tours and excellent dining options. The city is considered one of the most haunted in the country, and as such, ghost tours are available nightly. Just across the Matanzas River is Anastasia Island, home to the St. Augustine Lighthouse and beautiful state park beaches. During the holiday season, the city is decked out in thousands of white lights.

There are so many places to visit in Florida that don't include estimated wait times. Take a look at these three options as possibilities for your next relaxing venture.