Visit Kochi to feel the Wonders of the Old World

The first European colony in colonial India, Kochi was occupied by the Portuguese from 1503 to 1530 and operated as the seat of power till then. This jewel of the Arabian Sea was an important spice trading center from the 14th century on the west coast of India, a tradition which exists till now. Kochi is home to a lot of historical monuments like the St. Francis Church built in 1503 is the oldest European church in India or the Pallipuram Fort which was also built in 1503 and still exists, earning it the title of being amongst the oldest existing European forts in India. Kochi is the personification of the saying ‘old is gold’.

How to reach Kochi

The first and foremost way most people look for is air travel and Kochi, with its Cochin International Airport (which is the world’s fully solar energy powered airport), is responsible for both the international and domestic flights. Availing tickets from far off places like Dubai to Kochi flights, New York to Kochi flights, Toronto to Kochi flights and more are easy.

Roads connect Kochi to its neighboring cities and states with ease since it is a node on the north-south corridor of the national highway system

Kochi is serviced by 4 major railway stations, namely the Ernakulam Junction, Aluva and Tripunithura, Ernakulam Town and Edapally and Kalamassery.

Things to do in Kochi

Surely people would love to explore the city and find out where they can entertain themselves in ways which are uniquely Kochi. So here’s a small compiled list:

  • Chinese Fishing Nets: Everyone must have heard how these are only seen in Kochi apart from in China. What’s so special about fishing nets that it deserves a special mention? Well, these fishing nets are fixed in land and have to operate by a lift so that fishing can be done. Not to mention that these are proof of once good ties between China and India.
  • Dal Roti: People from North India would surely love this place, as the name suggests and to its merit, earning a name as a restaurant serving North Indian food is not easy in a South Indian state. This place, with its laid-back ambiance and wooden tables, is popular for its parathas and Kati rolls. If anyone wants to experience homely, delicious, North Indian food then this is the place to go.
  • Elephant Training Centre: The unspoiled village or Kodanad is where the stranded baby and adult elephants are trained. Most hotels are successful in arranging trips to the village but if a more intimate experience is on the mind then going before eight will be advisable since then visitors will be able to lend a hand in giving a wash to the elephants. Watching these big animals roll around like babies is truly a pleasure to watch.

Kochi is a place which is rich in spicy aroma and old world architectural charm, combined with hospitable people. Visitors will enjoy getting soaked in the cultural and historical aura of the place.

A Wine Lover’s Guide To Earth’s Best Wine Regions

If you fancy yourself a bit of a wine connoisseur you may enjoy the tradition of vineyard tours and wine tasting. But where should you definitely go to experience the best that planet earth has to offer? With so many countries that offer their own takes on wine and winemaking, it can be daunting to choose the perfect place to head to if you’re a wine lover. That’s why this short guide to the world’s best wines will help you narrow down your next wine tasting destination.

Argentina

It’s no secret that the wines that come from Argentina are some of the world’s best. Add to that the fact that Argentina is an absolute delight to travel to and around and you’re onto a winner on all accounts. Between delicious Argentinian steak, the snow capped peaks of the Andes and the delectable wines, it’s easy to see why Argentina is the things dreams are made of. Take a week or two to stop at various ranches to experience the real Argentine life, wrangling and branding cattle and sipping wine with the backdrop of beautiful Patagonia in your sights.

Georgia

You might be thinking ‘Georgia the state?’ but you’d be wrong. This central West Asian country is nestled between Armenia, Azerbaijan, Turkey and Russia and is home to such amazing climates throughout that it is ideal for growing all manner of fruits and vegetables – including grape varieties for winemaking. It’s been studied and shown that Georgian winemaking tradition goes back almost eight thousand years, making it one of the oldest and first winemaking regions in the world. That said, the Georgians really know what they’re doing when it comes to wine. Try it with kachapuri, a rich pizza-like dish laden with cheese.

Canada

Believe it or not, Canada is a huge wine producer, they just rarely export it, keeping it all within their borders for themselves, and for good reason. Produced in both British Columbia and Ontario mainly, the wines come in a variety of flavours and strengths. Such popular brands including Painted Rock, Cave Spring Cellars and Foxtrot, Canadian wines can usually be found throughout the country and are paired beautifully with local cuisines such as seared Elk steaks, regional lobster or buffalo. If you’re in the mood for something truly unique, have a taste of Canada’s famous Ice Wine – a wine produced by leaving the grapes on the vine until after the first frosts to produce a sweet, almost syrup like wine that is used almost exclusively for dessert.

South Africa

If you want to see the best Africa has to offer without diving into a totally different culture altogether by going to the likes of Tanzania, Kenya or Uganda, consider heading to South Africa – a perfect blend of Africa-meets-West. The western corner of the country around Cape Town is the best for sampling the wines on offer but they can be found most other places around the country as well. If heading out on safari take a bottle or two with you to enjoy after a day of watching the best of Africa’s wildlife go by in the likes of Kruger National Park, or head to your favourite Cape Town wine bar to toast a successful climb up Table Mountain. South Africa in their springtime is a great time to go, when the wildflowers are in full swing and you can find yourself lost in flower fields for ages. A perfect South African red wine would go down a treat on a picnic amongst the blooms.

So if you’re in the mood for a delicious glass or three of some of the world’s best vino, check out wines from one of the aforementioned locations. With wines steeped in history or challenging tradition, you will find the perfect flavours waiting for you in a bottle of one of these great options.

How To Update Your Cottage Country Bedroom

It’s easy to let things get out of date up at the cottage. It’s already furnished with the things you’d replaced in your home. You’re only up there on the weekends or (if you’re lucky) for a few weeks in the summer, and you have to make room in the car to bring up new furniture.

But the cottage should also be a place where you can relax and enjoy yourself. Human bodies are sensitive to their environments, and there’s no place that affects us more than where we sleep. Updating your bedroom in cottage country can help you relax and unwind on your getaways from the city.

First of all, let’s talk about light. Your bedroom at the cottage wants morning light. That means light curtains that you can draw at night that will still let the sun shine through in the morning. Thin white curtains should do the trick, while a lighter paint on the walls and in the fabrics are better at reflecting light. Use mirrors and lighter tones if you don’t have east-face windows and want to make the most of diffuse morning light. One of the best parts of cottage living is waking up naturally with the sun instead of an alarm clock. When the sun shines in on you in the morning, your body stops releasing melatonin (the sleep hormone). It’s the secret to waking up naturally and happily.

Second, it’s time to get rid of that squeaky old bed frame. You’re not getting a good night’s sleep when you hear creaking and metal groaning every time you or your partner shifts onto their side. An old bed frame can keep you up at night. You can find a huge selection of bed frames online for a reasonable price and even have it delivered, saving you room on your Friday night fight with traffic.

When it comes to bedroom furniture, wood will feel warm and appropriate for cottage living. Your headboard and any kind of night table or side table should be a real, natural-feeling wood. When you’re surrounded by the water and the woods, your home should feel earthy and rustic.

These are the kinds of things that will help you settle in after a long drive. If you’re not comfortable at the cottage, you’ll wind up struggling with the first night effect, where you struggle to sleep because you don’t feel comfortable in your surroundings. Pay attention to the details and make yourself feel at home.

Last but not least, don’t forget about the kids’ bedrooms. They should be easier-going than your own, but you can have a lot of fun with themes. For the cottage, keep things simple – you don’t want to have to redo everything when they get older. Stick to classics like nautical themes or cabin-in-the-woods, something they won’t be eager to see changed when they get older.

Updating the bedrooms at the cottage will make you feel more at home and relaxed. It’s your weekend getaway, your home by the lake. Make it feel like home.

The Benefits of Travel Blogging

As a world traveler, a travel blog is an excellent method to document your international exploits. Not only does a travel blog allow you to personally reflect on your travel experiences in a manner that is more introspective than simply reviewing your Photo Cloud, it also allows you to provide invaluable information to individuals considering exploring the places to which you have journeyed. If the intrinsic reward of writing is not quiet motivating enough, established bloggers have the potential to receive monetary compensation for their writing directly through their blog, travel sites, and also through special local promotions along their journey. If you are interested in starting a blog the first step is to find the best blogging platform and go from there.

Before the days of smartphones, one of the most important items in our luggage when traveling anywhere from the next city to lands abroad was our camera. Photographs are an essential tool in documenting any journey. While it is true that a photo is worth a thousand words, photos at times fail to express the cultural or emotional significance of an experience. One great feature of having a travel blog is that you can incorporate written stories alongside your photos, allowing you to preserve the individual significance of each new traveled experience.

One of the more altruistic components of developing a travel blog is providing first hand information to others about the places you have visited, which they would not be able to otherwise glean. TripAdvisor will let people know that the Louvre is one of Paris’ must see attractions. However, developing a travel blog will let these people know that if they plan their trip to the Louvre on the first Sunday of the month they will get in for free, and if they use the little know underground entrance to the Louvre – directly off the Paris Metro – they will be able to bypass the queue, which averages a two hour wait during peak hours.

A travel blog also allows you to document the vast cultural diversity and unique political customs that you encounter during your international adventures. Let your followers know that if they are traveling to Muscat during the holy month of Ramadan they will be expected to fast from sunrise to sunset, even if they do not follow the Islamic faith. Help your friends plan ahead for their trip to Havana by explaining that Cuba does not accept credit or debit cards from US financial institutions. Simply let your forgetful friends know if they are planning a trip to Argentina in July they should bring a jacket because the southern hemisphere’s winter is opposite to the northern hemisphere. Every travel experience that you document in your blog will truly impact future travelers.

Your writing as a world traveller is not limited to solely documenting your journeys or helping others plan their future adventures. A well established travel blog can easily generate passive income for you simply by monetizing your blog with one of the copious ad-based platforms available to personal websites. Travel sites and local tourist attractions also seek out individuals with well established travel blogs to do freelance writing for them, which is a great method of financing future adventures.

There are many incentives to consider when thinking about beginning your travel blog. Whether those incentives are personal or whether you are interested in documenting your experience for others, a travel blog is a great addition to your travel regimen.

Take the Road Trip of a Lifetime: Wayanad Guide

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Kerala is immensely popular for the holy trinity formed by Munnar, Kochi, and Allepey, thrusting Wayanad into the shadows. This is a good thing as it saves the place from experiencing a tourist stampede.

The area experiences decent tourist traffic with great hotels in Wayanad, but it is still considered as an off-the-beaten destination in Kerala. Are you thinking of a road trip? Then, Wayanad has the perfect balance of sports, hiking, adventures, and sightseeing to make the trip a once in a lifetime event.

The Travel Basics

One of the very first things you should know before you set out to Wayanad is that it’s not a town or a city, it is actually a northern Kerala district. The area is largely covered by forest and is located in the southern end of Deccan plateau.

In addition, you also need to know that visiting Wayanad means that you will be visiting either Sulthan Bathery, Kalpetta (Wayanad’s capital) or Mananthavady towns. One thing’s for sure, you won’t be able to sample all that Wayanad has to offer you in a single weekend. So, carefully choose what you really need to see and do!

Planning Your Trip

Unless you intend on visiting the Wayanad wildlife sanctuary, you should make Kalpetta your base. Kerala and Karnataka State Government buses can take you there from Bangalore and Mysore. There are no airports in Wayanad district, but you can use those in Kozhikode or Bangalore.

One of the best things about Wayanad is that it offers visitors an excellent local network of buses that are both frequent and very cheap. In fact, you can visit just about any tourist destination on public transport – the perfect solution for the solo backpacker.

Top Attractions in Wayanad

Sulthan Bathery is what can be considered as Wayanad’s gateway town, and the best location to stay if you intend on visiting the Mathunga Wild Life Sanctuary. The town’s name means the place where the king stationed his ammunition and army. Some of the top things to do and see in Sulthan Bathery include:

  • The Jain Temple
  • Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Edakkal Caves

Kalpetta town offers you a bittersweet symphony of life that includes attractions like:

  • Chembra Peak, which looks over the Wayanad territory – but you’ll need permission and tickets from the forest department
  • The Banasura Dam, which also happens to be India’s largest earth dam and number two in Asia

Mananthavady town is home to Paskhipatalam, which is a protected forest area as well as a sanctuary for several bird species. The park is located in the Brahmagiri hills and is only 8km from Thirunelli, allowing you to enjoy two activities in a single itinerary item. Trekking reveals sweeping views of the Nilgiri hills as you pass through clear water streams, wild grass, and pristine forests.

The Thirunelli temple is another noteworthy ancient place of worship attraction in Mananthavady that features Kerala architecture. According to the locals, the presiding deity here is Lord Vishnu, and it’s also an important pilgrim center in northern Wayanad.

Locals believe that taking a dip in the close by Papanasini river takes away all your sins while freeing you from any karma debts you have. Literary translated from Sanskrit, the name Papanasini means the destroyer of sins.

Conclusion

Wayanad is the perfect way to catch a glimpse of rural Kerala with waterfalls, woods, and wildlife. The vast mountains covered in mist, blue lakes, unending green meadows and wild forests make Wayanad a true “God’s own country!” In addition, it’s the perfect place for those looking for a break from the fast pace of city life.

Top Countries For Safaris In Africa

If you have been considering setting out sometime soon to the wilds of Africa and you aren’t sure which country (or countries) you should check out for the best options in safaris, look no further than this quick rundown of what we think are some of the top options on the continent. With so many options for safaris across the board it can be a daunting prospect to narrow it down to just one or two places to visit, but hopefully this short list will help you!

Uganda

Uganda is Africa’s tourist hot spot destination right now, and with a number of great Uganda safari options to choose from throughout the country, it’s easy to see why. From Kampala’s bustling streets and colourful neighbourhoods to the banks of the Nile River near Murchison Falls, there are a whole host of lush, thriving places in which you can enjoy safaris throughout the country. A safari in Uganda can include seeing a number of great types of wildlife from hippos to crocodiles, numerous birds, chimps, antelope, giraffes and more.

Tanzania

Tanzania is home to two major areas where safaris can take place – the Serengeti to the north and the Selous Game Reserve in the south. The Serengeti is more popular and therefore more crowded and touristic, so if you want to feel like you have all of Africa to yourself, the Selous is a great choice. You can see typically most of the same types of animals in both locations including lions, zebra, giraffe, hippos, crocodiles, baboons and hyenas with cheetahs being more likely on the Serengeti. The Serengeti does have the added benefit of being close to other popular tourist destinations of the Ngorongoro Crater as well as Mount Kilimanjaro, so it can be a better place for safaris if you want to do both of those things as well.

Botswana

Botswana is one of the most popular destinations to date for safaris, being hugely popular with older people due to the high quality and luxury options for safari lodges that are dotted around the country. Generally speaking, Botswana has it all in terms of animals along with a whole array of different rated safari lodges to choose from. With close proximity to the likes of Namibia, South Africa and Mozambique, Botswana is a favourite for many who want to explore more than just one or two countries and their safari options.

Rwanda

While Rwanda is awash with mainly rainforests in terms of wildlife, the popular safari option here is to take off into the highlands to view mountain gorillas. Permits can fetch a pretty penny and sell out months in advance due to conservation efforts to minimise the effect of tourism on these mountain inhabitants. Check with the Rwandan Wildlife Authority for details on permits and how to go about booking a trek for your time in the country.

South Africa

South Africa is probably one of the most popular options for first timers to the safari game, mainly due to the more European feel of the country. While it’s not without its difficulties and dangers, South Africa is a great introduction to Africa for those who don’t want to plunge right into the likes of Kenya, Tanzania or Rwanda. The best spot for safaris here is in the north east corner, in Kruger National Park near the border with Mozambique. Here you will find almost every manner of wild life you want, with knowledgeable guides and comfortable lodges.

So if you’ve been looking at going on a safari for your next big getaway, consider one of the above locations. A safari can be a once in a lifetime experience often due to the cost for many, so choose wisely and make sure you create the most exhilarating experience for yourself. Most importantly, enjoy the trip! You won’t regret it.

5 Hidden Gems in Sicily

Whether you are visiting for fascinating sites of historical significance, visiting some of the island’s spectacular golden beaches or are just after some of the country’s best food, the island of Sicily just off the toe of Italy’s boot is one of the country’s most popular destinations – the island has it all.

There is no shortage of attractions or stuff to be doing in Sicily but, sometimes, you need to break off from the tourist trail and experience other lesser-known parts of the island. If you’re going to be spending your vacation exploring, then consider staying in one of the beautiful villas in Sicily which will help you to unwind after a long day on your feet.

With this in mind, we have put together a list of our five favourite hidden gems in Sicily. Whether you are looking for archaeological ruins or dramatic views, there is something for everybody here.

#1: The Norman Castles

Sitting proudly, high in the island’s dramatic mountainous terrain with sweeping views across the coast to Trapani, the Norman Castle of Erice is brimming with history. Perched on top of Eryx Hill, the Castle of Erice provide visitors with a breath-taking view across the coastlines of Sicily.

It’s not just the view, though; history buffs will love it too for its historical significance.

#2: Modica

Although Modica is widely known and is not exactly a ‘hidden gem’, many people choose to visit Modica for its sandy beaches instead of experiencing the beauty of the city. These people are missing out; in Modica, there is lots of remarkable architecture to feast the eyes upon, including both St. Peter’s Church and the St. George Cathedral… oh, and the town is famous for its artisan chocolates.

#3: The Mozia Windmills

Mozia is a small island located just off Sicily’s west coast which, when compared to the island of Sicily itself, is a place less travelled. On Mozia, there are tons of archaeological sites based around the Mediterranean’s most iconic Phoenician settlement, but it is the windmills found on this island which make it worthy of a visit – it is the perfect opportunity for photographers to let their creativity shine!

#4: Caltagirone and its Ceramic Architecture

In this beautiful Sicilian town, the streets, bridges, buildings, and everything else are coated in beautiful ceramic works of art – the town is literally a work of colourful and charming rustic art. The most famous attraction here is the Scala di Santa Maria del Monte, a large stairway which is coated entirely in ceramics, where numerous festivals take place throughout the year.

#5: Panoramic Views at Enna

The town of Enna sits 1,000 above two mountainous peaks, it is an awe-inspiring destination with long, winding cobble-paved streets and historical landmarks as far as the eye can see. If you are looking for beautiful panoramic views as far as the eye can see and rustic Italian architecture, Enna needs to be on your list.

The Island of Sicily attracts tourists in their masses each year, many of whom come solely for the island’s sandy beaches. Although the beaches are fantastic, Sicily’s true character truly shines through its beautiful historical sites, architecture, and old Italian streets.

Arm with a self defense weapon to ward off predators

We all know that we have to be very careful wherever we are especially where crime rates are increasing in many parts of the world. We cannot be too dependent on the police force because they cannot be everywhere and crime can strike at any time when we least expected it. We cannot take our personal safety for granted and think that it will not happen to us.

It is our responsibility to place our personal safety as top priority because if an attack happens to us, we and our love ones will be the ones that will suffer. In order to avoid being mugged or attacked, it is good for us to take extra precaution to arm ourselves with the best self defense weapons. We can buy these self defense weapons from online websites. There is a wide variety of self defense weapons for sale and this weapons are your first line of defense against an attack.

There are plenty of very practical non-lethal weapons ranging from pepper spray to taser guns that are affordable. Other self defense weapons include knives, police batons, and stun guns which are small, portable, and legal in most states. Most of us take our personal safety for granted and don’t realize that we need a defense weapon until we have been attacked or robbed.

The people who most needed to carry a self defense weapon are college students who have to walks to and from college, single women travelling alone, or late-night commuters returning from work at odd hours. It is also advisable for men to carry self-defense weapons such as the animal repellers when walking in areas where there are lots of stray dogs to keep them away.

Besides these self defense weapons, there are also safety products for kids to keep them out of danger. Little toddlers are very curious and they like to explore with their hands and climb. Some of the common things in the home could be dangerous to these little ones such as stairs, drawers, cupboards, sharp corners, breakables, even furniture, etc. Parents and care givers are not able to give 24 hours attention to toddlers who are on the move most of the time when they are awaken.

There are many types of high quality child safety products available, such as a monitoring system that alerts the care-giver when the child wanders off. There are also small items such as child locator to let you know where your child has wandered to.

6 Travel Tips and Ideas for a Fun-Filled Family Trip to Chattanooga

Mountain views. Epic railroads. Natural beauty aplenty.

Hey, they don’t call it “the Scenic City” for nothing.

Tennessee is a well-documented destination for tourists who love the outdoors, and the sights and attractions of Chattanooga are a central part of what makes the state so enticing. Whether you’re hunting for a family vacation spot in the South or are just passing through the Volunteer State on a road trip, look no further than Chattanooga.

But what spots make the city so great? What are the must-sees if you’ve never stopped through?

Below we’ve outlined six awesome options for families of all shapes and sizes. While there’s certainly no shortage of things to do in Chattanooga, these points of interest are totally family-friendly and will keep your kiddos entertained without fail.

Go Camping

As noted, Tennessee’s natural beauty and proximity to the mountains make it a prime spot for campers to check out. Chattanooga is no exception to the rule, representing a friendly place for RVs and tent campers alike.

New to camping? No problem. You can find the ideal RV rental in Chattanooga for your family to bring along all of the comforts of home and explore the state on your own terms.

Marvel at Lookout Mountain

If you’re hungry for a breathtaking view and an epic photo op at nearly 2,400 feet up, look no further. Beyond the awesome hiking that this hotspot provides, some other must-sees at Lookout Mountain include…

  • Point Park, overlooking Lookout Mountain Battlefield and the city proper, featuring a variety of monuments an observatory
  • Craven’s House, a blast from the past for Civil War buffs
  • The Lookout Mountain Trail System, boasting over thirty miles of trail to check out

Explore the Raccoon Mountain Caverns

Parents looking to give their kids a sense of adventure and perhaps wear them out a bit will have a blast scoping out the Raccoon Mountain Caverns. Multiple tours are available of varying difficulties; meanwhile, you can spot a number of gems and crystals throughout the 5.5 miles of underground passageways to explore.

Trek Across Walnut Street Bridge

The history of the Walnut Street Bridge is a fascinating one, representing an achievement in architecture and a beloved spot for walkers and bikers alike. Offering a spectacular sunset view, there are some quaint cafes and restaurants to likewise enjoy at the riverfront when you’re done trekking.

Experience Ruby Falls

It’s not every day that you get to see firsthand an underground waterfall, right? A must-see sight if you’re in the vicinity of the previously noted Lookout Mountain, there’s a reason why these colorful falls attract thousands of visitors annually.

Check Out the Chattanooga Choo Choo

Hey, no visit would be complete without checking out the famed Chattanooga Choo Choo. There are tons of attractions surrounding the terminal and its subsequent hotel: definitely worth seeing if you don’t mind the traditional “touristy” vibe of the station.

Chattanooga is so much more than your typical city in the South. With so many unique attractions and spectacular nature hotspots, it’s a prime place for families to visit who want a taste of something different during their next vacation.

7 Hidden Gems In Florida To Visit On Your Next Vacay

Florida is the top vacation destination for people all over the world. Next time you take a trip to the sunshine state, leave the crowds behind and visit these 7 hidden gems in Florida.

When most people think of Florida, two things immediately come to mind: Disney and some of the best beaches in the United States. Maybe you love Florida orange juice or visiting buzzing cities like Miami and Jacksonville, too.

But, the next time you pay the Sunshine State a visit, check out some of the hidden gems in Florida. This part of the country has much more to offer than a coastline and a picture with Mickey Mouse.

Here are some of the best natural and man-made wonders Florida locals and visitors alike have to see.

1. Ginnie Springs

If you’re already familiar with Florida beaches, it’s time to check out the springs awaiting in the mainland. Ginnie Springs is one of the most popular ones to check out.

Located just north of central Florida, and a quick drive from the University of Florida, Ginnie Springs is where you can let your inner child out to play. It’s also safe for the actual children in your group. You can come for the day or camp out for the weekend.

While you’re here, be sure to take a float down the river, take some time to sunbathe, and maybe cook up a few classic camping meals, too. There are plenty of small grills and bathroom stations available all along the driving trails, which are close to the river.

The real adventure of Ginnie Springs, though, are the small pools located throughout the park.

Keep an eye out for these special swimming space. They’re a little more private than the main river area and just as refreshing.

2. Ravine Gardens State Park

Head a few hours southeast from Ginnie Springs and you’ll end up in Palatka, Florida. This is home to Ravine Gardens State Park, a beautiful destination for those who prefer hiking and running over swimming and fishing.

The Ravine Gardens are a beautiful natural oasis. Head on one trail to discover lush, thick greenery on suspended bridges. Or, check out the open garden area, which is much more organized and well-kept.

3. Fort De Soto State Park

If all you want to do while you’re in Florida is hit the beach, we can’t really blame you. But, it’s one thing to end up in a dense, highly-populated tourist town and another to find Florida hidden gems along the coastline. Head to Fort De Soto State Park for just that.

On the west coast of Florida, Fort De Soto is a calm, quiet beach touching the Gulf of Mexico. The water on this side of the state tends to be more clear and not as rough as that of the eastside.

This makes Fort De Soto great for lounging by the water, boating for the day, or finding some amazing local restaurants to wrap up the evening at. Life here revolves around the water, which makes sense the Fort De Soto area is made up of five keys banded together by causeways.

Whichever one you end up at is sure to be a treat.

4. Bob’s River Place

Maybe you love the water but you’re looking for a little more of a thrill – look no further than Bob’s River Place. This is located in Branford, Florida, a small town in between Central Florida and the Panhandle.

Originally just an average swimming hole, Bob’s River Place is now an amazing destination for fun-lovers from both near and far. Visitors can jump onto a rope swing before cannonballing into the water, or try out one of the many slides built along the shore.

It’s easy to spend an entire day jumping around and hanging out here, but note, it’s probably best for the little ones to stay at home.

5. Tarpon Springs

Another one of the best secret places in Florida is Tarpon Springs. Tarpon is a thriving Greek community, with plenty of restaurants lining the dock waiting to welcome you. Stop in for some of the best fresh fish in Florida, or take a stroll through all the shops.

You can find plenty of unique, beautiful Florida souvenirs to bring back home with you. Or, maybe make a stop to grab a bit of baklava for the road!

Tarpon is also very close to the Tampa Bay area. You can make it a day trip if you’re staying in the city, or just a pit stop along the way. Tampa is home to amazing sports teams of all kinds, amazing restaurants, and a few roller coasters of its own.

6. Flagler College

Also on the list is Flagler College, located in one of the top destinations in Florida – St. Augustine. Most people visit St. Augustine for the fort, the lighthouse, and the artisan shops. Life moves a little bit slower here, and the locals are very proud of the community they’ve created.

One of the most noteworthy things the city has to offer, though, is Flagler College! This is absolutely worth checking out even if you’re not a student, considering the rich history of the campus. Flagler College was originally the Ponce De Leon Hotel, and it also served a valuable purpose to the Coast Guard during World War II.

7. Cocoa Beach

Last but not least, try to visit Cocoa Beach if you can. Known as a popular surf destination, Cocoa Beach itself isn’t exactly one of the hidden gems in Florida.

The lesser-known water activities are what landed Cocoa on this list. Sure, you can surf and enjoy the shore as much as you want. Just be sure to do some fishing and check out the Banana River, too.

The Banana River is home to some of the most amazing kayaking experiences in Florida. It’s home to bioluminescent species that make the water look like it’s lit up at night! The experience is truly unlike anything else, and you can click for more info to plan this part of your trip.

Discovering All the Hidden Gems in Florida

Did you know that Florida is home to the horse capital of the world? Or that it’s where the Cuban sandwich was created?

These are just a few fun facts about this amazing, beautiful state. But, to truly understand the wonder of this part of the country, you have to discover all the hidden gems in Florida for yourself.

Check out these travel tips to help get you there!