Florida

10 Unique Places to Stay in Florida for a Most Memorable Vacay

by Kristen Arendt
Updated October 20, 2022

unique places to stay in florida
Photo: The Don Cesar

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See the Sunshine State like never before with a stay at one of these ten unique places that’ll make your Florida vacay unforgettable.

From treehouse retreats and cozy B&Bs to epic oceanfront accommodations, these spots offer something extra special for your next Florida getaway.

Whether you want to explore the Keys, the Gulf, or the Panhandle, Florida offers sun-seekers a wide variety of activities to choose from whether you’re looking for sand and surf or fine dining and fun times at the theme parks. So pack your swimsuit and sunscreen, and book a stay at one of these awesome spots for a one-of-a-kind vacation.

1. Kokomo Farms

unique places to stay florida - treehouse
Photo: Hipcamp

Why you should stay: Experience some gorgeous glamping at an animal lovers’ paradise.

  • Nearest town: Live Oak
  • Sleeps: 11 sites / 3 guest per site
  • Minimum stay: 1 night
  • Rates from: $69/night

You might have a hard time choosing the best accommodation at Kokomo Farms, and we’d forgive your indecision. This unique spot offers everything from a netted hanging bed to a converted shipping container. Looking for a more solid roof over your head? Opt for their cozy tiny home, tiny cottage, or treehouse. You can even roll up in your motorhome if you book the farm’s single pull-through RV site.

The 20-acre property is pretty sweet too, with a hot tub, Zen garden, greenhouses, and some spectacular live oak trees to enjoy. If you love animals, the farm is home to a menagerie of rescued animals. Bring some carrots to make friends with the horses. And if you’re looking to get out on the water, you can rent a kayak from a nearby outfitter to paddle the Suwannee River.

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2. TreeHouse in the Clouds

unique places to stay florida - tree house
Photo: Airbnb

Why you should stay: Enjoy a magical and romantic escape immersed in nature.

  • Nearest town: Saint Cloud
  • Sleeps: 2
  • Minimum stay: 1 night
  • Rates from: $164/night

Bring your loved one to the TreeHouse in the Clouds for a memorable romantic getaway. This lovely stay has its own private deck that wraps around your exquisite room. The view from the treetop is especially divine at sunrise and sunset when the light filters through the canopy. In addition to the show-stopper bedroom, you also have a full bathroom and kitchenette — so you won’t be roughing it too much.

The secluded property is located in the country, which is part of the charm. If you’re happy kicking back and getting away from it all, you can enjoy some scenic strolls, coffee (or adult beverages) from your balcony, and a fire pit at night. If you want to get out on the town, the many attractions of Orlando are less than an hour’s drive away!

“Treehouse was magical! Perfect way to escape city living for a moment and tap into nature.”

Jade
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3. The Mermaid & The Alligator

unique places to stay florida - mermaid alligator
Photo: The Mermaid & The Alligator

Why you should stay: Savor some sophistication, serenity, and a solid dose of Victorian-era charm.

  • Nearest town: Key West
  • Sleeps: 9 rooms / 2 guests per room
  • Minimum stay: 1 night
  • Rates from: $210/night

Get into the Key West spirit with a stay at The Mermaid and The Alligator. This casual yet elegant circa-1904 Queen Anne Victorian mansion offers nine unique rooms in the heart of Old Town Key West. This adult-only B&B is upscale without being uptight — you’ll feel right at home strolling the gardens, grabbing an afternoon siesta in a hammock, or cooling off in the plunge pool.

And as far as proximity to downtown goes, you can’t beat the location. The shops, galleries, and restaurants of Duval Street are only three blocks away. And if you want to get out to enjoy the beautiful blue water of the Keys, you’ve got your choice of snorkeling or diving tours to explore the tropical paradise like a local.

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4. Santa Rosa Cottage

unique places to stay florida - cottage
Photo: VRBO

Why you should stay: A cozy bungalow a few blocks from the beach with all the comforts of home.

  • Nearest town: Santa Rosa Beach
  • Sleeps: 4
  • Minimum stay: 3 nights
  • Rates from: $200/night

If you’re looking for a unique stay that gives you a taste of high-end tiny home living, this luxurious cottage has a delightful finish that will have you feeling at home the moment you walk in the door. From the coastal decor to the bright, sunny spaces, this little bungalow has all the fixings for a Gulf Coast retreat.

Of course, the big draw is this home’s awesome location. When you’re ready to hit the beach, grab a beach cruiser (2 bikes are included with your reservation) and pedal up the road. The blue waters and white sand beaches of 30A await you. You’ll quickly see why it’s called the Emerald Coast.

“We loved everything about the area and the beaches exceeded our hopes. This little cottage was perfect for both comfort and location. We will be back!”

Susan D., Crosby, TX
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5. Fenway Hotel

unique places to stay florida - fenway hotel
Photo: Fenway Hotel

Why you should stay: Pamper yourself at these downtown digs overlooking the Gulf of Mexico.

  • Nearest town: Dunedin
  • Sleeps: 2-8
  • Minimum stay: 1 night
  • Rates from: $208/night

If you’re looking for a boutique hotel experience, look no further than the historic Fenway Hotel. Built in 1924, it became an icon of the Jazz Age, hosting explorers, artists, politicians, and musicians. Nowadays, the hotel still gives a nod to its musical heritage while also dishing up plenty of modern luxury.

During your stay, you can enjoy a delicious dish at the Hew Parlor and Chophouse. Or grab a cocktail and enjoy the palm tree-dotted view from the Hi-Fi Rooftop Bar. For beach lovers, you are a short drive from the stunning white sands and turquoise waters of Caladesi Island and Honeymoon Island, two spots that are frequently named some of the top beaches in the world.

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6. Bodhi Road Vintage Airstream Retreat

unique places to stay florida -airstream
Photo: AIrbnb

Why you should stay: Live your bohemian beach bum dream in this restored Airstream.

  • Nearest town: Pensacola
  • Sleeps: 2
  • Minimum stay: 2 nights
  • Rates from: $92/night

For a unique glamping experience without any of the dirty work of camping, book a stay at the Bodhi Road Airstream. This beautifully restored vintage Airstream has everything you need to kick back and unwind — including a secluded backyard where you can enjoy lounging in the hammocks during the day or roasting s’mores over the fire pit at night.

When you’re ready to get out exploring, you’ll have plenty of options from the quirky mid-century neighborhood to downtown Pensacola and the amazing beaches of Johnsons National Seashore. Bring a bike to pedal the Navy Point bike path and head out at sunset for a stunning view of Bayou Grande. If paddling is more your style, you’ll also find easy access to the water to launch your kayak or SUP.

“Wow … I can’t say enough great things about this Airbnb! Great outdoor space, hammock, firepit, bbq, and just a beautiful location!”

Daniel, Washington D.C.
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7. The Don CeSar

unique places to stay florida - don cesar
Photo: The Don Cesar

Why you should stay: Pamper yourself at a palatial estate with waterfront views in every direction.

  • Nearest town: St. Pete Beach
  • Sleeps: 2-6
  • Minimum stay: 1 night
  • Rates from: $449/night

If your idea of a great vacation includes a dash of glamor — and lots of sunshine — the Don CeSar offers an opulent and elegant option. Also known as the Pink Palace, you can’t miss this distinctive salmon-colored waterfront property. Book a guest room or suite to enjoy the expansive views of Florida’s Gulf Coast.

During your stay, you can take a dip in the two heated outdoor pools, book a spa treatment at the Spa Oceana, or grab a drink at the Beacon Pool Bar and Lookout. For fine dining, check out the Maritana Restaurant. And when you’re ready for beach time, it’s as easy as walking out the back door to the sugar sand beaches of St. Pete Beach.

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8. Island Escape

unique places to stay florida - cabin
Photo: Airbnb

Why you should stay: Sail (or motor) away to this extremely private retreat which is only accessible by boat.

  • Nearest town: Georgetown
  • Sleeps: 6
  • Minimum stay: 2 nights
  • Rates from: $276/night

It’s not every day that you can say you’re heading to your own private island, but at the Island Escape, you’ll be treated to this unique experience. This cozy cottage is located on five acres on Drayton Island in the St. Johns River and is only accessible by boat.

You can bring your own boat or rent one to reach this secluded spot—the home has a boat lift and slip for you to use during your stay. From there, you can easily spend a day, or several, on the water exploring Lake George and the St. Johns River. The peaceful setting makes a great getaway for nature lovers, fishermen, families, or couples looking to relax on the water.

“This island home is fantastic! It’s homey, unique, and full of character!! The yard is immaculate with lots of places to sit and enjoy the beautiful river, sunsets, and all of nature’s beauty!”

Kim, Lexington, SC
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9. The Amelia Schoolhouse Inn

unique places to stay florida - amelia schoolhouse
Photo: Amelia Schoolhouse Inn

Why you should stay: A quaint inn with the luxuries of a big hotel and the coziness of a B&B.

  • Nearest town: Fernandina
  • Sleeps: 2
  • Minimum stay: 1 night
  • Rates from: $175/night

The Amelia Schoolhouse Inn started life in 1886 as the first school on Amelia Island. Now a boutique hotel with cozy vibes, the inn offers a one-of-a-kind stay in the heart of downtown. Book a stay at one of the 17 unique guest rooms, and you’ll be treated to swanky amenities like the private pool, courtyard with a putting green and an upscale bar, cheekily named The Principal’s Office.

Getting to the ocean is easy with several beaches and two state parks to choose from, all within easy driving distance. And if you’re looking for shops, restaurants, and other on-the-town activities, downtown Fernandina Beach has a host of eclectic shops and local eateries along the harborfront to explore.

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10. The Grand Tiki Suite

unique places to stay florida - grand tiki suite
Photo: Airbnb

Why you should stay: Float away to a vacation paradise in this exquisite off-grid accommodation.

  • Nearest town: Key West
  • Sleeps: 2
  • Minimum stay: 1 night
  • Rates from: $549/night

You can’t get much closer to an oceanfront view than the Grand Tiki Suite. This suite is on the water — quite literally. From this floating deck, you’ll enjoy a cozy king bed and French doors that open to views of the water. And while this home is technically off-grid, you’ll have plenty of creature comforts like voice-activated lighting, a mobile hotspot for Wi-Fi, air conditioning, heat, and an in-room shower. Don’t worry — you won’t be living like a shipwreck survivor.

Your stay also includes two inflatable paddleboards and two sets of snorkel gear. Thanks to the on-deck ladder, you can leave right from your front porch for your aquatic adventures. At the end of the day, catch a sunset from the hammock. While we can’t guarantee that it will be the most memorable sunset of your life, we’re willing to guess it will probably be in the running.

“Absolutely one of the most unique experiences we have ever had. Worth every penny, and a must-do if you’re in the Key West area”

Andres, Miami, FL
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