10 Florida Islands You Owe It to Yourself to Explore

You might be able to name a few Florida islands, but did you know there are thousands of islands in the state? Put these Florida islands on your must-see list!

1. Sunset Key

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Photo courtesy of Laurence Norah/Florida Keys News Bureau

From Key West you can witness spectacular scenes as the sun fades away over Sunset Key. For a luxurious island experience, you can stay in a cottage on the 27-acre private island. 

2. Key West

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At the southernmost point of the continental United States, Key West anchors the Florida Keys and is a great destination for families, foodies, and festivalgoers. Families will enjoy the laid-back island vibe, historic sites, and abundant water sports. It's also a perfect getaway for an adults-only trip to explore the nightlife and upscale seafood. 

3. Amelia Island

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Photo Courtesy of Visit Florida

North of Jacksonville and just a stone's throw from the Georgia border, Amelia Island is equal parts Southern charm and laid-back beach ambience. If you can pull yourself away from the 13-mile stretch of beaches, the city offers a beautiful historic downtown area that includes Florida's oldest surviving hotel, The Florida House Inn

4. St. George Island

Tranquility abounds on St. George Island, which sits in the Gulf of Mexico near the Apalachicola National Forest in the panhandle of Florida. Enjoy a lazy day on the beach or settle in for a bountiful fishing adventure.

5. Key Largo

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Photo courtesy of Florida Keys News Bureau

This island is a must for snorkel and scuba enthusiasts. Key Largo is home to the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, a protected underwater sanctuary. If you prefer not to get your feet wet, you can experience the wonder of the coral reef from a glass-bottom boat tour. 

6. Marco Island

Near the tip of mainland Florida, Marco Island is one of the state's largest inhabited islands. It offers beautiful beaches and is conveniently close to the Everglades and Naples. Briggs Nature Center is a major attraction there for nature-lovers. Walk along the half-mile boardwalk to take in the natural splendor of the island. 

7. Islamorada

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Photo courtesy of Andy Newman/Florida Keys News Bureau

The early bird catches the … fish! Islamorada plays host to some of the best sport fishing crews in the world. Casual anglers will also experience the thrill of reeling in sailfish, bonefish, and tarpon. Even if you never pick up a rod, there is much to enjoy in this tropical oasis with gorgeous beaches, sunsets, and the freshest seafood around.

8. Anna Maria Island

Here's your chance to relax! Anna Maria Island is 7 miles long and lies between the Gulf of Mexico and mainland Florida (near the southern mouth of Tampa Bay). For the ultimate getaway, stay on the island in a private rental cottage or charming beachfront resort. 

9. Gasparilla Island

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Photo courtesy of Visit Florida

If you're looking for an iconic lighthouse and a stunning beach, head to the Gasparilla Island State Park for a day of fun in the sun. If you're looking for an idyllic place to retire, buy a home in Gasparilla Island's Boca Grande. Whether you're on the island for an hour or a lifetime, you'll enjoy kicking off your shoes and walking with your toes in the sand. 

10. Merritt Island

This is not your stereotypical Florida island, but it is full of amazing discoveries. Take a tour of NASA's John F. Kennedy Space Center on Merritt Island, and marvel at modern engineering feats. Then witness wildlife in its natural habitat at a national wildlife refuge. On the right day, it's possible to see alligators sunning themselves there. Pack your zoom lens!

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